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經濟學人:疫情后時代社會保障的絕處逢生(3)

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That is the easy part. Balancing generosity and dynamism is harder. Part of the solution is to top up the wages of low-paid workers. AngloSax on countries have done this well since reforms in the 1990s and 2000s. But wage top-ups are of little use to the jobless and are often scant compensation for people who lose good jobs to forces beyond their control. Paltry support for the unemployed in Britain and America preserves incentives to work but at high human cost. The sparsity of social insurance has undermined political support for creative destruction, the catalyst for rising living standards. Continental Europe tends to underwrite traditional workers’ incomes more generously. But the distortion of incentives leads to higher unemployment and divisions between coddled insiders and a precariat. Both sides of the Atlantic lack a permanent safety net that insures gig workers and the self-employed.

這部分很簡單。但在慷慨和發展之間做好平衡就很難了。部分解決辦法是增加低薪工人的工資。自20世紀90年代和21世紀初的改革以來,盎格魯-撒克遜國家在這方面做得很好,但漲薪對失業者用處不大,對那些因不可控力而失去好工作的人來說,這點補償杯水車薪。在英國和美國,對失業者微不足道的支持保留了工作動力,但卻付出了高昂的人力成本。社會保險的匱乏削弱了對創造性破壞的政治支持,而創造性破壞是改善生活水平的催化劑。歐洲大陸傾向于更慷慨地承保傳統工人的收入。但是,激勵機制的扭曲導致失業率上升,得到悉心照料的內部人員和不穩定型無產者之間的分歧也隨之加劇。大西洋兩岸都缺乏一個永久的,可為零工和個體經營者提供保險的社會保障系統。

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There is one country that combines labour market flexibility with generosity: Denmark, which spends large sums- 1.9% of GDP in 2018—on retraining and on advising the jobless. These interventions stop the unemployed from falling into dependency. The inadequacies of policies elsewhere are often glaring. Britain’s efforts have flopped. America’ s comparable spending is less than a 20th as large as Denmark’s, even though the few lucky beneficiaries of its “trade-adjustment assistance” earn $50,000 more in wages, on average, over a decade.

丹麥則把勞動力市場的靈活性與慷慨結合在了一起。丹麥在為失業者提供再培訓和咨詢方面花費了巨額資金,2018年支出其GDP的1.9%。這些干預措施防止失業者對救濟陷入依賴。其他地方政策的不足之處往往是顯而易見的。英國所做的努力已經失敗了。美國的類似支出還不到丹麥的二十分之一,盡管其“貿易調整援助”的少數幸運受益者在十年內平均多賺了五萬美元的工資。

For years social spending has favoured the elderly and an outdated safety net. It should be rebuilt around active labour-market policies that use technology to help everyone from shop-workers who are victims of disruption to mothers whose skills have atrophied and those whose jobs are replaced by machines. Governments cannot eliminate risk, but they can help ensure that if calamity strikes, people bounce back.

多年來,社會支出一直偏愛老年人以及過時的社會保障系統。但政府應該圍繞著積極的勞動力市場政策重建社會支出,這些市場政策能夠利用技術幫助到每一個人,從受到動蕩影響的商店店員、到技能衰退的母親、再到那些被機器取代工作的工人。政府不能消除風險,但他們可以幫助確保在災難來襲時,人們會重新重整旗鼓,絕處逢生。

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traditional [trə'diʃənəl]

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adj. 傳統的

 
outdated [.aut'deitid]

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adj. 舊式的,落伍的,過時的

 
social ['səuʃəl]

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adj. 社會的,社交的
n. 社交聚會

 
distortion [dis'tɔ:ʃən]

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n. 扭曲,變形,曲解

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decade ['dekeid]

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n. 十年

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solution [sə'lu:ʃən]

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n. 解答,解決辦法,溶解,溶液

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continental [.kɔnti'nentl]

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adj. 大陸的

 
control [kən'trəul]

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n. 克制,控制,管制,操作裝置
vt. 控制

 
unemployment ['ʌnim'plɔimənt]

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n. 失業,失業人數

 
glaring ['glɛəriŋ]

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adj. 耀眼的,炫目的,怒視的 動詞glare的現在分

 
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