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【双语】美国真的在衰退吗?

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小编摘要:对于许多学者和学术权威来说,对外宣称美国正在衰落且不再是世界头号强国是一件很时髦的事情。

It's fashionable among academics and pundits to proclaim that the U.S. is in decline and no longer No. 1 in the world. The declinists say they are realists. In fact, their alarm is unrealistic.

  对于许多学者和学术权威来说,对外宣称美国正在衰落且不再是世界头号强国是一件很时髦的事情。“衰退论”者自称是现实主义者。事实上,他们的告诫一点也不现实。

  Early declinists like Yale historian Paul Kennedy focused in the 1980s on the allegedly debilitating effects of America's "imperial overstretch." More recently, historians Niall Ferguson and Martin Jacques focus on the weakening of the economy. Among pundits, Paul Krugman and Michael Kinsley on the left and Mark Helprin on the right sound the alarm.

  上世纪80年代,以耶鲁大学历史学家保罗•肯尼迪(Paul Kennedy)为代表的早期衰退论者主要关注美利坚帝国的过度扩张(imperial overstretch)带来的所谓破坏性影响。到了最近,历史学家尼尔•弗格森(Niall Ferguson)和马丁•雅克(Martin Jacques)则着眼于疲软的美国经济。在学术权威中,左翼的保罗•克鲁格曼(Paul Krugman)和迈克尔•金斯利(Michael Kinsley)以及右翼的马克•贺普林(Mark Helprin)都拉响了警报。

  The debate involves issues of absolute versus relative decline and concepts like "resilience" and "passivity." Some issues are measurable, like gross domestic product (GDP), military power and demographics. Others are not measurable or less measurable.

  这场辩论涉及的问题包括美国到底是绝对衰退还是相对衰退,以及诸如“适应性”和“被动性”等概念。有些问题是可以衡量的,比如国内生产总值(GDP)、军事实力和人口数量。还有一些则无法衡量或难以衡量。

  In absolute terms, the U.S. enjoyed an incline this past decade. Between 2000 and 2010, U.S. GDP increased 21% in constant dollars, despite the shattering setbacks of the Great Recession in 2008-09 and the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2001. In 2010, U.S. military spending ($697 billion) was 55% higher than in 2000. And in 2010, the U.S. population was 310 million, an increase of 10% since 2000.

  ASSOCIATED PRESS按绝对值计算,美国在2000年至2010年间,人口、军费支出和GDP都有所增长。而从相对值来看,有些情况就不那么好了,尤其是GDP。按绝对价值计算,过去十年美国增长趋势明显。2000年至2010年间,尽管有2001年网络泡沫的破裂以及2008至2009年大衰退造成的严重下滑,但以不变价格计算,美国GDP还是增长了21%。2010年美国的军费支出比2000年高出了55%,达到6,970亿美元。2010年美国人口数量为3.1亿,自2000年以来增加了10%。

  The notion that demography is destiny may be a stretch, but demographics are important when, as in the U.S., population increase-- due to higher birth and immigration rates than other developed countries-- cushions the impact of an aging population.

  那种认为人口数量决定命运的说法可能有些夸张,但当人口增长能降低人口老龄化带来的负面影响时,人口规模的大小还是非常重要的。美国现在的情况就说明了这点。和其它发达国家相比更高的出生率和移民率增加了美国的人口数量。

  But there were also some important declines relative to the rest of the world. In 2000, U.S. GDP was 61% of the combined GDPs of the other G-20 countries. By 2010, that number dropped to 42%. In 2000, U.S. GDP was slightly more than eight times that of China, but it fell to slightly less than three times in 2010. Japan is a contrasting case: U.S. GDP was twice as large as Japan's in 2000 but 2.6 times as large in 2010, before the tsunami and nuclear disasters of 2011.

  但和世界其它国家相比,美国在一些指标上也出现了显著下滑。2000年,在二十国集团中,美国GDP占其余19国GDP总和的61%。到2010年,这一比例下降到42%。 2000年,美国GDP规模是中国的八倍多一点,但到了2010年这一数字跌落至不到三倍。日本就是一个对比鲜明的例子:2000年美国GDP是日本的两倍,但到了2010年(2011年的海啸和核灾难发生前)却变成了2.6倍。

  Between the inclines and declines are other data to be considered.

  在绝对增长和相对衰退之间还有一些数据值得思考。

  U.S. military spending inclined substantially to more than twice that spent by all non-U.S. NATO members in 2010 from 1.7 times in 2000; to 17 times Russian spending in 2010 from six times in 2000; and to nine times Chinese spending in 2010 from seven times in 2000.

  美国军费开支大幅增加。2010年美国的军费支出是北约其它所有成员国总和的两倍多,而2000年时这一数字还只有1.7倍。2010年美国的军费支出是俄罗斯的17倍、中国的九倍,而2000年时,这组数据分别只有六倍和七倍。

  Demographically, the U.S. population in 2000 (282 million) was 4.6% of the global population; by 2010, the U.S. population (310 million) had risen to 4.9% of the global figure. The U.S. population was 59% as large as that of the 15-member European Union in 2000; that figure increased to 78% by 2010 (counting only 2000's 15 members) and 62% if we count the 12 new EU members added between 2004 and 2007.

  再看人口统计数据。2000年美国人口为2.82亿,占全球人口4.6%。到了2010年,美国人口上升至3.1亿,占全球人口的比例也扩大至4.9%。2000年时,美国人口相当于欧盟15个成员国人口总和的59%。但到了2010年上升至78%(还是以2000年时那15个国家统计)。如果算上2004年至2007年新加入的12个成员国,这一比例仍高达62%。

美国真的在衰退吗?

  The U.S. population grew by 10% more than that of Japan and 13% more than that of Russia between 2000 and 2010. Relative to the huge populations of China and India (1.3 billion and 1.2 billion, respectively), the U.S. population during the past decade increased slightly (0.16%) compared to China and decreased by a similar margin compared to India.

  2000至2010年,美国人口增幅比日本高10%,比俄罗斯高13%。由于中国和印度的人口规模巨大(分别为13亿和12亿),同期美国人口增幅仅比中国高0.16%,比印度稍低。

  What matters more than absolute numbers is the population's composition of prime working-age people versus dependents. Compared to most developed economies and China, the U.S. demographic composition is relatively favorable.

  相对于绝对人口数量,人口构成中壮年劳动力和非劳动力的比例更为重要。同中国以及绝大多数发达国家相比,美国的人口构成相对有利。

  So what do all these numbers tell us about decline or incline?

  那么,有关美国到底是增长还是衰退,上面所有这些数据可以告诉我们些什么信息?

  Despite the Great Recession, the three crude indicators -- GDP, military spending and population growth -- show that the U.S. inclined in absolute terms.

  虽然经历了大衰退,但从GDP、军费支出和人口增长三个明显指标看,按绝对价值计算,美国增长势头明确。

  But in relative terms, the picture is more complicated. Although U.S. GDP grew substantially in real terms during the decade, relative to the G-20 countries as a group U.S. GDP declined by 19%. Relative to China, the U.S. decline was even larger.

  但按相对价值计算,情况就比较复杂了。尽管过去十年按实际价值计算美国GDP大幅增长,但和二十国集团的总体GDP对比,美国GDP下降了19%。和中国相比降幅就更为明显。

  As noted, military spending by the U.S. increased across the board relative to NATO, China and Russia. Whether this suggests the U.S. is allocating too much, or other countries too little, is not evident from numbers alone. And numbers also don't indicate whether high military outlays have a positive or negative effect on economic growth.

  如前所述,无论是和北约、中国还是俄罗斯相比,美国军费开支都呈上升趋势。但单从数字来看,我们并不知道究竟是美国将过多的资源分配到军事上,还是其它国家分配地太少。数字也无法说明军费支出增加对经济增长究竟产生了正面还是负面的影响。

  As for demography, there was a small U.S. increase relative to global population, a moderate increase relative to the EU, large increases relative to Japan and Russia, and slight and opposite changes relative to China and India.

  最后看人口数据:和全球人口相比,美国人口小幅增加。和欧盟相比,增幅会大一些;和日本与俄罗斯相比,增幅很大;但和中国与印度相比,仅有微幅增加甚至是小幅倒退。

  And there you have it: Some numbers show inclines, some show declines and some numbers are mixed. What the numbers omit is as significant as what they convey. Omissions include the societal and systemic factors that stimulate or impede creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and new ventures.

  下面来看结论:一些数字体现了增长,一些数字说明了衰退,还有一些数字则能说明两方面的问题。这些数字所传递的信息和遗漏的重点同样重要。遗漏的重点包括激励或阻碍创造力、创新、创业精神的社会或制度因素。

  Numbers also ignore the effects of culture, property rights, law and political freedom in the near and long terms. Nor do the numbers foretell how China's so-called "Red Capitalism" will fare in long-term competition with the multi-hued U.S. prototype. As for comparing and forecasting the resilience of countries and regions, the numbers ignore more than they convey.

  这些数字也忽略了文化、产权、法律和政治自由在短期和长期的影响。这些数字也无法预言中国所谓“红色资本主义”在和美国这个资本主义元老长期竞争的结果会如何?而在比较和预测各个国家和地区的适应性时,这些数据忽略的信息比传递的多。

  The overall picture is far more complex than the simple one portrayed by declinists. The real world is complicated, so a portrait in one dimension distorts rather than reflects reality.

  整体情况远比衰退论者描述的要复杂。现实世界总是复杂的,单一维度的描述不是反映现实,而是扭曲了现实。

 

标签:美国 经济 衰退
6
2011-04-28 14:53 编辑:典典
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