《经济学人》:让移民来得更猛烈些吧!
日期:2011-08-30 11:13

(单词翻译:单击)

Immigration
移民问题

Let them come
让移民来得更猛烈些吧!

The West should be more welcoming to migrants—there’s competition from the East for them
西方应该更加欢迎移民,不然东方就把他们竞争走了

Aug 27th 2011 | from the print edition

IMMIGRATION is a sensitive subject at the best of times, and this is not one of them. The economic crisis has destroyed millions of jobs in rich countries, making their governments especially touchy about the impact of immigration on the demand for indigenous labour.

即便是在光景好的年代,移民也是个敏感话题,更何况如今光景衰败。发达国家在经济危机中失去了千百万的就业岗位,因此,政府对移民影响本土劳动力需求的问题显得尤为敏感。

Such concerns are illogical, because immigration is counter-cyclical. Recession in rich countries has discouraged some would-be incomers from trying their luck. America, for instance, has seen a sharp decline in Mexicans trying to cross its southern border. Immigration to Europe has slowed. Some studies also suggest that increased inflows of migrants are a leading indicator of a pickup in growth.

这样的担忧毫无逻辑,因为移民是反周期性的。发达国家的经济衰退已经让一些潜在移民望而却步。比如说,从美国南部边界进入该国的墨西哥人数量已经大大减少了。欧洲的移民量也在减缓。一些研究还表明移入居民的增加是经济增长好转的先行指标。

Yet governments are often reluctant to leave migration flows to the labour market. In recessions, they tend to take steps to discourage new migrants and even get rid of existing ones. Over the past year the Danish, French and Italian governments have rolled back the Schengen passport-free zone and reintroduced limited border controls. Even Australia and Canada, which pioneered the “points system” to give preference to skilled workers, have cut back on work permits. David Cameron, Britain’s prime minister, has imposed a “migration cap” for those from outside the EU. Countries including Spain, Japan and Denmark have taken this to its logical conclusion, with “pay as you go” schemes, under which migrants get cash handouts to return to their countries of origin.

然而政府总是不愿意让劳动力市场来自行调节移民量。在衰退时期,政府常常采取措施限制新移民进入,甚至驱赶现存移民。在过去的一年中,丹麦、法国、意大利政府均取消申根区免护照的规定,重新采取边境管制措施。甚至连澳大利亚、加拿大这两个利用“计分制度”招揽技术工人的国家,也减少了国外工人的工作许可证。英国首相大卫.卡梅伦也对欧盟以外的人员进行“移民限定”。一些国家,包括西班牙、日本、丹麦,也作出诸如此类的逻辑推断,采取“走人就给钱”的方案,也就是移民迁回各自国家就可以得到政府派发的现金。

Concerns about immigration are understandable, especially at a time when jobs are in such short supply. Polling in both Europe and America suggests that a majority of locals think immigrants do more harm than good and damage locals’ chances in the job market. Evidence that immigration hurts indigenous workers is, however, weak. In seasonal work and construction, cheap foreign labour can depress wages and make it harder for the low-skilled to find work, but the flexibility and willingness of new workers can also boost productivity and encourage innovation.

对移民问题的担忧是可以理解的,尤其是处在一个工作紧缺的时期。在欧美的调查显示大部分当地人认为移民带来的危害大于好处,他们抢走了本地人的工作机会。然而,证明移民损害本土工人利益的证据仍旧匮乏。对于季节性工作和建设工作,廉价的外国劳动力会压低工资水平,同时也让一些技术水平低下的本地人难以找到工作。但是新涌入的工人带来的灵活性和工作干劲却能够提高生产率,鼓励创新。

Strains on public services can sorely test the patience of locals, especially when budget cuts are making it hard to maintain such services. In Britain, for instance, a contingency fund to help cash-strapped local authorities facing pressure on public services has been scrapped. Yet over time immigrants more than repay the extra short-term burden they impose on education, health and other budgets.

大量移民涌入带来的公共服务资源紧缺也会让本地人大大失去耐心,尤其是当预算削减使得此类服务难以维系下去的时候。比如在英国,一项用于帮助资金短缺的地方政府缓解来自公共服务方面压力的应急费用已被取消。然而,长远来看,移民带来的好处定会远远超过他们短时间内给教育、卫生及其他预算带来的额外负担。

Keep the gates open
敞开大门

Politicians often say that they want a sensible debate about immigration; but too often they pander to voters’ fears of immigrants rather than attempting to allay them. They should be particularly wary of doing so now. There is growing competition for their skills elsewhere (see article): Asia is fast becoming the new magnet for migrants.

政治家们常说他们想要在移民问题上保持清醒理智;但他们却常常迎合选民们对移民的担忧,而不是努力去缓解他们的担忧。现阶段他们应当尤其慎重了。其他地方对移民技术的竞争在逐渐增加:亚洲正迅速成为新的移民吸铁石。

China, which used to be closed to immigrant labour, is now handing out residency permits to professionals, academics and entrepreneurs. In 2009 Shanghai recorded 100,000 foreigners living there. A similar number have settled in the southern port of Guangzhou, drawn from Europe, the Middle East and Africa. South Korea has also witnessed a rise in incomers since 2007 and is particularly keen to attract American-educated graduates.

在过去中国对移民劳力是不开放的,现在却向专业人才、学者、企业家广发居住许可。2009年上海记录有10万外国人居住在此。也有差不多数量的外国人在中国南部港口广州入住,他们来自欧洲、中东和非洲。自2007年起,韩国的入境移民也在不断增加。韩国尤其热衷于吸引美国毕业的人才。

Immigration is, on the whole, good for economies; and right now, rich countries can do with all the economic help they can get. Rather than sending immigrants home, with their skills, energy, ideas and willingness to work, governments should be encouraging them to come. If they don’t, governments elsewhere will.

总体来说,移民有利于经济发展。现阶段发达国家需要一切能得到的经济帮助。政府不应驱赶移民回家,他们有着技术、精力和工作的意愿,相反政府更应该鼓励移民的移入。如果发达国家政府不这么做,别国政府就会。

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重点单词
  • impactn. 冲击(力), 冲突,影响(力) vt. 挤入,压紧
  • flexibilityn. 灵活性,柔韧性,适应性
  • willingnessn. 乐意,愿意
  • imposev. 加上,课征,强迫,征收(税款)
  • tendv. 趋向,易于,照料,护理
  • sensibleadj. 可察觉的,意识到的,实用的 n. 可感知物
  • debaten. 辩论,讨论 vt. 争论,思考 vi. 商讨,辩论
  • majorityn. 多数,大多数,多数党,多数派 n. 法定年龄
  • pressuren. 压力,压强,压迫 v. 施压
  • indigenousadj. 本地的,土生土长的,天生的