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2019年11月22日 18:06:15 | 作者:医分类 | 来源:新华社
Europe France’s economy欧洲 法国经济Austerity stakes紧缩困境A reluctant government faces the imperative of public-spending cuts法国削减公共出势在必行,政府陷入两难境界Franse’s finance minister, Pierre Moscovici, staged a charm offensive in London this week to improve his country’s battered economic image. Days after the European Commission had forecast that France would miss its budget-deficit target of 3% of GDP in 2013, a key promise of President Francois Hollande’s, Mr Moscovici urged people to look beyond “simplistic stereotypes”. The government may miss its target, he said, but it was making structural reforms to restore competitiveness and sound public finances.法国的财务首相皮耶尔 莫斯科维奇本周在伦敦打了漂亮的一仗,改善了法国经济窘迫不堪的形象。欧盟委员会预测法国将难以兑现2013年GDP3%的预算赤字目标,而那是总统弗朗西斯奥朗德的重点承诺。数日之后,莫斯科维奇呼吁人们看穿“单纯的陈见”。他表示,也许政府不能如期完成目标,但它采取结构化改革以恢复竞争力,重塑夯实的公共财政。The commission’s verdict was sobering. French GDP will grow by 0.1% this year, compared with a government forecast of 0.8%, and the deficit will reach 3.7%. After long defending the 3% target as a sign of its credibility, and insisting on overly ambitious growth forecasts, the government has abruptly switched message to plead for more time. And the commission clearly intends to opt for indulgence.委员会的裁定是一盆冷水。新的一年,法国GDP增长率将会是0.1%,与政府0.8%的预测相差甚远。而且赤字会达到3.7%.长期坚守3%的目标已成为法国信誉的象征,同时伴随着野心勃勃的增长预测。但风云突变,政府扭转口径,央求着要更多时间。显然,委员会意欲纵容之。Without much struggle, it seems, France has won the argument that it should not be punished for its failure. It blames poor growth—the commission forecasts a euro-zone recession in 2013—and fears that more belt-tightening might make things worse. The French claim that, judged by the structural deficit, adjusted for the cycle, the government has made a bigger effort than at first appears. Mr Moscovici does not plan an emergency budget to squeeze the deficit back towards 3% this year, partly for fear of provoking “a political and social shock”. Jens Weidmann, the Bundesbank chief, said that “putting consolidation off would just shift the problem into the future.” But the German government stayed silent and Wolfgang Schauble, the finance minister, told a newspaper he was “fully confident” thatFrance was on the right track.虽未曾付出太多的努力,但看上去,法国已经赢得不必为失败而受惩的舆论持。它责难低下的增长率——委员会预测了2013年欧元区的萧条——并担心紧缩政策会让一切更糟糕。法国宣称,由相对经济周期校准的结构性赤字判断,政府作的努力比表面上的要更为显著。莫斯科维奇并未制定紧急计划以在年内将赤字压缩到3%,部分是由于担心这会引起“政治和社会的震荡。”德国央行主观简魏德曼表示延迟“延迟”只是把问题留给未来。但德国政府保持沉默,而且财政首相沃尔夫冈邵伯向报纸表示他“无比自信”地认为法国经济正步入正轨。Mr Moscovici may get away with drift once, but he is unlikely to be indulged twice. As it is, letting him off the hook depends on taking seriously his efforts to sort out the public finances. This year, three-quarters of the effort to curb the deficit consists of higher taxes, says the Cour des Comptes, the national auditor. Yet with a total take of over 44% of GDP, Franceis aly the most heavily taxed country in the euro. Companies and the rich have been squeezed; investment has gone on hold. The constitutional court has rejected Mr Hollande’s planned 75% top income-tax rate, although the government plans to revive it in another form. Even some Socialist deputies concede that the government cannot go on pushing up taxes.但事不过三,莫斯科维奇很难继续得到包容。事实上,只有正视他为解决公共财政问题作出的努力才能让他免于责难。据国家审计员Cour des Comptes表示,今年控制赤字的努力有四分之三都用于征收高额税。法国已是欧元区课税最繁重的国家,税收占到GDP的44%。公司和富人保守压榨,投资搁置了。立宪法院拒绝了奥朗德设立最高75%所得税的计划,但政府计划通过别种形势实现它。甚至一些社会党代表也承认政府不能无止尽地抬高税收。That leaves no choice but cuts in public spending. Mr Moscovici says these will account for “most” of the deficit reduction in the 2014 budget. This is where the hard part begins. The commission forecasts a deficit in 2014 of 3.9%, even higher than in 2013, as well as a rise in unemployment to 11%. The government has begun to float various ideas, such as means-testing family benefits and lengthening the period for pension contributions. A policy review is under way with the aim of eliminating duplication and cutting jobs. The prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, has set up a commission to look into pension reform. “This is all very different to what Socialist governments did before,” says an insider.如此一来,法国别无选择,唯有削减公共出。莫斯科维奇表示那会占到2014年预算赤字削减的“大部分”。艰险的征程由此展开。委员会预测2014年的赤字率会达到3.9%,甚至高于2013年的,与此同时失业率会上升至11%。政府集思广益,采用诸如家庭付能力调查以及延长养老金的供期。首相吉恩马克 艾洛特已成立一个委员会调查养老金改革。“这与此前社会党政府的所作所为大相径庭。”内部人士透露说。The difficulty is political. It may be evident to outsiders—and to some in the government—that, given its competitiveness and growth problems, France has no choice but to rethink its generous welfare state and well-staffed public sector. But a year after the 2012 election campaign, public debate has barely begun. Mr Hollande was elected on a promise to kick-start growth, cut unemployment and end austerity. Now he presides over recession, rising joblessness—and the need to impose more austerity on dumbfounded voters.难度在于政治方面。考虑到法国的竞争力和经济增长困境,它除了对优厚的福利和齐整的公共部门加以慎思外别无选择。但2012年选举结束的一年之后,公众的质疑声才刚刚开始泛滥。奥朗德带着促进经济增长,降低失业率和终结紧缩的承诺上任。如今,他要为经济萧条和上涨的失业率买单——以及让投票者目瞪口呆的紧缩政策。翻译:袁航译文属译生译世 /201610/471723Bagehot白芝浩General Osborne奥斯本将军The chancellors fifth budget was full of trickery—yet utterly serious财政大臣发布的第五个财政预算诡计连连—但确实严肃“NOW this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Churchills genius for spin, after El Alamein had delivered the first big British victory of the second world war, is illustrated by how little-remembered are the modest claims he went on to make for that triumph. “Henceforth,” he continued, “Hitlers Nazis will meet equally well-armed, and perhaps better-armed, troops.” That was a weaselly fudge if ever Bagehot heard one.“现在还没到结局的时候,甚至这不是结局的起点,但是这是开始的终点。”当阿拉曼传来英国在二战中首次大捷的消息后,丘吉尔在其用来称赞此次胜利的公告中有这么几句不引人注意却又最贴切的话,这使得丘吉尔口吐莲花的天赋显露无遗。他继续说道“今后,希特勒的纳粹军队会遭遇装备同样精良,甚至是更好的军队。” 如果白芝浩听到过含糊的外交辞令,也还会认为这是相当狡猾的一句。George Osborne faced a similarly daunting exercise in expectations management when delivering his fifth budget on March 19th. Wan with nerves, the chancellor of the exchequer was able to announce to Parliament the best economic figures in five years of faltering growth, falling living standards and painful spending cuts. The economy is growing faster than in any other large rich country. It is creating record numbers of jobs: for the first time in three decades Britains employment rate is higher than Americas. The budget deficit is edging downwards. The difficulty for the chancellor was that, having been for so long denied, people want jam, which he was bound to refuse them. The deficit, at around £108 billion (9 billion) this year, or 6.6% of GDP, is too large to support the tax cuts that many of his Conservative colleagues are demanding. But, while bound to disappoint, Mr Osborne needed to avoid seeming so cautious as to crush confidence in the recovery and his own stewardship of it. His task was to celebrate and reassure, yet give away almost nothing.3月19日,奥斯本提交其第五个财政预算报告,并回应大众的期待。这与(丘吉尔)如临深渊的情形十分相似。这位财政大臣面色苍白,紧张兮兮地向国会宣读了经济疲软、生活标准下降和财政紧缩的五年以来令人振奋的经济数据。英国的经济增长比其他的大经济体都要快。新增就业数量破了纪录:三十年来英国就业率头一次超越美国。而财政赤字也正快速下降。不可否认,人民是想要甜头的。奥斯本的困难在于他决心拒绝这种诉求。今年的赤字约有1080亿英镑(1790亿美元),占GDP6.6%。 如果按照一些奥斯本的保守党同僚的盘算的那样削减税收,这赤字就规模太大而无法给予持。但他必须避免因为态度谨慎而打击了(人们)对经济复苏的信心,以及他对党的领导。他的任务本来就是欢呼庆祝,巩固经济势头,而不能给(民众)添福利。He managed that, first by reminding Britons of the state they were in when the Tory-led coalition took over in 2010. The economy had suffered the deepest recession of modern times and seen the worlds biggest bank bail-out. The government was borrowing a quarter of what it spent. That history lesson done with, Mr Osborne began to relax, and a dab of colour returned to his pallid cheeks. Britain was recovering from these horrors, he said, because of its adherence to “the plan”.他做到了。首先,在托尼领导的党派联盟2010年赢得大选时,他就提醒英国民众英国当时的状况。此次经济衰退为进入现代历史以来最为严重的一次。本国纾困的规模也举世罕见。政府四分之一的开由借贷而来。好在这段历史翻过去了。奥斯本可以放松,一抹血色也出现在他苍白的脸颊上。他说,英国在这些可怕的情况中走出来了,这要归功于贯彻下来的(经济) “计划”。He referred to a raft of spending cuts, tax increases and pro-business gestures designed with a view to restoring the public finances to surplus by 2018. That target is, in fact, less fixed than Mr Osborne implies. It was pushed back several times while the economy languished: the deficit was originally to have been closed before next years general election. The plan is, in short, little more than an expression of the chancellors own shifting economic judgment.他指的计划是减少开,增加税收和刺激商业等一揽子措施,以期2018年时公共财政能增长且有盈余。这个目标其实并不像奥斯本说的那么坚决。经济不景气时,计划推迟了好几次:本来明年大选之前赤字应该消除了的。简而言之,这个计划不过是奥斯本自己对不断变化的经济结论的一个表达。No matter. The recovery, and his political rivals failure to predict it, has enshrined the plan as sacred and inflexible. This is a mark of the political capital Mr Osborne is now drawing on, even as he admitted the economys many remaining weaknesses. His Labour Party rival, the shadow chancellor Ed Balls, who chuntered grudgingly throughout the budget speech, appears to have been outdone. So have Mr Osbornes many erstwhile Tory critics. The apparently daunting task of arguing that the economy is stronger yet still too weak for giveaways turned out to be a cinch. The chancellor was triumphant.不过这没什么关系。经济复苏了,他的政治对手又没有预料到这一点,使得这个计划变得神圣不可动摇。这也是奥斯本所倚重的标志性政治资本,即便他承认经济还有还多缺点。他的工党对手,影子财政大臣艾德.鲍斯在整个演讲期间都心有不甘的喃喃自语,看上去已经被淘汰了。托尼.布莱尔执政时期很多批评奥斯本的人也是这样。至于那个显然烫手山芋似的任务,即申明经济虽然好转但依然无力分派福利,现在也把握十足。奥斯本现在得意万分。That patently owes as much to crafty politics as to economics, and Mr Osborne showed plenty more in his speech. It was less weaselly than stoat-like—a whirligig of policies and pledges that appeared more fascinating than substantial. They included several previously flagged traps for Labour. Legislation to cap the welfare bill—a popular idea, tricky for Labour, and of only token importance to the cost of welfare—is to be introduced to Parliament next week. Announcing some money for next years 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the chancellor even found the opportunity to invite comparison between the medieval monarch it humbled, King John, and another brother-betrayer, Labours leader Ed Miliband. It was one of the better budget gags.这个胜利除了经济原因,也要归功于其灵活的政治手腕。而奥斯本在他的演讲中披露了其他的原因。这并非是白鼬一般的狡猾,而仅仅是让政策与承诺看上去吸引人,而非简单的有料。其中包括了工党之前树立的几项旗帜性的(政策)口号。通过立法给福利开设定上限是一项广受欢迎的政策,是工党(收买人心)的把戏,其面子功夫上的重要性掩盖了福利成本。而这个政策下周就会提交到议会。在宣告明年举行大宪章800周年庆典的预算之际,奥斯本甚至找了个机会比较起中世纪享有盛誉的君主约翰与一个脱党的同志——工党魁首文立彬。这是结束预算讨论的好招之一。The chancellors more substantial offers appeared similarly designed to outfox his rivals. By raising the income tax threshold to £10,500, Mr Osborne will hope to woo aspirational low earners, a group that currently votes, if at all, for anyone except the Tories. By giving retirees more say over their pension pots, a more ambitious ploy, he must hope to stanch the seepage of silver-haired Tory voters to the UK Independence Party, which has no economic policy to speak of. To give the chancellor his due, pulling out a surprise liberal reform of this kind seemed also a sensible way to negate the unrealistic demands for a splurge.奥斯本手里更多的实打实计划同样是用来智胜竞争对手的。通过将收入税门槛升至10,500英镑,奥斯本希望能吸引有迫切渴求的低收入者。如果他们去投票的话,这些人会持任何一个候选人,除了保守党人。通过给这些退休人员更多的养老金这样一个更有野心的策略,奥斯本肯定希望阻止白发苍苍的保守党选民流失到英国独立党那里。后者没有什么经济政策可言。为了对奥斯本公平起见,这种类似自由派的改革看上去也是较合适的方法来打消(民众)不切实际的挥霍要求。The method in his trickery施诡计的方法And there is an important truth in that. Though Mr Osbornes trickery is always evident, so, increasingly, is the seriousness of his purpose. For all his feints, traps and compromises, the chancellor has so far stripped the public sector of 600,000 jobs, capped welfare and overseen, in a downturn, historic growth in private-sector employment. He has cut business taxes, thereby persuading employers to accept a rise in the minimum wage.奥斯本的诡计中有个重要的事实。尽管奥斯本很明显用了诡计,但是,更得提的是他严肃的目的。除了佯攻,圈套和承诺,到目前为止,他已经在公共部门削减了60万个职位,封顶了福利项目,并在这个经济衰退时期监督着私营部门的历史性增长。他还降低了营业税,因此促使雇主提高了最低工资。It is reasonable to argue about whether Mr Osbornes measures have been just. Next years election campaign will accordingly pit the Tory claim to have managed the economy well against Labours aspiration to manage it more fairly. But no one should doubt the clarity of the vision that is driving the Conservative chancellor. Whereas David Cameron, the prime minister, promised to change Britain, with a fuzzy idea of volunteerism, Mr Osborne is actually changing it.奥斯本的措施是否恰当?对其争论自然是合理的。照目前的情形,明年的竞选运动肯定会刻上保守党的如下口号:保守党人把经济管理的更有效率,而工党只想着让经济更公平。但是不会有人怀疑这位保守党大臣所秉持的明确愿景。当首相大卫.卡梅伦改革英国的构想还停留在模糊的志愿精神时,奥斯本事实上已经去做了。His ambition is to make a more industrious society, less blighted by the entitlement culture that blossomed under Labour. Even after the deficit is no more, the chancellor believes, public spending should be held down. Again, his motives appear partly self-interested. Mr Osborne harbours leadership ambitions, and his ideas are finding more favour with the right of his party than Mr Cameron enjoys. The beneficiaries of his remodelled society might also be likelier to vote Tory. But just because the chancellors vision is political does not necessarily make it wrong.奥斯本有志于打造一个更加勤勉的社会,而不会被工党政府下培养起来的权利文化而影响得萎靡不振。当然,他的部分动机是自利。奥斯本控制了他的领导欲望。就保守党的一贯宗旨来说,奥斯本的观点得到越来越多的拥护,比卡梅伦得到的更多。在他重塑社会过程中得益的人也许更有可能给保守党投票。因此没有必要因为奥斯本的愿景政治意味浓厚就认定此计划是错误的。翻译:王化起 校对:周晓婷 译文属译生译世 /201509/401603This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry discusses gun laws in the wake of the nightclub shootings in Orlando, the latest on a sex cover-up scandal involving two former state representatives, and legislation that would require public schools in Michigan to teach students about genocide.201606/449603Living standards英伦生活质量Squeezing the hourglass被挤压成沙漏型的劳务市场需求Growth is back. But for many Britons, it does not feel like it经济回归呈增长趋势,但很多英国民众却并未感受到经济复苏的迹象。MARK CARNEY is a man on a macroeconomic tightrope. On August 7th the new governor of the Bank of England promised that interest rates will stay low until the unemployment rate, now 7.8%, has fallen to 7.0% or lower. He gave himself two get out clauses: his pledge is off if inflation gets out of hand or if Britains banks start to wobble. Mr Carneys announcement reflected the balancing act demanded of him: he must spur economic confidence without allowing inflation to erode wages and savings. The severity of the slump in British living standards shows just how tricky that task will be.马克?卡尼(Mark Carney)正处于“宏观经济”这条钢丝绳上。这位新上任的英国行长承诺,将使利率维持在一个较低的水平,直至国内失业率由当前的7.8%降至7.0%甚至更低。他同时也为自己设立了两条“出局条款”:若通货膨胀难以掌控,或英国地位岌岌可危,他的承诺就并未兑现,那么他就会“出局”。 卡尼先生发布的条款也反映了公众对其在宏观经济之绳上平衡自如的期望:他必须在通货膨胀不会对公众的薪金和存款造成不利影响的情况下,带动英国经济重拾信心。然而英国民众生活水平急剧下降这一现象的严重性,则反映出卡尼先生肩上担子之重。By some measures, the economy is moving from “rescue to recovery”—in the words of George Osborne, the Conservative chancellor of the exchequer. GDP grew by 0.6% in the second quarter of 2013 and house prices by almost 4% year-on-year. Yet the wallets of many, particularly those on lower and middle incomes, bear little evidence of it. Inflation is relatively modest, but wages lag far behind. A recent government-funded study found that 52% of Britons are struggling to keep up with the bills.英国政府通过采取一系列手段,用保守党财政大臣乔治?奥斯本(George Osborne)的话来说,英国经济正在由“抢救阶段进入复苏阶段”。国民生产总值(GDP)在2013年第二季度上涨0.6%,而房价则在以每年4%的速度攀升。尽管该势头较难从众多民众,尤其是中低层收入群体的收入及消费水平中体现出来。通货膨胀的趋势虽然平缓,但薪金却严重滞后。最近,一项政府资助的研究项目发现,52%的英国民众正在苦苦维持收平衡。Even comfortable areas are pinched. In Solihull, a leafy suburb of Birmingham, unemployment is below average, but the cost-of-living crisis is acute. In 2010 only one client of its three Citizens Advice Bureaus (CAB) needed an emergency food parcel. Today they give out one every two days, some to people in work who run out of cash before payday. A record 16,000 people (nearly 8% of Solihull) passed through the charitys advice cubicles in 2012. Most frequently, they sought help with debt.即使生活环境相对舒适的地区也感受到了压力。绿树成荫的索利赫尔位于伯明翰郊区,这里的失业率低于平均水平,但生活成本危机却相当严重。2010年,在当地三家公民咨询局(CAB)中只有一位客户索要了应急食品包,而如今一包应急食品包两天内就会被分发出去,其中一些是提供给那些青黄不接的工薪族。一项纪录表明,在2012年,16,000人(约占索利赫尔地区人数的8%)向慈善机构的咨询室寻求帮助并渡过难关,其中绝大多数是寻求债务帮助。One such customer, David, used to make a decent living as a skilled tradesman, but is now unemployed. He is behind on once-affordable gas, water and rent bills. His CAB adviser reckons he will never again earn what he used to, so is helping him cut costs he once considered essential, like internet access and mobile phones, from his familys budget.大卫就是上诉客户中的一员。他也曾是一位拥有体面工作且富有经验的商人,而现如今却处于失业状态,并且在曾一度可以付得起的天然气费、水费和房租中苦苦挣扎。他在公民咨询局(CAB)的顾问推算出他的收入将不会再回到从前的水平,于是便帮助大卫从他的家庭预算中削减了诸如网费和话费等,那些曾经被认为是必要的开。A Spartan future awaits the 40% of working-age Britons who, like David, are falling behind. They are in the bottom half of the income scale but, unlike the poorest 10%, predominantly live off wages, not benefits. Their predicament dates to the early 2000s, when GDP and earnings peeled apart. Living costs have since left median wages far behind (see chart 1).约有40%正处于工龄期的英国人像大卫一样,生活水平一落千丈,迎接他们的将是一个斯巴达式的未来——他们占收入群体底层人数的一半但又与最贫困潦倒的(占收入群体底层人数的10%),主要将收入花费在维持基本生活而没有其他补贴的人不同。他们的窘境可以追溯到21世纪初,当时国民生产总值(GDP)与公民收入不对等,公民生活费用已远远超出其中等收入水平。The plate tectonics of the labour market offer the best explanation for this. With a declining industrial base, the British economy needs fewer mid-level skilled workers. Most new posts are low- or high-paying ones (see chart 2). Many in the middle lack the skills to move up and are pushed towards the low-wage end of the economy. Machinists and tradesmen become cashiers and call-centre workers.通过研究英国劳务市场的组成可以很清晰的解释这一现象:工业基础弱化导致当前英国经济水平下,市场几乎不需要中等技术水平的从业者,且绝大多数工作岗位是提供给低薪或高薪要求的人。很多中等水平的从业者缺乏提升自身的技术而最终得到较低的报酬,像一些机械工程师和零售商,最终却变成了收银员和呼叫中心的工作人员。Successive governments have bolstered the disposable incomes of the 40% with tax credits. According to the Resolution Foundation, a think-tank, in 1977 the state supplemented their wages by one percentage point of national income. By 2008-09 the top-up was 3.7 percentage points. This helped disguise the decline in the groups share of national original income from 30% to 22%.历届政府都通过税收抵免政策提高了40%的公民可配收入。通过“智囊团”——英国决议基金会(the Resolution Foundation)的商定,自1977年起,将国家收入的一个百分点补贴公民收入,直至2008至年,最高曾一度达到3.7个百分点。该行为很好地掩饰了公民收入从占国家原有收入的30%下降至22%的这一事实。Today the government crows about the failings of past administrations while presiding over an intensification of the same problems. At current rates, real earnings will have shrunk by £6,660 (,250) over the 2010-15 parliament. The hourglass shape of the labour market has become more pronounced: research by the Trades Union Congress shows that four in five net jobs created up to December 2012 were in low-wage sectors. As before, the squeezed middle is turning to credit cards to compensate; in the first quarter of 2013 the savings ratio fell to 4.2%, its lowest since .如今英国政府一边在“哭诉”曾经管理层的失败,一边又在同样的问题上栽了更大的跟头。就目前利率来看,在2010至2015年议会期间,公民真实收入将缩减至6,660欧元(折合美元10,250元)。劳务市场需求沙漏化更加明显:英国总工会(Trades Union Congress)的一项研究表明,至2012年11月,由低工资部门提供的净就业机会占总数的五分之四,而那些被限制的中等水平求职者只好利用信用卡来付各项费用。2013年第一季度英国储蓄率跌至4.2%,是自年以来的最低水平。Solihulls economy is a microcosm of the national one. Job vacancies are up 2% on pre-recession levels, but mortgage and secured-loan arrears are 30% higher. The collapse of a local vanmaker, LDV, pushed many into low-quality service jobs. A noticeboard in a local CAB is crammed with advertisements for part-time or temporary work in supermarkets and cleaning agencies. “Its hard for someone used to a job as a production manager on £25,000 to find themselves stacking shelves on minimum wage,” says Kerry Turner, the local head of Citizens Advice.索利赫尔的经济仅仅是英国国家经济的一个缩影。空缺的职位数比经济衰退前上涨了2%,但抵押款和抵押款拖欠却增加了30%。当地一家面包车制造厂(LDV)倒闭造成了许多人不得不选择低质量的务行业。当地公民咨询局(CAB)的一块公告牌上贴满了超市和清洁公司招收兼职或临时工的广告,其领导人克里·特纳(Kerry Turner)表示,对于那些曾经挣着25,000欧元,比如生产部门经理来说,很难接受自己整理货架并且挣着最低工资的工作。Desperate times, plastic measures艰难时期的脆弱对策Such struggling voters are electorally crucial, especially in the southern and Midlands seats that swing national results (in Solihull the Liberal Democrat MP has a majority of just 175). Politicians are right to call the nationwide polls scheduled for 2015 the “living-standards election”.这些处于困境的选民是选举的关键点,尤其是南方和内陆的席位更是会影响全国的选举结果(在索利赫尔,自由派民主党人议员拥有绝大多数的选票,但总人数也仅有175人)。政客们将定于2015年的全国选举称为“基于生活水平的选举”。Coining a phrase is one thing, living up to it is another. The Labour Partys recent offensive on living costs was long on point-scoring and short on detailed solutions. The government boasts of its remedies (increasing the income-tax threshold and cutting beer tax, for example), but most are more than offset by the fall in real incomes. Recent education and welfare reforms are broadly commendable, but do little to change the fundamentals. Britons lack vocational skills and are underemployed. As the firms they work for invest at an alarmingly low rate, their productivity stagnates.喊口号是一回事,而能否实现却是另外一回事。工党近来在公民生活费用问题上咄咄逼人,但是却很少提出详细的解决方法。政府在一味吹嘘他们诸如提高收入的个税起征点、削减啤酒税等补救策略,但多数却由于公民真实收入减少造成这些补偿款的入不敷出。虽然最近的教育及福利改革被大众所接受,但这对于基本问题没有任何改善。英国人依然缺乏职业技能且就业岗位不足,原因是他们工作的公司投入率惊人地低,从而导致生产停滞不前。Ruminating on the state of the nation, Mrs Turner describes the increasing number of people who come to the CAB with plastic bags stuffed with unopened post from creditors. They ignore the letters, and take out more loans to make ends meet. Unable to kick the debt habit and unwilling to face reality, they are a reminder of what is wrong with Britains recovery.深入剖析国家现状,特纳女士说,越来越多的人提着塞满债主寄来的还未开封邮件的塑料包,来到公民咨询局(CAB)。他们不去理会那些催款单,却继续申请更多贷款来维持收平衡。他们无法摆脱债务但又不愿面对现实,而这恰巧折射出英国经济复苏时的问题所在。译者:尤熠 校对:袁航 译文属译生译世 /201512/417889

As the world was shaken to news of Muhammad Alis death, 默罕默德·阿里去世的消息震惊世界,the people of his hometown in Louisville, Kentucky, found ways to remember their hometown hero. 在他的家乡肯塔基州路易斯维尔,人们通过各种方式纪念他们的英雄。Flags in lowered mourning to this passing. 降旗表达对阿里辞世的哀悼。Citizens of the town gathering in civic squares to share local pride for the hero and prepared to welcome him home with a funeral. 城镇市民聚集在广场上,分享英雄的骄傲,并准备在葬礼上欢迎回家。Outside the Muhammad Ali Center, locals created an unplanned memorial, leaving flowers and written tributes in remembrance. 在穆罕默德·阿里中心外,当地人自发留下鲜花和颂词表达纪念。The boxing champion died at just 74-years-old. The cause of death currently remains unknown.这位拳击冠军享年74岁。死亡原因目前尚不清楚。译文属。201606/447983

Um he turned his behavior around. I took him to Oliver Garden.他不再淘气 我就带他去了橄榄园餐厅And he had never held cloth napkin in his hands before.他以前从来没有用过布制餐巾And, um, he was so excited to be there.去那里吃饭 他很激动He had a little cute Polo on and had two desserts.他穿了件可爱的POLO衫 吃了两份甜点And I said, um you know,I said why is this such a big deal on his sidewalk.然后我问他 为什么这顿饭对他意义这么重大Cause you know, cause not much to eat at home.So I make sure that, you know,他说 因为家里没什么可吃的 所以 我又点了点东西There was something to bring home - Then you went to.让他打包带回家 -然后你去Then you brought food to his house. - Yeah.然后你送了些吃的去他家 -对OK, so then, you have a kid in your class.还有 你班里有个孩子He is looking out the window all the time.And you say what are you doing.他总是看着窗外 然后你问他在干什么He is looking at birds.Because it makes him feel peaceful.他说在看小鸟 因为那样会让他感到安宁Yeah, um. -So then, you do what?对 -然后 你又做了什么So I went and bought a bird watching book for kids.我就去给他买了一本观察鸟类的儿童书And his grandmother, he, he was being raised by his grandmother.而他的奶奶 他目前暂时Um, very transient relationship.His um, grandmother called me and said,由奶奶照顾 他奶奶打电话告诉我this is probably the only thing he gets for Christmas.这可能是他在圣诞节收到的唯一的礼物Um, so - So, then you.So my mom and I went to Target,所以 -所以 你又 我妈和我去了塔吉特百货and make sure he has, he and his sister has something to open.为他和他买了圣诞礼物Cause every kid deserves to open present on Christmas.Yep, they do.因为每一个孩子都应该收到圣诞礼物 对 的确是这样 /201512/419059

High-tech sanitation高科技环卫Race to the bottom抄底竞价A rush to buy Japanese toilet-seats prompts soul-searching in China赶着趟购买日本马桶盖引出中国的自我反省JAPAN is often viewed with antipathy in China, but increasingly commerce is trumping contempt. During the lunar new-year holiday in February, Chinese tourists thronged to Japan in record numbers. Many came home lugging a high-end Japanese luxury: a heated toilet-seat complete with pulsating water jets, deodorisers and even music to drown out less melodious tinklings. In recent weeks the run on Japanese loos has been a topic of much debate among Chinese commentators, revealing deep insecurities.中国人总是很反感日本,但是, 两国间愈发频繁的贸易活动正悄然淡化这种藐视感。 在中国农历的新年假期,也就是二月份,涌入日本的中国游客数目创下了历史新高。许多人都拖着一个日系高端奢侈品回家:加热马桶盖。这个马桶盖自带全套脉动水射流、除臭剂,甚至可以发出音乐铃声来盖过那些不怎么悦耳的声音。最近几周,日本马桶管理的话题一直在中国员间引发争论,透露出深深的不安感。Chinese visitors bought more high-tech lavatory seats than almost any other Japanese product during the week-long break, according to Hottolink, a Japanese consulting firm. Most popular was a new variety with hands-free lid opening, say staff at a branch in Tokyo of Bic Camera, a consumer electronics store where Chinese shoppers are so numerous that signs advertise wares in Chinese and assistants speak Mandarin. These cost around 65,000 (540). Some bought several seats, including portable, battery-powered ones.日本咨询公司Hottolink称,在为期一周的休假中,中国游客购买高科技马桶盖的数量几乎超过了其他任何的日本产品。消费电子产品店必酷(Bic Camera)里的中国消费者众多,它在中国签下了广告商品,店员会讲普通话。其东京分店的工作人员说,最受欢迎的是一个新品种,它的马桶盖能自动打开。这些马桶盖的成本在人民币65,000元左右(合540美元)。有的中国游客买了好几个马桶盖,有便携式的,也有电池供电的。Relations between China and Japan have shown recent, tentative signs of warmth after a long chill. But only three years ago demonstrators in several Chinese cities called for a boycott of Japanese goods in protest against Japans stance in a still-festering dispute over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. Some Japanese companies responded by minimising or hiding their branding on products sold in China.最近,中日关系在经历了漫长的寒冬后显现出初步回暖的迹象。但仅仅三年之前,中国几个城市的示威者呼吁抵制日货,以抗议日本对中国东海无人居住岛屿上一贯存有争议且不断恶化的立场。对此,一些日本企业的应对是最小化中国市场份额,或是在对中销售的产品上隐去品牌。Chinas state-controlled media have found little comfort in the discovery that many Japanese loos are actually made-to-order in China, a situation that is not confined to the water closet. Many Chinese consumers do not trust the reliability of such items sold at home—and refuse to pay the often higher prices charged for export-standard goods.实际上,很多日本马桶盖是在中国定做的,这类情况并不仅限于抽水马桶,中国国有媒体从这些发现中获得了些许安慰。许多中国消费者不相信在本国出售的这些产品的可靠性,并拒绝付因收取出口货物标准使然往往较高的价格。The thorny issue was even raised during meetings this month of Chinas parliament and its advisory body. The prime minister, Li Keqiang, chimed in, calling for Chinese firms to raise the quality of their own seats. “At least that could save consumers the price of a plane ticket,” he said. Relations between the two countries may become bogged down in yet another intractable rivalry.这一棘手的问题甚至在中国本月的两会期间被提出。总理李克强表态,呼吁中国企业提升自己的产品质量。他说,“起码能为消费者省下机票钱”。中日两国之间的关系可能会因此深陷另一个棘手竞争。译者:骆琪译文属译生译世 /201504/369563

When Michigan firefighters get work-related cancer, theyre supposed to be covered by the state. But thats not happening. Because more than a year after lawmakers created a cancer-coverage fund for firefighters, they still havent put any money in it. Sterling Heights firefighter Doug Batty found that out after his coverage claims were denied. ;I was at a house fire, and I worked at the fire maybe 5 minutes, and I felt like Id just run a marathon,;Batty says. ;I knew something was wrong. And after a week of testing, I was informed that I had leukemia.;Firefighting is a dangerous job. But its not just the actual fire part: its also the years and years of exposure to toxic chemicals. Numerous studies show that, over time, firefighting can increase your risk of developing certain cancers.Most states aly cover certain cancers like theyre any other on-the-job injury for firefighters. And guys like Batty, whos been a firefighter for more than 20 years, are why Michigan created a special fund last year, just to cover firefighters who get work-related cancer. But heres the problem: Michigans legislature didnt put any actual money in the fund they created.When Governor Snyder signed it in January 2015, he told the legislature: you guys are gonna put some money in this thing, right? But still, more than a year later, lawmakers have yet to put any money in that fund.Which means Michigan firefighters are getting cancer diagnoses and thinking: at least Im covered by this special fund, right?Thats certainly what Doug Batty thought.Hed watched 12 guys in his Sterling Heights department get cancer over the last seven years. One of them, Eric Post, died just a couple years ago, at age 42.So it felt like a personal victory last year, when after years of lobbying from firefighters across the state, Lansing finally created that cancer coverage fund. Then, just a few months later, Batty got a diagnosis of his own: leukemia.;So I just kind of assumed that I would be covered,;he says.He was wrong. Like so many firefighters in the state, hed only heard the great news that there was now a cancer coverage fund for Michigan firefighters - and not the small detail that there wasnt any money in it. So when the workers comp people denied Battys claim, he called up the customer service rep and asked her: wait, hadnt she heard about this special cancer fund for Michigan firefighters? The insurance rep just laughed, Batty says. ;And she said, ‘Yeah, but really, its not worth the paper its written on. Because theres no funding for it. And that just kind of let the wind out of my sails. So I looked into it. And she was right.;Covering cancer costsWithout that fund, Batty says his familys spent ,000 in medical bills since his cancer diagnosis in May, even with his normal health insurance coverage. And during his months of chemo, he couldnt work, so they didnt get his full salary. Still, Battys the kind of guy whos relentlessly optimistic.Asked about the pay cut during chemo, he jokes: well, at least he was in medical isolation at the time... ;So its not like I could go out and spend a bunch of money anyway!;At 58, Batty looks like hes 40, and has the energy of a 30-something. Two weeks ago, he came back to work fulltime.The day he talked to Michigan Radio, hed just wrapped up a 24-hour shift. ;Im pretty fortunate,;Batty says. ;Im older than dirt for one thing, for a firefighter! You know, I just would hate to see the younger guys, if something happened to them, that havent really established themselves financially. And if you get one of these cancers, its just devastating for your family.;In the year since lawmakers created this cancer coverage fund, at least five active-duty firefighters have been diagnosed with cancer, according to the state union. One of them just passed away. His funeral was Wednesday; the same day Governor Snyder rolled out his new budget proposal. That budget was finally supposed to put some money in this cancer fund. Or at least, thats what they union says theyd been told for months.But there are still no plans to fill the fund.Because at the last minute, Union President Mark Docherty says, his phone rang. It was the governors office with some bad news.He says they told him that, unfortunately, the cancer coverage fund wasnt going to be in this years budget proposal after all. Docherty says at this point, this is all really frustrating. ;My members call me when they contract cancer and want to know where their help is,;he says. ;And I have to tell them, no. We have no help. And the reality sets in that our state legislature lied to us. They promised us something that they didnt come through on.;The Governors office emailed us a statement saying there are a lot of challenges in Michigan right now, including Flint. They also said the legislature still gets to weigh in on this budget. State house and senate majority leaders didnt immediately respond to our requests for comment. But meanwhile, Docherty says theyll keep pushing for this, because firefighters keep running into burning buildings. And they keep getting work-related cancer.201602/426059

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