《经济学人》:澳大利亚的未来,下一个黄金州
日期:2011-06-01 10:47

(单词翻译:单击)

Australia's promise
澳大利亚的未来

The next Golden State
下一个黄金州

With a bit of self-belief, Australia could become a model nation
再多一些自信,澳大利亚可以成为一个模范国家

May 26th 2011 | from the print edition

IMAGINE a country of about 25m people, democratic, tolerant, welcoming to immigrants, socially harmonious, politically stable and economically successful; good beaches too. It sounds like California 30 years ago, but it is not: it is Australia today. Yet Australia could become a sort of California—and perhaps a still more successful version of the Golden State.

想象这样一个国家:大约2500万人口,民主、宽容、欢迎移民、社会和谐、政治稳定、经济成功,还有良好的海滩。听上去这像是30年前的加利福利亚,不,这是现在的澳大利亚。不过,澳大利亚能够成为某种形式上的加利福利亚,并且很可能比它更为成功。

It already has a successful economy, which unlike California’s has avoided recession since 1991, and a political system that generally serves it well. It is benefiting from a resources bonanza that brings it quantities of money for doing no more than scraping up minerals and shipping them to Asia. It is the most pleasant rich country to live in, reports a survey this week by the OECD. And, since Asia’s appetite for iron ore, coal, natural gas and mutton shows no signs of abating, the bonanza seems set to continue for a while, even if it is downgraded to some lesser form of boom (see article). However, as our special report in this issue makes clear, the country’s economic success owes much less to recent windfalls than to policies applied over the 20 years before 2003. Textbook economics and sound management have truly worked wonders.

澳大利亚已有成功的经济,与加利福利亚不同,它自1991年以来就避开了衰退,得益于丰富的自然资源,仅仅是把矿产积攒起来并运往亚洲,就为澳大利亚带来了大笔的财富。本周,经合组织一份调查报告显示,澳大利亚是富国里面最适宜居住的国家。并且,由于亚洲国家对铁矿石、媒、天然气、羊毛的胃口看上去并无削减之势,澳大利亚的好运还要持续一段时间——即便蓬勃发展的势头有放缓之势。(看文章)。不过,就此问题,正如我们的专题报道中阐明的那样,澳大利亚的经济成功更多归功于2003年前实施了20多年的政策,而非近来的意外之财。教科书式的经济(模式)和完善的经营管理真实不假地创造了奇迹。

A flash in the pan?
昙花一现?

Australians must now decide what sort of country they want their children to live in. They can enjoy their prosperity, squander what they do not consume and wait to see what the future brings; or they can actively set about creating the sort of society that other nations envy and want to emulate. California, for many people still the state of the future, may hold some lessons. Its history also includes a gold rush, an energy boom and the development of a thriving farm sector. It went on to reap the economic benefits of an excellent higher-education system and the knowledge industries this spawned. If Australia is to fulfil its promise, it too will have to unlock the full potential of its citizens’ brain power.

澳大利亚人现在必须考虑将来让他们的孩子生活在一个什么样的国家。他们可以坐享其成、坐吃山空、听天由命;也可以着手创造出其他国家羡慕、乐于效仿的那种社会类型。对许多人而言依然意味着国家未来的加利福尼亚,或许能够提供一些经验教训。它的历史同样包括淘金热、能源热潮、农业部门的欣欣向荣。由于出色的高等教育体系和其孵化的知识产业,澳大利亚继续收获经济利益。如果澳大利亚打算实现其未来,那么它同样必须放开对其公民智慧潜能的限制。

Australia cannot, of course, do exactly what California did (eg, create an aerospace industry and send the bill to the Pentagon). Nor would it want to: thanks to its addiction to ballot initiatives, Californian politics is a mess. But it could do more to develop the sort of open, dynamic and creative society that California has epitomised, drawing waves of energetic immigrants not just from other parts of America but from all over the world. Such societies, the ones in which young and enterprising people want to live, cannot be conjured up overnight by a single agent, least of all by government. They are created by the alchemy of artists, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, civic institutions and governments coming together in the right combination at the right moment. And for Australia, economically strong as never before, this is surely such a moment.

当然,澳大利亚不可能对加利福尼亚亦步亦趋(比方说,创造航空工业,然后把账单送到五角大楼)。澳大利亚也不想如此:这多亏其对投票公投的热衷,加利福尼亚的政治简直是一团糟。不过,在发展出加利福尼亚代表的那种开放的、活力十足的、有创造力的社会方面,澳大利亚还有许多功课要做。加利福尼亚不仅从美国其他地区,而且从世界各地吸收充满活力的移民。年轻人和有进取心的人想要生活其中的社会,不可能由单一的代理机构——尤其是政府——一夜之间就像变戏法式地给变出来。这种社会是由艺术家、企业家、慈善家、民间机构、政府的炼金术在合适的时间、正确的组合中同时出现而创造出来的。对澳大利亚而言,经济实力从未如此强大,现在正恰当其时。

Watch our video-guide to Australia's past, present and future, or listen to an interview with the author of this Special Report
观看我们关于澳大利亚过去、现在和未来的视频指南,或者,听一听对这篇专业报道作者的访谈

What then is needed to get the alchemy going? Though government should not seek to direct the chemistry, it should create the conditions for it. That means ensuring that the economy remains open, flexible and resilient, capable, in other words, of getting through harder times when the boom is over (a sovereign-wealth fund would help). It means maintaining a high rate of immigration (which started to fall two years ago). It means, above all, fostering a sense of self-confidence among the people at large to bring about the mix of civic pride, philanthropy and financial investment that so often underpins the success of places like California.

那么,开动这种炼金术需要什么呢?尽管政府不应当寻求直接指导这一化学过程,它应当为其创造条件。这意味着保证经济的继续开放、灵活而富有弹性、包容性,换句话说,当发展期结束之时,还能度过困难时期。(主权财富基金将有一定帮助)这意味着维持高的移民率(两年前开始下滑)。最重要的是,还意味着在那些带来国民骄傲、慈善、金融投资的人当中培养一种普遍的自信。支撑像加利福利亚这样地方成功的,常常就是这种自信。

Many Australians do not seem to appreciate that they live in an unusually successful country. Accustomed to unbroken economic expansion—many are too young to remember recession—they are inclined to complain about house prices, 5% unemployment or the problems that a high exchange rate causes manufacturing and several other industries. Some Australians talk big but actually think small, and politicians may be the worst offenders. They are often reluctant to get out in front in policymaking—on climate change, for instance—preferring to follow what bigger countries do. In the quest for a carbon policy, both the main parties have chopped and changed their minds, and their leaders, leaving voters divided and bemused. There can be little doubt that if America could come to a decision on the topic, Australia would soon follow suit.

许多澳大利亚人似乎并没有意识到生活在一个与众不同的成功国家。对从未间断的经济扩张习以为常——许多人太年轻,不记得衰退的事——容易抱怨房价、5%的失业率、或者高汇率导致的制造业或其他工业的问题。许多人夸夸其谈却并未做过多思考,首当其冲的就是政治家们。通常,他们极不情愿地走到台前决策——比方说,在气候变化问题上——乐于跟在大国的屁股后面。在碳(排放)政策的探索中,两个主要党派朝三暮四、朝令夕改,他们的领导人让选民们产生分歧、不知所措。毫无疑问,如果美国在议题上作出决定,澳大利亚立马跟风。

Its current political leaders, with notable exceptions, are perhaps the least impressive feature of today’s Australia. Just when their country has the chance to become influential in the world, they appear introverted and unable to see the big picture. Little legislation of consequence has been passed since 2003. A labour-market reform introduced by the Liberals was partly repealed by Labor. A proposed tax on the mining companies was badly mishandled (also by Labor), leading to a much feebler one. All attempts at a climate-change bill have failed. The prime minister, Labor’s Julia Gillard, admits she is unmoved by foreign policy. The leader of the opposition, Tony Abbott, takes his cue from America’s tea-party movement, by fighting a carbon tax with a “people’s revolt” in which little is heard apart from personal insults. Instead of pointing to the great benefits of immigration—population growth is responsible for about two-fifths of the increase in real GDP in the past 40 years—the two parties pander shamelessly to xenophobic fears about asylum-seekers washing up in boats.

除了明显的例外,澳大利亚目前的政治领袖可能给人的印象最为深刻。当他们的国家有机会在世界上更具影响力时,他们畏手畏脚,看不到大的图景。自2003年以来,很少有立法最终得以通过。由自由党提出的劳动力市场改革部分被工党取消。对矿业公司收税的提议也被搞黄(又是工党),导致税收政策更加无力。关于气候变化法案的尝试全部以失败告终。澳大利亚总理——工党的朱莉娅·吉拉德承认她对外交政策无动于衷。反对党领袖托尼·艾博特从美国的茶党运动中得到启示,他以“人民的反抗”为由反对碳税(提案)。所谓“人民的反抗”,除了人身侮辱之外,什么都没有。两党不是指出从移民中获取的巨大利益——在过去40年间,人口增长对实际GDP增长的贡献约为2/5——却都对仇外恐惧(担心政治庇护者把澳大利亚当做避风港)无耻迎奉。

…or a golden future?
……或者,一个金色的未来?

None of this will get Australians to take pride in their achievements and build on them. Better themes for politicians would be their plans to develop first-class universities, nourish the arts, promote urban design and stimulate new industries in anything from alternative energy to desalinating water. All these are under way, but few are surging ahead. Though the country’s best-known building is an opera house, for example, the arts have yet to receive as much official patronage as they deserve. However, the most useful policy to pursue would be education, especially tertiary education. Australia’s universities, like its wine, are decent and dependable, but seldom excellent. Yet educated workers are essential for an economy competitive in services as well as minerals. First, however, Aussies need a bit more self-belief. After that perhaps will come the zest and confidence of an Antipodean California.

这些都不能让澳大利亚人对所取得的成就本身和完成这一成就感到自豪。对政治家而言,计划发展第一流的大学、培养艺术、促进城市设计、刺激从可替代能源到淡化水的任何新工业将是更好的主题。所有的这一切都在开展之中,但鲜有突飞猛进。比方说,尽管澳大利亚最著名的建筑是歌剧院,艺术还没有得到本应得到的官方支持。不过,最该探究的有用政策当属教育,尤其是高等教育。澳大利亚的大学像它的酒一样,还不错也值得信赖,但几乎没有出类拔萃的。不过,对于在服务业和采矿业充满竞争的经济而言,受教育的工人是必不可少的。不过,澳洲人首先需要多一点自信,然后,澳大利亚版加利福尼亚式的热情和信心或许就会出现。

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重点单词
  • squanderv. 浪费,使 ... 散开
  • introvertedadj. 内向的 v. 使内翻;使...内向(intro
  • priden. 自豪,骄傲,引以自豪的东西,自尊心 vt. 以 .
  • legislationn. 立法,法律
  • consequencen. 结果,后果
  • populationn. 人口 ,(全体)居民,人数
  • harmoniousadj. 和睦的,和谐的,音调优美的
  • primeadj. 最初的,首要的,最好的,典型的 n. 青春,壮
  • decisionn. 决定,决策
  • resilientadj. 适应力强的,有弹力的