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“悍马男”的10年

来源:天星 更新日期:2010-01-03 点击:


霸气十足的悍马车是许多新富的最爱

Call him Hummer Man -- our man of the decade.

请叫他“悍马男”──我们评选出的十年代表人物。

It was 2005, and the young Chinese man had parked his beast of a vehicle, a cherry-red Hummer with big fog lamps and tires the size of Nebraska, at a busy intersection in downtown Shanghai. As he sat in the driver's seat, his fellow Chinese passed and marveled.

那是2005年,这个中国年轻人将他的粗犷座驾停在了上海闹市区一个交通繁忙的十字路口。这是一辆樱桃红色的悍马,有着巨大的雾灯和轮胎。他坐在驾驶位上,经过的中国人都赞叹不已。

'What a beautiful machine,' a reporter yelled up to the driver.

一位记者对这位司机喊道:“这车真是漂亮”。

The man looked down, pointed to the hood and responded simply:'Turbocharged.'

这名男士不屑地指了指汽车引擎盖,简单地说:“涡轮增压”。

There were many events that grabbed world headlines in this first decade of the 21st century: the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the U.S.; the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that followed; natural disaster in Asia; financial intoxication, and the subsequent global purge and crash.

在二十一世纪的最初10年,很多事件成为了世界的媒体头条:2001年9月11日美国遭受恐怖主义袭击、随后的阿富汗和伊拉克战争、亚洲的自然灾害、金融危机以及随后的全球整顿和崩溃。

But a good argument can be made that Hummer Man, poster child for new affluence, embodies the more fundamental story of our times -- and the far more dominant and lasting force affecting world affairs.

但我们有充足的理由认定,作为“新富阶层”代表人物的“悍马男”象征着我们时代较为基本的情况──以及影响全球事务的更为突出和持久的力量。

Across the globe, economic and political liberalization reached critical mass in recent years, propelling hundreds of millions of people up the income curve, and unleashing a flood of ambition and aspiration. A force that started to build in 1978 in China, 1991 in India, and more recently in many other developing economies, is now indeed turbocharged.

近年来,全球经济和政治自由化进程已经达到关键阶段,提高了数亿人的收入,释放了一波雄心壮志的热潮。这股力量的发展过程在中国开始于1978年,在印度开始于1991年,在很多其他发展中经济体则开始于最近,这股力量如今才是真正的涡轮增压。

Over the past decade, the number of households with annual disposable income of more than $10,000 rocketed in countries as diverse as Algeria, Brazil, Kazakhstan and Poland. China zoomed past Japan and the U.S. to become the largest market for auto sales. Cellphone subscriptions in India rose 240-fold, a rate outpaced by Syria, Vietnam, Kenya and a number of other nations, says Euromonitor International, a research firm.

过去十年,阿根廷、巴西、哈萨克斯坦和波兰等国每年可支配收入超过1万美元的家庭数量如火箭般飙升。中国已经超过日本和美国,成为全球最大的汽车市场。市场研究公司欧睿国际(Euromonitor International)说,印度的手机用户数增长了240倍,而叙利亚、越南、肯尼亚和很多其他国家的增长速度更快。

In fact, technology played a special role firing growth through the decade. New free-trade agreements helped many poor nations expand. So did better economic management and liberalized rules for business. But it is technology that has been a great equalizer.

实际上,科技在这个10年发挥了特殊作用推动经济增长。新的自由贸易协定帮助很多穷国实现了增长。经济管理的改善以及贸易法规的宽松也起到了相同的作用。但科技则起到了重要的均衡器作用。

'Technological breakthroughs such as the Internet and cellphones have helped regions like Africa become connected,' says William Easterly, an economist at New York University. 'Kenya suddenly figured out it could capture the European market for cut flowers by using the Internet' to buy and sell, he says. 'It's just dynamic Kenyan entrepreneurship.'

纽约大学(New York University)经济学家伊斯特利(William Easterly)说,互联网和手机等技术突破帮助非洲等地区实现了互联。他说,肯尼亚人突然想到,他们可以通过互联网将鲜切花卖到欧洲市场。这只是充满活力的肯尼亚创业精神。

The World Bank suggests that the global economy could expand in size to $72 trillion by 2030 from $35 trillion in 2005, spurred by developing countries. Under that scenario, the Bank estimates that by 2030, 1.2 billion people in developing nations will be part of what it terms the global middle class. That's three times the number today.

世界银行(World Bank)预计,在发展中国家的刺激下,2030年全球经济规模将从2005年的35万亿美元增长至72万亿美元。根据这一假定,世界银行预计到2030年,发展中国家有12亿人将成为全球中产阶级的一员,这个数字是目前的三倍。

What's the bigger upside of all this economic enfranchisement? 'At some point, when you have a sufficiently large middle class -- that's the key to sustained good government,' says Nancy Birdsall, president of the Center for Global Development, a research organization in Washington. 'It's the middle class that demands a competitive system, property rights, the rule of law, an economic setting where they can compete, where they aren't fighting the insider privileges that are associated with developing economies.'

经济自由带来的更大好处是什么呢?华盛顿研究机构全球发展中心(Center for Global Development)总裁伯索尔(Nancy Birdsall)说,从某种角度上说,当一个国家的中产阶级相当庞大的时候,这是催生长期的良好政府的关键,因为是中产阶级要求建立竞争性的体系、产权、法律规定以及经济环境,让他们能够竞争,而不必与发展中国家经济体存在的内部特权抗衡。

But upside is in the eye of the beholder. New economic powers are rising abroad. They will continue to take jobs away from higher-cost developed countries. They will demand more political influence. And they will grab a fatter slice of high-end innovation -- the lucrative part of the global market that the U.S. and the developed world have considered their own.

不过这些好处都只是“情人眼里出西施”。新的经济大国正在海外崛起。它们将继续从成本更高的发达国家手里抢走工作。它们将继续要求更大的政治影响力。它们将在高端创新领域获得更大的份额──也就是被美国和发达国家视为归其所有的全球市场中有利可图的部分。

Andrew Liveris, chief executive of Dow Chemical Co., sounds the warning a different way. At employee gatherings in the U.S., he asks who has children studying to become engineers. A few hands go up, he says. When he asks the question at Dow gatherings in China and India, a forest of arms wave in the air.

陶氏化学公司(Dow Chemical Co.)首席执行长利伟诚(Andrew Liveris)以另外一种不同的方式发出了警报。在美国的一个员工大会上,他问有谁的孩子在攻读工程学,以后要成为工程师。他说,有几个人举起了手。当他在中国和印度公司的大会上提出这个问题的时候,举手的人数不胜数。

There are other points of angst along the road to economic integration. Robust expansion can be followed by great dysfunction, as the past two years of financial crisis have shown. Environmental damage and income inequality are ever-present threats to stability. And protectionism is straining at the leash in Congress and parliaments across the globe. Another spike in unemployment could well set it loose.

在通往经济融合的道路上,还有其他值得担心的问题。在强劲的扩张之后,随之而来的可能是严重的功能紊乱,就象过去两年来金融危机所显示出的一样。对环境造成的破坏和收入不均是一直对稳定造成威胁的问题。在美国国会和各国议会,保护主义都在试图挣脱绳索。失业率的再次攀升可能会让保护主义成为脱缰之马。

Still, expect the momentum that has built over the past 10 years to speed straight into the next decade. Aspiration begat Hummer Man, and by the end of the decade it had consumed the brand as well: A Chinese company bought the vehicle from General Motors Co.

尽管这样,过去10年积聚的势头有可能会一举冲进未来10年。雄心催生了“悍马男”,也在这10年结束前吞噬掉了悍马这个品牌:一家中国企业从通用汽车(General Motors Co.)手里买走了悍马。

It also propelled men like Zhang Jingyi into this new world -- the fuel for future global growth. It was the latter part of the decade, and Mr. Zhang was sitting outside the Beijing Railway Station, his possessions in a single canvas bag. His was a typical story of the times. Like migrants in Latin America, Africa and Central Europe, Mr. Zhang had come to the city to find a better life. 'I need to earn more money to pay for my son's education,' he said.

这也把像张景义(音)这样的人推进了这个新世界──这里是未来全球增长的动力所在。不到五年前的某一天,张景义坐在北京火车站外,他的家当都在一个帆布包里。他的故事是这个时代的典型。与拉美、非洲和中欧的移民一样,张景义来这个城市寻找更好的生活。他说,我需要赚更多的钱,供儿子上学。

And behind him, waiting for their chance to plug into the grid: roughly 700,000 Chinese, still on the farm, with growing aspirations of their own.

在他身后,等待机会进入城市网络的是约70万仍从事农业生产、有着越来越大的个人雄心的中国人。

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