《经济学人》:白酒分销机构趋向私有化
日期:2011-12-05 09:24

(单词翻译:单击)

Drinking rules
酒品销售条例

Behind the Zion curtain
锡安山之幕

The drinks flow more freely, except in Utah
酒欲横流——犹他除外


ALMOST 80 years after the repeal of Prohibition, the sale of wine and spirits remains partly or wholly in government hands in a third of America’s states. But in these tough times economic considerations are starting to outweigh moral concerns. On November 8th Washington’s voters approved plans to privatise the state’s 328 liquor outlets and open the business to warehouse stores and supermarkets. Budget planners think the change could bring in an extra $80m a year from licence fees. The victory for the Yes campaign—secured with $22.5m from Costco, a warehouse-store chain, the record for a donation to a Washington ballot initiative—reduces the number of controlled states to 17, following similar moves by West Virginia and Iowa years ago. Other states considering opening the spigots include North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
在禁酒法案废止近80年后,美国有三分之一州的白酒或葡萄酒销售权部分或者完全的掌握政府手中。但是在经济困难时期对经济的考量超过了道德约束。11月8日,华盛顿进行投票,计划将全国328个白酒分销机构私有化,同时不再限制大商场及超市的白酒销售。预算案的制定者认为此举将带来八千万美元的额外许可费收益。美国批发巨头COSTCO投入2250万美元用于推动解除酒类销售限制的运动,它的胜利使得美国对酒品销售实行控制的州减少到17个,此前几年弗吉尼亚州和爱荷华州均取消了对酒类销售的限制。


Opponents will not give up without a fight. They wield studies that point to increases in consumption and car accidents after laws are loosened. But nowhere is liberalisation resisted more staunchly than in Mormon-dominated Utah, where even strong beer has to be sold through publicly owned stores. Its restrictive distribution system is under the spotlight thanks to an ongoing bid-rigging scandal at the state-run alcohol monopoly. But the forces arrayed against reform are strong, including the speaker of the state Senate and anti-drink-driving pressure groups. The odds of privatisation are a small fraction of those of seeing a Mormon in the White House, sighs one lawmaker.
反对者们在做最后的斗争之前是绝不会轻易放弃的。他们挥舞着调查报告称由于法律对酒类销售的放宽使其销售节节攀升并间接导致酒后驾车事故的不断增多。在酒类销售限制方面没有哪个州可以跟犹他州相比,在犹他州即使烈性啤酒也只能在公营商店才能买得到。犹他州白酒专营丑闻的曝光使得其严格的白酒销售网络得以被公开。但是放宽酒类销售的改革还面临着诸多的压力,比如来自国会议员的反对和酒驾团体的抗议。问题的棘手之处在于白宫里的一小撮反对饮酒的摩门教徒。

Worse, Utah’s famously tough and complicated rules on the way drinks are stored and served in bars and restaurants have been growing more restrictive, not less so. The shackles had loosened a bit during the governorship of Jon Huntsman, whose administration worried that jokes about being slower than Salt Lake City on a Saturday night were a turn-off to party-minded skiers (Utah has some of the best slopes in North America). Bars no longer had to set themselves up as private clubs that charged would-be drinkers membership fees, for instance. After Mr Huntsman left to become Barack Obama’s ambassador to China, however, the reactionaries regained the initiative.
更加糟糕的是,犹他州在酒类存储和销售路径方面的严格限制非但没有放松反而变得更加苛刻。在JONHUNTSMAN任犹他州州长期间对酒类销售的限制曾有所放松,因为他担心他的官员们害怕那些关于周六晚上比盐湖城还迟钝的笑话会让想要狂欢的滑雪游客避开犹他。(犹他有一些全北美洲最好的滑雪坡)至少从现在看,酒吧不用像私人俱乐部那样向可能的饮酒者收取会费。后来亨斯顿进入奥巴马政府并去了中国任驻华大使,反对酒类销售的人又开始活跃起来。


Under one new law, restaurants opened after January 2010, even those that serve nothing more potent than beer, have to erect a barrier along the length of the bar that shields under-age punters from the sight of drinks being stored or poured. These walls, often made of frosted glass, are known locally as Zion curtains. These establishments’ beer sales cannot exceed 30% of their total revenue. The same law bans all-day discounts on drinks, introduced by many bars in recent years to get around the ban on happy hours. Doubles have long been illegal. Licensed restaurants must use ID scanners on customers who look younger than 35.
根据新的法律规定,2010年1月以后开始营业的餐馆饭店,无论提供何种饮料哪怕只是啤酒都必须沿酒吧前台设置隔挡,避免未到法定饮酒年龄的年轻人看到酒类的储藏及倾倒。这种横档通常都用磨砂玻璃制成,被当地人称为锡安山之幕。这种酒的的销售不能超过其年销售总额的30%。法律还规定,禁止对酒类饮料全天打折,以前酒吧饭店常采用这种打折手法绕过法律的限制在节假日促销酒类。

Bars and restaurants are regularly tripped up by a strict quota system for new licences, which is based on Utah’s population growth. A number of places that had been awarded permits for all types of alcohol had them taken away in October because the increase in headcount was below projections. These can now serve only beer that is 3.2% or less alcohol. To cap it all, pubs and eateries have to pay the same 80-90% markup for their booze as consumers do in the state-run stores. With so many hoops to jump through and extra costs to absorb, it is no wonder that some chains are slowing their expansion in the state or choosing to focus elsewhere. As the souvenir shot glasses say: Eat, drink and be merry—tomorrow you may be in Utah.
酒吧和饭店经常被严格的配额制度所限制,随着犹他州人口数量的不断增长他们不得不重新申请领的经销许可证。十月份将有很多地方的酒类经营许可证将会被收回,因为人口增长量低于许可证的颁发量。这些地方(被取消许可证)后现在只能出售度数不高于3.2的酒(那里销售的啤酒只占其他地区的3.2%),白酒甚至更低。最糟的是,这些酒吧和餐厅必须和在国营商店里购买酒类的消费者一样支付比原价高80%到90%的金额(为了达到销售的上限,这些酒吧餐馆不得不像在国营商店里购买酒类的消费者们那样拿出涨价额的80%到90%用于酒馆的运营)。有这么多的火圈要钻,有这么多的额外支出需要去支付,难怪酒类运营商纷纷放慢了他们在犹他州扩展的步伐转而投资其他地区。就像是一个纪念杯子上镌刻的文字一样尽情吃喝, 开怀畅饮吧——明天到了犹他州,就没机会了

privatise v. 私有化
loosen v. 松动
shackles n.束缚
illegal adj.违法的
headcount n.点名人数, 所有在场的人数

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重点单词
  • populationn. 人口 ,(全体)居民,人数
  • monopolyn. 垄断,专利,独占,控制
  • budgetn. 预算 vt. 编预算,为 ... 做预算 vi.
  • donationn. 捐赠物,捐款,捐赠
  • illegaladj. 不合法的,非法的 n. 非法移民
  • distributionn. 分发,分配,散布,分布
  • fractionn. 分数,小部分,破片
  • loosenvt. 放松,松开,解除(便秘等),放宽 vi. 变松,
  • campaignn. 运动,活动,战役,竞选运动 v. 从事运动,参加竞
  • quotan. 配额,限额,最低票数