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愤怒的美国

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人们很难再忆起世界巴拉克·奥巴马的成功选举是怎样的激动人心。不仅仅因为他是第一个继承美国大统的黑人总统,同样因为他被认为对内能修复美国之痛,对外能重振国威;他有着有不同寻常的有远见,庄严,正直。人们热切的渴望奥巴马能战胜经济衰退,却没有人认为这不正常。是的,当时很多人都断定“他可以!”
IT TAKES an effort these days to recall the thrill that surged through the world when Barack Obama was elected America’s president. It was not only that he was the first black person to assume the globe’s greatest office. He seemed to be preternaturally thoughtful, dignified and decent; a man who could heal America’s wounds at home and restore its reputation abroad. Though too many were swept away in a collective longing to see hope triumph over experience, none of it seemed wholly unreasonable at the time. Yes, many thought, he can.
两年后,整个国家弥漫着失望的气息,奥巴马在国内处于尴尬而进退两难的境地。他过于左派,是一个懦弱的拖鞋这,他想恢复重建美国的不实际想法并没有帮助他的选民;他的医疗体系改革和金融改革也被指责受人摆布。他同样过于右派,他就像一个只会说大话的挥霍着,浪费了数以亿计的美元在毫无用处的外交政策,就等于借贷未来的钱解决现在的危机。连他背后支持他的中立者,包括他的媒体,都对他感到失望。他作为领导的才能远不及他的竞选天赋。
Two years later, the magnitude of the let-down is palpable everywhere; and at home the president is caught in a vice. To many on the left, he is a cowardly compromiser, whose half-baked plans to get America back to work have done little to help those who voted for him, and whose health-care and financial reforms were gutted at the behest of special interests. To many on the right, he seems a doctrinaire spendthrift who has squandered trillions of dollars on wasteful bureaucracy, mortgaging the future while failing to grapple with the present. To centrists who backed him, including this newspaper, he has been a disappointment, his skills as a president falling far short of his genius as a campaigner.
现在看来,疯狂的美国人就要开始实施他们的行动:在11月2号的中期选举上给以奥巴马领导的民主党致命报复。那样结果很可能是共和党再次掌权众议院,稳固参议员的地位,这样一来,由于缺少阻碍,他们有望能阻止任何草案的通过。但是在我们(The Economist)看来,这样的怨恼是在是过分了。
It looks as though an angry America is about to exact its revenge, giving Mr Obama’s Democrats a painful kicking in the mid-terms on November 2nd. The likeliest outcome (see article) is that the Republicans will take back the House of Representatives and make solid gains in the Senate, where, though falling short of majority control, they will effortlessly be able to block any bill they wish. But, in our view, the rage directed at Mr Obama is overdone.
现在来看看美国人为什么会抓狂:(显而易见)经济原因。就业率的缓慢增长很大程度上是因为消费者和公司都试图重建他们的财政。进出口衰退也不是一天两天就能恢复。奥巴马错就错在过高地承诺逆境将很快扭转这个不太可能的假设。但是破产也不是他导致的,相反,他因该得到更高的评价。特别是在美国,政治体系难以改变的情况下,是他的控制手段才使得美国免受更多噩耗。他的大胆,勇敢和迅速的刺激计划本身无错。他抵制高涨的保护主义并没有错,除了个别例外。奥巴马棋差一招的只是没有在中期选举拿出有效的解决财政赤字的计划。但是同样共和党也没有类似计划,而且当初也是他们在监管减税——毕竟美国介入的两场战争,经济的崩溃导致了美国巨额的财政赤字。
Consider the main reason why Americans are angry: the economy. The slow pace of job re-creation is primarily the result of consumers and companies trying to rebuild their finances. Balance-sheet recessions always take time to recover from. Mr Obama is guilty of promising that the pain would be over sooner than was ever likely. But he did not cause the bust, and he deserves more credit than he is getting for steering America clear of a much worse fate, especially considering the constraints of a political system designed to make big changes difficult. He was right to go for a big, bold and immediate stimulus plan. He has been right to resist, with minor exceptions, calls for a wave of protectionism. He is guilty of having no credible medium-term plan to reduce the deficit. But then nor do the Republicans; and it was they, after all, who oversaw the tax cuts, the entry into two wars and the financial collapse that are the source of most of America’s gigantic deficit.
在其他政策方面,奥巴马也把握正确了几个大的方面。他试图改革使美国成千上万公民缺少健康保险的糟糕医疗体系,或许他因该推迟该计划,等到经济复苏后再实行。在外交政策方面,他的关于伊拉克和阿富汗的决定总体来讲稳妥得当。许多人都被留了下来,职位的安排也妥帖,就连他的前竞争对手希拉里·克林顿也不例外。
In other policy areas, too, Mr Obama has got some big things right. He was correct to try to deal with a dreadful system that leaves tens of millions of Americans without access to health cover, though he should probably have postponed doing so until the economy had recovered. In foreign policy, he has made generally sensible decisions about Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of the people he has retained or put in place have done well, including his ex-rival, Hillary Clinton.
但是哪里出错了呢?一系列小而繁琐的事情——巧言令色,细节,执行力,冷漠和模糊不清——最终削弱了他的任职。他把带动美国复苏的商人视为仇敌,大声斥责他们贪得无厌,(典型的)投机着。他甚至,和我们文中指出一样,丢掉了美帝国最有活力和最佳资产的商誉。硅谷曾经视奥巴马为新前景的起点,现在觉得他简直是垃圾投资。
So what went wrong? The answer is a series of smaller things—rhetoric, details, execution, even an aloof vagueness—that have cumulatively undermined his presidency. He has made enemies of the businessmen who are needed to drive forward America’s recovery, haranguing them as fat cats and speculators. He has even, as we report here, forfeited the goodwill of America’s most dynamic and entrepreneurial asset. Silicon Valley, which once saw Mr Obama as a promising start-up, now sees him as a bad investment.
他决定把剩下的交给他人来干付出了惨重代价。把刺激计划,医疗改革和经济改革丢给民主党领导阶层,而自己的劣质草案到头来却被共和党简单驳回,民主党党员也逐渐疏远。一个能力更佳的总统会控制好局面,找到一条共和党无法后退的路。奥巴马的宏观经济成就被民主党试图和微观经济的搅合下,显得苍白无力。医疗草案成为商业累赘,刺激方案充满(某些)团体利益。
His decision to leave details to others has also cost him dearly. By choosing to subcontract the stimulus, health reform and finance reform to the Democratic leadership, he ended up with shoddy bills that Republicans could safely vote against and that many Democrats are now anxious to distance themselves from. A more accomplished president would have controlled that process better, and found ways to make the Republicans offers that they could not refuse. Mr Obama’s macroeconomic soundness has been undermined by the Democrats’ tendency to meddle with microeconomics, leading to a health bill that imposes onerous requirements on business and a stimulus bill larded with pro-union giveaways.
美国目前难以捉摸。对外,它不示敌示好;对内,不定因素到处充斥:医疗改革具体会怎样实施;高层决定带动的碳价攀升又将怎样左右能源价格;更重要的是,奥巴马会怎样处理疲敝的赤字。所以美国人会愤怒也是情理之中。
America is now an uncharacteristically uncertain place. Abroad it seems unsure of who its friends and enemies are. At home there are too many imponderables: over how the health bill will play out in practice; over what might happen to energy prices if carbon-pricing is resurrected via executive action; most of all, over what Mr Obama can do about those yawning deficits. People do not like uncertainty; so if Americans are angry, it is hardly surprising.
仍然值得欢呼
Cheer up
奇怪的是奥巴马似乎难以理解,更不用说回应美国中层阶级。他的习惯性的解散茶会,认为反对他的人都是受到哄骗的,邪恶的或者是尖酸的。他选举时引人注目的铁齿铜牙变成了充耳不闻的锡耳。不管原因是什么,他似乎无法体会美国的痛,无法取得成就或是无法创造一个对未来积极的观点。
Mr Obama seems curiously unable to perceive, let alone respond to, the grievances of middle America, and has a dangerous habit of dismissing tea-partiers and others who disagree with him as deluded, evil or just bitter. The silver tongue that charmed America during the campaign has been replaced by a tin ear. Some blame this on an emotional detachment his difficult upbringing forced on him, others on the fact that he has lived all his life among tribal Democrats. Whatever the reason, he does not seem to feel America’s pain, and looks unable either to capitalise on his administration’s achievements or to project an optimistic vision for the future.
这些都不难做到。抛开这些问题不说,人们虽然现在心情糟糕但却仍然抱有期望(。它仍是地球上最创新的经济体,聚合了世界上最顶尖最富有的大学。它的民主深入人心,有奇高的出生率和不受限制的发展空间。它的劳动力灵活而勤劳。它的超低债券的产生标志着全球投资者仍旧乐观看待(美国经济),认为它不失为一个长期投资博弈。全球最富有创业精神的个体挤破头脑都想进美国。最后,他卓越的总统肯定能超越现在,再创辉煌。
Which ought not to be so hard. Despite its problems, America has far more going for it than its current mood suggests. It is still the most innovative economy on earth, the place where the world’s greatest universities meet the world’s deepest pockets. Its demography is favourable, with a high birth rate and limitless space into which to expand. It has a flexible and hard-working labour force. Its ultra-low bond yields are a sign that the world’s investors still think it a good long-term bet. The most enterprising individuals on earth still clamour to come to America. And it still has a talented president who can surely do better than he has thus far.
标签:美国
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2010-11-11 23:00 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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