含有〈产业〉标签的文章(162)

宗教经济学

【2020-09-16】

之前在EconTalk听了一个对棕教经济学家 Laurence Iannaccone 的访谈,其中有个观点,认为棕教在美国之所以没有经历像欧洲那种程度的衰退(以信众人数,上教堂频率,捐款等活跃度指标衡量),是因为美国有着远更渍油的棕教市场,这一点之所以被忽视,是因为以往人们在谈论棕教渍油度时,通常只关注消费方的选择渍油(即个人选择信不信、信什么,入哪派的渍油),在这方面,欧美在过去一个半世纪中似乎已没多大差别,可是,假如我们将注意力转向供方,便可发现差异巨大,在美国,创立新教派或组织新教会,都是完全渍油的,而在欧洲,这会面临非常大(more...)

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8282
【2020-09-16】 之前在EconTalk听了一个对棕教经济学家 Laurence Iannaccone 的访谈,其中有个观点,认为棕教在美国之所以没有经历像欧洲那种程度的衰退(以信众人数,上教堂频率,捐款等活跃度指标衡量),是因为美国有着远更渍油的棕教市场,这一点之所以被忽视,是因为以往人们在谈论棕教渍油度时,通常只关注消费方的选择渍油(即个人选择信不信、信什么,入哪派的渍油),在这方面,欧美在过去一个半世纪中似乎已没多大差别,可是,假如我们将注意力转向供方,便可发现差异巨大,在美国,创立新教派或组织新教会,都是完全渍油的,而在欧洲,这会面临非常大障碍,有时几乎不可能,究其因,在国家权力退出棕教事务这一点上,美国做的最为彻底,而且从建国起便已实现。 刚刚又想起这个话题,于是查了些资料,发现确实如此,仅以瑞典和德国为例。 在瑞典,直到1860年之前,脱离路德教会都是非法的,1860年后,允许脱离,但只能转入另一个基督教会,这一规定直到1951年才废除,而路德宗的国教地位一直维持到2000,目前,瑞典是全欧棕教活跃度最低的国家。 在战后德国,虽然镇虎并不限制创立新教会,但他有个奇葩政策:教会税,这是附加在所得税上的一个特别税种(约为所得税的8-9%),不管是不是信徒都得交,收来的钱分配给合格教会,所谓合格就是具有足够规模且历史足够长,这就相当于把棕教市场变成了single payer,既已立足的教会根本不需要操心筹款的事情,这当然极大削弱了棕教市场的竞争和创新,看了下 church tax 这个维基词条,貌似这种情况在欧洲还很流行。 缺乏供方渍油的结果是阻断了供方通过竞争和创新不断进化的动力,令其难以适应始终处于变化之中的棕教需求,结果是信众不断流失。 而且这种阻断的效果是非常持久的,即便现在完全放开,供给活跃度也需要好几代人才会提高到新的均衡水平,因为正如Iannaccone在另一篇文章里所解释的,棕教供给和其他商品很不一样,建立新教派/新教会需要漫长而艰苦的努力,因而供方调整有很长的滞后期。 若考虑这一滞后期,便可发现,美国棕教市场还有另一个大优势:他的供给来源从一开始就非常丰富多样,殖民时代各殖民地就分属多个教派,而此后移民浪潮中,移民棕教背景更是无所不包,这一点,加上供方的充分渍油,让美国的潜在信徒拥有其他任何地方都不可比拟的多样选择,这最生动的体现在四次大觉醒浪潮之中。 由此可见,所谓美国例外,要点其实还是在于渍油。 附:Iannaccone 有篇文章介绍了他的棕教经济学概念和理论框架,收录于 John Hinnells 的 The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion (2009) 第27章,有兴趣可以找来读一下。 @如玉我从来不P图: 德国可以不交教堂税的,在市政厅登记人口时候报备无宗教就可以了。年纪大一些的人很多不会退出了,因为以后还要考虑葬礼和教堂墓地的问题。年轻一代退出的很多,我认识的德国人基本没人交教堂税。 @whigzhou: 多谢指正  
贿赂性引用

【2020-08-16】

所谓匿名审稿其实没那么匿名,很多投稿人大概能约略猜到审稿人是谁,于是就在论文里塞进一些贿赂性引用,一些审稿人甚至主动施压,要求作者添加马屁引用,不知道他们具体怎么做到的,不过从Nature这篇文章看,这种事情圈内好像早就众所周知了,现在有人开发了一套系统来识别这种索贿行为,运行结果显示,情况可能相当普遍。

 

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8267
【2020-08-16】 所谓匿名审稿其实没那么匿名,很多投稿人大概能约略猜到审稿人是谁,于是就在论文里塞进一些贿赂性引用,一些审稿人甚至主动施压,要求作者添加马屁引用,不知道他们具体怎么做到的,不过从Nature这篇文章看,这种事情圈内好像早就众所周知了,现在有人开发了一套系统来识别这种索贿行为,运行结果显示,情况可能相当普遍。  
卓别林指数

【2020-08-15】

近些年人工智能有很大突破,于是很多人都在猜测哪些工作会被机器代替,可是这些分析都是纸上谈兵,没有真正去看实际情况,而Robin Hanson的研究发现,AI(至少在现阶段)其实和自动化的进展关系不大,在去年一篇论文里,他分析了过去20年美国832个工种的自动化深度,提取了153项特征,试图找出哪些特征最偏爱自动化,结果可能出乎大多数人的想象:自动化的最佳预测指标是『工作节奏是否由机器决定』。

依我看,之所以(more...)

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8265
【2020-08-15】 近些年人工智能有很大突破,于是很多人都在猜测哪些工作会被机器代替,可是这些分析都是纸上谈兵,没有真正去看实际情况,而Robin Hanson的研究发现,AI(至少在现阶段)其实和自动化的进展关系不大,在去年一篇论文里,他分析了过去20年美国832个工种的自动化深度,提取了153项特征,试图找出哪些特征最偏爱自动化,结果可能出乎大多数人的想象:自动化的最佳预测指标是『工作节奏是否由机器决定』。 依我看,之所以多数评论家都没想到要点上,是因为他们过度关注了AI让机器*有能力*做什么,而不是机器*能比人更高效的*做什么,实际上,人类的干活效率是非常高的,别的不说,仅看能源效率,想想看,一小块肥肉或一包干脆面一瓶矿泉水,就能让一个人干多少活儿啊。 我觉得『工作节奏是否由机器决定』这个特性不妨称为卓别林指数,因为我一看到这个短语就想到卓别林那部电影,实际上这是我对卓别林电影的唯一印象[挖鼻]  
只有独角兽才能生存

【2020-07-22】

贡布里希的这段话(《艺术的故事》第8章)让我想了很多:

537956cagy1ggzmji4fobj20o90n07g2

现代艺术家那么追求创新,是被市场逼的,和如今的创业公司挖空心思力求成为独角兽,原理是一样的,因为规模经济和网络效应造成了一种只有独角兽才能生存的局面,对艺术来说,背后起作用的是传播和消费方式:并不是消费者真的需要那么多完全不同的新作品,而是因为只有全然不同的新作品才能让新进的艺术家有饭吃。

以音乐为例,且让我从一个极端的假设讲起,即便我们假设,消费者对是否有新作品丝毫不介意,而完全满足于数十(more...)

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8248
【2020-07-22】 贡布里希的这段话(《艺术的故事》第8章)让我想了很多: 537956cagy1ggzmji4fobj20o90n07g2 现代艺术家那么追求创新,是被市场逼的,和如今的创业公司挖空心思力求成为独角兽,原理是一样的,因为规模经济和网络效应造成了一种只有独角兽才能生存的局面,对艺术来说,背后起作用的是传播和消费方式:并不是消费者真的需要那么多完全不同的新作品,而是因为只有全然不同的新作品才能让新进的艺术家有饭吃。 以音乐为例,且让我从一个极端的假设讲起,即便我们假设,消费者对是否有新作品丝毫不介意,而完全满足于数十年如一日翻来覆去听(比如10首)老曲子,同时他们也不介意时不时可能有一首新曲子,只要它好听就行,我想说的是,即便这种看起来最不鼓励创新的条件下,现代艺术市场也会远比古代市场更鼓励创新。 在古代,哪怕一千年没有新曲子,要满足100万人每人每年听几次的需求,也需要大批音乐家,因为每次表演只能同时服务于几十最多上百人,于是,一个完全没有创新的音乐产业,也可以让众多音乐家生存,具体养活多少,取决于表演次/欣赏次之间的比例关系。 可是技术进步会改变这一比例,考虑另一个极端:假如所有人都在spotify上听歌,而且全都满足于相同的10首歌来回放,那么,等这些歌的作者死光之后,音乐市场就再也不需要新的音乐家了,可是有志于靠音乐吃饭的人不甘心啊,所以他们必须写新曲子,努力说服至少一部分听众把他们的新歌加入播放列表。 这两个极端之间,一些早先的技术进步也可能改变上述比例关系,比如:扩音器,具有专业音响效果的音乐厅,精确的乐谱记录和复现手段(包括指挥),铁路飞机扩大了音乐家服务半径,等等。 除了音乐,类似的机制或许在其他艺术形式中也存在,不过我还没想清楚。  
赌场

【2020-04-20】

无论塔喷原本是什么意思(我特别没耐心去弄清楚一个喷子的想法究竟是什么),赌棍确实面临一种陷阱,好像我以前也说过,假如一个赌棍执行这样一种策略:只要兜里还有钱,就每天去赌若干次,那么,即便博弈是完全零和(而不是负和)的,而且每次赌博都是独立随机事件,只要他资本有限,就总会有一定概率在某天被清零离场,从此无缘赌场,因为在这种事件序列中,他的资本存量值处于随机游走状态,一旦在某一步走到零值,就被抛出赛场了,这也是大数概率的应用之一,没什么新鲜的。

(more...)
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8213
【2020-04-20】 无论塔喷原本是什么意思(我特别没耐心去弄清楚一个喷子的想法究竟是什么),赌棍确实面临一种陷阱,好像我以前也说过,假如一个赌棍执行这样一种策略:只要兜里还有钱,就每天去赌若干次,那么,即便博弈是完全零和(而不是负和)的,而且每次赌博都是独立随机事件,只要他资本有限,就总会有一定概率在某天被清零离场,从此无缘赌场,因为在这种事件序列中,他的资本存量值处于随机游走状态,一旦在某一步走到零值,就被抛出赛场了,这也是大数概率的应用之一,没什么新鲜的。 这一原理在个体层次上的含义很平凡,没啥可多说的,但它在系统层次上会引出一些有意思的结果,因为是零和博弈,总得失恒定,所以每个离场者实际上为资金池贡献了一份净输入(等于他的初始入场资本),它构成了留在场内者的得益,只要不离场,他们便可继续保有这份收益。 设想一个封闭系统,起初1亿赌客,每人起始资本1万筹码,随着时间推移,必定不断有人被清零离场,最终(比如一万亿轮后,具体可以算)系统内将只剩下一位赌客,他拥有整个资金池 现在去掉起始资本相同这个设定,在某个轮数之后离场的概率,与起始资本高度相关,所以,只要你资本足够雄厚,就会持续盈利,由此可见,赌场即便将所有赌法都设为零和博弈,它也能赚钱 再去掉封闭性这个设定,允许流进流出,那么净输入将取决于主动赢钱离场者、主动输钱离场者和被动离场者的相对比例,可是按经验,很少有人会在累计净赢钱的情况下戒赌,所以净输入总是正的  
关键商品

【2020-04-17】

我发现,我去各家超市的频率分别由一种关键商品决定,aldi是一种酒,woolworths是一种香肠,coles是香烟,虽然提高单次购买量可降低频率,但有限度,酒太重,一般一次只买两瓶,香肠有保质期,香烟太贵,而且是理想偷抢对象,若一次买10条囤家里,感觉不安全,所以每次只买一条。

我觉得,类似情况许多单身者可能都有(大家庭不大会,他们的频率更可能由购物车容量决定),我的疑问是,不知道超市是否会(more...)

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8209
【2020-04-17】 我发现,我去各家超市的频率分别由一种关键商品决定,aldi是一种酒,woolworths是一种香肠,coles是香烟,虽然提高单次购买量可降低频率,但有限度,酒太重,一般一次只买两瓶,香肠有保质期,香烟太贵,而且是理想偷抢对象,若一次买10条囤家里,感觉不安全,所以每次只买一条。 我觉得,类似情况许多单身者可能都有(大家庭不大会,他们的频率更可能由购物车容量决定),我的疑问是,不知道超市是否会考虑这种情况,因而专门安排一些容易成为某个客户群之关键商品的东西,因为依我体会,这确实对其他购买有带动效果,比如我在aldi买三文鱼的频率,会被那种酒带高。  
mobile butchery

【2019-07-05】

最近了解到一门很特别的生意,是这样,我一位本地朋友,拥有两个小农场,一个40英亩,也是他的居家所在,另一个18英亩,上面养着一小群大羊驼,我知道他的职业是木匠兼锁匠,所以就好奇的问他有没有养过别的牲口,他说牛羊猪都养过,但不多,我又问,是自己杀了吃还是卖掉,他说自己吃,但不是自己杀,需要吃的时候会请人来杀,这里有一种专业服务,叫mobile butchery,专门上门替农场主屠宰牲口,特别是那些自家没有屠宰设施的小农场(我猜其中可能也涉及到管制)。

有意思的是宰杀方式,屠夫会在开阔空间(而不是栏圈中)用步枪射杀正在漫游的牲口,一般枪法很好,务求一枪放倒,据说这样肉质会更好,因为没有恐慌和挣扎所造成的肌肉紧张,杀死后,屠夫会将尸体剥皮去内脏后挂在车里带走,然后在冷库里冻上,若干天后分部位切好包好送回来,另一个有趣之处是,游动屠夫不仅可以帮你宰杀你养的牲口,如果你农场上有野兽(比如鹿、袋鼠或野骆驼)的话,他也可以替你杀,只是收费会更高。

刚刚我搜了一番,发现这生意好像还挺兴隆的,这里是新南威尔士的一家(图中是他家的价目表):

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8129
【2019-07-05】 最近了解到一门很特别的生意,是这样,我一位本地朋友,拥有两个小农场,一个40英亩,也是他的居家所在,另一个18英亩,上面养着一小群大羊驼,我知道他的职业是木匠兼锁匠,所以就好奇的问他有没有养过别的牲口,他说牛羊猪都养过,但不多,我又问,是自己杀了吃还是卖掉,他说自己吃,但不是自己杀,需要吃的时候会请人来杀,这里有一种专业服务,叫mobile butchery,专门上门替农场主屠宰牲口,特别是那些自家没有屠宰设施的小农场(我猜其中可能也涉及到管制)。 有意思的是宰杀方式,屠夫会在开阔空间(而不是栏圈中)用步枪射杀正在漫游的牲口,一般枪法很好,务求一枪放倒,据说这样肉质会更好,因为没有恐慌和挣扎所造成的肌肉紧张,杀死后,屠夫会将尸体剥皮去内脏后挂在车里带走,然后在冷库里冻上,若干天后分部位切好包好送回来,另一个有趣之处是,游动屠夫不仅可以帮你宰杀你养的牲口,如果你农场上有野兽(比如鹿、袋鼠或野骆驼)的话,他也可以替你杀,只是收费会更高。 刚刚我搜了一番,发现这生意好像还挺兴隆的,这里是新南威尔士的一家(图中是他家的价目表): 537956caly1g4p8e5cwaej20qp0eejsg  
刮奶油的保险商

【2019-06-06】

John Hancock公司的这个寿险产品是我见过最好的健康生活方式督促器,可是有人就不高兴了,说嘎呋闷特该管管了,同是这批人,若是换作没啥鸟用的可乐税或餐桌盐瓶禁止令,大概会拍手叫好,好笑的是,这个博客的名字叫ProMarket,Pro你个头

On September 19, 2018, John Hancock, one of the oldest life insurance companies in the US, made a radical change: it (more...)

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8119
【2019-06-06】 John Hancock公司的这个寿险产品是我见过最好的健康生活方式督促器,可是有人就不高兴了,说嘎呋闷特该管管了,同是这批人,若是换作没啥鸟用的可乐税或餐桌盐瓶禁止令,大概会拍手叫好,好笑的是,这个博客的名字叫ProMarket,Pro你个头

On September 19, 2018, John Hancock, one of the oldest life insurance companies in the US, made a radical change: it stopped offering life insurance priced by traditional demographics like age, health history, gender, and employment history.

Instead, John Hancock began offering coverage priced according to interactions with policyholders through wearable health devices, smartphone apps, and websites. According to the company, these interactive policies track activity levels, diet, and behaviors like smoking and excessive drinking. Policyholders that engage in healthy behaviors like exercise or prove that they have purchased healthy food receive discounts on their life insurance premiums, gift cards to major retailers, and other perks; those who do not presumably get higher rates and no rewards. According to John Hancock these incentives, along with daily tracking, will encourage policyholders to live longer and have lower hospitalization-related costs.

保险商信息获取和风险甄别的革命性提升,无疑会深刻改变保险业态,但说那会摧毁保险业的存在基础,就有点杞人忧天了,常见的一种担忧是,假如保险商都抢着刮蛋糕上的奶油,剩下的劣质客户的保费就会高到没销路的程度,可问题是,要刮掉多少奶油才会出现这种局面?保险商若是全知上帝,保险业就不复存在,这大概没错,但他们远非全知,他们采集信息的能力确实在迅速提高,但消费者的一种可能反应是提前买,在风险相关信息变得可采集之前就买,有何理由认为这种需求不会有供应商来满足呢? 还有一种可能性,被刮剩下的蛋糕渣或许单独无法成为有价值的保险开发对象,但仍可能和其他产品组合起来而变得市场可行,比如抽烟喝酒胡吃海喝的没人愿意保,可是早死也有早死的好处啊,和年金结合起来就是个办法,若是再放弃几种续命治疗,好像还挺有吸引力的吧。
信用卡的盈利模式

【2019-04-09】

@whigzhou: 读完byvoid这个帖子,想了想信用卡的盈利模式,好像就是靠吃那些不会精打细算(因而总是让自己一不小心就付了大笔利息)的人赚钱的,而且这样的人往往还是穷人居多,因为不会精打细算,显然也很少享受到信用卡所附带的种种诱人优惠,同时,对于那些从不拖欠并用尽一切优惠的精明客户,发卡商似乎是倒贴的,那么他们为何愿意倒贴呢?答案大概是,这些精明客户往往收入也较高,是消费主力,有了他们才能迫使商家愿意支付刷卡费,看来还是一种挺精巧的组合策略(more...)

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【2019-04-09】 @whigzhou: 读完byvoid这个帖子,想了想信用卡的盈利模式,好像就是靠吃那些不会精打细算(因而总是让自己一不小心就付了大笔利息)的人赚钱的,而且这样的人往往还是穷人居多,因为不会精打细算,显然也很少享受到信用卡所附带的种种诱人优惠,同时,对于那些从不拖欠并用尽一切优惠的精明客户,发卡商似乎是倒贴的,那么他们为何愿意倒贴呢?答案大概是,这些精明客户往往收入也较高,是消费主力,有了他们才能迫使商家愿意支付刷卡费,看来还是一种挺精巧的组合策略 @whigzhou: 这模式跟以广告为生的互联网公司有点类似,为他们带来收入的是少数会点广告的人,其他人都是帮他们创造流量的。 @whigzhou: 很多人确实不会算钱,我在澳洲观察到的一个最明确例证是香烟,澳洲香烟包装大小五花八门,有每包20支、25支,30支,40支,50支,都有,如果大家都会算,那么同种香烟的每支定价应该很接近,事实上差别挺大,起初我还有点吃惊,这么简单的算术也有那么多人懒得算? @五花王: 养额度主要是维护临时信用池,但国内信用卡目前越来越转向权益服务高净值端,消费诱导低净值端,越来越像服务业了 @whigzhou: 中国的情况肯定很不一样(所以发卡商的策略也会不同),穷人里还有大量会算的,而在英美这样的社会,经过几百年流动和筛选,不会算的都沉淀在底层了,而在当今美国,你要想做穷人,必须有某种缺陷,要么智力低,要么尽责性差,要么反社会,要么容易上瘾,而这些特性都和精打细算负相关  
品牌站队

【2018-09-05】

看眼下大公司政治站队这么积极的势头,突然冒出一个念头:未来各类消费品市场会不会出现几大品牌分别对应不同党派的局面?雇佣市场的党派分化或许来的更快? ​​​​

从左派对待NRA合作商的劲头看,他们总有一天也会发动对FoxNews广告客户的抵制行动,然后许多公司被迫站队……若这种情况升级到某个程度,就会引发连锁反应,因为被腾出的市场空间总会吸引其他厂商来占领,沃尔玛和麦当劳估计会选择右边……

(more...)
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【2018-09-05】 看眼下大公司政治站队这么积极的势头,突然冒出一个念头:未来各类消费品市场会不会出现几大品牌分别对应不同党派的局面?雇佣市场的党派分化或许来的更快? ​​​​ 从左派对待NRA合作商的劲头看,他们总有一天也会发动对FoxNews广告客户的抵制行动,然后许多公司被迫站队……若这种情况升级到某个程度,就会引发连锁反应,因为被腾出的市场空间总会吸引其他厂商来占领,沃尔玛和麦当劳估计会选择右边……  
万分之一

【2018-05-16】

决定某一时代某社会之学术活动整体面貌的首要因素是,最具天赋的万分之一人口,都被吸引到哪些学科去了,更一般而言,决定某一社会之文化面貌的首要因素是,最具天赋的万分之一人口,都被吸引到哪些领域的智力活动中去了。

【2020-06-14】

隐约感觉,各学科之间的发展可能存在某些联动关系,比如:1)一些对智力要求极高的学科,比如理论物理,若遭遇平台期,看不到取得卓著成就的前景,就会提升其(more...)

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【2018-05-16】 决定某一时代某社会之学术活动整体面貌的首要因素是,最具天赋的万分之一人口,都被吸引到哪些学科去了,更一般而言,决定某一社会之文化面貌的首要因素是,最具天赋的万分之一人口,都被吸引到哪些领域的智力活动中去了。 【2020-06-14】 隐约感觉,各学科之间的发展可能存在某些联动关系,比如:1)一些对智力要求极高的学科,比如理论物理,若遭遇平台期,看不到取得卓著成就的前景,就会提升其他学科产生巨匠的机会,2)某些产业的一时兴旺,会将大批高人吸引到该产业和相关学科,比如金融证券业,所以当这些产业出现一段较长的萧条期时,可能也会产生类似效果。总之,虽然全球人口已70多亿,可是像冯诺伊曼这样的高人,每代也不会有多少,所以这些人的流向就是个很重要的因素。不知道有没有相关研究。
[作文]Why Plumbing Is So Expensive in Australia?

(上周英语课上老师布置了个作业:自己选择一个议题,先给两小时做研究,然后写一篇议论文章,这是我做过的最长的英语写作题,之前的都不超过300 words,很吃力不过挺有收获。)

Why Plumbing Is So Expensive in Australia?
by Egbert Tzoe
8 Feb 2018

Plumbing is extremely expensive in Australia. According to 9news, it costs $78.40 an hour on average, the highest among all kinds of trades, while a lawyer service costs only $37 an hour.[1] By contrast, an average American plumber charges $31.61(usd$24.74) an hour.[2]

The direct cause of this situation is quite straightforward: there are too few plumbers in this country. Year by year, fewer and fewer young people are willing to become a plumber. Perhaps the most revealing fact is that the average age of Australian plumbers is 55, while the overall workforce average is 38. As Mr Paddy McCrudden, an officer of Plumbing Trades Employees Union, says, “plumbers are fast becoming the dad’s army.”[3]

But why? What prevents such a high wage from attracting more young (or not so young) people into this business? There are no obvious answers, but we have some clues.

Higher education was (and is) booming in recent decades. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics, proportion of people aged 25-34 with a bachelor or higher degree increased from(more...)

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(上周英语课上老师布置了个作业:自己选择一个议题,先给两小时做研究,然后写一篇议论文章,这是我做过的最长的英语写作题,之前的都不超过300 words,很吃力不过挺有收获。) Why Plumbing Is So Expensive in Australia? by Egbert Tzoe 8 Feb 2018 Plumbing is extremely expensive in Australia. According to 9news, it costs $78.40 an hour on average, the highest among all kinds of trades, while a lawyer service costs only $37 an hour.[1] By contrast, an average American plumber charges $31.61(usd$24.74) an hour.[2] The direct cause of this situation is quite straightforward: there are too few plumbers in this country. Year by year, fewer and fewer young people are willing to become a plumber. Perhaps the most revealing fact is that the average age of Australian plumbers is 55, while the overall workforce average is 38. As Mr Paddy McCrudden, an officer of Plumbing Trades Employees Union, says, “plumbers are fast becoming the dad's army.”[3] But why? What prevents such a high wage from attracting more young (or not so young) people into this business? There are no obvious answers, but we have some clues. Higher education was (and is) booming in recent decades. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics, proportion of people aged 25-34 with a bachelor or higher degree increased from 27% in 2004 to 37.3% in 2015.[4] As we can imagine, university graduates tend to have a white-collar or managerial or creative job. They would find a hard, dirty and muscular plumbing job unattractive. It’s simply incompatible with their self-identity. In addition, as more girls go to university, plumbers, as well as other heavy manual labor workers, are becoming less popular in the marriage market, because people consistently choose their partners who have an educational background similar to that of themselves. Like other heavy trades, plumbing is highly masculine. An evidence for this is that more than 99% plumbers are male.[5] But, sadly (or nicely, depends on your taste), masculinity has been declining rapidly for half a century in the Western World, especially in its developed part. Among other evidence are two facts: First, average sperm count in men has dropped 50% between 1974 and 2011.[6] Second, maybe not coincidentally, all the tough guy actors have disappeared from the movie or TV screens since mid-1990s.[7] Well then, how can we fix this? Less uni education? Many people would surely be unhappy or even riot I guess. More visas for plumbers? It doesn’t work. In fact, there is a large and sufficient visa quota for plumbers already, 5507 in 2018 alone, but only 4 or 0.07% of them are filled to date. By contrast, 51 of 2675 (1.9%) visa vacancies for chefs, 2955 of 6202 (47%) for programmers, 2633 of 4785 (55%) for accountants, are filled during the same period.[8] Obviously there are not so many foreign plumbers who are interested in and qualified for migrating to Australia. I think English is the main barrier, because as other tradies, plumbers tend to receive less education than other skilled visa applicants. So maybe lowering the English requirement can be a cure, but I suspect it would help a lot. Maybe there is no solution, or maybe high cost of plumbing is not a problem at all. After all, tough men is an endangered species nowadays, but meanwhile, despite the great advance in automatic technologies in recent years, there is still much work needed for them to do, hence it seems not so unfair to pay a high price for these tough guy survivors. Even better, this high price forces us aussies to do many jobs by ourselves, and get a lot of joys. So let it be.   References: [1] http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/careers/plumbers-electricians-australias-richest-tradies-charging-more-than-the-average-lawyer/news-story/4fee7c5920ff4624e53c5ca20f99e3cb [2] https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes472152.htm [3] http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/australias-most-wanted-jobs-tech-heads-health-staff-and-plumbers/news-story/5aed73cf949f668df49be25d5f8b67fe [4] https://www.universitiesaustralia.edu.au/australias-universities/key-facts-and-data#.Wn_ZEiVub4Z [5] http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/ABS@.nsf/2f762f95845417aeca25706c00834efa/4ce9a706f8b1bba7ca2570ec000e3635!OpenDocument [6] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sperm-count-dropping-in-western-world/ [7] http://www.weirdrepublic.com/episode159.htm [8] http://deltaimmigration.com.au/Plumber-General/334111.htm  
[译文]企业家可以如何改变教育

Entrepreneurship and American education
创业活动与美国教育

作者:Michael Q. McShane @ 2016-05-10
译者:Tankman
校对:混乱阈值(@混乱阈值)
来源:AEI,http://www.aei.org/publication/entrepreneurship-and-american-education/

Key Points
要点

  • While educational entrepreneurship’s influence has been muted by policy and circumstance, this has nevertheless been a time of great growth for the field.
  • 尽管政策和政治氛围已经压制了教育业中创业活动的影响,这个领域还是有了一段时间的显著增长。
  • Over the next two decades, educational entrepreneurs will encounter a funding community, policy environment, and changing educational landscape that will profoundly affect the types of ventures and the ability of those ventures to scale, grow, and meet children’s needs.
  • 在接下来二十年里,教育业的创业者会受到融资界,政策环境,教育业整体面貌变化等因素的冲击。这些因素会深刻影响风险投资的类型以及这些风险投资发起,壮大和满足孩子需求的能力。
  • Entrepreneurship does not guarantee success. If anything, it ensures that there will be failure. For all its imperfections though, it offers a degree of imagination and natural winnowing well-suited to our sprawling, diverse, and pluralistic nation, and it creates an opportunity for truly world-changing products to emerge.
  • 创业并不一定会(more...)
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Entrepreneurship and American education 创业活动与美国教育 作者:Michael Q. McShane @ 2016-05-10 译者:Tankman 校对:混乱阈值(@混乱阈值) 来源:AEI,http://www.aei.org/publication/entrepreneurship-and-american-education/ Key Points 要点
  • While educational entrepreneurship’s influence has been muted by policy and circumstance, this has nevertheless been a time of great growth for the field.
  • 尽管政策和政治氛围已经压制了教育业中创业活动的影响,这个领域还是有了一段时间的显著增长。
  • Over the next two decades, educational entrepreneurs will encounter a funding community, policy environment, and changing educational landscape that will profoundly affect the types of ventures and the ability of those ventures to scale, grow, and meet children’s needs.
  • 在接下来二十年里,教育业的创业者会受到融资界,政策环境,教育业整体面貌变化等因素的冲击。这些因素会深刻影响风险投资的类型以及这些风险投资发起,壮大和满足孩子需求的能力。
  • Entrepreneurship does not guarantee success. If anything, it ensures that there will be failure. For all its imperfections though, it offers a degree of imagination and natural winnowing well-suited to our sprawling, diverse, and pluralistic nation, and it creates an opportunity for truly world-changing products to emerge.
  • 创业并不一定会成功。如果要说什么是确定的话,那就是一定会有失败产生。虽然有各种不完美,它提供了一定程度的想象空间和自然筛选,很好的适应了我们这个参差多元,分权共治的国家,而且创造机会让真正改变世界的成果得以涌现。
I have two adorable dogs who I love like children. Georgie is a precocious, 10-pound fur ball Bichon Frise I bought from an Amish man in rural Maryland. Beau is a seven-pound Maltese and silky terrier mix who spent the first five years of his life in a meth den in Missouri before my wife and I rescued him. When we travel, we have to find a place to board them. For years, we used kennels or “open-play” dog boarding facilities. By and large, we were pleased with the care that the dogs received, but boy, was it expensive. 我有两条可爱的狗,我像爱孩子那样爱他们。Georgie是只早熟的,10磅重的圆滚滚毛茸茸的比熊犬。我把它从马里兰州农村的一位阿米绪人那里买来。Beau有七磅,是一只的玛尔济斯犬和澳洲丝毛梗的后代。它生命的前五年在密苏里州的一个毒窝里度过,直到被我和我太太救了出来。当我们旅行时,我们必须为它们找个寄宿的地方。许多年以来,我们使用狗窝或者是“敞开”式宠物狗寄存设施。总体来说,我们对狗狗们受到的照顾感到满意。但这种服务很贵。 That is why it was great when my wife discovered the app Rover. Rover is kind of like Airbnb for dog sitters. Prospective sitters (or walkers or groomers) create profiles, post their rates, and have a space for customers to review them. People can find options that are convenient, in their price range, and the kind of environment they want for their dogs. We use the app whenever we travel and get what I think is far superior care for substantially less than we paid a kennel. It has been a big win for us and our dogs. 因此当我太太发现手机应用Rover时,一切实在太棒了。Rover像是宠物狗看护领域的Airbnb。潜在的看护们(或是遛狗者,或狗美容师)创建了个人简介,贴上他们的要价,留下一个给客户写评论的地方。人们能够在自己满意的价格区间,选择合适的选项,给宠物狗他们觉得合宜的环境。我们每次旅行都要使用这个应用,用明显比狗窝更低的价钱,换来一个更好的服务。这对狗狗和人都大有好处。 Rover illustrates disruptive innovation at work. Its founders identified a practical problem, leveraged knowledge and technology to devise a better solution, and then provided that solution in a way that upends old routines and assumptions. Rover体现了破坏性创新是如何工作的。它的创始人确定了一个实际问题,利用知识和技术来提供一个更好的解决方案,而后那个方案在某种意义上颠覆了旧的常规和假设。 I am of the opinion that it would be good for K–12 schooling if more teachers, school leaders, and entrepreneurs took a Rover-like approach to challenges that plague education. How can we better use school facilities? How can we help children find schools that are a good match for them? How can we help teachers identify the best strategies to address specific learning challenges? The list of vexing problems goes on and on. But what does it take for entrepreneurial problem solving to actually help students, and how do we think about the obstacles it faces and the problems it may create? 我有一种看法:如果更多教师、学校领导和企业家提供一个Rover式的解决方案来挑战如今重疾缠身的教育业,对基础教育将会产生积极影响。如何能更好的使用学校设施?如何能帮助孩子发现适合他们的学校?如何能帮助教师发现应对特定教学挑战的最优策略?令人头痛的问题的清单越拉越长。但是需要什么条件,才能用企业家解决问题的思维来帮助学生?这一途径面临的障碍是什么呢?这种方法又会带来什么问题呢? Look, Rover is no panacea, but it is a great improvement. I would be the first to admit that in some cities it is probably impractical. There might not be enough supply for great potential dog sitters to want to get involved, or there might not be enough demand to keep prices attractive to sitters. For many dog owners, it is still too expensive. That said, Rover does help solve a particular problem for a lot of people, while opening the door to newer and better solutions. This is what entrepreneurial activity can do. 看,Rover不是一个万灵药,但却是一个巨大的改进。我可以爽快地承认,在某些城市,它很可能不现实。那里可能没有足够多的潜在宠物狗看护者想加入该平台,或是需求量不够大,价格也就无法吸引看护者加入。对很多狗主人来说,价格仍然太高。尽管如此,Rover的确帮很多人解决了一个特殊的问题,也给更新更好的方案留出了机会。这正是创活动所能作的。 In May 2016, Harvard Education Press is releasing a volume called Educational Entrepreneurship Today, which Frederick Hess and I edited.[1] Its content arose during a conference we hosted at AEI during the summer of 2015, where we brought together leading educational entrepreneurs, researchers in the field, and people with experience funding entrepreneurial ventures. What follows are a couple of big ideas that are circulating in the educational entrepreneurship world today and some of the tensions that will define educational entrepreneurship in the future. Will education be a place where Rover- (or Uber- or Airbnb-) like innovation takes place? Do we want it to be? 在2016年五月,哈佛教育出版社发布了一卷Frederick Hess和我编辑的文集,题为《今日教育行业创投》。[1]文集的内容形成于2015年夏季我们在美国企业研究所主持的一个讨论会。在这个会议上,我们把一流的教育业创业者,该领域的研究者和有创投经验的人士召集在了一起。随之而来的则是一些在今日教育业创业界流行的非凡创意,同时还有一些争论将在未来定义教育行业的创投活动。教育业会是一个产生类似Rover(或优步,或Airbnb)那样的创新的领域吗?我们希望如此吗? Trends in Educational Entrepreneurship 教育业创业的趋势 The first and most important idea that those observing educational entrepreneurship should know is that while its influence over the past decade or so has been muted by policy and circumstance, this has nevertheless been a time of great growth for the field. Sure, it is true that school procurement systems (how schools and teachers shop for and purchase new materials) are stifling and outdated. Teachers and principals have limited flexibility to redesign schools or put new tools to work in ambitious ways. 教育行业创投的观察人士应该知道的第一个也是最重要的一个概念就是:教育行业创投在过去十多年一直在发挥作用,尽管目前已被政策和环境压制,该领域仍然有过一段显著增长期。当然,学校采购平台系统(学校和教师采购新材料的方式)是压抑创新且过时的。老师和校长们重新设计学校,或积极使用新的工作工具的灵活性是有限的。 But there have been many bright spots. Enrollment in charter schools doubled, and then doubled again. Venture capital investments grew from almost nothing to hundreds of millions’ worth. Companies such as Wireless Generation and SchoolNet thrived and then were sold at a handsome rate of return, emboldening more entrepreneurs and investors who seek to emulate those efforts. 但这一行业已然有很多闪光点。特许学校的录取数翻倍,又再翻倍。风险投资额从接近于零,变成几亿美元。如无线世代(Wireless Generation)或学校网(SchoolNet)这样的公司茁壮成长然后再以可观的回报率被收购,这鼓励了更多企业家和投资者去尝试复制上述成果。 The second thing worth noting is that what gets measured gets valued. The No Child Left Behind era heavily emphasized how students perform on state tests in reading and math. In the modern era, there has also been far less appetite or room for entrepreneurs who are not focused on closing reading and math “gaps” for low-income, African American, or Latino youth. Teachers are increasingly evaluated based on these metrics, district schools are at risk of being sanctioned if their students do not perform adequately, and charter schools know their existence depends largely on their test scores. 第二个值得注意的事情是,能被衡量比较的方面才是被认为有价值的。这个“不让一个孩子落后”的时代特别重视学生在州统考中的阅读和数学成绩。在如今这个时代,那些不重视为低收入群体、非裔和拉丁裔青少年缩小阅读和数学成绩差距的企业家很少受到青睐或者得到发展空间。教师评估越来越基于这些指标,如果学生表现不够好,学区的学校可能面临被制裁的风险。而特许学校也知道其生存很大程度上依赖于测试分数。 Test scores tend to define the ways in which schools are judged and compared, and they also mean that new providers can really only demonstrate their mettle in terms of reading and math. When policy and philanthropy treat reading and math tests as the coin of the realm, it creates problems for entrepreneurs who are not offering “whole school” models, focusing on tested grades or subjects, or tackling English Language Arts and math in ways that do not map onto tests. The metrics used to measure success shape the types of solutions that will be offered. 州统考测试分数倾向于被拿来作为评判和比较学校的标准。这也意味着新的教育供应者只能通过阅读和数学成绩来彰显他们的能力。政策和慈善业把分数当作教育业的法定货币,这给一些企业家带来了麻烦。比如有些企业家不提供“完整学校”的模式,他们只关注学校课堂成绩或科目而非州统考成绩或科目;还有些企业家用来促进英语文学和数学教育的方法,无法反映在考试分数上。衡量成功的指标影响了哪些类型的解决方案将被提供。 Finally, the field of educational entrepreneurship needs to take a hard look in the mirror and realize it has suffered from its insularity. As New Schools Venture Fund President Stacey Childress points out in her chapter in Educational Entrepreneurship Today, Teach For America (TFA) alumni were key founders of nearly one in five education ventures launched in the past 20 years.[2] That data point reflects the larger reality that educational entrepreneurs are likely to share common formative experiences and worldviews. This has produced a community that has tended to share certain assumptions (such as the importance of reading and math tests) and embrace a certain set of policies (such as test-based teacher evaluation and charter schooling). 最后,教育行业创投这一领域自身需要被仔细审视,并意识到该领域已经被其孤立性深深伤害。教育行业创投会议上,新学校风险基金的主席Stacey Childress在其专题演讲中指出,过去20年发起的教育业风险投资中,五分之一的创业公司由“为美国而教书”(TFA)组织的前成员作为关键创始人。[2]这数据反映出一个更广泛的现实:教育业创业者很可能有着共同的成长经历或世界观。这就创造了一个倾向于分享特定假设的共同体(例如阅读和数学的重要性),并且支持某特定的政策集(如基于统考测试的教师评估和特许学校教学)。 This insularity has contributed to a simmering tension in several cities with an abundance of entrepreneurial activity and new school formation, such as Detroit, Newark, and New Orleans. Activists, politicians, and community members charge that these ventures are being done to marginalized communities, not with them. Part of this tension is stoked by conflating entrepreneurship and “education reform” more generally (a phenomenon that we will tackle momentarily), but another comes from a genuine fear of snake-oil salesmen and carpetbaggers with agendas of their own. 这种偏狭性在几个创业活动和新式学校丰富的城市导致了沸腾的矛盾,如底特律,纽瓦克和新奥尔良。活动家、政客和社区成员指责这些创业公司让社区边缘化,而不是和社区相伴。更广泛的来说,把创业和“教育改革”结合起来的尝试,激化了部分矛盾(这现象我们很快会谈到)。而另外的激化则来自于对于兜售冒牌货的奸商和有着自己小盘算、想趁机渔利的外来政客的真实恐惧。 Two Dynamics That Will Shape the Next Two Decades of Educational Entrepreneurship 未来20年塑造教育行业创投的两个机制 The “what” of educational entrepreneurship is exciting. The “how” is a lot tougher. Over the next two decades, educational entrepreneurs will encounter a funding community, a policy environment, and a changing educational landscape that will profoundly affect the types of ventures they are able to create and the ability of those ventures to scale, grow, and meet children’s needs. How these dynamics will play out remains to be seen. In fact, there are several key dynamics in educational entrepreneurship that are worth exploring. 教育行业创投的概念是令人激动的。而其实现途径则要困难多了。在接下来二十年,教育业的创业者会受到融资界、政策环境、变化的教育界等因素的冲击。这些因素会深刻影响风险投资以及这些风险投资发起、壮大和满足孩子需求的能力。这些机制如何运作还有待观察。事实上,教育创业有几个关键机制值得探索。 The first dynamic is the tension between big bets and small bets. Because the outcomes of new ventures are uncertain, it makes sense to make a large number of small bets and winnow them over time. This reduces risk for everyone involved and accelerates the rate at which new models can be tried. But this approach flies in the face of much of the thinking that has characterized educational innovation and entrepreneurship during the past decade. Philanthropists and investors have been eager to find “what works” and invest in scaling it up. Proponents of the scale-up approach point to the need nationwide, the slow pace of change, and the messiness of a small-bet strategy. 第一个机制是大额投资和小额投资之间的张力。因为新的风险投资的结果不确定,下很多的小赌注然后再不断筛选它们是有道理的。这减少了每个人涉及的风险,加速了尝试新模式的速率。但是过去十年,教育行业创新、创业的特色思维很大程度上与这一思路相悖。慈善家和投资者渴望发现可行的方案,并加大投资。加大投资这一做法的支持者,提到了全国性的需求、变革的慢节奏以及小赌注方案无序混乱等理由。 Fundamentally, this tension highlights the competing visions of educational improvement in America today. Some see experimentation as eventually converging on a single or small number of “best” models, practices, or programs that should ultimately be adopted everywhere. Others see a far more fluid world, with “best” answers being highly contingent and context dependent. This is not a simple story of entrepreneurs versus bureaucrats, but of good-faith disagreements on the approaches most likely to serve the needs of schools and schooling. 基本上,这种张力突显了在今日的美国教育改进中的竞争理念。有些人把实验看作是最终会收敛的过程。他们认为最后发现的一个或少数几个最优模式、做法或项目应当被用于全国。另一些人则看到一个更加多变的世界,最优答案是高度机缘性且情境依赖的。这不是一个企业家和官僚相争的简单故事,而是一个关于最大可能有助于学校和教学的需要的方法上的善意争执。 The second dynamic—a tension that actually poses a serious risk to current and future entrepreneurial ventures—is the simultaneous desire for experimentation and uniformly positive results. In the world of educational entrepreneurship, there are calls for experimentation, the need to “think outside the box,” and a need to “fundamentally change” American schools. However, in the next breath, the same leaders and advocates who have preached the Innovation Gospel insist on “no excuses” accountability systems aiming for 100 percent proficiency and charter-authorizing systems that require all schools and offerings to prioritize performance on state tests. While it is hypothetically possible to square this circle, the reality is that educational entrepreneurs are whipsawed between an appetite for risk-taking and a strong aversion to it. 第二种机制——实际上给现在和未来的创业风投带来了严重风险——即同时渴望实验和始终如一的正面结果。在教育业创投的世界,有对实验的呼唤,有“跳出盒子思考”的需求,也有对美国学校进行“根本变革”的需求。但同时,同样这些鼓吹创新思维福音的领袖和支持者坚持毫不妥协的系统可靠性,一定要向100%的师资能力水平看齐,而特许学校系统的学校和方案都必须优先考虑州统考的表现。两者兼顾在假想中是可能的,但现实中,教育业创投者则卡在冒险冲动和强烈的风险厌恶之间左右为难。 The casual observer can easily imagine that all the expertise and money involved in venture capital and startups must deliver a high rate of success. The truth is quite different. Ninety percent of all new enterprises fail. Failure is most of what new ventures actually do. That Darwinian process of figuring things out or learning from others’ mistakes is essential to entrepreneurial success. 漫不经心的观察者很容易觉得:风险资本和创业公司配置了所有这些专家技能和资金,回报率一定很高。真相则十分不同。90%的创业公司会失败。失败是大多数新的创投公司实际所做的事。以达尔文过程找到解决方案,或是从别人的错误中学习,对创业公司的成功至关重要。 While the idea of “failure” is disquieting when it comes to children and schools, the value of failure has an important place in classrooms and learning. Students have to feel free to try something new and learn from the experience, whether or not it works out. In American education today, however, there is little tolerance for failure—in classrooms, schools, or the larger landscape. 也许一旦涉及到孩子或者学校,“失败”这个词就让人心神不宁。学生必须有尝试新东西和从经验中学习的自由,无论最后结果成功与否。然而在今日的美国教育领域,失败一点都不被容忍——在教室,学校,或者更大的范围。 This tension is particularly evident in the inclination to support large, established “entrepreneurial” ventures such as TFA or the KIPP Academies. These ventures show track records of success, have proven leaders, and constitute a well-known quantity. At the same time, these are the very things that tend to produce rigidity and routine in any organization. 这种矛盾在支持大型的、发展完备的所谓“创业”风投企业的倾向中显得特别明显,如对TFA或KIPP学院。这些企业有一系列成功的记录,有资质的领袖,规模也广为人知。与此同时,任何这样的组织都倾向产生僵化和陈规。 Organizations such as TFA and KIPP, with more than two decades of experience, records of accomplishment, alumni networks, and stakeholders, are no longer positioned to pioneer wholly new approaches. Rather, they become attractive to funders, policymakers, and education officials as they become less and less the entrepreneurial upstart and more and more a familiar piece of the new education establishment. Rather than think about new ways of preparing teachers, people keep supporting TFA. The consequence is that these organizations are asked to do more and more, stretching their ability to excel while potentially crowding out interest in unproven ventures. TFA和KIPP这样的组织拥有20多年经验、一系列的成就、会友网络和利益相关者,它们不再站在新方法的先驱位置。因为当它们变得越来越不像创业新星而越来越像人们熟悉的新的教育既得利益集团时,它们对投资人、政策制定者和教育官员都变得具有吸引力。人们一直支持TFA,而不是思考培训教师的新方法。后果就是,这些机构被要求做得更多,拓展了其卓越能力的同时也潜在地挤出了那些尚未被认可的创业公司的利益。 Questions about the importance of entrepreneurship and our tolerance for uncertainty are also central to policy debates over entrepreneur-friendly reforms such as education savings accounts, online learning, and expanded school choice programs. After all, such programs are, by their very nature, unproven. 在就对创投友好的各种改革进行政策辩论,如教育储蓄账户、线上课程和范围更宽的择校程序时,创投的重要性和我们对不确定性的容忍度等问题也居于中心。无论如何,这些项目在其最根本性质上尚未证明自己。 So What Can We Do? 那么我们能做什么呢? If you, like me, appreciate the entrepreneurial impulse and think that it has something to offer the nation’s education system, then there are steps that can be taken to try and advance the cause. 如果你像我一样欣赏创业精神的脉动并认为这可以给这个国家的教育系统带来些什么,那么有以下策略可以尝试和推进这项事业。 Funders can make small bets, as well as large ones. This can help address both the fear of “failing big” and the sense that so much of education reform today is imposed by outsiders on local communities. Insofar as the groups receiving the majority of funding are outsiders that come to town with their already-baked models, well-intentioned philanthropy can unwittingly exacerbate this divide. 投资者可以进行小额投资,就像大投资一样。这可以帮助处理对“大失败”的恐惧,也缓和了如下事实所带来的隔阂感:今日如此之多的教育改革是本地社区的外来者强制推行的。目前的情况是,当拿到大笔投资的团体是来到镇上的外来人,并带着他们已备好的模式时,好心的慈善可以无意中加剧这一隔阂。 An easy rule of thumb here is for funders to be sure they are devoting some modest percentage of their investment giving—whether that is 5 percent or 20 percent—to new ventures. Fortunately, the resources to support the developing, prototyping, and testing process tend to be only a fraction of what it costs to contribute meaningfully to an established operation. 在这里,对投资人来说一个易于施行的拇指规则是,保证他们把投资的一些小额部分,不管是5%还是20%,捐给新的创新公司。幸运的是,用来支持开发,原型制作,和测试过程的资源往往只是有效地捐助一个已建成项目的所需的一小部分。 Entrepreneurs can start with “tiny schools.” Given varying tolerance for risk and limited resources for experimentation, prospective entrepreneurs should take a good look at New Orleans’ 4.0 Schools and their idea of “tiny schools” (described by 4.0 CEO Matt Candler in his chapter).[3] Creating a new charter school typically entails a dozen or more employees, scores or even hundreds of students, and a budget north of $1 million—meaning that failure is slow, expensive, and enormously disruptive. 创业者可以从“小微学校”开始。给定不同的风险容忍度和有限的实验资源,潜在的企业家可以好好审视一下新奥尔良的4.0学校和他们的“小微学校”理念(引自4.0的首席执行官Matt Candler的专题讲座)[3]。创建一所新的特许学校通常需要十几个或者更多雇员,几十甚至几百个学生,一个一百万美元以上的预算——这意味着失败是缓慢、昂贵和极其麻烦的。 Tiny schools mean that educators with a promising idea can start with 5 to 10 kids on Saturday mornings in a public library or school cafeteria. Such a model allows entrepreneurs to experiment, fail, improve, and iterate over the course of several sessions at very low cost and next to zero risk to students. Just as evolutionary change accelerates when new generations are born more often, so entrepreneurial invention benefits from shortened time horizons and more rapid iteration. 小微学校意味着带着有潜质创意的教育者可以从周六上午在公共图书馆或学校食堂以五到十个孩子的规模开始。这种模式允许创业者以一个很低的费用和对学生来说几乎为零的风险,来对课程环节进行实验、失败、改进和试错。就如同新世代出生得更频繁时进化会加速一样。这样,创业型发明就从更短的周期和更快的试错中获益。 Tiny schools accomplish two central tasks. First, they lower the risk of starting a new school. If the idea bears fruit, it can be ramped up. If the teaching methods do not connect with students, at worst, students have lost a couple of Saturdays. Even if the transition cannot be made to a whole-year model, only a few students are affected. 小微学校完成了两个核心任务。第一,他们降低了创立一个新学校的风险。如果创业有成果,它就可以壮大。如果教学方法对学生不起作用,最差也不过就是学生损失几个星期六。即使这一过渡模式无法变为一个全年模式,也只有几个学生会受影响。 Second, they lower the cost of experimentation. In starting an entire charter school, substantial philanthropic and then public dollars are spent on an experiment. It might work out; it might not. While over time there is reason to believe that this will lead to better schools, it is an expensive way to get there. By bridging the gap between nothing and a whole school, tiny schools create space for rapid iteration and improvement. 第二,它们降低了实验成本。为了启动一个完备的特许学校,大笔慈善和财政资金会被用于一次实验。也许有好结果,也许不成功。虽然一直以来这方法被认为会产生好学校,这仍是一个昂贵的手段。通过跨越从一无所有到完备学校的鸿沟,小微学校为快速试错和改进提供了一个空间。 State leaders can complete a comprehensive regulatory review. Although mundane, rules regarding subjects such as procurement, teacher preparation, new school creation, reporting, facilities, special education, online provision, staff development, and charter school authorization can create huge, counterproductive hurdles to new providers and new models of provision. Although these regulations may have made sense at one time, many no longer do. 州政府的领袖可以完成一个综合性规制评议。虽然平凡庸常,但在采购、教师培训、新学校创设、报告、设施、特殊教育、在线授课、雇员培训和特许学校授权机构等诸方面,各种规制能够产生巨大的消极作用,阻碍新的提供者和新的模式投入使用。虽然这些规制过去可能有意义,但也许现在很多已并非如此了。 State leaders would do well to put together a blue-ribbon panel of experts to scour the state education code for outdated and ill-suited statutes and regulations that may be stymieing entrepreneurial solutions. They can also encourage districts, charter authorizers, and schools of education to conduct similar surveys of their own operations and publicly report on where and what they are streamlining. 州政府的领导们能做得更好的方面,也许是推动组成专家委员会来革新州的教育法规并去除那些过时和适应性差并可能阻碍创投方案的法律和规章。他们也可以鼓励学区、特许学校授权机构和学校对其自身的运作进行类似的调查,并公布它们在何处采取了何种加强效率的措施。 Don’t Go Gaga for Entrepreneurs; Foster Entrepreneurship 不要迷信企业家;要鼓励创业精神 The exciting source of dynamism that created everything from Rover to the next cool app to teach students to read is entrepreneurialism, not any particular entrepreneur or entrepreneurial venture. Exciting new entrants age, grow, and evolve. Some succeed and some fail. Those that succeed, with time and success, tend to become members in good standing of the stodgy old establishment. That is the cycle of entrepreneurial life. 企业家精神而不是某个企业家或者创投企业才是令人振奋的动力源。这动力可以创造从Rover到下一个很酷的手机应用,也可以教学生阅读。令人振奋的参与者变得成熟,成长,并且进化。一些成功了,一些失败了。那些成功者,随着它们的年岁和成功,变成了乏味沉闷的老既得利益集团的一部分。这就是创业生命体的周期。 Entrepreneurship does not guarantee success. If anything, it ensures that there will be failure. Of course, if a half century of school reform has taught us anything, it is that system reform is also sure to produce failure—except on a much larger scale and without the dynamism, inventiveness, and self-correction that characterizes vibrant entrepreneurial sectors. 创业不能保证成功。如果说能保证什么的话,它保证这里将会有失败。当然,如果半个世纪的学校改革教会了我们什么的话,那就是系统改革也当然会产生失败--只不过这失败的规模更大,而且没有活力、激励、自我修正等这些有生命力的创业部门所拥有的特征。 For all its imperfections though, educational entrepreneurship offers a degree of imagination and natural winnowing that seems especially well-suited to the sprawling, diverse, and pluralistic nation that we live in, and it creates an opportunity for truly world-changing products to emerge. Those who believe in the power of the entrepreneurial impulse would do well never to cling to any particular venture. The social good is best served by creating the conditions in which entrepreneurs can thrive if—and only if—they are serving the best interests of students. 虽然有种种不完美,教育行业创投活动提供着某种程度的想象力和自然筛选,这些看来对于我们所生活的这个分散,多元和分权共治的国家特别合适。并且创投创造了机会,使得真正改变世界的产品可能涌现。那些相信创业冲劲的人应该避免一成不变地支持某个特定的创投公司。创造条件,让并且只让那些最能为学生利益服务的企业茁壮成长,才是服务社会的最好途径。 Notes 注记
  1. Frederick M. Hess and Michael Q. McShane, Educational Entrepreneurship Today (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Education Press, 2016).
  2. Stacy Childress, “From Generation to Generation: Fifteen Years of Education Entrepreneurship,” in Educational Entrepreneurship Today, ed. Frederick M. Hess and Michael Q. McShane (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Education Press, 2016).
  3. Matt Candler, “Go Small or Go Home: Innovation in Schooling,” in Educational Entrepreneurship Today, ed. Frederick M. Hess and Michael Q. McShane (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Education Press, 2016).
(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——

餐饮业的Airbnb

【2016-09-06】

@whigzhou: Airbnb的模式不知会不会复制到餐饮业,自己做菜的,忙乎两小时十分钟就吃完了感觉很亏,多做一人份的边际成本很小,还可以顺便聊聊天,甚至交些朋友,不过有个问题,其中相当大一部分可能很快会凝固成固定饭搭子,如果比例太高,那在商业上就难以成立了。 ​​​​

@whigzhou: 当然,在缺乏人际信任的某国,怎么都不成立,即便有也会最终蜕变为共雇阿姨,而且据说这条路也堵死了,外卖网都禁止无门(more...)

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7609
【2016-09-06】 @whigzhou: Airbnb的模式不知会不会复制到餐饮业,自己做菜的,忙乎两小时十分钟就吃完了感觉很亏,多做一人份的边际成本很小,还可以顺便聊聊天,甚至交些朋友,不过有个问题,其中相当大一部分可能很快会凝固成固定饭搭子,如果比例太高,那在商业上就难以成立了。 ​​​​ @whigzhou: 当然,在缺乏人际信任的某国,怎么都不成立,即便有也会最终蜕变为共雇阿姨,而且据说这条路也堵死了,外卖网都禁止无门店商家入驻。 @MrsRobinson:伦敦颇有一些这样经营的“餐厅”,在自己家做饭,邮件通知、定位,再口碑传。我去过的人多的20多个客人,少的六七个,一人付四五十镑  
[译文]沙特输掉了石油价格战

沙特阿拉伯可能会在美国石油行业崩溃之前倒下
Saudi Arabia may go broke before the US oil industry buckles

作者:Ambrose Evans-Pritchard @ 2015-8-5
译者:Veidt(@Veidt)
校对:Tankman
来源:每日电讯报,http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/oilprices/11768136/Saudi-Arabia-may-go-broke-before-the-US-oil-industry-buckles.html

If the oil futures market is correct, Saudi Arabia will start running into trouble within two years. It will be in existential crisis by the end of the decade.

如果石油期货市场是对的,那么沙特阿拉伯将会在两年之内开始陷入麻烦。这个国家将会在这个十年的尾声时陷入一场生存危机。

The contract price of US crude oil for delivery in December 2020 is currently $62.05, implying a drastic change in the economic landscape for the Middle East and the petro-rentier states.

目前2020年12月交付的美国原油期货价格是每桶62.05美元,这个价格体现了中东地区和石油租利国家经济版图的一场剧变。

The Saudis took a huge gamble last November when they stopped supporting prices and opted instead to flood the market and drive out rivals, boosting their own output to 10.6m barrels a day (b/d) into the teeth of the downturn.

沙特人在去年11月【译注:本文作于2015年,此处指2014年11月】开始了一场豪赌,他们停止了对石油价格的支撑,转而选择在市场上倾销以挤出竞争对手,他们在市场急转直下的时候将自己的原油产量提升到了每日106万桶。

Bank of America says OPEC is now “effectively dissolved”. The cartel might as well shut down its offices in Vienna to save money.

美国银行认为OPEC目前“实际上已经解体了”。这个垄断联盟也许会关闭它在维也纳的办公室以节省资金。

01-Saudi-02-large_trans++qVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8

If the aim was to choke the US shale industry, the Saudis have misjudged badly, just as they misjudged the growing shale threat at every stage for eight years. “It is becoming apparent that non-OPEC producers are not as responsive to low oil prices as had been thought, at least in the short-run,” said the Saudi central bank in its latest stability report.

如果这么做的目的是打击美国的页岩产业,那么沙特人就犯了个大错,就像他们在过去八年中的每个阶段都错判了成长中的页岩产业的威胁一样。“很显然那些非OPEC产油国对于低油价的反应并不像我们之前所设想的那样剧烈,至少在短期内是这样,”沙特央行在最近的稳定性报告中表示。

“The main impact has been to cut back on developmental drilling of new oil wells, rather than slowing the flow of oil from existing wells. This requires more patience,” it said.

这份报告称:“(这项政策)的主要影响是减少了新油井的开发钻探量,而并非降低现有油井的生产速度。这需要更多的耐心。”

One Saudi expert was blunter. “The policy hasn’t worked and it will never work,” he said.

一位沙特专家则更加直白。“这项政策显然没起作用,而且它也永远起不了作用,”他说。

By causing the oil price to crash, the Saudis and their Gulf allies have certainly killed off prospects for a raft of high-cost ventures in the Russian Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico, the deep waters of the mid-Atlantic, and the Canadian tar sands.

通过让油价崩溃,沙特人和他们的海湾盟友们显然杀死了那些试图在俄罗斯北极地区,墨西哥湾,大西洋中部深海和加拿大油砂中提炼原油的昂贵冒险活动。

Consultants Wood Mackenzie say the major oil and gas companies have(more...)

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沙特阿拉伯可能会在美国石油行业崩溃之前倒下 Saudi Arabia may go broke before the US oil industry buckles 作者:Ambrose Evans-Pritchard @ 2015-8-5 译者:Veidt(@Veidt) 校对:Tankman 来源:每日电讯报,http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/oilprices/11768136/Saudi-Arabia-may-go-broke-before-the-US-oil-industry-buckles.html If the oil futures market is correct, Saudi Arabia will start running into trouble within two years. It will be in existential crisis by the end of the decade. 如果石油期货市场是对的,那么沙特阿拉伯将会在两年之内开始陷入麻烦。这个国家将会在这个十年的尾声时陷入一场生存危机。 The contract price of US crude oil for delivery in December 2020 is currently $62.05, implying a drastic change in the economic landscape for the Middle East and the petro-rentier states. 目前2020年12月交付的美国原油期货价格是每桶62.05美元,这个价格体现了中东地区和石油租利国家经济版图的一场剧变。 The Saudis took a huge gamble last November when they stopped supporting prices and opted instead to flood the market and drive out rivals, boosting their own output to 10.6m barrels a day (b/d) into the teeth of the downturn. 沙特人在去年11月【译注:本文作于2015年,此处指2014年11月】开始了一场豪赌,他们停止了对石油价格的支撑,转而选择在市场上倾销以挤出竞争对手,他们在市场急转直下的时候将自己的原油产量提升到了每日106万桶。 Bank of America says OPEC is now "effectively dissolved". The cartel might as well shut down its offices in Vienna to save money. 美国银行认为OPEC目前“实际上已经解体了”。这个垄断联盟也许会关闭它在维也纳的办公室以节省资金。 01-Saudi-02-large_trans++qVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8 If the aim was to choke the US shale industry, the Saudis have misjudged badly, just as they misjudged the growing shale threat at every stage for eight years. "It is becoming apparent that non-OPEC producers are not as responsive to low oil prices as had been thought, at least in the short-run," said the Saudi central bank in its latest stability report. 如果这么做的目的是打击美国的页岩产业,那么沙特人就犯了个大错,就像他们在过去八年中的每个阶段都错判了成长中的页岩产业的威胁一样。“很显然那些非OPEC产油国对于低油价的反应并不像我们之前所设想的那样剧烈,至少在短期内是这样,”沙特央行在最近的稳定性报告中表示。 "The main impact has been to cut back on developmental drilling of new oil wells, rather than slowing the flow of oil from existing wells. This requires more patience," it said. 这份报告称:“(这项政策)的主要影响是减少了新油井的开发钻探量,而并非降低现有油井的生产速度。这需要更多的耐心。” One Saudi expert was blunter. "The policy hasn't worked and it will never work," he said. 一位沙特专家则更加直白。“这项政策显然没起作用,而且它也永远起不了作用,”他说。 By causing the oil price to crash, the Saudis and their Gulf allies have certainly killed off prospects for a raft of high-cost ventures in the Russian Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico, the deep waters of the mid-Atlantic, and the Canadian tar sands. 通过让油价崩溃,沙特人和他们的海湾盟友们显然杀死了那些试图在俄罗斯北极地区,墨西哥湾,大西洋中部深海和加拿大油砂中提炼原油的昂贵冒险活动。 Consultants Wood Mackenzie say the major oil and gas companies have shelved 46 large projects, deferring $200bn of investments. 咨询公司Wood Machenzie表示,大型油气公司们已经将46个大型项目束之高阁,这推迟了大约2000亿美元的投资支出。 The problem for the Saudis is that US shale frackers are not high-cost. They are mostly mid-cost, and as I reported from the CERAWeek energy forum in Houston, experts at IHS think shale companies may be able to shave those costs by 45pc this year - and not only by switching tactically to high-yielding wells. 沙特人所面临的问题是,美国的页岩油气生产商们的成本并不高。正如我在休斯顿举办的CERAWeek能源论坛上所报告的,这些公司中的大多数成本都处于适中的水平,IHS公司的专家们认为这些页岩油气公司也许能在今年将这些成本削减45个百分点——而这并不仅是靠战术性地转向那些高产的油井来做到的。 Advanced pad drilling techniques allow frackers to launch five or ten wells in different directions from the same site. Smart drill-bits with computer chips can seek out cracks in the rock. New dissolvable plugs promise to save $300,000 a well. "We've driven down drilling costs by 50pc, and we can see another 30pc ahead," said John Hess, head of the Hess Corporation. 先进的井台批量钻探技术让页岩油业者能在同一处钻探点打出5口或10口不同方向的油井。植入了计算机芯片的智能钻探装置能够自动发现岩层中的裂缝。最新的可溶解油栓技术有望为每口油井节省30万美元的成本。“我们已经将钻探成本降低了百分之五十,而且我们认为目前的成本还有百分之三十的下降空间,”Hess集团总裁John Hess表示。 It was the same story from Scott Sheffield, head of Pioneer Natural Resources. "We have just drilled an 18,000 ft well in 16 days in the Permian Basin. Last year it took 30 days," he said. 先锋自然资源公司总裁Scott Sheffield也持相同看法。“我们最近在16天内在二叠纪盆地钻出了一口深达一万八千英尺的油井。而在去年,这样的工程还需要花上30天,”他说。 The North American rig-count has dropped to 664 from 1,608 in October but output still rose to a 43-year high of 9.6m b/d June. It has only just begun to roll over. "The freight train of North American tight oil has kept on coming," said Rex Tillerson, head of Exxon Mobil. 北美工作中的钻机数量从去年十月的1608台下降到了目前的664台,但原油产量却在今年六月升至43年来的最高水平——每日960万桶。而这仅仅只是个开始。“运送北美页岩油的货运火车正源源不断地开来,”埃克森美孚公司总裁Rex Tillerson表示。 01-Saudi-03-large_trans++mRnaWIkzDVpCKltYOKrpmR1NfXqjyxAjf9-9h2iOWsQ He said the resilience of the sister industry of shale gas should be a cautionary warning to those reading too much into the rig-count. Gas prices have collapsed from $8 to $2.78 since 2009, and the number of gas rigs has dropped 1,200 to 209. Yet output has risen by 30pc over that period. 他说,页岩气作为姊妹行业其适应能力应该引起那些过多关注钻机数量的人们的深切警醒。天然气价格已经从2009年的8美元暴跌至目前的2.78美元,而工作中的天然气钻机数量则从当时的1200台降至了目前的209台。但产量却在同一时期上升了超过三十个百分点。 Until now, shale drillers have been cushioned by hedging contracts. The stress test will come over coming months as these expire. But even if scores of over-leveraged wild-catters go bankrupt as funding dries up, it will not do OPEC any good. 直到目前,页岩钻探者们一直受到了对冲合约的保护。而未来的几个月中,随着这些合约到期,真正的压力测试将会到来。但即便这些过度使用杠杆的风险弄潮儿最终因为资金枯竭而破产,OPEC也无法从中得到任何好处。 The wells will still be there. The technology and infrastructure will still be there. Stronger companies will mop up on the cheap, taking over the operations. Once oil climbs back to $60 or even $55 - since the threshold keeps falling - they will crank up production almost instantly. 油井仍然在那里。技术和基础设施也仍然在那里。更加强大的公司将会廉价扫货,并接管他们的生意。一旦油价重新回到每桶60美元甚至55美元——这个阈值正在持续降低——他们将会立即重新启动钻机开始生产。 OPEC now faces a permanent headwind. Each rise in price will be capped by a surge in US output. The only constraint is the scale of US reserves that can be extracted at mid-cost, and these may be bigger than originally supposed, not to mention the parallel possibilities in Argentina and Australia, or the possibility for "clean fracking" in China as plasma pulse technology cuts water needs. OPEC目前面临着一个挥之不去的困境。每一波油价上涨就会被一波美国原油产量的激增抵消。对此的唯一限制是全美能够以适中成本开采的原油总储量,而这个数字则很可能比人们之前设想的要大,更不用提在阿根廷和澳大利亚的那些类似的可供开采储量,还有中国未来因等离子脉冲技术降低了对水量的需求,实现“清洁开采”的可能性。 Mr Sheffield said the Permian Basin in Texas could alone produce 5-6m b/d in the long-term, more than Saudi Arabia's giant Ghawar field, the biggest in the world. Sheffield先生表示,单单是德州的二叠纪盆地在长期内的日产出量就能达到500到600万桶,而这个数字比目前世界上最大的石油产区——沙特阿拉伯的大Ghawar油田的产出还要大。 Saudi Arabia is effectively beached. It relies on oil for 90pc of its budget revenues. There is no other industry to speak of, a full fifty years after the oil bonanza began. 沙特阿拉伯这艘大船实际上已经搁浅了。这个国家预算收入中的90%都依赖石油。而在经历了整整50年的石油大繁荣之后,它并没有发展出任何其它值得一提的产业。 01-Saudi-04-large_trans++qVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8 Citizens pay no tax on income, interest, or stock dividends. Subsidized petrol costs twelve cents a litre at the pump. Electricity is given away for 1.3 cents a kilowatt-hour. Spending on patronage exploded after the Arab Spring as the kingdom sought to smother dissent. 该国的国民不需要为他们的收入,利息或者股利交税。在加油站可以用每升12美分的补贴价格购买汽油。每千瓦时的电价仅仅是1.3美分。在“阿拉伯之春”开始之后,由于王室试图平息民间的不满情绪,该国用于收买支持的开支也迅速地增长。 The International Monetary Fund estimates that the budget deficit will reach 20pc of GDP this year, or roughly $140bn. The 'fiscal break-even price' is $106. 据国际货币基金组织估计,沙特的财政赤字将在今年占到GDP的20%,也就是大约1400亿美元。而让该国的财政收支达到均衡的油价水平是每桶106美元。 Far from retrenching, King Salman is spraying money around, giving away $32bn in a coronation bonus for all workers and pensioners. 而当今沙特国王萨勒曼却完全没有想要缩减开支的意思,反而四处撒钱,单单是在一次加冕礼上,他就为全国的所有工人和退休者发放了320亿美元的奖金。 He has launched a costly war against the Houthis in Yemen and is engaged in a massive military build-up - entirely reliant on imported weapons - that will propel Saudi Arabia to fifth place in the world defence ranking. 此外,他还对也门的胡塞武装发动了一场代价高昂的战争,并且大肆扩张军备——沙特的军备完全依赖从外国进口武器——这会使沙特的军费开支排到全球第5位。 The Saudi royal family is leading the Sunni cause against a resurgent Iran, battling for dominance in a bitter struggle between Sunni and Shia across the Middle East. "Right now, the Saudis have only one thing on their mind and that is the Iranians. They have a very serious problem. Iranian proxies are running Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon," said Jim Woolsey, the former head of the US Central Intelligence Agency. 沙特王室还需要肩负领导逊尼派对抗东山再起的伊朗的重任,为争夺霸权,整个中东地区的逊尼派和什叶派之间展开了艰苦的斗争。“现在沙特人满脑子都只想着一件事情,那就是来自伊朗人的威胁。他们面临着一个非常严峻的问题,伊朗的代理人目前正控制着也门,叙利亚,伊拉克和黎巴嫩,”美国中央情报局前任局长吉姆·伍尔西表示。 01-Saudi-05-large_trans++qVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8 Money began to leak out of Saudi Arabia after the Arab Spring, with net capital outflows reaching 8pc of GDP annually even before the oil price crash. The country has since been burning through its foreign reserves at a vertiginous pace. 在“阿拉伯之春”发生后,资本开始流出沙特阿拉伯,即使在油价崩溃之前,每年资本净流出也占到了GDP的8%。从那时开始,该国的外汇储备就以惊人地速度直线下降。 The reserves peaked at $737bn in August of 2014. They dropped to $672 in May. At current prices they are falling by at least $12bn a month. 沙特的外汇储备在2014年8月达到峰值7370亿美元。而到今年5月,这个数字下降到了6720亿美元。以目前的汇率计算,沙特的外汇储备每月至少会下降120亿美元。【编注:2016年4月 已降至5720亿美元01-Saudi-06-large_trans++ySkuuxUK4LTxT1WX70dVCRfLU-xOUtCF4wrCYXn1-hA Khalid Alsweilem, a former official at the Saudi central bank and now at Harvard University, said the fiscal deficit must be covered almost dollar for dollar by drawing down reserves. 沙特央行的一位前任官员Khalid Alsweilem(目前在哈佛大学担任研究员)表示,沙特政府财政赤字中的几乎每一美元都需要以外汇储备的同等下降为代价来弥补。 The Saudi buffer is not particularly large given the country's fixed exchange system. Kuwait, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi all have three times greater reserves per capita. "We are much more vulnerable. That is why we are the fourth rated sovereign in the Gulf at AA-. We cannot afford to lose our cushion over the next two years," he said. 在该国的固定汇率体系之下,留给沙特人的缓冲余地并不是很大。科威特,卡塔尔和阿布扎比所拥有的人均外汇储备是沙特的三倍。“我们相对而言要脆弱得多。这就是为何我们的主权债评级在海湾地区只排第四,评级水平也仅是AA-。在未来两年中,我们承受不起失去外汇储备缓冲的后果,”他说。 Standard & Poor's lowered its outlook to "negative" in February. "We view Saudi Arabia's economy as undiversified and vulnerable to a steep and sustained decline in oil prices," it said. 标普在今年二月将沙特主权债务的评级展望降为“负面”。“我们认为在油价持续急剧下降的过程中,沙特阿拉伯的经济没有多元化,并且十分脆弱,”标普在他们的报告中表示。 Mr Alsweilem wrote in a Harvard report that Saudi Arabia would have an extra trillion of assets by now if it had adopted the Norwegian model of a sovereign wealth fund to recyle the money instead of treating it as a piggy bank for the finance ministry. The report has caused storm in Riyadh. Alsweilem先生在哈佛大学的一份报告中写道,如果沙特之前采用挪威的主权财富基金模式让外汇储备循环投资,而不是像他们所做的那样仅仅把它当作财政部的一头现金奶牛,目前沙特阿拉伯的资产也许会多出1万亿美元。这份报告在沙特首都利雅得引发了风暴。 "We were lucky before because the oil price recovered in time. But we can't count on that again," he said. “上一次我们很幸运,因为油价适时地恢复了。但是这次我们不能再次指望同样的事情会,”他说。 OPEC have left matters too late, though perhaps there is little they could have done to combat the advances of American technology. OPEC做出反应时已经太晚了,虽然即使早一些意识到问题,他们也做不了太多事情来对抗美国的技术进步。 In hindsight, it was a strategic error to hold prices so high, for so long, allowing shale frackers - and the solar industry - to come of age. The genie cannot be put back in the bottle. 事后看来,让油价在如此长的时间维持在这么高的位置实际上是一个战略性错误,这样那些页岩油气的勘探者们——还有太阳能产业——就能够成长壮大。一旦被放出来,你就无法再将精灵放回瓶子里了。 The Saudis are now trapped. Even if they could do a deal with Russia and orchestrate a cut in output to boost prices - far from clear - they might merely gain a few more years of high income at the cost of bringing forward more shale production later on. 沙特人如今陷入了困境。即使他们能与俄罗斯达成一致共同减产以支撑油价——虽然这样的愿景目前看来一点也不清晰——这也仅仅能让他们享受多几年的高收入,而这样做的代价却是在未来面临更多的页岩油产出的竞争。 Yet on the current course their reserves may be down to $200bn by the end of 2018. The markets will react long before this, seeing the writing on the wall. Capital flight will accelerate. 而如果当前的趋势维持下去,沙特的外汇储备将在2018年底前降至2000亿美元以下。一旦前景明白无误了,市场会在它成为现实前就早早做出反应。资本外流将会加速。 The government can slash investment spending for a while - as it did in the mid-1980s - but in the end it must face draconian austerity. It cannot afford to prop up Egypt and maintain an exorbitant political patronage machine across the Sunni world. 沙特政府可以在一段时间内削减资本开支——就像它在1980年代中期所做的那样——但最终它将面临严峻的紧缩。沙特将无法负担起支撑埃及政权并在逊尼派穆斯林世界里维持一台昂贵的资助机器的开支。 Social spending is the glue that holds together a medieval Wahhabi regime at a time of fermenting unrest among the Shia minority of the Eastern Province, pin-prick terrorist attacks from ISIS, and blowback from the invasion of Yemen. 庞大的社会开支是将一个仍然处在中世纪状态的瓦哈比政权维系在一起的粘合剂,这个政权正面临着东部省份的什叶少数派中正在发酵的动荡,ISIS时而发动的针刺般的恐怖袭击,还有入侵也门所带来的反作用力。 Diplomatic spending is what underpins the Saudi sphere of influence in a Middle East suffering its own version of Europe's Thirty Year War, and still reeling from the after-shocks of a crushed democratic revolt. 庞大的外交开支则是维系沙特在中东地区影响力的基础,而目前中东地区正在经历着类似欧洲“三十年战争”般的苦难,同时还在蹒跚地试图爬出镇压民主反抗运动带来的余震。 We may yet find that the US oil industry has greater staying power than the rickety political edifice behind OPEC. 我们也许会发现,虽然同样处在低谷中,但相比OPEC身后的那座虚弱的政治大厦,美国的石油行业其实拥有着更强的生命力。 (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。

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