经济学人:腐败之都 Capital of Corruption
日期:2012-03-01 14:00

(单词翻译:单击)

ON MARCH 15th the former governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, will start to serve a 14-year sentence for corruption in a federal low-security prison. In this part of America, he is treading a well-worn path. Over four decades, four governors (out of seven) have been convicted of corruption.

伊利诺斯州前州长罗德•布拉格耶维奇因在联邦低安全级别监狱中工作腐败,于3月15日开始为期14年的刑罚。在美国的这个地区,他走过了一条曲折的道路。在过去的四十年中,4个州长(共有7个)都因腐败而被定罪。

A new report, by Dick Simpson and his colleagues at the University of Chicago, documents the extent to which the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago have been hotbeds of corruption. Chicago, they conclude, has the dubious distinction of being the federal district with the most convictions since 1976.

在芝加哥大学迪克•辛普森和他的同事们一份新的报告中,他们描绘了作为滋生腐败的温床伊利诺斯州和芝加哥已经到了何种程度。他们宣称,从1976年开始芝加哥就很可能是美联邦中高犯罪率地区,而它也因此显著区别与其他地区。

Since then, 1,828 elected officials, appointees, government employees and a few private individuals have been convicted of corruption in Illinois, and 84% of these were in its Northern District—a judicial zone which contains the entire Chicago metropolitan area. During this time around one-third of the city’s aldermen have been convicted of corruption. No mayors have been convicted or indicted—not even Bill Thompson, who was backed by Al Capone.

从那之后,1828名选举官员、指派官员、政府雇员和一小部分私人个体都因在伊利诺斯州实施腐败而被治罪。他们中的84%都来自于州北部地区——这是一块包含芝加哥所有繁华区域的司法区。如今整个城市已经有1/3的商人都被定为腐败罪。没有一个市长因腐败被定罪或起诉,甚至在阿尔•卡彭支持下的比尔•汤普森也不例外。

Although Chicago is the capital of corruption, the state of Illinois as a whole ranks only third in the country—after the much more populous states of New York and California. But the report documents a pattern of crime that has become synonymous with the Chicago or Illinois way of doing things. All the corrupt governors and 26 of the aldermen had tried to extract bribes from builders, developers, business owners and those seeking to do business with the city or the state. Those who paid bribes either assumed, or were told, that payment was necessary for zoning changes, building permits or any other government action.

虽然芝加哥身为腐败之都,但是伊利诺斯州在全国的腐败排名位居第三——纽约州和加利福尼亚州在这点上更为众望所归。不过报告中描述了一种犯罪方式,这种方式与芝加哥和伊利诺斯州行事方式有相似之处。所有行为腐败的市长和市参议员(市议会长老议员)都曾向建筑商、发展商、大商人以及意欲与城市或者州进行生意交易的人索取过贿赂。这些被索取贿赂的人认为,也有其他人告诉他们,那些作为贿赂的钱财都是为地区改变、建筑许可或是其他任何政府行为所必须的。

Mr Blagojevich, notoriously, sought money in exchange for an appointment to a seat in the Senate. Other convictions may have been less spectacular, but the pattern of pay-offs for political favours has prevailed in these parts for 150 years.

布拉格耶维奇寻找钱财为了在议会中享有一席之地的事情已经臭名昭著。他的其他罪名没有这么严重,但是通过金钱来交换政治这种方式已经在这个地区盛行了150年了。

A project under way by the State Integrity Investigation, due out on March 19th, notes that some changes have been made in the light of past scandals. Mr Simpson thinks the ultimate solution lies in ending the culture of corruption, which would include prohibiting patronage (something he says is on the decline anyway), nepotism and the holding of two government jobs at the same time.

国家正义调查局正进行一个于3月19号结束的项目,他们发现在过去的丑闻影响下,一些变化悄然兴起。辛普森先生认为禁止任命职务(他说这个已经在不断减少)、任人唯亲以及同时就职于政府两个职位,这才是断绝腐败问题的最终解决方案。

Corruption has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and sapped faith in government. Both the new governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, and the new mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, have shown a willingness to reform. Many of Mr Emanuel’s early executive orders are designed to improve transparency and accountability. But Mr Simpson says too many loopholes remain. The devil, as ever, is in the detail.

腐败问题以纳税人数以百万计的金钱作为代价,并且使得公众丧失了对政府的信任。伊利诺斯州的新州长奎恩和芝加哥的新市长拉姆•伊曼纽尔都表示了改革的决心。伊曼纽尔先生早期的行政命令也意在提高政府行政的透明度和信任感。但是辛普森先生说这个体制还是有太多的漏洞,而最终的魔鬼,仍然是在细节上。

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重点单词
  • accountabilityn. 可说明性;有义务;有责任
  • extentn. 广度,宽度,长度,大小,范围,范围,程度 n. [
  • solutionn. 解答,解决办法,溶解,溶液
  • notoriouslyadv. 臭名昭著地,众所周知地
  • assumedadj. 假装的;假定的
  • distinctionn. 差别,对比,区分,荣誉,优秀
  • dubiousadj. 怀疑的,可疑的
  • patternn. 图案,式样,典范,模式,型 v. 以图案装饰,仿造
  • patronagen. 赞助,光顾,任免权
  • metropolitann. 大都市的居民,大主教 adj. 大都市的,大主教区