2015年08月发表的文章(51)

[译文]有机农业:一场营销闹剧?

The Colossal Hoax Of Organic Agriculture
有机农业的惊天骗局

作者:Henry I. Miller, Drew L. Kershen @ 2015-7-29
译者:小聂
校对:林翠   陈小乖(@lion_kittyyyyy)
来源:Forbes,http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2015/07/29/why-organic-agriculture-is-a-colossal-hoax/

Consumers of organic foods are getting both more and less than they bargained for. On both counts, it’s not good.

对有机食品的消费者来说,现实既多于期望,也少于期望。两样都不是好事。

Many people who pay the huge premium—often more than a hundred percent–for organic foods do so because they’re afraid of pesticides.  If that’s their rationale, they misunderstand the nuances of organic agriculture.

许多人愿意为有机食品支付高额溢价——有时甚至超出原价一倍,是因为他们害怕农药残留。如果这真是基于他们的理性选择,说明他们有机农业的某些细节存在误解。

Although it’s true that synthetic chemical pesticides are generally prohibited, there is a lengthy list of exceptions listed in the Organic Foods Production Act, while most “natural” ones are permitted.

虽然化学合成农药确实通常被禁止用于有机食品生产,但是《有机食品生产法》(Organic Food Production Act)中却有一份长长的例外清单,同时,大部分“天然”农药也被允许使用。

However, “organic” pesticides can be toxic.  As evolutionary biologist Christie Wilcox explained in 标签: | |

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The Colossal Hoax Of Organic Agriculture 有机农业的惊天骗局 作者:Henry I. Miller, Drew L. Kershen @ 2015-7-29 译者:小聂 校对:林翠   陈小乖(@lion_kittyyyyy) 来源:Forbes,http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2015/07/29/why-organic-agriculture-is-a-colossal-hoax/ Consumers of organic foods are getting both more and less than they bargained for. On both counts, it’s not good. 对有机食品的消费者来说,现实既多于期望,也少于期望。两样都不是好事。 Many people who pay the huge premium—often more than a hundred percent–for organic foods do so because they’re afraid of pesticides.  If that’s their rationale, they misunderstand the nuances of organic agriculture. 许多人愿意为有机食品支付高额溢价——有时甚至超出原价一倍,是因为他们害怕农药残留。如果这真是基于他们的理性选择,说明他们有机农业的某些细节存在误解。 Although it’s true that synthetic chemical pesticides are generally prohibited, there is a lengthy list of exceptions listed in the Organic Foods Production Act, while most “natural” ones are permitted. 虽然化学合成农药确实通常被禁止用于有机食品生产,但是《有机食品生产法》(Organic Food Production Act)中却有一份长长的例外清单,同时,大部分“天然”农药也被允许使用。 However, “organic” pesticides can be toxic.  As evolutionary biologist Christie Wilcox explained in a 2012 Scientific American article (“Are lower pesticide residues a good reason to buy organic? Probably not.”): “Organic pesticides pose the same health risks as non-organic ones.” 然而,“有机”农药也可能会有毒。正如演化生物学家Christie Wilcox在他2012年发表于《科学美国人》的文章(《农药残留少是购买有机食品的好理由吗?未必》)(http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/pesticides-food-fears/)中解释的那样:“有机农药给健康带来的风险和非有机农药是一样的。” 【插图】SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 13: A label stating ‘Produce of USA’ is wrapped around a bunch of organic carrots at a farmers market on June 13, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) 【插图文字标注】旧金山,加州——6月13日:农贸市场上一捆绑着“美国种植”标签的有机胡萝卜,摄于2012年6月13日,旧金山,加利福尼亚。(照片由Justin Sullivan/Getty Images提供) Another poorly recognized aspect of this issue is that the vast majority of pesticidal substances that we consume are in our diets “naturally” and are present in organic foods as well as non-organic ones. In a classic study, UC Berkeley biochemist Bruce Ames and his colleagues found that “99.99 percent (by weight) of the pesticides in the American diet are chemicals that plants produce to defend themselves.” 这件事情的另一个鲜为人知的方面是,我们吃下的绝大多数杀虫剂“天然地”存在于我们的饮食中,无论有机还是非有机食品都会包含。在一个经典的研究里,加州大学伯克利分校(UC Berkeley)的生化学家Bruce Ames和他的同事们发现,“美国人的饮食里,99.99%(按重量计)的杀虫剂是植物出于自卫而产生的化合物”。【译注:pesticide通常译作杀虫剂,但实际上其作用不止是杀死害虫,而是包括了所有帮助农作物抵御天敌的化学物质,这些天敌包括真菌、昆虫、杂草和啮齿类动物等。】 Moreover, “natural and synthetic chemicals are equally likely to be positive in animal cancer tests.” Thus, consumers who buy organic to avoid pesticide exposure are focusing their attention on just one-hundredth of one percent of the pesticides they consume. 此外,“天然化学物质和合成化学物质在动物肿瘤试验中引发阳性反应的可能性是等同的。”因此,买有机食品以避免农药危害的消费者只是将注意力集中在了他们吃下的杀虫剂总量的0.01%而已。 Some consumers think that the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) requires certified organic products to be free of ingredients from “GMOs,” organisms crafted with molecular techniques of genetic engineering. 有些消费者认为美国农业部(USDA)的全国有机计划(NOP)要求被认证的有机产品中不含“转基因”(GMO)成分,即不含通过基因工程分子技术改造的作物成分。 Wrong again. USDA does not require organic products to be GMO-free. (In any case, the methods used to create so-called GMOs are an extension, or refinement, of older techniques for genetic modification that have been used for a century or more.) As USDA officials have said repeatedly: 又错了。美国农业部没有要求有机产品中不含转基因成分。(不管怎么说,用于制造所谓的转基因产品的方法,无非是对传统的、已被沿用了一个世纪甚至更久的基因改造法的一个延伸或改进)。正如美国农业部官员反复强调的那样:
Organic certification is process-based. That is, certifying agents attest to the ability of organic operations to follow a set of production standards and practices which meet the requirements of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and the [National Organic Program] regulations . . . If all aspects of the organic production or handling process were followed correctly, then the presence of detectable residue from a genetically modified organism alone does not constitute a violation of this regulation. [emphasis added] 有机认证是基于过程的认证。就是说,认证机构负责认定有机产品的生产操作是否符合1990年《有机食品生产法》以及[国家有机计划]等监管机构所要求的生产标准及操作规范。如果有机生产及处理的过程完全合规,那么仅凭转基因成分残留并不构成违规。【粗体由本文作者所加】
Putting it another way, so long as an organic farmer abides by his organic system (production) plan–a plan that an organic certifying agent must approve before granting the farmer organic status–the unintentional presence of GMOs (or, for that matter, prohibited synthetic pesticides) in any amount does not affect the organic status of the farmer’s products or farm. 换句话说,只要生产有机作物的农民遵守自己制定的有机体系(生产)计划(这一有机生产计划必须先得到有机认证机构的批准,农民才会被授予有机生产许可),无论有多少非有意掺入的转基因成分(或者是违禁化学合成农药)都不会影响产品或者农场的有机认证。 Under only two circumstances does USDA sanction the testing of organic products for prohibited residues (such as pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or antibiotics) or excluded substances (e.g., genetically engineered organisms). First, USDA’s National Organic Production Standards support the testing of products if an organic-certifying agent believes that the farmer is intentionally using prohibited substances or practices. And second, USDA requires that certifying agents test five percent of their certified operations each year. The certifying agents themselves determine which operations will be subjected to testing. 只有在两种情况下,美国农业部才会允许对有机产品做违禁成分残余(例如农药,合成化肥,或抗生素)或是例外成分(例如转基因作物)的测试。美国农业部国家有机生产标准支持对产品进行检测的第一种情况是,认证机构认为农民有意使用违禁品或是采取违禁操作。第二种情况是,美国农业部要求,认证机构每年对其所认证的生产计划的5%进行抽检。认证机构自行决定抽检对象。 The organic community, including the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM), supports the USDA’s lenient testing protocols and opposes more frequent mandatory testing of organic products for prohibited and excluded substances. 包括国际有机农业运动联盟(IFOAM)在内的有机食品界支持美国农业部的宽松检测协定,并反对对产品中违禁和例外成分做更频繁的强制检测。 The organic community and USDA offer two explanations for such minimal testing. First, they emphasize that organic farming is process-based, not product-based, meaning that what counts for organic certification are the approved organic system (production) plan and the farmer’s intention to comply with that plan as reflected through record-keeping obligations. 有机食品界以及美国农业部对这样小范围的产品检测,给出了两点解释。第一,他们强调有机农业是过程认证,而非产品认证。即对于有机认证来说,最重要的是得到认证的有机体系(生产)计划,和从保存生产记录的责任中所反映出的农民对于遵守该计划的意愿。 Second, widespread testing would impose substantial costs on organic farmers, thereby increasing production costs beyond the already greater expenses that organic farmers incur. Organic farmers offset these higher productions costs by earning large premiums for organic products, but there is always a price point beyond which consumers will shift to cheaper non-organic. 第二,广泛的检测会显著增加生产有机产品的农民的成本,使本已承受高额支出的有机作物农民的生产成本变得更高。从事有机生产的农民会以提高有机产品溢价的方式转移高生产成本,但当价格高到一定程度时,消费者便会转向更便宜的非有机产品。 Few organic consumers are aware that organic agriculture is a “trust-based” or “faith-based” system. With every purchase, they are at risk of the moral hazard that an organic farmer will represent cheaper-to-produce non-organic products as the premium-priced organic product. 很少有有机食品的消费者会意识到,有机农业是“基于信任”甚至是“基于信仰”的体系。每一笔交易都伴随着这样的道德风险:有机农民可以用低成本的非有机产品充当高价的有机产品。 For the vast majority of products, no tests can distinguish organic from non-organic—for example, whether milk labeled “organic” came from a cow within the organic production system or from a cow across the fence from a conventional dairy farm. The higher the organic premium, the stronger the economic incentive to cheat. 对于绝大多数产品,没有什么检测能区分有机和非有机,比如,无法区分标有“有机”的牛奶到底是产自一头来自有机生产体系的奶牛,还是来自传统奶牛场栅栏里的奶牛。有机产品的溢价越高,作假的经济激励就越大。 Think such nefarious behavior is purely theoretical? Think again. USDA reported in 2012 that 43 percent of the 571 samples of “organic” produce that were tested contained prohibited pesticide residues, and that “the findings suggest that some of the samples in violation were mislabeled conventional products, while others were organic products that hadn’t been adequately protected from prohibited pesticides.” 觉得这种恶行只有理论上的可能?再想想吧。据2012年美国农业部报告,在对571份“有机”产品样本的测试中发现,43%含有违禁农药残留,并且“结果显示某些不合格的样本实为被错误贴上有机标签的普通产品,而其余的则是由于保护不到位而导致违禁农药污染有机产品。” How do organic farmers get away with such chicanery?  A 2014 investigation by the Wall Street Journal of USDA inspection records from 2005 on found that 38 of the 81 certifying agents–entities accredited by USDA to inspect and certify organic farms and suppliers—“failed on at least one occasion to uphold basic Agriculture Department standards.” 造就如此骗局的有机农民是如何蒙混过关的?2014年《华尔街日报》对美国农业部自2005年以来的检验记录进行了调查(),结果显示,在81个经美国农业部授权,有资格考核认证有机农场和有机产品供应商资质的有机认证机构中,有38个“至少有一次未能达到农业部标准。” More specifically, “40% of these 81 certifiers have been flagged by the USDA for conducting incomplete inspections; 16% of certifiers failed to cite organic farms’ potential use of banned pesticides and antibiotics; and 5% failed to prevent potential commingling of organic and non-organic products.” 更确切的说,“81个认证机构中,40%被美国农业部标示为未能完全履行检验职责;16%的认证机构未能提出其认证的有机农场对于违禁农药和抗生素的潜在使用情况;5%未能防止潜在的有机产品和非有机产品混杂的情况。” Speaking of trust and faith—or lack thereof–in organic foods, there was the example of holier-than-thou Whole Foods importing large amounts of its supposedly “organic” produce from China, of all places. Those imports even included Whole Foods’ house brand, “California Blend.” (Yes, you read that correctly.) 说到有机食品中的信任和信仰问题,或者说信任和信仰缺失问题,有个例子值得一提,那就是高大上的Whole Foods,它从中国,而不是其他地方,进口了大批据说是“有机”的产品。其中甚至包括Whole Foods的自营品牌“加利福尼亚混选”。(是的,你没有看错) Organic agriculture is an unscientific, heavily subsidized marketing gimmick that misleads and rips off consumers, both because of the nature of the regulations and cheating. The old saying that you get what you pay for doesn’t apply when you buy overpriced organic products. 有机农业是一场不科学的,严重依赖补贴的营销把戏,它误导和敲诈了消费者,其产生的原因归根结底在于食品监管的本性,以及欺骗。当你购买要价过高的有机产品时,一分钱一分货这句老话不再适用。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]私立小学在印度农村大受欢迎

Over a quarter of enrolments in rural India are in private schools
超过四分之一的印度乡村学童就读于私立学校

作者:ANITA JOSHUA @ 2014-1-16
译者:陆嘉宾(@晚上不买白天买不到)  校对:陈小乖(@lion_kittyyyyy)
制图:amen(@治愈系历史)
来源:THE HINDU,http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/school/over-a-quarter-of-enrolments-in-rural-india-are-in-private-schools/article5580441.ece

【插图】
插图翻译从左到右,从上到下依次为:
印度乡村教育状况成绩单。

6-14岁年龄组适龄入学儿童中的29%进入了私立学校——七年间超过10%的涨幅。6-14岁年龄组适龄入学儿童的入(more...)

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Over a quarter of enrolments in rural India are in private schools 超过四分之一的印度乡村学童就读于私立学校 作者:ANITA JOSHUA @ 2014-1-16 译者:陆嘉宾(@晚上不买白天买不到)  校对:陈小乖(@lion_kittyyyyy) 制图:amen(@治愈系历史) 来源:THE HINDU,http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/school/over-a-quarter-of-enrolments-in-rural-india-are-in-private-schools/article5580441.ece 【插图】 插图翻译从左到右,从上到下依次为: 印度乡村教育状况成绩单。 6-14岁年龄组适龄入学儿童中的29%进入了私立学校——七年间超过10%的涨幅。6-14岁年龄组适龄入学儿童的入学率保持在较高的水平,超过96%的孩子进入学校学习。11-14岁年龄组适龄入学女童的失学比例从2012年的6%下降到了2013年的5.5%。曼尼普尔邦拥有最高的私立学校入学率——70%,在公立学校相当不错的喀拉拉邦,依旧有68.6%的适龄儿童进入私立学校。孩子们的阅读能力没有显著提升,并且对解决基本算数问题仍有困难。24.1%的6-14岁儿童参加额外的付费辅导班。 Even as the Right to Education and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan have made access to elementary education a reality for 99 per cent villages across the country, more than a quarter of enrolments in rural India are in private schools. 尽管受惠于《免费义务教育法案》和《全民教育计划》,全印度99%的村庄提供了初等教育机会,但仍有超过1/4的农村学龄儿童就读于私立学校。 As per the ninth Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), released here on Wednesday, 29 per cent of enrolments in the six-to-14 age-group are in private schools. This is a 10 per cent increase in seven years from 18.7 per cent in 2006 to 29 per cent in 2013. 根据周三发布的第九份《印度教育年度报告手册》(ASER),6-14岁年龄组入学儿童中29%进入了私立学校。从2006年的18.7%到2013年的29%,七年间私立学校就读率共增长了10 个百分点。 While this reflects a shifting of public faith in government schools, the growing preference for private schools is also indicative of a willingness to invest in a child’s education by parents who very often are themselves illiterate. 这一增长反映了公众对政府所办公立学校的信心发生了转变,同时,对私立学校的偏好的提升,也反映了父母愿意为子女教育而投资,尽管这些父母本人多半是文盲。 The preference for private schools is not necessarily reflective of the quality of public schooling. In Kerala, where the quality of public schools and teaching was found to be fairly good, 68.6 per cent of all children in the elementary level were in private schools. Manipur recorded the highest private school enrolment at 70 per cent. 对私立学校的偏好未必反映公立学校的质量。在公立学校和教育资源都相当不错的喀拉拉邦,依旧有68.6%的小学儿童在私立学校接受教育。曼尼普尔邦拥有最高的私立学校就读率——70%。 Other States and Union Territories with a high percentage of elementary school children in private institutions include Puducherry (54.3 per cent), Haryana (51.4 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (49 per cent), Punjab (46.7 per cent), Jammu & Kashmir (45.5 per cent) and Meghalaya (45.3 per cent). As with private schooling, there is also a growing prevalence of private tuitions among elementary school students. The figure stands at 24.1 per cent. 其他在私立教育机构接受小学生比例较高的邦和联邦属地有:本地治里直辖区(54.3%),哈里亚纳邦(51.4%),北方邦(49%),旁遮普邦(46.7%),查谟-克什米尔邦(45.5%),梅加拉亚邦(45.3%)。除了上私立学校,这些小学生中间还流行起一股接受私人辅导的风潮,统计表明,这个比例达到了24.1%。 Taking note of this trend, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said while the State should keep putting money into school education, the time might have come for a re-think on the more controversial issue of whether it should all go into government schools. 印度国家计划委员会副主席Montek Singh Ahluwalia先生在注意到这一趋势之后指出,虽然国家应该持续继续保持对教育的投入,但现在是时候重新考虑这个更具争议性问题了——所有政府教育补贴都应进入公立学校吗?。 As for the poor learning outcomes of children in government schools, Mr. Ahluwalia sought to give some perspective to the otherwise bleak picture that emerged out of the statistics. In his view, poor learning outcomes would remain a problem for another decade or two since many of the children getting enrolled now are first generation learners with no back-up at home. 而谈到公立学校孩子学习成绩差的问题,Ahluwalia先生尝试从统计数据描绘出的惨淡景象中找出看待问题的新视角。在他看来,学习成绩差这一问题还将持续十年甚至二十年,因为许多现在入学的孩子是家里第一代上学者,他们很难从家里获得学习上的帮助。 While there was no significant improvement in children’s ability to read or deal with basic arithmetic, the better percentage recorded in reading ability from 38.8 per cent in 2012 to 40.2 per cent in 2013 has been courtesy the better performance of private school children. 虽然学校的孩子们在阅读和完成基本算术问题的能力上没有显著的提升,但是私立学校在提高学生阅读能力上的更好表现还是得到了认可,阅读成绩从2012年的38.8%提升到了2013年的40.2%。 According to Madhav Chavan, president of Pratham Education Foundation — which has been carrying out this survey since 2005— the preference for private education is not just because of the clear failure of government schools to deliver on basic achievements in learning, but also mirrors growing urbanisation and increase in wealth and access to the external world and information. On urbanisation, he said, it was not just migration but includes increasing urban influence on rural population; thanks to television penetration. 据Pratham基金会主席Madhav Chavan认为(该教育基金会自2005年就开展了这项调查),对私立教育的偏好不仅仅是因为公立学校不能很好地完成初等教育任务,还反映出了城市化的发展、财富的增加,以及对外部世界的接触和对外部信息的获取。。关于城市化的影响,他还说,这不仅体现在人口迁移,还体现在,得益于电视的普及,乡村人口越来越多地受到城市的影响。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]安息吧,丹尼尔·布尔斯廷

Daniel J. Boorstin, RIP – Historian, Critic, and American Man of Books
丹尼尔·约瑟夫·布尔斯廷,息止安所
——美国历史学家、评论家和饱读之士

作者:《新亚特兰蒂斯》多名编辑 @ 2004年春季第五号
译者:Marcel ZHANG(@马赫塞勒张)
校对:史祥莆(@史祥莆),慕白(@李凤阳他说)
来源:《新亚特兰蒂斯》(The New Atlantis),http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/daniel-j-boorstin-rip

The nation’s collective IQ took a nosedive on February 28, 2004, when Daniel Joseph Boorstin — historian, professor, writer, curator, librarian, and great American booster — died of pneumonia at age 89.

美利坚的民族智慧在2004年2月28日这天蒙受了重大损失,是日,美国历史学家、教授、作家、博物学家、图书馆馆长、伟大的美国促进者丹尼尔·约瑟夫·布尔斯廷(Daniel Joseph Boorstin)因肺炎逝世,享年89岁(more...)

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Daniel J. Boorstin, RIP - Historian, Critic, and American Man of Books 丹尼尔·约瑟夫·布尔斯廷,息止安所 ——美国历史学家、评论家和饱读之士

作者:《新亚特兰蒂斯》多名编辑 @ 2004年春季第五号 译者:Marcel ZHANG(@马赫塞勒张) 校对:史祥莆(@史祥莆),慕白(@李凤阳他说) 来源:《新亚特兰蒂斯》(The New Atlantis),http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/daniel-j-boorstin-rip The nation’s collective IQ took a nosedive on February 28, 2004, when Daniel Joseph Boorstin — historian, professor, writer, curator, librarian, and great American booster — died of pneumonia at age 89. 美利坚的民族智慧在2004年2月28日这天蒙受了重大损失,是日,美国历史学家、教授、作家、博物学家、图书馆馆长、伟大的美国促进者丹尼尔·约瑟夫·布尔斯廷(Daniel Joseph Boorstin)因肺炎逝世,享年89岁。 Boorstin was best known as a former Librarian of Congress and the author of two best-selling trilogies, one about early America (The Americans, 1958, 1965, 1973), and one about Western science, art, and philosophy (The Discoverers, 1983; The Creators, 1992; and The Seekers, 1998). 布尔斯廷因出任美国国会图书馆馆长和作为两套畅销三部曲的作者而为世人所知,两套三部曲分别是关于早期美国的三部曲(即(《美国人》三部曲,分别出版于1958、1965和1973年)和关于西方科学、艺术和哲学的三部曲(即“人类文明史三部曲”,分别为出版于1983年的《发现者》、1992年的《创造者》和1998年的《探索者》)。 These works of popular history, together with Boorstin’s many other books and essays, combined vast knowledge, erudition, wit, and clarity, and were especially renowned for unexpected and illuminating insights on everyday life, particularly on the unforeseen significance of technological developments. 这些有关通俗历史的杰作,连同他的其他著作和论文,都蕴含着无尽的知识、学识、才识和卓识,尤其是因为其中对于日常生活那出乎意料且富有启发的洞察,特别是对于科技发展那未曾被预见的重要性的洞察,而享有盛名。 Born in Atlanta in 1914, and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Boorstin was quickly recognized as a prodigy, and entered Harvard University at age 15. From there he went to Oxford to study law, and earned the rare distinction of being called to the English bar as an American. Returning to Harvard, he was a lecturer in legal history, and published his first book, The Mysterious Science of the Law, in 1941. 1914年,布尔斯廷出生于亚特兰大,而后在俄克拉荷马州的塔尔萨长大,他很小的时候就被公认为是一个神童,并在年仅15岁时进入哈佛大学。以此为跳板,他又前往牛津大学专修法学,此外还以美国人的身份获得了受邀进入英格兰大律师工会的殊荣。回到哈佛后,他成为法律史讲师,并在1941年出版了他的第一部作品《神秘的法科学》。 His interests turned from law to history, and in 1944 he began a 25-year stint as a member of the history faculty at the University of Chicago. Not formally trained in history, Boorstin was, in his own words, always an amateur — which, he reveled in pointing out, etymologically meant simply “a lover” of the practice. He sometimes seemed to get a special pleasure out of the disdain in which the professionals held him throughout his career. 此后,他的志趣由法律转向了历史,并在1944开始了在芝加哥大学历史系长达25年的执教生涯。布尔斯廷并不是历史学科班出身,用他自己的话讲,始终是个业余人士(amateur)——他总乐于指出,从词源上讲,amateur的意思是“喜好”某种行当的人。在他的整个职业生涯中,总是有内行向他投来鄙夷的目光,而他似乎从中得到了某种特殊的快感。 While at Chicago, Boorstin’s work focused mainly on early American history, and through a series of books (including his Americans trilogy) he pursued the thesis that America’s political life was so peculiar and successful not because of its theories of government, but because the unique circumstances of American history and geography have made Americans inhospitable to abstract philosophy: a nation of pragmatists rather than ideologues, and yet a nation that understands its pragmatism as a theory. 在芝大期间,布尔斯廷的研究主要集中于早期美国历史,并试图在一系列著述(包括他的《美国人》三部曲)中阐述一个论点,那就是美国的政治生活之所以能如此特殊、如此成功,并不是因为它的执政理念,而是因为美国独一无二的历史和地理环境使得美国人对抽象哲学不甚热衷:这个国家的人多为实用主义者,而非理论家,但同时又将实用主义作为一种理论加以阐发。 In his characteristically paradoxical style, Boorstin wrote that “the belief in the existence of an American theory has made a theory superfluous.” This idea, advanced in Boorstin’s underappreciated 1953 book The Genius of American Politics, put him at odds with the scholars of ideology who then dominated the academy, and earned him a reputation as a peculiar conservative iconoclast that would stay with him. 布尔斯廷以他一贯的诡逆风格写道:“认为存在一种‘美国理论’就已经使这种理论的存在成为多余”。他在出版于1953年的一本被低估的著作《美国政治精神》中提出的这个观点,使得他与一些学者格格不入,这些学者的意识形态统治着当时的学术界,为此他还收获了一个伴其终身的名号——乖戾的右翼反传统者。 Boorstin’s boldest and most groundbreaking work was, however, not a history of early America but a piercing analysis of contemporary American self-delusion. The Image, published in 1961, was an effort to reveal the ways in which new technologies, combined with a traditional American craving for novelty and penchant for fantastical salesmanship, were increasingly distancing American life from reality. 不过,布尔斯廷最为大胆和革新的成果不在于早期美国历史,而在于对当代美国的自我蒙蔽所做出的一个鞭辟入里的分析。于1961年出版的《美国虚构事件指南》一书,便旨在揭示,新兴技术与传统美国人对新奇事物和神奇推销术趋之若鹜的结合,是如何令美国人的生活越来越远离现实的。 In the book, Boorstin introduced the term “pseudo-event” (an event, such as a press conference or “photo opportunity,” that exists purely for the purpose of being reported); he famously defined the celebrity as “a person who is well-known for his well-knownness”; and he sought to show, through historical narrative and telling anecdotes, what has been lost and what has been gained as news-making replaces news-gathering, celebrities replace heroes, tourists replace travelers, and images replace ideals. 在这本书中,布尔斯廷率先提出了一个术语“伪事件”(即这样一种事件,比如新闻发布会或“拍照时机”,这种事件的存在纯粹是为了被报道) ;他对名人的著名定义是:“一个因其知名度而知名的人” ;此外,他还千方百计地通过史述和轶事展现诸如以制造新闻取代搜集新闻,以名流取代英雄,以观光客取代旅行者,和以图像取代理想等等现象中的成败得失。 Boorstin’s comments on the first televised presidential debate (the Kennedy-Nixon debate, held the year before The Image was published) still ring as true in this election year as they did four decades ago: 布尔斯廷对第一次总统大选电视辩论(肯尼迪与尼克松的辩论,在《美国虚构事件指南》一书出版前一年举行)所做的评论,在今年这个选举年与40年前一样振聋发聩: “The drama of the situation was mostly specious, or at least had an extremely ambiguous relevance to the main (but forgotten) issue: which participant was better qualified for the presidency. Of course, a man’s ability, while standing under klieg lights, without notes, to answer in two and a half minutes a question kept secret until that moment, had only the most dubious relevance — if any at all — to his real qualifications to make deliberate presidential decisions on long-standing public questions after being instructed by a corps of experts. “这种情形下的戏剧性场面多半是华而不实的,或者至少在与这个主要问题(但被遗忘了)的相关性上是极其含糊不清的:究竟哪个参选人更有资格登上总统宝座?当然,一个人站在弧光灯之下在两分半钟内脱稿回答一个直到那时之前都秘而不宣的问题的能力,跟他作为总统做出决策的能力,只有微不足道的关系,甚至毫无关系。总统就长期存在的公共问题做决策时,总是在有一群专家提供咨询,在深思熟虑之后做出的决定。 “The greatest presidents in our history (with the possible exception of F.D.R.) would have done miserably; but our most notorious demagogues would have shone. Pseudo-events thus lead to emphasis on pseudo-qualification.” “我们历史中最伟大的总统——可能要排除小罗斯福总统这个特例——可能会在电视辩论中表现得非常糟糕;而那些最臭名昭著的煽动家很可能表现得光芒四射。因此,伪事件导致了对伪资格的重视。” The character of television, Boorstin argued, reinforced the powerful American love of illusion, and the results were not always to be welcomed. 布尔斯廷还认为,电视的特质助长了美国人对假象的热爱,而且有时会产生不受欢迎的后果。 In this and other books, Boorstin made much of the ways in which new technologies and technological attitudes radically alter familiar ways of living in utterly unexpected ways, often for better, though sometimes for worse. In his books and numerous essays, Boorstin reflected on the meaning of science and technology for human life, past and present. 在这本以及其他书中,布尔斯廷列举了很多新型技术和技术性态度是怎样把生活方式彻底转变为一种完全出乎意料的形式的,通常是改良,但有时是恶化。在他数目繁多的书籍和论文中,他反思了由古至今科技对人类生活的意义。 In one essay, “The Republic of Technology and the Limits of Prophecy,” he describes some of the technological forces “that will shape our American lives” in the twenty-first century: Technology invents needs and exports problems; it creates momentum and is irreversible; it uproots and assimilates; it insulates and isolates. 在一篇论文《科技共和与预言之局限》中,他描绘了某些科技力量在21世纪“将会重塑我们的美国生活”:科技催生需求,但同时制造难题;科技会制造出一种态势,而且不可逆转;科技力量摧枯拉朽又潜移默化,隔离社会并孤立人性。 Will we be able, Boorstin wondered, “to share the exploring spirit, reach for the unknown, enjoy multiplying our wants, live in a world whose rhetoric is advertising, whose standard of living has become its morality — yet avoid the delusions of utopia and live a life within satisfying limits?” 布尔斯廷思考的是,我们是否能够“分享探索精神,寻求未知世界,享受欲望倍增的快感,生存于一个以广告为修辞、以生存标准为道德规范的世界,却又回避对乌托邦的幻想而在令人满足的边界中安于现状?” Timepieces and telescopes, engines and electricity, statistics and space — no aspect of science and technology was beyond his ken. But Boorstin always argued that the book was in fact man’s greatest technical innovation, never surpassed. “The computer can help us find what we know is there,” he said in a speech at the dawn of the age of personal computers, “but the book remains our symbol and our resource for the unimagined question and the unwelcome answer.” 计时器与望远镜,引擎与电力,统计与太空——科技的方方面面都没有脱离他的视野。而布尔斯廷却时常强调,书籍实际上才是人类无出其右的最伟大技术革新。他在个人电脑时代前夕的一次演讲中说到:“计算机可以帮我们找到已经确定在那的东西,但为了探寻以前未曾想象过的问题,找到不受欢迎的答案,书籍仍然是我们的路标,是我们的资料库。” And Boorstin was always identified with books. His nomination by President Ford to be Librarian of Congress in 1975 was a natural choice, though professional librarians opposed him as — again — a mere amateur, and some liberals in Washington thought him too conservative. A more practical obstacle to his appointment, though, was the demand by several Senators that the prodigious Boorstin not do any of his own writing while he headed the Library of Congress. 并且布尔斯廷也经常被和书籍联系在一起。1975年他被福特总统提名为美国国会图书馆馆长就是一个实至名归的选择,尽管职业图书馆管理员们又一次以他不过是个业余人士为由来反对,此外,一些华盛顿的自由派也觉得他过于保守。而另一个对其任命更实际的阻碍是,几位参议员要求布尔斯廷在供职期间不可著书立说。 Boorstin refused, but promised to write only on his own time, and during his twelve years as Librarian of Congress he continued to write on weekends, in the evenings, and on nearly every weekday from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m., publishing several books and collections of essays. 布尔斯廷拒绝了,但他保证只利用个人时间来写作。在任职美国国会图书馆馆长长达12年期间,他在每个周末,每个晚上和几乎每个工作日的早晨四点到九点都在持续写作,其间出版了几本著作和论文集。 His term at the Library of Congress was noted for its focus on modernizing and democratizing the library’s resources, making them available to the public, and not just to members of Congress. Boorstin opened the library’s reading rooms and collections to all, and during his term the library began to host public events and act as a center of intellectual activity in Washington. 他在国会图书馆的任期因致力于将图书馆资源现代化和民主化而为世人所知,他让这些资源面向公众开放,而不仅限于国会成员。布尔斯廷将图书馆阅览室和馆藏对外开放,而且在他任职期间,图书馆开始承办公共活动,并成为华盛顿的一个学术活动中心。 He even ordered the majestic bronze doors of the library’s main building to be opened up. “They said it would create a draft,” Boorstin told reporters, “and I replied, ‘Great — that’s just what we need.’” 他甚至曾经下令让图书馆主建筑那宏伟铜门保持敞开。布尔斯廷告诉记者:“他们说这会引起一阵气流,而我的回答是,‘太好了,这正是我们所需要的。’” For six decades, Daniel J. Boorstin’s keen eye and sharp pen were just what America needed to understand the flow and meaning of its history, and to think about its future with a mind open to the unexpected. 60年来,布尔斯廷那敏锐的视角和凌厉的笔触正是美国亟需的,借以了解自身历史的流程和意义,以面向未知的开放心态来看待自身的未来。 In The Seekers, his final book, he warned of the dangers of giving in to the modern technical outlook and forgetting to look upon the world with awe: “Western culture has turned from seeking the end or purpose to seeking causes — from the Why to the How. Might this empty meaning from our human experience?” It was an open question, and Boorstin’s own career offered hope that the answer did not have to be yes. He shall be missed. 他在最后一本著作《探索者》中,对屈服于现代科技图景和忘记对世界心存敬畏的危险发出了警告:“西方文化已经从探求尽头或目标转向了探寻源由——从探寻“为何”转向探寻“如何”。这会清除我们人类经验的意义吗?”这是个没有答案的问题,而布尔斯廷的事业给了我们希望:此问题的答案未必是肯定的。他理应被怀念。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]夹缝中的中产阶级

The Middle-Class Squeeze
夹缝中的中产阶级

编辑:Jennifer Erickson @ 2014-9-24
译者:松旭斋天胜(@松旭斋天胜)
校对:安德(@ HuZhenbo)、带菜刀的诗人(@带菜刀的诗人)
制图:amen(@治愈系历史)
来源:美国进步中心(Center for American Progress),https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/MiddeClassSqueeze-INTRO.pdf

A Picture of Stagnant Incomes, Rising Costs, and What We Can Do to Strengthen America’s Middle Class
面对收入停滞、生活费高涨的局面,怎么做才能巩固中产阶级

【插图】
America’s middle class is being squeezed by stagnant—and in many cases declining—incomes and rising costs.
美国的中产阶级正被停滞甚至往往是减少的收入和高涨的生活费压得喘不过气。

Why the middle-class squeeze matters
为何需要关注中产阶级重压

The American middle class is in trouble.

美国中产阶级有麻烦了。

The middle-class share of national income has fallen, middle-class wages are stagnant, and the middle class in the United States is no longer the world’s wealthiest.

美国中产阶级收入在国民收入中占比减少,薪资停滞,他们已不再是世界上最富有的中产。

But income is only one side of the story. The cost of being in the middle class—and of maintaining a middle-class standard of living—is rising fast too. For fundamental needs such as child care and health care, costs have risen dramatically over the past few decades, taking up larger shares of family budgets. The reality is that the middle class is being squeezed.

但收入只是问题的一方面。做一个中产阶级、并维持中产阶级生活品质的成本,正在飞涨。过去几十年中,儿童保育和医疗保障等基本生活需求的费用迅速飙升,在家庭预算中比重增大。现实告诉我们,中产阶级正被压得喘不过气来。

As this report will show, for a married couple with two children, the costs of key elements of middle-class security—child care, higher education, health care, housing, and retirement—rose by more than $10,000 in the 12 years from 2000 to 2012, at a time when this family’s income was stagnant.

正如本报告随后将展示的那样,对于一对育有两个子女的夫妇而言,从2000年到2012年的12年间,界定中产阶级的那些关键元素的花费,即儿童保育、高等教育、医疗保障、住房和退休保障的成本,上涨了10000美元,而与此同时,家庭收入却停滞不前。

As sharp as this squeeze can be, the pain does not stop at one family, or even at millions of families. Because of the critical role that middle-class consumers play in creating aggregate demand, the American economy is in trouble when the American middle class is in trouble. And the long-term health of the U.S. economy is at risk if financially squeezed families cannot afford—and smart public policies do not support—developing the next generation of America’s workforce. It is this workforce that will lead the United States in an increasingly open and competitive global economy.

如此严峻的挤迫并不止于一个家庭,或者甚至是百万个家庭。因为中产阶级消费者在创造总需求中扮演着关键角色,当中产阶级出问题,美国经济也随之陷入麻烦。进一步来说,如果经济承受重压的家庭无法负担培养美国下一代劳动力的费用,公共政策也不提供适时的辅助,那么美国经济的长期发展也将处于危险之中。毕竟,未来是由这一代劳动力在更加开放、竞争也更激烈的全球经济体系中领导美国。

This report provides a snapshot of the American middle class and those struggling to become a part of it. It focuses on six key pillars that can help define security for households: jobs, early childhood programs, higher education, health care, housing, and retirement. Each chapter is both descriptive and prescriptive—detailing both how the middle class is doing and what policies can help it do better.

本报告提供了美国中产阶级和正为之而奋斗的人们的一幅速写。它将重点放在对家庭保障起决定作用的六根重要支柱上:就业、儿童保育、高等教育、医疗保障、住房和退休保障。每一部分都在描述现象之余提供建议,不仅详细阐述中产阶级目前的状况,也详尽分析怎样的政策可帮其改善现状。

Defining the middle class
定义中产阶级

Statistically, when we talk about the middle class, we generally mean the middle three quintiles of American households by income—those making between the 20th and 80th percentiles of the income distribution. In reality, however, being middle class in America is at its core about economic security.

统计学上,当我们讨论中产阶级时,一般是指全美收入水平处于中间60%的家庭,即落在20%到80%区间内的家庭。但实际上,美国中产阶级的核心在于家庭经济保障能力。

As Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) wrote in the 2011 report “Saving the American Dream,” “Most of us don’t expect to be rich or famous, but we do expect a living wage and good American benefits for a hard day’s work.”

正如参议员Tom Harkin(民主党,爱荷华州)在其2011年题为《挽救美国梦》的报告中写道:“我们中的大部分不求成为富翁或是出名,但我们都希望每日的辛勤工作可以换来足以负担生活开支的工资和良好的社会福利保障。”

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The Middle-Class Squeeze 夹缝中的中产阶级 编辑:Jennifer Erickson @ 2014-9-24 译者:松旭斋天胜(@松旭斋天胜) 校对:安德(@ HuZhenbo)、带菜刀的诗人(@带菜刀的诗人) 制图:amen(@治愈系历史) 来源:美国进步中心(Center for American Progress),https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/MiddeClassSqueeze-INTRO.pdf A Picture of Stagnant Incomes, Rising Costs, and What We Can Do to Strengthen America’s Middle Class 面对收入停滞、生活费高涨的局面,怎么做才能巩固中产阶级 【插图】 America's middle class is being squeezed by stagnant—and in many cases declining—incomes and rising costs. 美国的中产阶级正被停滞甚至往往是减少的收入和高涨的生活费压得喘不过气。 Why the middle-class squeeze matters 为何需要关注中产阶级重压 The American middle class is in trouble. 美国中产阶级有麻烦了。 The middle-class share of national income has fallen, middle-class wages are stagnant, and the middle class in the United States is no longer the world’s wealthiest. 美国中产阶级收入在国民收入中占比减少,薪资停滞,他们已不再是世界上最富有的中产。 But income is only one side of the story. The cost of being in the middle class—and of maintaining a middle-class standard of living—is rising fast too. For fundamental needs such as child care and health care, costs have risen dramatically over the past few decades, taking up larger shares of family budgets. The reality is that the middle class is being squeezed. 但收入只是问题的一方面。做一个中产阶级、并维持中产阶级生活品质的成本,正在飞涨。过去几十年中,儿童保育和医疗保障等基本生活需求的费用迅速飙升,在家庭预算中比重增大。现实告诉我们,中产阶级正被压得喘不过气来。 As this report will show, for a married couple with two children, the costs of key elements of middle-class security—child care, higher education, health care, housing, and retirement—rose by more than $10,000 in the 12 years from 2000 to 2012, at a time when this family’s income was stagnant. 正如本报告随后将展示的那样,对于一对育有两个子女的夫妇而言,从2000年到2012年的12年间,界定中产阶级的那些关键元素的花费,即儿童保育、高等教育、医疗保障、住房和退休保障的成本,上涨了10000美元,而与此同时,家庭收入却停滞不前。 As sharp as this squeeze can be, the pain does not stop at one family, or even at millions of families. Because of the critical role that middle-class consumers play in creating aggregate demand, the American economy is in trouble when the American middle class is in trouble. And the long-term health of the U.S. economy is at risk if financially squeezed families cannot afford—and smart public policies do not support—developing the next generation of America’s workforce. It is this workforce that will lead the United States in an increasingly open and competitive global economy. 如此严峻的挤迫并不止于一个家庭,或者甚至是百万个家庭。因为中产阶级消费者在创造总需求中扮演着关键角色,当中产阶级出问题,美国经济也随之陷入麻烦。进一步来说,如果经济承受重压的家庭无法负担培养美国下一代劳动力的费用,公共政策也不提供适时的辅助,那么美国经济的长期发展也将处于危险之中。毕竟,未来是由这一代劳动力在更加开放、竞争也更激烈的全球经济体系中领导美国。 This report provides a snapshot of the American middle class and those struggling to become a part of it. It focuses on six key pillars that can help define security for households: jobs, early childhood programs, higher education, health care, housing, and retirement. Each chapter is both descriptive and prescriptive—detailing both how the middle class is doing and what policies can help it do better. 本报告提供了美国中产阶级和正为之而奋斗的人们的一幅速写。它将重点放在对家庭保障起决定作用的六根重要支柱上:就业、儿童保育、高等教育、医疗保障、住房和退休保障。每一部分都在描述现象之余提供建议,不仅详细阐述中产阶级目前的状况,也详尽分析怎样的政策可帮其改善现状。 Defining the middle class 定义中产阶级 Statistically, when we talk about the middle class, we generally mean the middle three quintiles of American households by income—those making between the 20th and 80th percentiles of the income distribution. In reality, however, being middle class in America is at its core about economic security. 统计学上,当我们讨论中产阶级时,一般是指全美收入水平处于中间60%的家庭,即落在20%到80%区间内的家庭。但实际上,美国中产阶级的核心在于家庭经济保障能力。 As Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) wrote in the 2011 report “Saving the American Dream,” “Most of us don’t expect to be rich or famous, but we do expect a living wage and good American benefits for a hard day’s work.” 正如参议员Tom Harkin(民主党,爱荷华州)在其2011年题为《挽救美国梦》的报告中写道:“我们中的大部分不求成为富翁或是出名,但我们都希望每日的辛勤工作可以换来足以负担生活开支的工资和良好的社会福利保障。” At the Center for American Progress, our work has focused on the importance of both strengthening and growing America’s middle class. So while the middle three quintiles will always be just that, it is our goal to ensure that as many Americans as possible have the cornerstones of the American Dream, including access to education, health care, housing, and the ability to retire. 在美国进步中心(Center for American Progress),我们致力于巩固和发展美国的中产阶级。因此,虽然统计学角度的中产只是那60%的人群,但我们志在让尽可能多的美国人拥有美国梦的基本条件,包括受教育的机会、医疗、住房和养老保障。 So even as this report measures what has been happening to the middle class, we articulate our hopes for all Americans. To be clear, having more than 46 million Americans in poverty is both contrary to our national character and to our economic aspirations. So too is having millions of young people unemployed and underemployed and 11 million aspiring Americans living in the country without legal status. 因此,即便这篇报告的主体是美国中产阶级,我们却是怀着对所有美国人的希望而发声。更直白地说,让4600万人陷入贫困不仅不符合我们的民族特质,也不符合我们的经济发展志向。我们同样关注那几百万失业或半失业的年轻人,以及1100万拥有抱负却没有合法身份的美国人。 Having more workers in good jobs—who have access to good education; affordable child care, health care, and housing; and the ability to retire with dignity—is our clear objective. The closer we get to this reality, the better it will be for all of our families and the sustainable growth of our economy. 我们的目标很明确:让劳动者适得其所,拥有受教育的机会,有能力支付儿童保育、医疗保障和住房的费用,最终有保障、有尊严地退休。我们离实现这个目标越近,对所有家庭以及经济的可持续发展就越有利。 What’s more, we know that areas with larger middle classes and less inequality also have more economic mobility. And opportunity is what America is about: 97 percent of Americans believe that every person should have an equal opportunity to get ahead in life. We all have an interest in a strong and growing middle class. 另外,我们已经知道,一个地区中产阶级越多、贫富差距越小,该地区的经济流动性就越高。美国最珍视的是机会:97%的美国人相信每个人都应当有平等的机会获得成功。更强大且持续增长的中产阶级,是我们共同的目标。 Squeeze part I: A snapshot of incomes 重压之第一部分:收入概况 When we think about the golden age of the American middle class, we often think of the decades following World War II. To be sure, the mid-20th century legislated unequal treatment and therefore limited opportunities for many Americans, but even with that marked and deep-rooted inequality, the economic statistics from that period tell a story of growing wealth and security for America’s middle class. 提到美国中产阶级的黄金时代,人们通常会想到二战后的几十年。诚然,20世纪中期的立法并不平等,也限制了许多美国人的机会,但即使在如此显著且根深蒂固的不平等之下,那一时期的经济数据仍表明当时美国的中产阶级财富增长,且拥有家庭保障。From 1948 to 1973, America experienced a period in which growing compensation tracked growing worker productivity: A worker in 1973 was almost twice as productive as a worker in 1948 and earned nearly twice as much. This golden age built the middle class as prosperity was increasingly shared. The economy grew by an average of 3.9 percent from 1948 to 1973, and the bottom 90 percent of families reaped 68 percent of the gains. 1948年到1973年间的美国,见证了劳动报酬与生产率齐头并进的时期:1973年劳动者的生产率几乎是1948年劳动者的两倍,且收入也几乎是其两倍。这一普遍繁荣的黄金时期造就了当时的中产阶级。从1948年到1973年,经济总量平均每年增长3.9%,金字塔底部的90%家庭获得了总收入的68%。 However, around 1973, American productivity growth slowed, increasing about half as quickly between 1973 and the early 1990s as it had during the previous 25 years. Furthermore, compensation started to decouple from productivity, growing about one-third as quickly as before. 然而,到了1973年左右,美国的生产率增速放缓,1973年到1990年代早期的增速只有之前25年的一半。此外,劳动报酬开始落后于生产率,增长速率则只有之前的三分之一。 【插图】 As the 1990s tech boom progressed and the economy heated up, productivity accelerated again: Productivity growth from 1991 to 2012 averaged 2.2 percent per year, yet compensation growth only averaged 1 percent per year. A worker today is almost 60 percent more productive than a worker in 1991 but has seen only half of that productivity growth translate into higher compensation. And the vast majority of this wage growth took place toward the end of the 1990s tech boom, as real wages and benefits jumped about 16 percent between 1995 and 2001. 因九十年代科技业繁荣和经济升温,劳动生产率再次加速:1991年到2012年间,生产率年平均增幅为2.2%,而劳动报酬增幅却仅为每年1%。现在的工人几乎比1991年高效60%,但仅有一半的生产率增长转化为了劳动报酬。并且,大部分薪资增长发生在九十年代科技业繁荣的末期——1995年到2001年,扣除通胀影响的实际薪资增长了约16%。【编注:此处存在一个误解(或误导),劳动生产率的提高未必反映工人的“生产效率”有任何提高,而完全可能仅由要素组合变化或该组合中非劳动要素的改进所带来,比如某项生产中,一台原本产能为每天5件的机器换成了产能每天10件的机器,同时其操作方法完全不变,此时工人的禀赋和表现皆无任何变化,但劳动生产率大幅提高了。】 Real compensation growth has slowed further since the start of the 21st century. What’s worse, health insurance premiums over this period ate into even modest compensation gains. Therefore, many Americans saw stagnant or declining take-home pay even as productivity continued to rise. 实际的劳动报酬增长速率从21世纪伊始便继续放缓。更严重的是,医疗保险费用在此期间将仅有的一点劳动报酬增长也侵吞殆尽。正因为如此,许多美国人发现虽然生产率持续提高,劳动者实际领回家的钱一直没变,甚至还有减少。 In other words, American workers have been squeezed for decades when it comes to take-home pay, even before 2007 and the Great Recession. The financial crisis and the Great Recession itself then took a catastrophic toll on millions of Americans, as unemployment skyrocketed and trillions of dollars in household wealth vanished. And while the economy has picked up since bottoming out in 2009, and private-sector job growth began to bounce back in 2010, the gains from this postcrash period have been strikingly unequal. Ninety-five percent of all income gains since the start of the recovery have accrued to the top 1 percent of U.S. households. 换言之,2007年和经济大衰退之前,美国劳动者数十年来真正拿到手里的钱已经一直在减少。随后的金融危机和经济大衰退又给了美国人一记重击,失业率急速增长,数以万亿美元的家庭财富蒸发。虽然2009年经济触底后开始恢复,2010年私营企业就业率反弹,但经济危机后的收入分配却极其不平等。危机后的几年,新增收益的95%都聚集在前1%的家庭中。 The trends in rising inequality are also striking when measured by wealth. Among the top 20 percent of families by net worth, average wealth increased by 120 percent between 1983 and 2010, while the middle 20 percent of families only saw their wealth increase by 13 percent, and the bottom fifth of families, on average, saw debt exceed assets—in other words, negative net worth. 按财富计,不平等的上升趋势也同样惊人。资产净值前20%的家庭在1983年到2010年间平均财富增长为120%,中间20%的家庭只增长了13%,最下层20%家庭的平均负债超过了资产,即资产净值为负。 Families of color have fallen further behind white families in building wealth: A survey that tracked white and African American families between 1984 and 2009 found that the wealth gap between them nearly tripled, from $85,000 to $236,500. Homeowners in the bottom quintile of wealth lost an astounding 94 percent of their wealth between 2007 and 2010. 有色人种家庭在创造财富上愈发逊于白人家庭:一项跟踪调查显示,从1984年到2009年,白人家庭和非洲裔家庭的财富差距扩大了将近三倍,从85000美元变为236500美元。财富排名最末20%的家庭在2007年到2010年间,失去了高达94%的财富。
The importance of the middle class to economic growth 中产阶级对经济增长的重要性 Rising inequality is not simply a question of distribution; it also poses real questions for how our economy operates. The increasing resources available to the wealthiest Americans have created demand for such luxuries as private jets—which creates jobs building those jets—but the declining purchasing power of middle-class Americans means that there is less demand for goods and services more broadly in the economy. 不平等加剧不只是个分配问题,它也是为经济运转方式带来了问题。最富有美国人的财富持续增长催生了私人飞机等奢侈品需求,当然,这创造了更多飞机制造业的职位,但是中产阶级购买力下降意味着商品和服务的总需求减少了。 A recent analysis showed that giving $1 to a low-income household produces three times as much consumption as giving $1 to a high-income household. And it is certainly true that increasing the concentration of wealth means more jobs managing finances and fewer jobs making the goods that middle-class consumers once bought in numbers that drove much of our economic growth. 近期的一项分析显示,低收入家庭收入每增加1美元所产生的消费是高收入家庭的三倍。财富集中意味着更多的理财业务职位【编注:这一断言并无道理,财富集中可能增加也可能减少理财职位,要看集中的结果是增加还是减少了财富规模达到需要理财的程度的人数】,和更少的制造业职位,这些工作曾为所制造的产品曾被中产阶级消费者大量购买,而正是这些消费极大地推动了经济增长。 CAP outlined the economic importance of a strong and growing middle class—and the concerns for our economy from growing inequality—in a 2012 report, “The American Middle Class, Income Inequality, and the Strength of the Economy.” The report details the importance of the middle class to human capital, stable demand, entrepreneurship, and support for institutions. 美国进步中心曾在2012年一份题为《美国中产阶级、收入不均及经济实力》的报告中概述了强大且持续增长的中产阶级对于经济的重要性,也说明了扩大的贫富差距对经济造成的问题。该份报告详尽分析了中产阶级对人力资本、稳定的需求、创业的重要性,以及对现行社会制度的支持。【编注:此处institutions含义不明,可能是指制度,也可能是指组织机构
Squeeze part II: A snapshot of rising costs 重压之第二部分:成本上升情况速览 While real incomes have been stagnant or declining in recent years, the other side of the story is the increase in the costs of various items that define a middle-class standard of living. Not only have families’ costs for things from higher education to health care increased rapidly relative to overall consumer inflation, but these costs are also consuming a growing share of family budgets, leaving less and less room for discretionary spending and saving. 近年来实际收入停滞甚至减少的同时,定义中产阶级生活标准的各元素成本却在增长。在家庭支出中,高等教育和医疗保障等项的支出不仅相对消费者物价指数急速增长,它们在家庭预算中比重也在扩大,给自由消费和存款留下的空间越来越少。 When looking at the changes in consumer price indices for core elements of middle-class security, it is painfully easy to see the squeeze in action; prices for many cornerstones of middle-class security have risen dramatically at the same time that real incomes have fallen. 令人心痛的是,在一份与中产阶级经济保障能力相关元素的价格指数变动图表中,可以非常直观地看到压力的存在。对中产阶级经济保障能力至关重要的各项物价飙升,但与此同时,实际收入却在减少。 【插图】 As stark as the data appear when comparing stagnant or falling incomes to rising prices, they are even worse than the Consumer Price Index above might suggest. 虽然停滞或减少的收入和飞升的物价在数据上已十分明显,但实际情况比上图中消费者物价指数所显示的更糟糕。 Let’s consider what has happened to the finances of a typical middle-class family since 2000. 让我们来看看对于一个普通中产阶级家庭来说,2000年以来都有哪些变化。 The median family saw its income fall by 8 percent between 2000 and 2012. Even when we look at just married couples with two children—a type of family that tends to have higher incomes—median income was virtually frozen between 2000 and 2012. 处于中间的家庭在2000到2012年间收入降低了8%。即便我们只把目光放在通常有更高收入的育有两个子女的夫妇上,处于中间的家庭收入在2000到2012年间也仅是持平。 At the same time, this type of family also faced a severe middle-class squeeze as the costs of key elements of security rose dramatically, including child care costs—which grew by 37 percent—and health care costs—both employee premiums and out-of-pocket costs—which grew by 85 percent. 与此同时,这一类家庭也面临着巨大压力:中产保障关键元素的价格急剧升高,儿童保育费用上涨了37%,医疗保障(包括就业医保和自费医疗)费用上涨了85%。 In fact, investing in the basic pillars of middle-class security—child care, housing, and health care, as well as setting aside modest savings for retirement and college—cost an alarming $10,600 more in 2012 than it did in 2000. 事实上,2000到2012年,花费在中产保障关键元素(儿童保育、住房、医疗保障以及为退休和大学存款)上的费用上涨了令人震惊的10,600美元。 Put another way, in 12 years, this household’s income was stagnant—rising by less than 1 percent—while basic pillars of middle-class security rose by more than 30 percent. As the cost of basic elements of middle-class security rose, the money available for everything else—from groceries to clothing to emergency savings—fell by $5,500. 换句话说,12年间,家庭收入没变,或仅提高不到1%,而花费在中产保障上的钱却多了30%。随着各项基本元素的成本上涨,留给其他花销的钱——比如食品杂货、衣服和应急存款等,减少了5500美元。 And while for the purposes of this example we have assumed this household kept retirement savings constant, data about worryingly low savings confirm that for millions of families, their retirement funds are bearing much of the pain of the squeeze. 然而,虽然我们在上述例子中假定该家庭每年留给退休保障的钱维持不变,但令人担忧的低储蓄数据却表明,对于数以百万计的家庭而言,退休保障承受着大部分压力。 【插图】 注:因四舍五入,数据可能略有偏差。2000年至2012年数据根据现有最准确数据估算。详见本系列报告的方法论部分。 来源:见系列报告的方法论部分。 The data paint a clear picture: The middle class is being squeezed. So it should come as no surprise that in a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, 57 percent of Americans responded that they think their incomes are falling behind the growing cost of living, up from 47 percent in 2006. In fact, the percentage of Americans who identify themselves as middle class has fallen to 44 percent, down from 53 percent in 2008. 数据清晰地描绘出这样的图景:中产阶级正受到重压。2014年皮尤研究中心(Pew Research Center)的一项调查显示,57%的美国人认为他们的收入赶不上生活成本的增长速度,而2006年如此认为的人只占47%。这样的结果在意料之中。事实上,认为自己属于中产阶级的美国人由2008年的53%降低到了如今的44%。 Policies to alleviate the squeeze 减轻重压的政策 Understanding that middle-class families are clearly squeezed—with adverse effects on our entire economy—we must craft policies to alleviate the squeeze. This requires two things: growing incomes and containing costs. 既然已经了解了中产阶级面临的困难和它将对我们整个经济带来的负面影响,我们必须设计出合理的政策减轻他们的压力。这包括两方面:增加收入和限制支出。 Jobs 就业 Given that the majority of middle-class families derive their incomes from jobs—as opposed to investments—improving our lackluster jobs picture is the first task to address the middle-class squeeze. To do this, we need to invest in a dynamic economy powered by skilled workers who operate in an environment that lets them and their businesses compete at home and abroad. 鉴于大部分中产阶级收入来源于就业而非投资,减轻压力的第一步便是改善就业环境。我们需要构建一个由技术劳动者支撑的、充满活力的经济环境,让劳动者和企业无论是在本国还是在国际上都具有竞争力。 Doing so will require myriad policies outlined in depth in CAP’s long-term growth strategy, 300 Million Engines of Growth: A Middle-Out Plan for Jobs, Business, and a Growing Economy. Five areas that would directly help the jobs and income pictures in the shorter term include policies to: 为此,美国进步中心在题为《促进增长的三亿个发动机:中产阶级辐射计划,就业、企业和繁荣经济》的长期发展战略中列举了多项政策。
  • Boost aggregate demand, including through extending federal unemployment insurance; raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour; strengthening the Earned Income Tax Credit by expanding it for workers without children and lowering the eligibility age from 25 to 21; and making long-term investments in our economic growth that will also pay dividends now in the form of expanding high-quality early childhood education and infrastructure
  • 刺激总需求:延长联邦失业保险;将联邦最低工资提高为每小时10美元;将劳动所得税扣抵制度的适用对象扩大到无子女劳动者和25岁以下、21岁以上的劳动者,以加强其效力;通过开办高质量早教机构、建设基础设施造福当下,促进经济增长
  • Foster inclusive capitalism that will see more gains shared with workers, including through expanding tax incentives that transfer ownership or at least a share of profits from capital ownership to employees; offering grants to regional inclusive capitalism centers; stopping policies that inhibit the growth of sharing programs; and promoting existing best practices through an Office of Inclusive Capitalism
  • 促成包容性资本主义,与劳动者分享更多收益:给将所有权转让给劳动者或将不少于一股的资本收益赠予劳动者的公司以税收优惠;为包容性地区资本中心提供补助;停止妨碍分享项目发展的政策;通过设立包容性资本办公室鼓励促进目前的最佳实践
  • Ensure basic workplace protections to maximize workforce participation, including through developing a federal paid family and medical leave program to ensure working families have access to wage replacement when they need it most, via the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, or the FAMILY Act, as well as establishing a national paid sick days standard via the Healthy Families Act
  • 确保基本工作场所保护以最大化劳动者参与:通过家庭与医疗保险假期法案(简称FAMILY法案),由联邦建立家庭与医疗假期资助项目来确保在劳动者家庭在最需要时可获取工资替代【编注:此处工资替代似乎是指让雇员选择以医疗保障代替部分工资报酬】;通过健康家庭法案创立全国性带薪病假标准
  • Strengthen unions, including by modernizing the union election process; ensuring that all workers, regardless of their occupation or location, have the right to join a union if they so desire; better protecting workers who choose to unionize by making the right to join a union a civil right; and establishing more meaningful penalties and remedies for workers who are fired or discriminated against for exercising their right to organize
  • 强化工会:推进工会选举制度现代化;确保任何职业、处于任何地点的劳动者都有权自愿加入工会;最好促使加入工会的权利成为一项基本民权以更好地保护选择加入工会的劳动者;为因行使工会组织权利而遭解雇或歧视的劳动者提供更多有意义的处罚或矫正措施
  • Improve education and workforce-development programs, including a dramatic expansion of apprenticeship programs in high-growth sectors, by creating a $1,000 federal tax credit for each apprentice hired; establishing competitive grants to support promising apprenticeship partnerships in new high-wage, high-growth occupations; improving apprenticeship marketing to businesses; leveraging the federal workforce and federal contracting to support apprenticeships; and improving the portability of apprenticeships by offering grants for employers to come together to write national guideline standards for apprenticeships in key high-growth occupations
  • 改善教育和劳动力发展项目:在高增长行业设立1000美元/位的联邦抵税额,以大幅扩展这些行业的学徒项目;创立竞争性补助金以支持前景好的新兴高报酬、高发展职业的学徒合伙项目;努力将学徒推销给企业;促使联邦劳动者和联邦合同支持学徒;给协同编写有关学徒的全国性指导标准的新兴行业雇主提供补助金,以促进学徒项目的可移植性
Early childhood programs 儿童保育项目 High-quality early childhood programs—including both child care and preschool programs—are critical for workers with young children who hope to remain in the workforce. Research shows that these programs are also critical educational investments in the children themselves. 高质量的儿童保育项目——包括儿童照料和学前教育——对育有子女且想继续工作的劳动者十分重要。调查表明,这些项目也是对儿童自身非常重要的教育投资。 So with two generations relying on the existence and affordability of high-quality programs, it is critical to address the high cost of child care, which rose dramatically from 2000 to 2012. To do so, we recommend policies that would: 这样,两代人都将仰赖可负担的高质量教育资源,所以关键是要解决儿童保育的高成本问题,如我们所见,这项成本在2000到2012年间急剧增长。为此,我们推荐以下政策:
  • Provide high-quality preschool to all 3- and 4-year-olds through a partnership between the federal and state governments
  • 通过联邦和州政府合作,向3至4岁儿童提供高质量学前教育
  • Expand and reform the child care subsidy system, which is currently insufficient to reach even a majority of low-income working parents, let alone those struggling to stay in the middle class, by both providing additional resources to help families access high-quality child care and ensuring that child care assistance declines gradually as parents earn more money, rather than cutting off abruptly
  • 扩大和改革儿童保育补贴制度目前连大部分低收入劳动者父母都无法受惠于该项目,更别提中产阶级了。通过提供额外资源以帮助家庭获得高质量儿童保育的机会,使儿童保育援助随着父母收入增加逐渐减少,而非突然被取消
  • Reform the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit by making it refundable and raising the amount that can be claimed to cover more of the actual cost of child care
  • 改革受抚养人抵税额政策,使其变为可退税部分,同时提高征税额度,用于补贴儿童保育的实际开支
  • Expand Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships building on the initial investment already made and reaching additional children
  • 扩大早期启蒙幼儿资助合作计划,在原有投资的基础上,让更多儿童受益
Higher education 高等教育 Increases in higher-education costs are a huge part of the middle-class squeeze. These costs affect what parents can do to help their children pay for college and what students can bear in terms of debt as they enter an uncertain job market. 高等教育费用增长是造成中产阶级压力的一大原因。这项费用影响着父母为子女支付大学学费的能力和学生本身在工作未定情况下的负债能力。 What’s more, the real and perceived costs of higher-education affect who applies for and who goes to college—representing a real constraint on economic mobility, which carries a cost for individuals and for the economy. To help alleviate the middle-class squeeze in higher education, we propose policies that would: 进一步而言,大学的实际学费和感知成本影响着学生是否申请、是否入学的问题。这极大地限制着经济流动性,从而让个体和经济付出代价。为减轻高等教育给中产阶级带来的压力,我们提出以下政策建议:
  • Promote consumer choice by establishing a student-record system that can be used to create improved consumer-choice tools that highlight outcomes such as graduation rates and labor-market outcomes, and by creating a federal accountability system with institutions placed in broad categories, rather than rankings, which indicate their performance across key metrics
  • 优化消费者选择:建立学生档案系统,提供毕业率、就业信息等资料;设立联邦审核系统,将大学按照在各关键指标的表现分成大类,而非提供综合排名
  • Restore public investment in higher education, including through increasing funding for the Pell Grant program to help low- and lower-middle-income students; creating a competitive federal grant program to support public institutions—matched with state funds—to support state policies that promote on-time completion and that significantly lower the cost of postsecondary education
  • 振兴公共教育投资:增加佩尔助学金项目(Pell Grant program)的经费,用以帮助低收入和中低收入学生;设立有竞争性的联邦补助金项目,用以支持公立机构;设立相对应的州补助金项目,用以支持按时结业的和显著降低高等教育费用的州级政策
  • Innovate to bring down costs and improve quality through increasing support for the First in the World Fund; using experimental site authority to give institutions flexibility from existing federal requirements in exchange for a commitment to implement innovative programs that reduce costs for students; creating an alternative to accreditation where institutions could choose to focus exclusively on improving the learning outcomes of their students; and increasing investment in research and development.
  • 通过创新降低费用并提高教育质量:加强对“世界第一”基金(First in the World Fund)的支持;通过使用实验性场地增加教育机构的灵活性,设立帮助学生减轻学费的创新项目;设立全新的评价机制,让教育机构能够转而更专注于学生的学习成果;增加对科研和发展项目的投资
Health care 医疗保障 Access to affordable health care is critical for all American households, and the rising costs of health care in recent decades have kept a basic underpinning of middle-class security out of reach for too many. 对于每个美国家庭来说,获得平价医疗保障至关重要。然而,保障中产阶级的基础医疗支出近几十年来出现的增长让太多家庭负担不起。 While the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, has already made a difference for millions of Americans—from the ability of children under age 26 to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans to a prohibition on exclusion from coverage based on pre-existing conditions—more needs to be done to bend the cost curve and to ensure that people have access to high-quality coverage. A single health event should not wipe out a person’s savings. To help lower costs, we therefore propose policies to: 虽然平价医疗法案(Affordable Care Act,ACA)已经改变了几百万美国人的生活——该项法案允许未满26岁的子女留在父母的医保方案中,并禁止保险公司因投保前已存在病情而设立不保事项——要进一步扭转费用增长、让人们获得平价医疗的机会,能做的还有更多。疾病或意外不应当把人们的存款消耗殆尽。为了降低费用,我们提出以下政策:
  • Accelerate the use of alternatives to fee-for-service payment to reduce costs and improve care coordination, with Medicare leading the way by encouraging private payers to participate in alternative payment methods, especially bundled payments
  • 促进按服务计酬模式以外的替代收费方式的使用;降低成本、改善医疗分配;由医疗保险制度牵头,鼓励独立付款人使用其他付费方式,尤其是捆绑付费
  • Leverage insurance exchanges to improve access to lower-cost, high-quality insurance products, including through state marketplace officials using their broad authority to exclude low-value plans and reward plans that offer more value to consumers
  • 利用保险交易市场,使人们有机会购买低价高质量的保险产品;州市场监管人员运用他们的权威排除价值低的产品,奖励能给消费者提供更高价值的产品
  • Increase transparency to allow consumers to choose high-quality, lower-cost providers and services via the Department of Health Human Services, ensuring that the ACA’s requirement to provide cost-sharing information is implemented in a consumer-friendly way. Congress should also modify the ACA’s cost-sharing disclosure requirements so that the plan’s quoted costs for episodes of care are guaranteed
  • 增加透明度:消费者可以通过卫生及公共服务部(Department of Health Human Services)选择性价比更高的医保公司,保证ACA法案中对成本信息公开的要求得到落实;国会也应当修改法案中对成本信息公开的要求,使每项保险的报价得以固定
  • Reform restrictive state scope-of-practice laws to maximize use of nonphysician providers, with the federal government providing bonus payments to states that meet scope-of-practice standards delineated by the Institute of Medicine
  • 改革各州的限制性适用范围法律,以最大化对非医师保险供应商的使用;联邦政府给符合美国医学研究所(Institute of Medicine)有关适用范围规定的州提供奖金
  • Address cost shifting to employees by encouraging employers to share health care savings with employees via more transparency, with employers providing annual notices about how much the employer expects to pay, on average, for health care benefits per employee, as well as how much the employer expects the employee will spend, on average, for health care during the upcoming year
  • 保证员工知悉费用变化:鼓励雇主更透明地向员工分享医疗保障存款信息;雇主每年定期通知员工每年平均应缴医疗保障费用,及雇主对员工来年医疗消费平均预估值
Housing 住房 Having an affordable place to call home is out of reach for far too many families, putting the most basic piece of middle-class security in doubt. New mortgages are at their lowest level in 17 years, millions of Americans still owe more than their homes are worth, and half of all renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. 对于太多家庭来说,想以平实的价格换来一处能被称作“家”的地方太难了。这极大地威胁了中产阶级经济保障能力。新的住房贷款起码要17年才能还清,上百万的美国人负债比他们的房产价值还高,一半的租客起码将收入的30%用在房租上。 The federal government has a huge role to play in steering the country out of the housing crisis and building a stronger and more equitable housing-finance system. To do so, we suggest policies that would: 联邦政府在引导国家走出住房危机,以及建立一个更强大、更公平的住房财政系统上,可发挥巨大作用。为此,我们提出以下政策:
  • Require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to support a healthier and more equitable housing market by increasing access to and affordability of mortgages, providing struggling borrowers with better loan modifications that include principal reductions, and capitalizing the National Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund
  • 要求联邦国民按揭贷款协会(Fannie Mae,又称房利美)和联邦住房抵押贷款公司(Freddie Mac,又称房地美)扶持更公正的住房市场:增加住户取得住房贷款的机会;给有困难的贷款人提供包括房贷本金减免的优惠调整;资本化国家住房信托基金(National Housing Trust Fund)和磁性资本基金(Capital Magnet Fund)
  • Reform the housing-finance system to realign incentives, enable broader access to affordable and sustainable mortgages, and support the creation of more affordable rental housing
  • 改革住房财政系统:调整优惠政策,使人们有更多机会获取费用更低、更持久的住房贷款;建造更多廉租房
  • Track cash investor activity in the single-family rental market and monitor its potential impact on tenants, rents, neighborhoods, and homeownership opportunities
  • 跟踪单一家庭租房市场中现金投资人的活动:监测此类投资对住户、房租、社区和获得房屋所有权机会的潜在影响
Retirement 退休保障 Among the top concerns of middle-class Americans is whether they will be able to afford to retire. Unfortunately for many, saving for retirement has become much more difficult in recent decades as families have struggled to find money to save and as the workplace-retirement-plan environment has fundamentally changed. 美国中产阶级的一大担忧是退休保障问题。很不幸的是,对于许多人来说,最近几十年为退休而存款已变得越来越难:家庭很难存下什么钱,在职退休储蓄计划的大环境也发生了根本性的改变。 As incomes have stagnated and as employers have shifted away from pensions to 401(k)-style plans, employees have been forced to shoulder far more risk and to invest what little they can set aside in savings vehicles that are often designed to take advantage of their lack of investment experience. With approximately half of all American households in danger of having insufficient savings for retirement, we propose policies that would: 随着收入停滞,雇主停止提供类似401(k)的退休金计划,职工不得不自己承担风险,向原本就利用他们投资经验缺乏的理财产品投资。几近一半的美国家庭都面临着退休金不足的危险。我们提出以下建议:
  • Encourage the adoption of hybrid retirement plans such as CAP’s Safe, Accessible, Flexible, and Efficient, or SAFE, Retirement Plan at both the state and national levels
  • 鼓励混合型退休金计划:例如美国进步中心提出的“安全、方便、灵活、高效”或简称SAFE的联邦和州级退休金计划
  • Increase access to existing alternative savings options such as the low-cost Thrift Savings Plan which—by allowing all workers the ability to join—would not only give many a chance to save through a workplace plan but also would provide them with access to one of the best 401(k) plans available
  • 增加其他退休存款计划的曝光度:例如低费用的互助存款计划(Thrift Savings Plan)。允许所有劳动者加入该计划后,它不仅能给许多人提供工作地退休计划账户,还提供最好的401(k)计划之一
  • Require 401(k) and IRA plans to be more transparent about fees and investment practices through the adoption of a retirement label on all qualified plan options that informs consumers about the high risks of fees and lets them know how the fees in a given plan compare with fees in other plans of the same type
  • 要求401(k)计划和个人退休金账户(IRA)缴费、投资更加透明。为告知消费者缴费风险,以及本计划与其他同类计划费用对比的计划添加标识。
  • Make tax incentives for saving simpler and fairer by replacing the complex web of tax deductions that disproportionately benefit the wealthy with a Universal Savings Credit that would turn all existing deductions into a single, streamlined credit, as well as by potentially introducing a progressive match for low-income savers’ contributions
  • 给更简单、公平的计划提供税收优惠。用通用存款抵税额替代复杂且更利于有钱人的抵税机制。为低收入存款者提供更先进的计划匹配方式
Conclusion 结论 To have a strong and growing economy, we need a strong and growing middle class. The longer the middle-class squeeze continues unabated, the more these trends will continue to affect both families across the country and our economic prospects as a nation. 只有强大且持续增长的中产阶级才能造就强大且持续增长的经济。中产阶级承受重压的时间越长,对全国的家庭和经济形势影响就越大。 We know what policies would help reverse the middle-class squeeze. Now, we just need to act. 我们已经知道怎样的政策能够减轻中产阶级的压力。现在,只待行动。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]狂喷哲学的物理学家,请闭嘴

Physicists Should Stop Saying Silly Things about Philosophy
物理学家们,请别再对哲学说蠢话了

作者:Sean Carroll @ 2014-6-23
译者:Luis Rightcon(@Rightcon)
校对:斑马(@鹿兔马朦)、史祥莆(@史祥莆)、张三(@老子毫无动静的坐着像一段呆木头)
来源:Sean Carroll个人博客,http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2014/06/23/physicists-should-stop-saying-silly-things-about-philosophy/

The last few years have seen a number of prominent scientists step up to microphones and belittle the value of philosophy. Stephen HawkingLawrence Krauss, and Neil deGrasse Tyson are well-known examples.

过去几年,数位著名科学家跳出来贬低哲学的价值,其中广为人知的有Stephen Hawking,Lawrence Krauss和Neil de Grasse Tyson。

To redress the balance a bit, philosopher of physics Wayne Myrvold has asked some physicists to explain why talking to philosophers has actually been useful to them.

为了平衡一下这种偏见,一位物理学哲学家Wayne Myrvold请一些物理学家解释一下,为什么与哲学家沟通对他们自己的研究有所助益。

I was one of the respondents, and you can read my entry at the Rotman Institute blog. I was going to cross-post my response here, but instead let me try to say the same thing in different word(more...)

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Physicists Should Stop Saying Silly Things about Philosophy 物理学家们,请别再对哲学说蠢话了 作者:Sean Carroll @ 2014-6-23 译者:Luis Rightcon(@Rightcon) 校对:斑马(@鹿兔马朦)、史祥莆(@史祥莆)、张三(@老子毫无动静的坐着像一段呆木头) 来源:Sean Carroll个人博客,http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2014/06/23/physicists-should-stop-saying-silly-things-about-philosophy/ The last few years have seen a number of prominent scientists step up to microphones and belittle the value of philosophy. Stephen HawkingLawrence Krauss, and Neil deGrasse Tyson are well-known examples. 过去几年,数位著名科学家跳出来贬低哲学的价值,其中广为人知的有Stephen Hawking,Lawrence Krauss和Neil de Grasse Tyson。 To redress the balance a bit, philosopher of physics Wayne Myrvold has asked some physicists to explain why talking to philosophers has actually been useful to them. 为了平衡一下这种偏见,一位物理学哲学家Wayne Myrvold请一些物理学家解释一下,为什么与哲学家沟通对他们自己的研究有所助益。 I was one of the respondents, and you can read my entry at the Rotman Institute blog. I was going to cross-post my response here, but instead let me try to say the same thing in different words. 我是其中一个受访者,你可以在Rotman Institute Blog上读到我的回答。我本打算把我的回答直接发布在这里,不过还是让我尝试用不同的话再叙述一遍吧。 Roughly speaking, physicists tend to have three different kinds of lazy critiques of philosophy: one that is totally dopey, one that is frustratingly annoying, and one that is deeply depressing. 大体而言,物理学家倾向于对哲学持有三种简单粗暴的批评:一种纯属愚蠢,另一种非常讨厌,最后一种则让人沮丧。
  • “Philosophy tries to understand the universe by pure thought, without collecting experimental data.”
  • 哲学对收集实验数据漠不关心,却试图依靠纯粹的思考来理解世界
This is the totally dopey criticism. Yes, most philosophers do not actually go out and collect data (although there are exceptions). But it makes no sense to jump right from there to the accusation that philosophy completely ignores the empirical information we have collected about the world. 这是非常愚蠢的批判。没错,多数哲学家确实不会走出去收集数据(但也有例外)。但是由此出发直接得出这样的指责:哲学完全忽视了我们所获得的有关世界的经验数据——是毫无意义的。 When science (or common-sense observation) reveals something interesting and important about the world, philosophers obviously take it into account. (Aside: of course there are bad philosophers, who do all sorts of stupid things, just as there are bad practitioners of every field. Let’s concentrate on the good ones, of whom there are plenty.) 当科学(或者日常观察)显示了一些有关世界的有趣和重要的事情时,哲学家当然会认真对待。(题外话:当然存在一些糟糕的哲学家,他们尽做蠢事,就像每个领域总会有糟糕的从业者一样。还是让我们专注于那些为数众多的杰出人物吧 ) Philosophers do, indeed, tend to think a lot. This is not a bad thing. All of scientific practice involves some degree of “pure thought.” Philosophers are, by their nature, more interested in foundational questions where the latest wrinkle in the data is of less importance than it would be to a model-building phenomenologist. 相较于实践,哲学家的确倾向于思考得更多,但这并不是件坏事。一切科学实践都或多或少地涉及一些“纯粹性的思考”。哲学家本身的职业属性决定了,他们对那些基本问题要更感兴趣,而对于这些问题的研究,有关经验事实的一点最新小动静,对于哲学家来说,远不如对那些通过建模研究现象的学者来得重要。 But at its best, the practice of philosophy of physics is continuous with the practice of physics itself. Many of the best philosophers of physics were trained as physicists, and eventually realized that the problems they cared most about weren’t valued in physics departments, so they switched to philosophy. 尽管如此,在最佳实践中,物理学哲学的工作始终紧随物理学工作本身。很多杰出的物理学哲学家受过成为物理学家所需要的训练,但最终他们意识到自己最关注的问题在一般的物理系不受到重视,所以他们转向了哲学。 But those problems — the basic nature of the ultimate architecture of reality at its deepest levels — are just physics problems, really. And some amount of rigorous thought is necessary to make any progress on them. Shutting up and calculating isn’t good enough. 但这些问题——物理实在之最深层终极结构的基本性质——这恰恰就是物理问题。对于这样的问题,一些来自哲学家的慎密思考,对于取得进展都是必需的。仅仅闷头计算是不够的。
  • “Philosophy is completely useless to the everyday job of a working physicist.”
  • 哲学对于一个物理学家的日常工作没有丝毫用处
Now we have the frustratingly annoying critique. Because: duh. If your criterion for “being interesting or important” comes down to “is useful to me in my work,” you’re going to be leading a fairly intellectually impoverished existence. Nobody denies that the vast majority of physics gets by perfectly well without any input from philosophy at all. (“We need to calculate this loop integral! Quick, get me a philosopher!”) 然后是这种特别使人厌烦的批评了。因为:嗯,要是你对于“有趣或重要”的标准低到了“对我的工作有用”,那你的智力水准显然是有往日益贫乏方向发展的趋势。没人否认绝大多数物理学家所取得的成功并没有来自哲学的贡献。(“我们需要计算这个环路积分,快给我找个哲学家来!”) But it also gets by without input from biology, and history, and literature. Philosophy is interesting because of its intrinsic interest, not because it’s a handmaiden to physics. I think that philosophers themselves sometimes get too defensive about this, trying to come up with reasons why philosophy is useful to physics. Who cares? 但是生物学,历史学和文学对其也同样没有贡献。哲学有趣,是因为它本身的内在趣味,而不是作为物理学仆人的用处。我认为哲学家们自己有时对这一点也太过于坚持了,试图找出为什么哲学会对物理学有用。管它呢。 Nevertheless, there are some physics questions where philosophical input actually is useful. Foundational questions, such as the quantum measurement problem, the arrow of time, the nature of probability, and so on. 尽管如此,还是有一些物理学问题是哲学知识可以派得上用场的。一些基础性问题,例如量子测量(测不准原理),时间之箭【译注:意为时间的不可逆性,是由英国天体物理学家亚瑟·爱丁顿提出的一个概念】,概率的本质等等。 Again, a huge majority of working physicists don’t ever worry about these problems. But some of us do! And frankly, if more physicists who wrote in these areas would make the effort to talk to philosophers, they would save themselves from making a lot of simple mistakes. 又一次,很大部分工作中的物理学家并不需要操心这些问题,但是我们中的某些人会啊!而且,坦率地说,如果有更多在这些领域笔耕的物理学家能够花点时间和哲学家交流一下,那么他们将可以避免犯下许多低级错误。
  • “Philosophers care too much about deep-sounding meta-questions, instead of sticking to what can be observed and calculated.”
  • 哲学家们过于关心深层次的元问题,而不是专注于那些可以明确观察和计算的问题
Finally, the deeply depressing critique. Here we see the unfortunate consequence of a lifetime spent in an academic/educational system that is focused on taking ambitious dreams and crushing them into easily-quantified units of productive work. 最后是这种让人沮丧的批评。我们在此看到的是这样一些不幸的人,他们把一生时间花在了适应学术/教育系统,那个致力于攫取人们的梦想,然后碾碎,把它变成一些针对单纯的重复性生产任务的容易量化的单元的系统。 The idea is apparently that developing a new technique for calculating a certain wave function is an honorable enterprise worthy of support, while trying to understand what wave functions actually are and how they capture reality is a boring waste of time. I suspect that a substantial majority of physicists who use quantum mechanics in their everyday work are uninterested in or downright hostile to attempts to understand the quantum measurement problem. 他们的想法显然是这样的:为计算一个特定波函数而开发一种新技术,是值得支持的荣耀事业,而尝试去理解波函数到底是什么以及它们如何刻画了现实,则是浪费时间。我怀疑绝大多数在日常工作中使用量子力学的物理学家,对试图理解量子测量问题的行为,要么不感兴趣,要么完全反对。 This makes me sad. I don’t know about all those other folks, but personally I did not fall in love with science as a kid because I was swept up in the romance of finding slightly more efficient calculational techniques. Don’t get me wrong — finding more efficient calculational techniques is crucially important, and I cheerfully do it myself when I think I might have something to contribute. But it’s not the point — it’s a step along the way to the point. 这令我寒心。我不太了解其他同行的情况,就我个人而言,并未在少年时代就着迷于科学,是因为我当时被卷入了寻找更高效计算技术的潮流——不要误解,这项技术是非常重要的——,当我认为自己也许会在那方面有所贡献时,我就积极参与到了这项研究中。但是无论对于我个人还是整个科学,这都不是重点——它只是在通往真正重要的研究道路上的一步。 The point, I take it, is to understand how nature works. Part of that is knowing how to do calculations, but another part is asking deep questions about what it all means. That’s what got me interested in science, anyway. And part of that task is understanding the foundational aspects of our physical picture of the world, digging deeply into issues that go well beyond merely being able to calculate things. 依我看,真正重要的东西,是去理解世界是怎样运转的。知道怎样去计算是其中一部分,但更重要的是考虑那些关于为什么是这样,这意味着什么的问题。这些问题才是科学中吸引我的部分。完成这个任务,其中的一部分就是理解我们对于世界的物理学刻画中作为基础的那部分,深入挖掘那些仅凭计算远远无法解决的的问题。 It’s a shame that so many physicists don’t see how good philosophy of science can contribute to this quest. The universe is much bigger than we are and stranger than we tend to imagine, and I for one welcome all the help we can get in trying to figure it out. 令人遗憾的是,太多物理学家忽视了科学哲学在这样的探索中所能作出的贡献。世界的广度远大于我们,其复杂神奇之处也远超我们的想象,我谨代表个人欢迎在探索它的过程中来自所有我们可能得到的所有帮助。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]非洲跨境移动支付大跃进

Africa Makes Leap in Cross-Border Mobile Payments
非洲跨境移动支付大跃进

作者:Alexandra Wexler @ 2015-7-24
译者:Ether
校对:乘风(@你在何地-sxy)、带菜刀的诗人
来源:Wall Street Journal,http://www.wsj.com/articles/africa-makes-leap-in-cross-border-mobile-payments-1437730380

New partnerships aimed at getting a bigger slice of the $48 billion Africans sent and received last year
企业建立新合作关系,意在从去年480亿美元交易总额中分得更大份额

JOHANNESBURG—Africa’s biggest telecommunications companies are striking deals allowing their customers to make payments across networks and borders, the latest stride in the continent’s ascent as a leader in mobile financial technology.

(发自约翰内斯堡)非洲的电信巨头们正在敲定协议,允许用户跨网络、跨境支付。这也是非洲大陆上升为移动金融技术领跑者而迈出的最新一步。

Starting this month, London-based Vodafone Group PLC and South Africa’s MTN Group Ltd. plan to allow customers in East and Central Africa to send each other money, the first time Africa’s bigg(more...)

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Africa Makes Leap in Cross-Border Mobile Payments 非洲跨境移动支付大跃进 作者:Alexandra Wexler @ 2015-7-24 译者:Ether 校对:乘风(@你在何地-sxy)、带菜刀的诗人 来源:Wall Street Journal,http://www.wsj.com/articles/africa-makes-leap-in-cross-border-mobile-payments-1437730380 New partnerships aimed at getting a bigger slice of the $48 billion Africans sent and received last year 企业建立新合作关系,意在从去年480亿美元交易总额中分得更大份额 JOHANNESBURG—Africa’s biggest telecommunications companies are striking deals allowing their customers to make payments across networks and borders, the latest stride in the continent’s ascent as a leader in mobile financial technology. (发自约翰内斯堡)非洲的电信巨头们正在敲定协议,允许用户跨网络、跨境支付。这也是非洲大陆上升为移动金融技术领跑者而迈出的最新一步。 Starting this month, London-based Vodafone Group PLC and South Africa’s MTN Group Ltd. plan to allow customers in East and Central Africa to send each other money, the first time Africa’s biggest telecoms have cooperated in the competitive mobile payment space. 本月开始,总部在伦敦的沃达丰集团(Vodafone Group PLC)和南非的MTN集团计划实现东非和中非用户之间的收付款。这也是电信巨头在竞争激烈的移动支付领域的首次合作。 Their new partnership could spur even more economic growth in these fast-growing markets, and drum up revenue for mobile companies in countries where demand for new cellphones and airtime has matured. Fierce competition is one reason MTN lost revenue per user in 19 of its 22 markets in the first quarter, MTN said. 这一合作可以进一步带动这些快速成长市场的经济发展,同时提振移动通信公司在这些国家的收入,那里的新手机和通话服务需求已经饱和。MTN表示,激烈的竞争是导致其今年一季度在22个国家中的19个出现用户人均营收下降的原因之一。 “Finally, [telecoms] woke up and smelled the coffee,” said Hans Kuipers, a Johannesburg-based partner at the Boston Consulting Group. “In order to really develop a healthy ecosystem, you have to develop interconnectivity.” “移动通信公司终于认清现实了。为了建立一个健康的生态系统,不同公司之间必须发展‘互联性’”Hans Kuipers说。他是波士顿咨询公司(Boston Consulting Group)驻约翰内斯堡的合伙人。 (插表) 来源:世界银行          WSJ The telecoms also hope that their partnership will give them a bigger slice of the $48 billion the World Bank estimates that Africans sent and received as remittances during 2014. 两家公司也希望这项合作可以为他们拿下非洲移动支付市场的更大份额。根据世界银行的估计,非洲人2014年共计汇入、汇出480亿美元。 Until now, mobile companies have resisted “interoperable” partnerships as they raced to build their own market share. The most successful mobile-money service is the M-Pesa system started by Vodafone’s Kenyan subsidiary Safaricom Ltd. in 2007. Today Safaricom’s 14 million M-Pesa customers pay for everything from safari lodge stays to taxi rides via the platform. 此前,移动通信公司一直抵制“可互操作”的合作关系,因为他们在抢占各自的市场份额。目前最成功的移动金融服务是沃达丰肯尼亚子公司Safaricom在2007年推出的M-Pesa系统。今天,Safaricom共有1400万M-Pesa用户通过这一平台支付狩猎度假屋、出租车等所有事情。 Now some of that cash could flow to MTN, via the new partnership that will allow payments between Vodafone subscribers in Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania and MTN users in Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and Zambia. 现在,部分支付金额将流向MTN。新的合作支持肯尼亚、民主刚果、坦桑尼亚的沃达丰用户和乌干达、卢旺达、南苏丹和赞比亚的MTN用户之间进行支付。 One hurdle has been getting central bank approval in each market to send and receive money from abroad, said SerigneDioum, MTN’s head of mobile financial services. As of May, MTN had approval to receive money in Uganda, as well as to send and receive money in Rwanda. Vodafone declined to comment. 但还是有一个障碍,就是跨境收、付款要获得每个国家央行的批准,MTN移动金融服务主管Serignr Dioum表示。截至5月,MTN已经获得了乌干达的跨境收款许可和卢旺达的收汇款许可。沃达丰则对此拒绝置评。 ‘Finally, [telecoms] woke up and smelled the coffee.’ “移动通信公司终于认清现实了。” —Hans Kuipers, a Johannesburg-based partner at the Boston Consulting Group —— Hans Kuipers,波士顿咨询公司驻约翰内斯堡合伙人 Mr. Dioum said MTN and Vodafone sought to pair countries where MTN was stronger with countries where Vodafone’s subsidiaries dominate, creating broader regional reach for both companies. East Africa, he said, “is where our mobile money offers have more penetration and it is where mobile money is working well.” Dioum先生表示,MTN和沃达丰寻求将双方各自的优势市场组合起来,从而为彼此开拓更广阔的市场。他说,东非“是我们的移动金融服务市场占有率较高的地方,也是移动金融发展良好的地区。” MTN and Vodafone wouldn’t say how they will split profits from the network-to-network, cross-border payments. 两家公司均未透露联网跨境支付产生的利润如何分成。 Mr. Dioum said the partnership will cut fees for cross-border transfers from up to 20% of a transaction’s value to 3% or less, something MTN achieved in a pilot partnership launched with Airtel Burkina Faso last year between Burkina Faso and neighboring Ivory Coast. Dioum先生表示,两家公司的合作将会降低跨境转账的费率,从过去高达交易金额的20%下降到3%甚至更低。在去年MTN与Airtel布基纳法索子公司在布基纳法索和邻国科特迪瓦之间进行的试点合作,便产生了这样的效果。 The World Bank says reducing such fees by just five percentage points would save Africans $16 billion a year. That’s money customers might channel toward more mobile purchases, operators say. 世界银行估计跨境支付费用只要降低5%,每年就能帮非洲人节省160亿美元。运营商表示,用户可能拿这笔钱进行更多的移动端交易。 “We want people to use their [mobile] wallet to perform every single transaction, including international money transfers,” Mr. Dioum said. Last year, Ugandans sent $72 million in remittances to Kenya, according to data from the World Bank. Kenyans sent Ugandans $51 million. Dioum先生说:“我们希望人们每笔交易都使用移动钱包,包括国际转账。”据世界银行的数据,乌干达人去年向肯尼亚汇出了7,200万美元,肯尼亚人则向乌干达人汇出了5,100万美元。 Vodafone said it already has seen the benefits of interoperability following a February deal for its 7 million M-Pesa customers in Tanzania to transact with the 4 million Tanzanian customers of rival Tigo, a subsidiary of Millicom International Cellular SA. 沃达丰表示他们已从2月份的一次合作中看到互操作性的优势。2月,坦桑尼亚的700万M-Pesa用户与竞争对手Tigo公司的400万用户实现跨网络交易。Tigo是Millicom的子公司。 “The more people playing in the ecosystem, the better it is for everyone,” said Greg Reeve, Millicom’s head of mobile financial services. With the signing of that deal, which followed a different agreement between Tigo and two other Tanzanian carriers last year, Tanzania has become the most interoperable market in Africa. “移动支付生态体系里的人越多,大家的收益也就越好。”Millicom移动金融服务主管Greg Reeve这样说。在Tigo与沃达丰的合作之后,加上去年其与另外两家坦桑尼亚运营商的合作,坦桑尼亚现已成为非洲最具互操作性的市场。 Mortimer Hope, director of spectrum and public policy in Africa for the Global System for Mobile Communications Association, said, “In Tanzania, usage of mobile money was fairly good, but once there was interoperability, there was a steep increase in usage.” 全球移动通信系统协会非洲频谱与公共政策总监Mortimer Hope说到:“在坦桑尼亚,移动支付的应用本就相当好,自从建立了互操作性,使用率更是出现陡增。” The association, which represents the interests of mobile operators world-wide, said many of its most innovative members are working in Africa, and that mobile-payment methods they pioneer may end up deployed from the U.S. to Japan. 这一代表全球移动运营商利益的协会表示,它的很多最具创新力的成员都活跃在非洲,他们在非洲开创的移动支付方法最终可能在美国、日本得到应用。 African operators say they are only starting to tap their homegrown potential. 非洲运营商表示他们才刚刚开始开发自家的市场潜力。 “We don’t really know how big it is,” said Michael Joseph, director of mobile money at Vodafone and former chief executive at Safaricom. “This is what we’re starting to capture.” 沃达丰移动支付主管、Safaricom前首席执行官Michael Joseph说:“我们刚开始发掘,还不知道潜力到底有多大。” (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

可得材料与方法论

【2015-08-15】

@whigzhou: 历史学(按年代和文明而分的)各领域,方法论差异极大,乃至形成不同学派,这种分化的主要原因,依我看,是可得材料的数量和性质差异,材料少的可怜时,研究者必须放宽视野,从更一般原理做推断,拟构出最合理的假说,材料多而难懂时,则侧重于解码,材料多而质量差时,则重考据,至于量化研究……

@whigzhou: 那些在特定领域选定或创造了适当方法论的历史学家,便有机会成为该领域之宗师,(more...)

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【2015-08-15】 @whigzhou: 历史学(按年代和文明而分的)各领域,方法论差异极大,乃至形成不同学派,这种分化的主要原因,依我看,是可得材料的数量和性质差异,材料少的可怜时,研究者必须放宽视野,从更一般原理做推断,拟构出最合理的假说,材料多而难懂时,则侧重于解码,材料多而质量差时,则重考据,至于量化研究…… @whigzhou: 那些在特定领域选定或创造了适当方法论的历史学家,便有机会成为该领域之宗师,与其方法论所对应的禀赋、旨趣、特长、技术,塑造了这门学科的气质,一旦确立,与之不合者便不为其所容,于是一个学派便固化了下来,革新力量只能来自外部。  
[译文]我想试试旧石器食谱

The Dark Side of Cultural Evolution
文化进化的黑暗面

作者:Peter Turchin @ 2012-5-17
译者:林婵娟(@Standingbesideyou)    一校:林翠
来源:evolution-institute.org, https://evolution-institute.org/blog/the-dark-side-of-cultural-evolution-2/

Cultural evolution is what created the – in many ways – wonderful societies that we live in. It created the potential to free our lives from hunger and early death, and made possible the pursuit of science and art. But cultural evolution also has a dark side, in fact, many ‘dark sides.’

文化进化在许多方面造就了人类赖以生存的美好社会,它让我们有望从饥饿和早夭的命运中解脱出来,也使追求科学和艺术成为可能。但是文化进化也有其黑暗面,事实上,其背后“黑影重重”。

Clearly domestication of plants and animals is what made our civilization possible. All sufficiently complex societies are possible only on the basis of agriculture. But we have paid, and continue paying a huge price for this advance of human knowledge and technology. This idea was brought home to me as a result of sev(more...)

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The Dark Side of Cultural Evolution 文化进化的黑暗面 作者:Peter Turchin @ 2012-5-17 译者:林婵娟(@Standingbesideyou)    一校:林翠 来源:evolution-institute.org, https://evolution-institute.org/blog/the-dark-side-of-cultural-evolution-2/ Cultural evolution is what created the – in many ways – wonderful societies that we live in. It created the potential to free our lives from hunger and early death, and made possible the pursuit of science and art. But cultural evolution also has a dark side, in fact, many ‘dark sides.’ 文化进化在许多方面造就了人类赖以生存的美好社会,它让我们有望从饥饿和早夭的命运中解脱出来,也使追求科学和艺术成为可能。但是文化进化也有其黑暗面,事实上,其背后“黑影重重”。 Clearly domestication of plants and animals is what made our civilization possible. All sufficiently complex societies are possible only on the basis of agriculture. But we have paid, and continue paying a huge price for this advance of human knowledge and technology. This idea was brought home to me as a result of several conversations I had with Michael Rose during the Consilience Conference at St. Louis, which I talked about in my previous blog. 众所周知,种植和畜牧使我们发展起文明。任何一个有效运转的复杂社会,都离不开农业基础。然而,过去和如今我们人类都为知识和科学的进步付出了巨大的代价。我开始确信这点,得益于在圣路易斯举行的学科融通研讨会上和Mickael Rose的几次谈话,我在之前的博客上写过。 Michael is an evolutionary biologist at the university of California at Irvine, who studies aging from the evolutionary perspective. I actually read his book Evolutionary Biology of Aging some twenty years ago, but never met him until two weeks ago. Michael 是加利福尼亚大学欧文分校的一位进化生物学家,致力于从进化的角度研究衰老。大约20年前我就读过他的书《衰老的进化生物学》,但直到两周前才有幸和他会面。 One way people talk about the price of civilization is in terms of evolutionary mismatch (which is one of the focus areas at the Evolution Institute). The idea is that our bodies and minds evolved during the Pleistocene, when we lived in small groups of hunter-gatherers. Now we live in a dramatically different environment, and that causes all kinds of problems. The psychological aspect of the problem was recently discussed by Robin Dunbar and commentators on his Focus Article. The physiological problems include rampant obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. 探讨文明发展代价的一种方式是研究进化失配(这也是本站Evolution-Institute.org所专注的领域之一)。失配理论的意思是,人类身心进化的过程发生在旧石器时代,那时我们生活在小型狩猎-采集群体中。而现在我们却面临着截然不同的生存环境,这导致了各种各样问题。最近,Robin Dunbar写的专题文章,以及收到的评论,探讨了失配问题中的心理方面。而生理方面的问题则包括日益严重的肥胖症、心脏病、糖尿病等。 There is currently no consensus on the role of changing diet and other aspects of lifestyle, most notably exercise, in causing modern-day health problems. Some people argue that our Plestocene bodies are not adapted to high-calorie diets and sedentary life-styles of today. 人类饮食和生活方式(尤其是运动方式)的改变,在当今健康问题中到底扮演了什么角色,尚未取得共识。有些人认为,我们在旧石器时代进化出来的身体,并不适应现如今高卡路里的饮食结构和久坐不动的生活方式。 On the other hand, agriculture was invented roughly 10,000 years ago. 400 generations is not an insignificant length of time for evolution to do its thing. Some anthropologists (including another participant of the Consilience conference,Henry Harpending) argue that humans evolved very intensively during this period. One famous example is the evolution of lactose tolerance, that is, ability to digest milk. 另一方面,农业大概出现在距今10000年前,400多代可不是一个小数目,进化所带来的改变不可小觑。一些人类学家(包括同样参加了学科融通研讨会的Honry Harponding)认为,人类在农业时代经历了急剧的进化改变。最著名的例子就是我们进化出了对乳糖的耐受性——即消化奶类的能力。 Michael Rose develops a more subtle and sophisticated argument, which is explained at length in his 55 theses-a New Context for Health. There is a sophisticated mathematical model underlying his argument, but the basic logic of it is actually quite simple. Michael Rose 发展了更加精致灵巧的论证,并在他的网站(55theses.org,副标题“健康新语境”)上做出了详尽的解析。虽然他的论证建立在一个复杂的数学模型之上,但基本逻辑其实十分简单。 We think of people having ‘traits,’ but actually we change quite dramatically as we age. The key ‘trick’ is to realize that people have a suite of traits, and they can be quite different, depending on what stage in life we are talking about. 我们常说人们具有某某“性状”(traits),但其实,随着年龄增长,我们的特性会发生巨大改变。理解这种变化的‘诀窍’在于意识到,性状是一个系列,随年龄变化可能大为不同,取决于所谈论的年龄阶段。 As an extreme example, consider reproductive ability, something of great interest to evolution. Humans do not reproduce until they reach a fairly advanced age of maturation (puberty). Young adults are not very good mothers or fathers, but they improve with age during their twenties. After that reproductive ability declines and eventually disappears. So reproductive ability is actually a trait that varies quite a lot with age. 一个极端的例子就是生育力,这也是物种进化的一大重点。人类在没有达到足够成熟的青春期之前,是不会繁衍后代的。年轻人并不能马上成为优秀的父亲或母亲,但在他们二十多岁的时候,随着年龄增长,情况就有所改善。这个时期过后,生育力就开始慢慢下降直至完全消失。因此生育力就是一个会随年龄而不断改变的性状。 Another example is hair color. One man can have red hair and another blond hair. However, this will be true only while they are relatively young. Older men become grey, and many become bald. So by the time our two men turned 60, they may have the same hair color (grey), or no hair at all (bald). 另一个例子是发色。有人是红发,有人是棕发,但一般只会在相对年轻的时候才体现出这种差异。年老后他们的头发会逐渐变得灰白,许多人还会秃顶。因此当发色不同的两人在60岁后,头发就变成了一样的颜色(灰白),或者都没有头发(秃头)。 By the way, it is likely that the reason is not simple ‘degradation,’ reduced function due to aging, but that greyness and baldness evolved to signal maturity and wisdom. To really describe the phenotype of an individual we need to specify at what age it is expressed. 另外值得一提的是,这种变化的理由,也许不是年龄增长带来的简单功能“退化”,而是人类进化出了灰白头发和秃顶,作为显示其成熟和睿智的信号。因此要准确表述一个人类个体的性状,我们必须先分析这个性状在哪个年龄段被表达。 Ability to digest certain foods can also be age-dependent. I have already mentioned the ability to digest lactose, the sugar present in milk. Before we domesticated animals such as cows and sheep, only very young humans had this ability. Natural selection turned this ability off in adults because they never needed it (and it would be wasteful to continue producing the enzyme lactase that aids in the digestion of milk sugar). 对特定食物的消化能力也可能随年龄而变化。例如上文曾提到过人类消化乳糖(奶类中存在的糖分)的能力。在我们驯化诸如牛羊等动物之前,只有非常年幼的人类能够消化乳糖。自然选择使得成年人类丧失了这种能力,因为他们根本不需要(持续分泌乳糖分解酶来帮助消化乳糖,对身体机能来说也是浪费)。 Now clearly traits expressed at different ages are not completely independent of each other. An ability to digest milk sugar as an adult depends on the presence of an enzyme that evolved in order for babies to digest their mother’s milk. So traits at different ages can be correlated, either positively, or negatively. An example of negative correlation is the reproductive ability – in many animals, putting a lot of effort in reproducing early reduces the reproductive ability later in life. 很明显,性状虽然在不同年龄段各有表达,但不会毫无联系。成年人乳糖消化能力取决于一种酶的存在,这种酶是为了消化母亲的乳汁而在婴儿身上进化出来的。这意味着不同年龄段的性状可能互相关联,它们既可能正相关,也可能负相关。一个负相关的例子就是生育力——许多动物早年投入过多精力在繁衍后代上,会导致晚年生育力的下降。 So the sophisticated mathematical framework for dealing with age-dependent traits has to take into account all kinds of possible correlations, both between the same trait at different ages and between different traits. For example, most individuals have dark eye and dark hair color, or light eye and light hair color, with dark/light and light/dark combinations a relative rarity. 因此,为了研究与年龄有关的性状,精致的数学模型必须考虑到所有可能的相关性,包括同一性状在不同年龄段之间的相关性,以及不同性状之间的相关性。例如,大多数人,要么是深色瞳孔深色头发,要么是浅色瞳孔浅色头发。而深色瞳孔搭配浅色头发,浅色瞳孔搭配深色头发,这样的组合相对罕见。 We can now get to the crux of the matter. Because abilities to do something at the age of 10, 30, 50, etc. are separate (even if correlated) traits, they evolve relatively independently of each other. When grains became a large part of the diet, the ability of children to digest them (and detoxify the chemical compounds plants put into seeds to protect them against predators such as us) became critical. 现在,我们可以着手讨论我们的重点了。由于我们在10岁,20岁以及50岁的各项能力被年龄隔开(哪怕它们是相关联的),因此它们的进化也是相对独立的。当谷物在我们饮食结构中占了很大比例时,儿童消化这些谷物以及分解其中有毒化合物的能力(植物为了从人类这样的掠食者手中保护种子而将这些有毒物置于其中)变得十分重要。 If you don’t have genes to help you deal with this new diet, you don’t survive to adulthood and don’t leave descendants. In other words, evolution worked very hard to adapt the young to the new diet. 如果你没有可以帮助你应付这种新型食谱的基因,那么你就很难存活到成年,也就不会留下后代。换句话说,进化会异常努力地让年轻一辈去适应新的食物类型。 On the other hand, the intensity of selection on the old (e.g., 55 years old) was much less – in large part, because most people did not live to the age of 55 until very recently. Additionally, once an animal gets past its reproductive age, the evolution largely ceases to have an effect (in humans, presence of older individuals was somewhat important for the survival of their genes in their children and grandchildren, so evolution did not entirely cease, but was greatly slowed down). 而另一方面,对于多数年人(例如55岁)来说,自然选择的强度是很弱的,因为近代之前的大多数人类都活不到55岁。此外,一旦动物过了生育年龄之后,进化就几乎不再起效了。(对于人类来说,老人的存在对他们的基因在子孙后代中的延续是有重要意义的,因此进化并不会完全停止,但仍会大幅降速。) What this means is that evolution caused rapid proliferation of genes that enabled children and young adults to easily digest novel foods and detoxify whatever harmful substances were in them. Genes and gene combinations that did the same for older people also increased, but at a much, much slower rate. 换言之,进化促进了帮助婴幼儿和年轻人消化新食物和分解其中毒素的那些基因快速增殖。而对老人产生同样效果那些基因和基因组合,尽管也在增加,但是增长速度却要慢得多。 This may sound puzzling – if we have the detoxifying genes that work for young adults, why shouldn’t they work for older adults? The reason is that one gene-one action model is wrong; it’s not how our bodies work. Most functions are regulated not by a single gene, but by whole networks of them. 听起来这有点令人不解——如果我们身上有解毒基因,为什么对年轻人有效,却对年长者无效呢?这是因为那种认为一个基因对应一种性状的模型是错误的,我们的身体机制并非如此运转。大部分身体机能并不是由单一基因、而是由整个基因组的互相协作来调控的。 As we age, some genes come on, and others go off, and the network changes, often in very subtle and nonlinear ways. That’s why we need the ‘trick’ with which I started, to consider functions at different ages as separate traits. 随着年龄增长,有些基因开始生效,有些则慢慢失效,协调机制也以敏感非线性的方式不断改变。我前文提到的“诀窍”,就是把思考转向被年龄隔开的性状的作用机制。 During the last 10,000 years evolution worked very hard to optimize the gene network operating during earlier ages to deal with novel foods. But the gene network during later ages was under much less selection to become optimized in this way. 过去一万年来的人类进化,尽其所能地优化了那些帮助年轻人消化新食物的基因网络。但是中老年阶段,这组基因网络就很少通过自然选择得以如此优化。 The striking conclusion from this argument is that older people, even those coming from populations that have practiced agriculture for millennia, may suffer adverse health effects from the agricultural diet, despite having no problems when they were younger. 从以上论述中我们会得出一个令人惊讶的结论:老年人,即使是那些生活在有数千年农业生活之中的老年人,还是可能遭受农业时代的食谱所带来的负面健康效果,即使他们年轻的时候适应良好。 The immediate corollary is that one thing they can do to improve their health is to shift to something known as the ‘Paleolithic diet,’ or paleo diet, for short. In the simplest form, this means eliminating from your diet any cereals (wheat, rice, etc), legumes such as beans and peas, and any dairy products (e.g., cheese). 一个直接的推论是,这些老年人可以通过转向“旧石器时代式饮食”(或者简称旧石器食谱)来改善健康。最简单的形式就是,将饮食中所有的谷物(小麦,大米等)去除,同样要减掉的还有豆类(例如各类豆子和豌豆),以及各种乳制品(如奶酪等)。 It is striking that this is almost precisely the opposite of the popular Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes wheat products (bread, pasta), cheese, and legumes (as in the Italian bean soup, in pasta fagioli, and in hummus). 读者可能惊讶地发现,这种饮食方式和流行的地中海式饮食几乎完全相反,后者强调要多吃小麦制品(面包以及意大利面),奶酪以及豆类食物(诸如意式豆汤,意面豆汤和鹰嘴豆泥里的豆类等)。 We are now getting to something I have a personal (rather than a scientific) interest in. I am about to turn 55, and although I am generally in good health, various worrying indicators – cholesterol, sugar – have been inexorably inching up. 现在讲一些涉及我的个人兴趣(而非科学方面的)的事情。我快55岁了,虽然身体大致健康,但类似胆固醇和血糖水平等各种令人担忧的指标却在一路缓慢上升。 A couple of years ago I read Ray Kurzweil Fantastic Voyage, but I was unpersuaded by his prescriptions to better health and longevity. Kurzweil’s prescription is, at basis, a calorie-restricted diet. Like the great majority of human beings, I find it extremely difficult to starve myself. 几年前,我读了Ray Kurzweil的《奇幻之旅》,但是并不认同他针对健康和长寿提出的方法。Kurzweil提出的方法,简单说,可以归结为一种控制卡路里的饮食方法。和大多数人一样,控制饮食、保持饥饿,对我来说简直难如登天。 More generally, his approach to human health and longevity is that of an engineer – you turn that dial down, another one up, and get the result you want (according to his book, he spends one day a week connected to a machine that removes bad things from his blood and adds good things). 总体上说,他改善健康和延长寿命的方式就如一个工程师所做的那样,将身体某个指标调低,又调高另一个指标,通过这样的调节来达到理想效果。(据他书中所述,他每周都会花一天的时间通过某台仪器来去除他血液中的不良物质,然后再添加有益物质。) I am very doubtful that such an approach will work on an evolved system with multiple nonlinear feedbacks, which is the human body. So changing one variable (e.g., reducing the cholesterol level in the blood) may have unintended – and usually negative – consequences elsewhere (perhaps increasing the risk of cancer). 我实在难以相信这种方法能在人体这个高度进化的多重非线性反馈调节系统中发挥作用。改变身体的某一变量(例如降低血液中的胆固醇水平)可能会在别处引起意料之外的——通常是负面的——后果(也许会提高患癌的风险)。 To conclude, the paleo diet is the first diet, of the ones I heard of, that has a sound evolutionary basis going for it. This was a deciding factor in persuading me to try it out, which I did, starting about two weeks ago. It apparently takes about six months to see its full effects, so stay tuned for progress reports. May 17, 2012 结论是,旧石器食谱是我所听说过的第一个有着坚实进化理论基础的食谱。这一点是我决定尝试它的决定性因素,并且两周前我开始了实践。据说大概要经过六个月的时间才能看到它的整体效果,所以敬请期待我的后续汇报。 2012年5月17日 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]多德-弗兰克法案的双重恶果

Dodd-Frank’s Nasty Double Whammy
多德-弗兰克法案的双重恶果

作者:Phil Gramm @ 2015-7-23
译者:林翠     校对:小册子
来源:Wall Street Journal‎, http://www.wsj.com/articles/dodd-franks-nasty-double-whammy-1437692851

译注:多德-弗兰克法案,全称《多德-弗兰克华尔街改革和消费者保护法》(Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act),2010年颁行的金融监管改革法案,是国会对2008年金融危机的主要立法反应。

Five years after the passage of the Dodd-Frank financial law, the causes and effects of the failed economic recovery are apparent throughout the banking system. The Federal Reserve’s monetary easing has inflated bank reserves, but lending has barely increased. Today banks maintain an extraordinary $29 of reserves for every dollar they are required to hold. In the first quarter of 2015 banks actually deposited more money in the Fed ($65.1 billion) than they lent ($52.5 billion).

回顾多德-弗兰克金融法生效后的这五年,银行系统清楚展现了经济复苏失败的前因后果。美联储(more...)

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Dodd-Frank's Nasty Double Whammy 多德-弗兰克法案的双重恶果 作者:Phil Gramm @ 2015-7-23 译者:林翠     校对:小册子 来源:Wall Street Journal‎, http://www.wsj.com/articles/dodd-franks-nasty-double-whammy-1437692851译注:多德-弗兰克法案,全称《多德-弗兰克华尔街改革和消费者保护法》(Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act),2010年颁行的金融监管改革法案,是国会对2008年金融危机的主要立法反应。】 Five years after the passage of the Dodd-Frank financial law, the causes and effects of the failed economic recovery are apparent throughout the banking system. The Federal Reserve’s monetary easing has inflated bank reserves, but lending has barely increased. Today banks maintain an extraordinary $29 of reserves for every dollar they are required to hold. In the first quarter of 2015 banks actually deposited more money in the Fed ($65.1 billion) than they lent ($52.5 billion). 回顾多德-弗兰克金融法生效后的这五年,银行系统清楚展现了经济复苏失败的前因后果。美联储的宽松货币政策使银行储备愈加膨胀,贷款总量却几乎没有增加。银行机构目前在美联储的实际存款是法定要求的29倍。2015年第一季度,银行机构向美联储总存款651亿美元,比总贷款525亿美元还多。 According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., 1,341 commercial banks have disappeared since 2010. Remarkably, only two new banks have been chartered. By comparison, in the quarter century before the financial crisis, roughly 2,500 new banks were chartered. Even during the Great Depression of the 1930s, an average of 19 new banks a year were chartered. 联邦存款保险公司(Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.)的数据显示,2010年至今已经有1341家商业银行消失。同时,只有两家新银行获得牌照。相比之下,在金融危机前的二十五年,大约涌现了2500家新银行。即使在20世纪30年代的大萧条时期,平均每年也有19家新银行获牌。 A Mercatus Center survey found that while community banks have hired 50% more compliance officers to deal with Dodd-Frank, overall industry employment has increased only 5% and remains below precrisis levels. Industrial, consumer and mortgage finance continue to flee the banking system, as the American Bankers Association reported this week that the law’s regulatory burden has led almost half of banks to reduce offerings of financial products and services. 莫卡斯特中心(Mercatus Center )的一项调查发现,尽管为应对多德-弗兰克法案,小型社区银行雇用的合规事务员比原先多了50%,整个行业的就业人数仅增加5%,仍然低于金融危机前的水平。产业金融、消费金融、抵押融资持续流出银行系统,据美国银行家协会(American Bankers Association)本周发布的报告,该法案造成的监管负担导致近半数银行削减了金融产品和服务。 New financial-services technology, such as online and mobile payment systems, has continued to blossom, but almost exclusively outside the banking system. The massive resources of, and talent in, banks have been sidetracked, rather than being employed to make loans and boost the economy. 新的金融服务技术,如在线和移动支付系统,继续而且只在银行系统之外繁荣发展。而银行受法案拖累,却未能充分利用其巨大的资源与人才来提供融资和促进经济增长。 Worst of all, Dodd-Frank has empowered regulators to set rules on their own, rather than implement requirements set by Congress. This has undermined a vital condition necessary to put money and America back to work—legal and regulatory certainty. 最糟糕的是,多德-弗兰克法案抛弃了监管机构应执行国会所设定标准的惯例,转而授权监管机构自行制订规则。这种做法损害了保证金融活动乃至整个美国运作良好的重要条件——法律和监管的确定性。 It is true that a certain amount of regulatory flexibility is necessary in many laws. But in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and most subsequent banking law before Dodd-Frank, the powers Congress granted to regulators were fairly limited and generally implemented by bipartisan commissions. 对许多法律来说,一定的监管灵活度必不可少。但是,在多德-弗兰克法案之前的1934年证券交易法,以及随后的大部分银行法律中,国会授予监管机构的权力相当有限,且一般由两党共同控制的委员会来执行。 Major decisions were debated and voted on in the clear light of day. Precedents and formal rules were knowable by the regulated. And regulators generally had to be responsive to Congress, which controlled agency appropriations. These checks and balances, while imperfect, did promote general consistency and predictability in federal regulatory policy. 种种制衡机制——重大决策经过冷静的辩论和投票表决;监管所依据的先例和成文法可供被监管者查阅;监管机构需要对掌控预算拨款的国会负责——尽管未必完善,却仍有效促进了联邦监管政策总体上的一致性和可预见性。 This process has been undermined. For example, Dodd-Frank’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is not run by a bipartisan commission. And the CFPB’s funding is automatic, virtually eliminating any real ability for elected officials to check its policies. Consistency and predictability are being replaced by uncertainty and fear. 但这套程序正在遭受侵蚀。例如,根据多德-弗兰克法案设立的消费者金融保障局(Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)并非由一个两党共同控制的委员会运作。再有,消费者金融保障局每年的拨款都是自动获得的,这令民选官员事实上无法监督其政策制订。原先政策总体的一致性和可预见性正在被迷茫和恐慌所代替。 Over the years the Federal Trade Commission and the courts defined what constituted “unfair and deceptive” financial practices. Dodd-Frank added the word “abusive” without defining it. The result: The CFPB can now ban services and products offered by financial institutions even though they are not unfair or deceptive by long-standing precedent. 多年以来,美国联邦贸易委员会(FTC)和法院负责界定何谓“不公平与欺诈性”的金融行为。多德-弗兰克法案却不加定义地写入了“滥用(abusive)”一词。由此,金融机构提供的特定产品或服务,即使在传统上并不属于不公平与欺诈性的范畴,消费者金融保护局仍有权予以禁止。 Regulators in the Dodd-Frank era impose restrictions on financial institutions never contemplated by Congress, and they push international regulations on insurance companies and money-market funds that Congress never authorized. The law’s Financial Stability Oversight Council meets in private and is made up exclusively of the sitting president’s appointed allies. 多德-弗兰克法案之后,监管当局可以绕开国会审查授权程序,直接推行对金融机构的限制,以及对保险公司和货币市场基金的跨国监管。法案设立了金融稳定监督委员会(Financial Stability Oversight Council),其成员个个都是在任总统指定的盟友,会议均闭门进行。 Dodd-Frank does not say what makes a financial institution systemically important and thus subject to stringent regulation. The council does. Banks so designated have regulators embedded in their executive offices to monitor and advise, eerily reminiscent of the old political officers who were placed in every Soviet factory and military unit. 法案也没有说明,什么情况下,一家金融机构会被认为具有系统重要性,因而需要接受严格监管。委员会说了算。被认定符合这种条件的银行,监管官员被安插进其管理部门,现场监督指导工作,令人回想起当年政治干部充斥于苏联工厂和军队的怪异景象。 Dodd-Frank’s Volcker rule prohibits proprietary trading by banks. And yet, despite years of delay and hundreds of pages of new rules, no one knows what the rule requires—not even Paul Volcker. 多德-弗兰克法案的沃尔克规则(Volcker rule)禁止了银行的自营交易。然而,经过数年反复商讨,出台新规千百页,始终没人说得清楚这个规则到底提出了什么要求,就算沃尔克本人也做不到。 Then there is the “living will,” a plan that banks deemed to be systemically important must submit to the Fed and the FDIC on how they would be liquidated if they fail. The Fed and the FDIC have almost total discretion in deciding whether the plan is acceptable and therefore whether to institute a variety of penalties, including the divestiture of assets. 再有就是“生前遗嘱(living will)”——重要的银行必须向美联储和联邦存款保险公司预先递交清算计划,以备破产之需。美联储和联邦存款保险公司几近拥有完全的自由裁量权,判断该计划是否可接受,由此决定是否制定包括资产剥离在内的处罚措施。 Large banking firms must undergo stress tests to see if they could survive market turmoil. But what does the stress test test? No one knows. The Fed’s vice chairman, Stanley Fischer, said in a speech last month that giving banks a clear road map for compliance might make it “easier to game the test.” Compliance is indeed easier when you know what the law requires, but isn’t that the whole point of the rule of law? 法案规定,大型银行必须接受压力测试,以检验处于市场动荡时的存活能力。但压力测试测试些什么呢?没人知道。上个月,美联储副主席斯坦利·费希尔(Stanley Fischer)在演讲中说,为银行遵从法规提供清晰的路线图可能令银行“更容易通过压力测试”。只要法律明确,遵守规定确实更容易,可这不正是法治的基本要求吗? To limit abuse by the rulers, ancient Rome wrote down the law and permitted citizens to read it. Under Dodd-Frank, regulatory authority is now so broad and so vague that this practice is no longer followed in America. The rules are now whatever regulators say they are. 昔日古罗马为限制滥权,法律可供公民传抄诵读。今天的美国不再这么做了,在多德-弗兰克法案的卵翼下,监管机构的权力范围极为广泛,边界极为模糊。规则已经变成监管者随心所欲的工具。 Most criticism of Dodd-Frank focuses on its massive regulatory burden, but its most costly and dangerous effects are the uncertainty and arbitrary power it has created by the destruction of the rule of law. This shackles economic growth but more important, it imperils our freedom. 大多数针对多德-弗兰克法案的批评,着眼于其沉重的监管负担。实际上,代价最高昂,危害也最大的影响,是它徒增不确定性,并通过破坏法治而创设了专断权力。这项法案不仅束缚经济发展,更危及到自由的原则。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]斯德哥尔摩的租房管制

Rent Control in Stockholm
斯德哥尔摩的租房管制

作者:Alex Tabarrok @ 2015-7-24
译者:Marcel ZHANG(@马赫塞勒张)   校对:史祥莆(@史祥莆)
来源:Marginal Revolution, http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2015/07/rent-control.html

Here’s an interesting letter from “Stockholm” to Seattle:

这儿有封“斯德哥尔摩”写给西雅图的信,很有意思:

Dear Seattle,

亲爱的西雅图:

I am writing to you because I heard that you are looking at rent control.

听说你正在着手租房管制,特此来信。

Seattle, you need to ask your citizens this: How would citizens like it if they walked into a rental agency and the agent told them to register and come back in 10 years?

西雅图,你该问问你的市民们:如果他们走进一个租房中介却被告知十年后再来登记,他们将作何感受?

I’m not joking. The image above is a scan of a booklet sent to a rental applicant by Stockholm City Council’s rental housing service. See those numbers on the map? (more...)

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Rent Control in Stockholm 斯德哥尔摩的租房管制

作者:Alex Tabarrok @ 2015-7-24 译者:Marcel ZHANG(@马赫塞勒张)   校对:史祥莆(@史祥莆) 来源:Marginal Revolution, http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2015/07/rent-control.html Here’s an interesting letter from “Stockholm” to Seattle: 这儿有封“斯德哥尔摩”写给西雅图的信,很有意思:
Dear Seattle, 亲爱的西雅图: I am writing to you because I heard that you are looking at rent control. 听说你正在着手租房管制,特此来信。 Seattle, you need to ask your citizens this: How would citizens like it if they walked into a rental agency and the agent told them to register and come back in 10 years? 西雅图,你该问问你的市民们:如果他们走进一个租房中介却被告知十年后再来登记,他们将作何感受? I’m not joking. The image above is a scan of a booklet sent to a rental applicant by Stockholm City Council’s rental housing service. See those numbers on the map? That’s the waiting time for an apartment in years. Yes, years. Look at the inner city – people are waiting for 10-20 years to get a rental apartment, and around 7-8 years in my suburbs. (Red keys = new apartments, green keys = existing apartments). 我可没开玩笑啊。上图是一张斯德哥尔摩市议会派发给租房申请人的宣传册扫描件。看见地图上那些数字了吗?那是租一间公寓所需等待的年数,没错,是年数。看看市中心,人们需要等上个一二十年才能租到一间公寓,而在郊区也要七八年的时间。(图中红钥匙指新公寓,绿钥匙指现有公寓。) Stockholm City Council now has an official housing queue, where 1 day waiting = 1 point. To get an apartment you need both money for the rent and enough points to be the first in line. Recently an apartment in inner Stockholm became available. In just 5 days, 2000 people had applied for the apartment. The person who got the apartment had been waiting in the official housing queue since 1989! 斯德哥尔摩市政府目前有个官方住房队列,在这个队列中耗上一天就赚得一个“租房点”。为了租到一间公寓,你既要准备好租金,还要赚足“租房点”才能熬到队伍前头。最近有处位于斯德哥尔摩市中心的公寓开放租赁了。仅在5天之内,有多达2000人前来申请。最终租到这间房的那个人,可是早在1989年就已经在官方住房队列里候着了!
(上图红字:近两千人仅为一间房而苦苦守候!) In addition to Soviet-level shortages, the letter writer discusses a number of other effects of rent controls in Stockholm including rental units converted to condominiums and a division of renters into original recipients who are guaranteed low rates and who thus never move and the newly arrived who have to sublet at higher rates or share crowded space. All of these, of course, are classic consequences of rent controls. 除了这种“苏联式短缺”之外,上述致函者还讨论了斯德哥尔摩的租房管制所造成的其他影响,包括:出租单元被转变成了公寓楼,还有将租客们分成先来的原始租客和后到的转租客这一效果,前者因为有着安享低房租的保证,因而绝不会自动搬走,而后者却不得不以更高的租价从这些二房东那里转租,或是选择与他们合租而忍受拥挤。上述一切,自然都是租房管制所造成的典型后果。 Addendum: More details on Sweden’s rent-setting system can be found here, statistics (in Swedish) on rental availability in Stockhom are here and a useful analysis of the Swedish housing crisis with more details on various policies (e.g. new construction is exempt for 15 years but there isn’t nearly enough) is here. 附录:欲了解有关瑞典的租金厘定体系的更多细节,请点击这里,有关斯德哥尔摩可租房屋的统计数据(瑞典语)请点击这里,一份关于瑞典住房危机的有用分析,其中含有有关诸多政策的细节(比如:新修建筑获免税已有15年,而建筑却仍供不应求【编注:此句意思不确定,exempt不知所指为何:exempt from what?】)请点击这里。 Jenkins wrote a comprehensive review of the literature on rent controls in 2009 that echoed what Navarro said in 1985 “the economics profession has reached a rare consensus: Rent control creates many more problems than it solves.” Jenkins在2009年写过一篇有关租房管制的文献综述,与Navarro早在1985年时所言不谋而合:“经济学界难得达成了一个共识:租房管制无异于饮鸩止渴。” Hat tip to Bjorn and Niclas who confirmed to me the situation in Stockholm and to Peter for the original link. 特别感谢Bjorn和Niclas,他们向我证实了斯德哥尔摩的实际情况;另外也要感谢Peter,是他为我提供了原始链接。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]如何在你专业领域之外辨别是非

Judging Outside Your Expertise
如何在你专业领域之外辨别是非

作者:David Friedman @ 2015-6-9
译者:Who视之      校对:小聂
来源:Ideas,http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2015/06/judging-outside-your-expertise.html

I have just been involved in a lengthy exchange on Facebook over my criticism of the claim that warming on the scale projected by the IPCC for 2100 can be expected to have large net negative consequences. The response I got was that the person I was arguing with was not interested in my arguments. He does not know enough to judge for himself whether the conclusion is true, so prefers to believe what the experts say.

政府间气候变化专门委员会(IPCC)宣称,按照他们预测的气候变暖速度,到2100年,会产生大规模的恶性后果。我对此种言论有所指摘,为此我一直在Facebook上和人没完没了地辩论。我得到的反馈是,和我争论的那个人对我的论点并没有兴趣,他懂的东西有限,没法判断结论是否正确,所以宁可相信专家的说法。

Accepting the views of experts on a question you are not competent to answer for yourself,(more...)

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5802
Judging Outside Your Expertise 如何在你专业领域之外辨别是非 作者:David Friedman @ 2015-6-9 译者:Who视之      校对:小聂 来源:Ideas,http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2015/06/judging-outside-your-expertise.html I have just been involved in a lengthy exchange on Facebook over my criticism of the claim that warming on the scale projected by the IPCC for 2100 can be expected to have large net negative consequences. The response I got was that the person I was arguing with was not interested in my arguments. He does not know enough to judge for himself whether the conclusion is true, so prefers to believe what the experts say. 政府间气候变化专门委员会(IPCC)宣称,按照他们预测的气候变暖速度,到2100年,会产生大规模的恶性后果。我对此种言论有所指摘,为此我一直在Facebook上和人没完没了地辩论。我得到的反馈是,和我争论的那个人对我的论点并没有兴趣,他懂的东西有限,没法判断结论是否正确,所以宁可相信专家的说法。 Accepting the views of experts on a question you are not competent to answer for yourself, assuming that you can figure out who they are and what they believe, is often a sensible policy, but one can sometimes do better. Sometimes one can look at arguments and evaluate them not on the basis of the science but of internal evidence, what they themselves say. Here are three examples: 假设你能找出谁是专家,理清他们的思路,那么在你不懂的问题上接受专家的看法,通常是个不错的选择。但有时你可以做得比这更好。有时候,可以无须依靠科学知识基础,而只借助内在证据——即他们自己是的说法——,便可对不同论点作出评估。这里有三个例子: The widely cited 97% figure is based mostly on Cook et. al. 2013, which is webbed. It is often reported as the percentage of climate scientists who believe that humans are the main cause of warming and that warming will have very bad effects. 广为引用的那个数字97%,基本是来自库克(Cook)等人2013年发表的研究,可以在网上找到。引用者经常会说,97%的气候科学家认为,人类是引发气候变暖的元凶,而且变暖会带来非常糟糕的后果。 Simply reading the article tells you that the second half is false. The article is about causes of warming and offers no evidence on consequences. Anyone who says it does is either ignorant or dishonest, and other things he says can be evaluated on that basis. 只要去读读那篇文章,就会发现,上面那句话的后半部分是错的。那文章讲的是变暖的原因,并未提供变暖会带来什么后果的证据。如果某人据此认为变暖会有恶果,要么是无知,要么是不够诚实。此人的其他言论,可以据此而加以判断。 If you read the article carefully you discover that the 97% figure, which is a count of article abstracts not scientists, is the percentage of abstracts which say or imply that humans are *a* cause of warming (“contribute to” in the language of one example). 如果你仔细读读那篇文章,就会发现,所谓97%计算的是论文摘要的数量,而不是所涉及科学家的人数。并且统计的是认为或者暗示人类是气候变暖的原因“之一”的摘要比例(有一个摘要里用的说法是“亦有贡献”)。 The corresponding figure for humans as the principal cause, which is not given in the article but can be calculated from its webbed data, is 1.6%. That tells you that anyone who reports the 97% figure as the number of articles holding that humans are the main cause of warming is either ignorant or dishonest. 至于有多少比例的论文把人类认作是气候变暖主要原因,那篇文章里没有直接给出数字,但在其提供的网上数据中可以算出,是1.6%。这就告诉你了,如果有人说,认为人类是暖化元凶的文章占了97%,此人要么无知要么不诚实。 One person who has done so, in print, is John Cook, the lead author of the article. John Cook runs skepticalscience.com, which is a major source for arguments for one side of the global warming dispute, so knowing that he is willing to lie in print about his own work is a reason not to believe things on that site without checking them.[My old blog post giving details] 某人就这么做了,还发表了,他就是上述论文的主要作者约翰·库克。他有个网站,skepticalscience.com,是全球变暖大争论中,一方论据的主要来源。所以,如果知道此人白纸黑字地对他自己的研究扯谎,就有理由不再相信那个网站的其他内容,根本不需要进一步核查。[我的一篇旧博文给出了相关细节] One of the economists who has been active in estimating consequences of warming is William Nordhaus. He is, among other things, the original source for the 2° limit. A few years ago, he published an article in the New York Review of Books attacking a Wall Street Journal piece that argued that climate was not a catastrophic threat that required an immediate response. 有位经济学家,名叫William Nordhaus,一直在忙于估算气候变暖的后果。他是那个“2摄氏度极限”理论的始作俑者。几年前,他在《纽约书评》上写了篇文章,和《华尔街日报》的一篇文章叫板,后者认为,气候不是一个需要马上应对的、会带来灾难的威胁。 In it, he gave his figure for the cost of waiting fifty years instead of taking the optimal steps now—$4.1 trillion dollars—and commented that “Wars have been started over smaller sums.” What he did not mention was that that sum, spread out over the rest of the century and the entire world, came to about one twentieth of one percent of world GNP. He was attacking the WSJ authors for an argument which his own research, as he reported it, supported. William Nordhaus认为,如果等50年而不是立即采取最佳应对办法,成本会达到4.1万亿美元。他说,人类曾为了比这少的钱开战。他没提的是,这笔钱如果在本世纪余下的时间里均摊给全世界,大概也就是全球GNP的0.05%。他批判《华尔街日报》的观点,而他自己发表的研究实际上却是在支持它。 In a recent Facebook exchange on the consequences of AGW for agriculture, someone linked to an EPA piece on the subject. Reading it carefully, I noticed that the positive effects of warming and CO2 fertilization were facts, with numbers: “The yields for some crops, like wheat and soybeans, could increase by 30% or more under a doubling of CO2 concentrations. The yields for other crops, such as corn, exhibit a much smaller response (less than 10% increase).” 最近在Facebook上,还为了人为全球暖化理论( Anthropogenic Global Warming )对农业的影响和人吵了一架。有个人发了个环保局(EPA)文章的链接。我把这文章仔细读了读,发现气候暖化和二氧化碳的增肥带来的正面效应是事实,而且有具体数字:“如果二氧化碳浓度翻倍,小麦和大豆这类作物的收成会增加30%以上,对玉米等其他作物,收成增长较小(小于10%)”。 The negative effects were vague and speculative: “some factors may counteract these potential increases in yield. For example, if temperature exceeds a crop's optimal level or if sufficient water and nutrients are not available, yield increases may be reduced or reversed.” The same pattern held through the article. 有关负面影响的陈述则是含混不清且推测性的:“某些因素可能抵消这些可能的收成增长,比如气温高过了作物成长的最佳温度,或者水和营养素供应不足,这样收成增加可能会减少,甚至减产”。这种模式充斥全文。 A careful reader might also notice that the piece referred to the negative effects of extreme weather without any attempt to distinguish between extreme weather that AGW made more likely (hot summers), less likely (cold winters), or would have an uncertain effect on (droughts, floods, hurricanes). It was reasonably clear that the article was designed to make it sound as though the effects of AGW would be negative without offering any good reason to believe it was true. 仔细的读者还会发现,那篇文章说到极端天气的不利影响时,并未试图区分人为全球暖化会令这些极端天气更频繁(如炎热的夏天),更少见(如严冬),或者影响不确定(如干旱、洪水和龙卷风)。很清楚,这文章目的是把人为全球暖化的影响弄得听上去非常糟糕,而并没有提供好的理由来对此理论的真伪进行判断。 One telling sentence: “Overall, climate change could make it more difficult to grow crops, raise animals, and catch fish in the same ways and same places as we have done in the past.” With most of a century to adjust, it is quite unlikely that farmers will continue to do everything in the same ways and the same places as in the past. 有句话将此意图暴露的特别明显:“总而言之,气候变化可能会让我们一直以来在祖祖辈辈劳作的地方,按照同样的方式来种植作物,饲养牲畜,捕捞鱼虾,变得更加困难”。我们还有近一个世纪的时间来应对,农民们怎么可能会按祖祖辈辈的方式,在同样的地方,做同样的事情呢? These are three examples of arguments for one side of the climate controversy by a source taken seriously by supporters of that side. Each can be evaluated on internal evidence, what it itself says, without requiring any expert knowledge of the subject. In each case, doing so gives you good reasons not to trust either the source or the conclusion. 这三个例子来自气候大辩论中某一方很认真依靠的资料。每个都可以用资料的内在证据来进行评估,不需要对这个题目有什么专业知识。这些例子让你有很好理由不去相信这些资料来源和结论。 Readers may reasonably suspect that I too am biased. But nothing I have said here depends on your trusting me. In each case, you can look at the evidence and evaluate it for yourself. And all of it is evidence provided by the people whose work I am criticizing. 读者有理由认为,我是有偏见的。但我说的一切是否正确,不需要凭借你对我的信任。你只要研究一下证据,自己评估一下。所有这些证据都是我正在批判的对手们自己提供的。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]气候变化:精英观点与大众态度

Climate and Elite Opinion
气候问题与精英观点

作者:David Friedman @ 2014-12-12
译者:小聂
校对:乘风(@你在何地-sxy) 陈小乖(@lion_kittyyyyy)
来源:Ideas,http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/climate-and-elite-opinion.html

I have spent a good deal of time observing and participating in arguments about global warming. One striking point that I have not seen discussed is the sharp divergence between elite opinion and mass opinion.

我曾花大量时间关注和参与有关全球变暖的讨论。有一个惊人却从未被讨论过的现象是,在此话题上精英和大众的观点存在着巨大分歧。

Elite opinion, the New York Times, official statements by various scientific organizations and the like, views global warming as a dire threat, one that requires drastic and immediate action to prevent. Mass opinion, not only in the U.S. but, according to at least one poll I(more...)

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Climate and Elite Opinion 气候问题与精英观点 作者:David Friedman @ 2014-12-12 译者:小聂 校对:乘风(@你在何地-sxy) 陈小乖(@lion_kittyyyyy) 来源:Ideas,http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/climate-and-elite-opinion.html I have spent a good deal of time observing and participating in arguments about global warming. One striking point that I have not seen discussed is the sharp divergence between elite opinion and mass opinion. 我曾花大量时间关注和参与有关全球变暖的讨论。有一个惊人却从未被讨论过的现象是,在此话题上精英和大众的观点存在着巨大分歧。 Elite opinion, the New York Times, official statements by various scientific organizations and the like, views global warming as a dire threat, one that requires drastic and immediate action to prevent. Mass opinion, not only in the U.S. but, according to at least one poll I saw, world wide, puts it very far down in the list of what people are concerned about, perhaps tenth or twentieth. 《纽约时报》和各类科研机构发布的官方声明,或诸如此类的精英观点,认为全球变暖是个紧迫威胁,需要立刻采取有力措施加以避免。大众的观点,不仅仅在美国,在全球范围内,该问题在人们的关切事项中排位都特别靠后,大概在十几到二十几名,至少我看到过的一份全球调研是这么显示的。 This pattern is reflected in the online discussions, where people concerned about warming mostly base their arguments on some version of "everyone who is anyone agrees with me." Their picture of the situation, pretty clearly, is one in which the truth is perfectly clear and it is only uneducated fundamentalists or people in the pay of the oil companies who can disagree. 这种情况也反映在网络讨论中,在那里,全球变暖担忧者常见的说法,都是类似于“众所周知——‘众’的意思是同意我的任何人”的论证。很显然,他们眼中的图景是:真相一清二楚,且只有无知的原教旨主义者或领酬于石油公司的人才会有不同看法。 My reasons for questioning part of that picture, not the fact of warming due to human actions but the likely consequences, I have discussed in past posts here. 我部分质疑该图景的原因,不是对人类活动造成了变暖这一事实有异议,而是质疑关于变暖可能后果的看法。我曾在过去的博客文章里解释了质疑的原因。 My general skepticism of elite opinion comes from many past disagreements with it, most notably on political and economic issues. My point here, however, is not about whether the elite view is right or wrong but about the relation between the elite view and the mass view in different countries. 我对于精英观点的普遍怀疑来自于过去和他们的数次争论,尤其是在政治和经济议题上的分歧。尽管如此,我在这里想说的并不是精英观点正确与否,而是他们在不同国家里和大众观点之间的关系。 Among western developed countries, Australia appears least supportive of action against warming, Germany most, the U.S. in between. Germany has been involved in a very high profile effort to push down its output of CO2. The current Australian government, so far as I can make out, has mostly rejected calls for anything along similar lines. In the U.S., the President is strongly in favor of climate action, the Congress reluctant to support it, with the result that the administration has been trying to implement its views by regulatory action instead of legislation. 在西方发达国家中,澳大利亚最不支持对抗全球变暖的行动,德国反之,美国处于他们之间。德国一直大张旗鼓的想要降低二氧化碳排放量。而据我所知,现任澳大利亚政府拒绝了大部分对类似活动的倡议。在美国,总统是行动派,国会却不情不愿,结果就是,行政当局一直试图通过管制措施而非立法过程来践行其观点。 After a summer in Australia many years ago, I concluded two things about the country. One was that it had a larger variety of flavored potato chips than anywhere else in the world, including all the British versions and all the U.S. versions. 多年以前,在澳大利亚度过了一个夏天之后,我对这个国家做了两点总结。第一点是,相比世界其他地方,这里的薯片口味最多,包括了所有英国和美国的口味。 The second, possibly related, was that Australia had a full range of social classes built almost entirely out of an originally working class population. One implication, consistent with at least casual observation, is that Australians have less respect for their betters, their social superiors, their elite, than any other population on the globe. 第二且可能相关的一点是,澳大利亚层次丰满的整套社会阶层,几乎全部源自同一个本是工人阶级的群体。一个至少与初步观察相吻合的推断是,对他们中的佼佼者、上层阶级、或是精英们,澳大利亚人相比于世界上的其他人群更少景仰。 Germany, I think, represents the opposite pattern. The U.S. is somewhere in between. Unlike European countries, the U.S. never had a system with well defined social classes, the sort of system where there was a close correlation between how much money someone had, how much education he had, and how he spoke. 在我看来,德国代表了相反的模式。美国处于他们之间。不像欧洲国家,美国从未有过一个界限分明的社会阶层系统,即那种人们的财富水平、受教育程度以及说话方式之间有着紧密相关性的阶级系统。 One result is that Americans are less inclined to see all political issues as my class vs your class than Europeans (I must confess that my view of Europeans is heavily weighted towards Great Britain, as the only European country whose language I am fluent in). Another, I think, is that Americans have less respect for their elite. 这使得美国人比欧洲人更不倾向于把所有政治议题看作是阶级斗争(我必须承认我对欧洲人的看法更多是基于我对英国人的看法,因为这是唯一我能熟练运用其语言的欧洲国家)。此外,在我看来,美国人更少迷信精英。 If I am correct—I am far from expert in the various societies and may be misinterpreting them—there is a pattern. Countries where the elite is more influential are more likely to take costly actions aimed at reducing global warming. 假设我是对的——我远非熟知各类社会的专家,而且很有可能对他们抱有错误的认知——那么,确实存在这样一种固有模式:那些精英更具影响力的国家,更可能采取高成本的举措来阻止全球暖化。 At a final tangent, I recently came across an online post, based in part on another post by a blogger I think very highly of, which nicely stated one of my reservations about arguments for the current elite view of warming. 最后,离一下题,我最近看到了一篇博客文章,其内容部分基于一位我高度认可的作者。这篇文章很好地阐述了我对有关当前全球变暖的精英观点的一个保留意见。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

又一篇采访问答

接受《中国出版传媒商报》书面采访的问答记录。

Q:为何将目光紧紧锁定在文化与社会的话题上?

A:我是个深度宅男,情商很低,社交很弱,不过,我的情商还没低到重度自闭症患者那种程度;这样的特性组合,让我很适合成为一位社会与文化的热心旁观者;许多在正常人眼里平凡无奇、理所当然、因而通常被忽视的事情,在我看来就会很有趣,所以也就会多琢磨一下。

要我说,人类社会确实很有趣。

Q:沐猿而冠指的是什么?被作为标题的寓意是什么?

A:这个书名的3/4来自成语“沐猴而冠”,1/4来自德斯蒙德·莫里斯的“裸猿”一词。

古人早已认识到,人与动物之区别,不止于生物学方面,更在于文化方面,并且他们常以“衣冠”来象征后者,所以才有孔子“被发左衽”一语,以及史家“衣冠南渡”之称,后世更有“知圣王之道,行于衣冠文物之邦”这样更明确的说法。

但同时他们也明白,仅仅移用衣冠这样的表面象征物,并不能让禽兽变成合格的人类,于是有了“衣冠禽兽”和“沐猴而冠”之类的贬义词,就是说,人类之文化特性,不仅表现在器物上,更表现在行为和心理上。

(more...)
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5783
接受《中国出版传媒商报》书面采访的问答记录。 Q:为何将目光紧紧锁定在文化与社会的话题上? A:我是个深度宅男,情商很低,社交很弱,不过,我的情商还没低到重度自闭症患者那种程度;这样的特性组合,让我很适合成为一位社会与文化的热心旁观者;许多在正常人眼里平凡无奇、理所当然、因而通常被忽视的事情,在我看来就会很有趣,所以也就会多琢磨一下。 要我说,人类社会确实很有趣。 Q:沐猿而冠指的是什么?被作为标题的寓意是什么? A:这个书名的3/4来自成语“沐猴而冠”,1/4来自德斯蒙德·莫里斯的“裸猿”一词。 古人早已认识到,人与动物之区别,不止于生物学方面,更在于文化方面,并且他们常以“衣冠”来象征后者,所以才有孔子“被发左衽”一语,以及史家“衣冠南渡”之称,后世更有“知圣王之道,行于衣冠文物之邦”这样更明确的说法。 但同时他们也明白,仅仅移用衣冠这样的表面象征物,并不能让禽兽变成合格的人类,于是有了“衣冠禽兽”和“沐猴而冠”之类的贬义词,就是说,人类之文化特性,不仅表现在器物上,更表现在行为和心理上。 至于“裸猿”一词,其用意则恰好相反,旨在将我们的注意力转向人性之生物学方面,跟随一位动物学家的眼光,看看人类与其他动物有何不同。 我把这两个词捏在一起,是想强调:在人性的塑造中,生物和文化两方面的特性和过程是紧紧缠绕在一起、难以分离的,而且,假如我们以生物学的考察作为起点,对我们理解人性和文化都将十分有益。 我特别喜欢“沐猿而冠”里的“沐”字,这是个历时性动词,沐浴是一个延续了一段时间的过程,而非瞬间完成的动作,因而很适合用来表达我对文化和人性的进化观点,即,人之区分于禽兽的那些特性,是在漫长进化史上逐渐获得的,而且并非所有人都一样的。 Q:“文化如何塑造人性”这是您这本书的副标,您是如何理解这句话的? A:我用这句话试图表达三层含义:1)对个体而言,他所置身并成长于其中的那个文化,在他被组装成一个合格的人的过程中起了关键作用,提供了大量组件,这些组件的特性及其组合,构成了其“个性”(它是人性的实例)的重要部分。 2)作为一个物种的人类,在漫长进化史中,既通过自身的行动创造着文化,也在不断被文化改造着,这一改造不仅体现在行为和心理方面,也体现在生理方面,比如我们创造的烹饪文化,缩短了我们的消化道,缩小了我们的牙齿、下颌和咀嚼肌。 3)由于不同族群创造了不同文化,因而其人性也会被塑造的有所不同,比如一些长期生活于畜牧文化中的族群,获得了乳糖耐受这一新的生理特性。 Q:《沐猿而冠》是您过去几年的专栏集结而成。您说这些文字您是写给自己的,以解您的困惑。如今,回过头再看这些文字,当时的解答还令您满意吗?解答是否依然适用于今天。 A:从大框架来说,目前多半还可以接受,毕竟这些文章是最近才挑选过的,不过在一些具体问题上,比如有关民族性的问题,我的看法已有所改变(更准确说,还在摇摆中),有关语言的看法,也始终没有稳定下来。 需要强调的是,过去几年我看待社会与文化的观念体系没有发生太大震荡,并不意味着我对它已经“满意”了,实际上,在许多重大问题上,我还很不满意,除了语言和民族问题,在诸如宗教、战争、国家起源、组织与权力等等问题上,远未形成清晰透彻的看法,而这些方面对于理解社会却是至关重要的。 Q:今天,有很多人被文化束缚,也有一些人是文化叛逆者,您是如何看待这两者的关系。 A:嗯,束缚和叛逆确是文化的重要主题。依我看,多数叛逆某一文化的人,其实往往正被另一种文化所束缚,今天我们回头看六七十年代的西方叛逆青年,他们的行为方式是多么相似和步调一致,多么模式化,对各种外部刺激作出的反应,又是多么刻板且缺乏自省,类似的情况,在各种叛逆浪潮中都可以观察到。 注意,我这么说,并不是要摆出一副“都一个样”的玩世不恭姿态;诚然,每个人注定要被一种文化(或若干种文化的特定组合)所塑造,因而多少也难免被其所“束缚”,但这并不意味着,每个人(或同一个人的不同时候)被束缚的程度是一样的,远非如此。 在我看来,多大程度上被束缚,取决于个人反思和自省的能力,而这种能力并非凭空而来,它恰恰来自于环境和历史经由进化过程而赋予我们的本能和文化特性,这些特性,是我们的反思、自省等理性活动得以进行的硬件和软件基础。 之所以有时我们会觉得被它们束缚了,是因为我们时而部分窥见却又不够了解自身的工作机制,就像一只猫,不明白自己所追逐的那条尾巴就是自己的一部分,因而无法将自己不同生理/心理层次上的本能、欲望、意图、理想、价值观协调起来。 所谓摆脱束缚,是且只能是通过反思和自省而达成协调,反思的结果可以是但不必是叛逆,而完全可能是理性审视之后对当前状态的再肯定,甚至可以是在认清和理解以往束缚着自己的那套传统之后,自觉而甘心情愿的去保守它。 Q:文化宽容和文化代沟,对构建人们专属的文化体系,拥有独特的文化人格有着怎样意义。 A:文化宽容是种现代事物,传统社会要求个人必须完全接受所在共同体的整套文化规范及其蕴含的价值观,这套规范深入生活每个毛孔。 在现代流动性大社会,这样的要求已不切实际,也不再必需,它只须要求个人接受维持和平共存所需要的最小规范,而在多数具体事情上,只要求在特定圈子、特定场合、特定关系中,遵循特定规范,而是否进入这些圈子、场合和关系,个人有着充分选择机会,这些选择所构成的组合,可让每个人拥有独特的文化人格。 当然,这是理想情况,并非每个现代社会都有如此开放和宽容,但幸运的是,至少在某些社会,事实已表明,人们可以创造这样的宽容条件,同时社会也足够安详。 代沟的存在则表明,即便个体选择可以人人不同的文化个性,但结果远非随机,协调的结果会结晶为时代潮流与风尚,而当文化进化足够快时,这些风尚在两代人之间便可产生巨大隔膜。 Q:探索人性是您长期以来特别钟爱的一个研究,而人性是文化和社会塑造出来的。这些年的探究,对于人性您有怎样的认识和理解? A:人性是非常丰厚、饱满、层次化的,各种本能、欲望、动机、意图、信念、情感、价值观、道德感、宗教感……往往以相互对抗和抑制的方式组合在一起,人类感官和认知模式也非常多才多艺,让我们能够利用各种来源的信息,这些特性,使得我们对外部条件的细微变化异常敏感,条件略有变化,行为即可大不相同。 有关人性,最常见的错误认识是将其单调化,诸如性善/性恶之辩,我们天性善良,还是生来暴虐?贪婪、慈爱、好斗、好奇、好色、理性、合作、道德、宗教……,哪个算是我们的本性?此类单调化的追问毫无意义,只能将人引入歧途。
贫富差距与统计幻觉

【2015-08-11】

@海德沙龙 【焦点议题】有关贫富差距的数字常令公众大吃一惊,但许多抓人眼球的惊人“差距、变化”,其实往往是统计假象,其背后根本没有人们以为它所揭示的事实,同一组数据,平凡还是惊艳,更多取决于如何组织和表述它,本文分析了其中一例,今后我们还会介绍更多 http://t.cn/RLmCHik

@whigzhou: 所以在对统计数字发出感慨之前,最好先弄清楚统计指标是怎么设计的,然后再想想差异或变化到底是不是你打算感叹的那个因素造成的。举个简单例子,假如(more...)

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【2015-08-11】 @海德沙龙 【焦点议题】有关贫富差距的数字常令公众大吃一惊,但许多抓人眼球的惊人“差距、变化”,其实往往是统计假象,其背后根本没有人们以为它所揭示的事实,同一组数据,平凡还是惊艳,更多取决于如何组织和表述它,本文分析了其中一例,今后我们还会介绍更多 http://t.cn/RLmCHik @whigzhou: 所以在对统计数字发出感慨之前,最好先弄清楚统计指标是怎么设计的,然后再想想差异或变化到底是不是你打算感叹的那个因素造成的。举个简单例子,假如收入基尼系数以家户为统计单位,那么仅仅年轻人提早离家单过、家户规模缩小这一个因素,即可显著提高基尼系数。 @用户3548260260:这篇。。。完全就是逆向恰亚诺夫循环呀。之前在秦晖桑书上说到一个俄国民粹派专家叫恰亚诺夫,他推崇俄国传统村社经济,要反驳西化派关于乡村不平等的批判,就找出了年岁变换这个要素。据他研究,一个家庭中,有小孩时就会成本上升, @whigzhou: 家户规模是我举的例子,原文是有关时间偏好的 @用户3548260260:是的,不过我想他们都指向一点,就是也许贫富差距不一定是意味着社会分层,也蕴含着其它可能,而常常被好心人士忽略咯,就像你说的一样,也像常说的一句话:统计是门语言,不是科学 @whigzhou: 嗯嗯  
理想对话者

【2015-08-11】

@熊观七路:辉格老师所持的无镇腹主义更倾向于大卫.弗里德曼吗?

@whigzhou: 比较能相容,但也有很大不同,哲学基础上,他是功利主义,虽然是我比较能接受的版本,但和我们契约主义还是有着深层区别,现实问题上,他大概接受不了我的很多亲保守派主张,但无论如何,对我来说,他都符合最理想对话者的条件

@whigzhou: 所谓理想对话者,就是三分钟内即可hedge出各自论点,找出分歧(more...)

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【2015-08-11】 @熊观七路:辉格老师所持的无镇腹主义更倾向于大卫.弗里德曼吗? @whigzhou: 比较能相容,但也有很大不同,哲学基础上,他是功利主义,虽然是我比较能接受的版本,但和我们契约主义还是有着深层区别,现实问题上,他大概接受不了我的很多亲保守派主张,但无论如何,对我来说,他都符合最理想对话者的条件 @whigzhou: 所谓理想对话者,就是三分钟内即可hedge出各自论点,找出分歧所在,并在五分钟内将讨论转向经验事实的认定方面(这方面的分歧总是难以也不应指望在短时间内消除),相反,碰到糟糕对话者,大伯我就只好把精力都花在剃头上了。