经济学人:差距再次扩大
日期:2012-03-15 13:19

(单词翻译:单击)

OCCUPY WALL STREET may be long gone from lower Manhattan, but worries persist about the gap between America’s richest 1% and the rest. Talk of inequality pervades the presidential race. In his January state-of-the-union message, Barack Obama called the struggle for a level economic playing field the defining issue of our time.
占领华尔街行动可能在曼哈顿下城一去不复返了,但人们对美国1%富人与其他阶层之间的差距的担忧仍未消散。总统竞选中也充斥着关于社会不公的演讲。巴拉克•奥巴马在一月份的国情咨文演说中将争取一个同等的经济竞争场地称为我们时代的决定性事件。
Republicans bristle at the notion. In February Rick Santorum, the second-placed Republican candidate, declared: There is income inequality in America. There always has been and, hopefully, and I do say that, there always will be. New income data from Emmanuel Saez, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, may fan the flames.
共和党人被这个看法激怒了。二月份,共和党总统提名候选人的第二位热门人选Rick Santorum称:美国存在收入差距,而且一直以来都有,我希望,我的确是这么说的,将一直有收入差距。美国加州大学伯克利分校的一位经济学家Emmanuel Saez提供的新收入数据可能更是火上浇油。
Mr Saez is well known for his work on tracking the share of national income that goes to the highest earners. From Internal Revenue Service tax numbers he has constructed a series of data going back to 1913 that has helped frame the debate over rising inequality in America. On the eve of the Great Recession, his numbers show, income gaps reached extremes last experienced in the late 1920s. The top 10% of American earners brought in 46% of the nation’s salary income in 2007. The top 0.1% alone earned over 12% of all salary income. These striking totals capped years of rising inequality. Between 1993 and 2010, over half of all real income gains in America flowed to the top 1%.
Saez 先生致力于追踪美国最高收入者占有的国民收入份额,他因这项工作而广为人知。根据国内收入署提供的税收编号,Saez 构造了一组1913年以来的数据,激起了美国国内对越发严重的社会不公的辩论。其数据显示,在经济大衰退(注1)前夕,收入差距达到极端值,最近一次达到该值是在20世纪20年代末。2007年,排名前10%的美国收入者将全国工资收入的46%收入囊中,而单单是前0.1%的高收入者就挣得了占据逾12%的工资。这些惊人的数据代表多年以来的贫富不均现象达到了顶峰。1993-2010年间,有超过一半的全国实际收入所得流入美国1%的人口手中。
The recession then took a heavy toll on the rich. Between 2007 and 2009 the inflation-adjusted income of the bottom 99% dropped by 11.6%, the largest decline seen since the Depression. The top 1% suffered a much larger drop of 36.3%, substantial enough to suggest the possibility of a break in the previous trend. The distribution of incomes in America levelled off sharply in the 1930s and remained flat until the late 1980s (see chart). A repeat performance seemed possible.
此次大衰退给富人们造成了严重的损失。2007-2009年间,调整通胀后,占人口99%的较低收入者的收入削减了11.6%,是大萧条以来的最大降幅。1%的富人的降幅则更大,达到36.3%,足以有超过先前趋势的可能。大萧条时期20世纪30年代,美国的收入分配大幅趋平,这种情况持续到了20世纪80年末(见上图)。这次似乎又是一次循环。
That now looks less likely. On March 2nd Mr Saez updated his figures to the end of 2010. The new data reveal a rebound in the fortunes of the rich. From 2009 to 2010, the top 1% of earners enjoyed an 11.6% rise in income while the rest of the workforce saw a gain of just 0.2%.
现在看来,那似乎不太可能了。3月2日,Saez 先生将其数据更新至2010年末。新数据显示富人们的财富值正在反弹。从2009年到2010年,1%富人的收入上涨了11.6%,而其他工薪阶层只上涨了0.2%。


Renewed gains at the top are not surprising. Declines in high incomes during the recession were driven by a collapse in stock prices, which have since roared back to their levels of before the crisis. By contrast, salary income has scarcely budged. Excluding capital gains, the top 10% of earners captured a near-record share of income in 2010. More increases may follow.
富人收入重新上涨并不奇怪。大衰退时期其收入降低是由于受到股市暴跌的影响,而自那以后,股价一路飙升回危机前的水平。相比之下,工薪阶层的收入却几乎没改变过。除了资本所得,10%富人的工资占全国总工资的比例也在2010年达到新高,未来可能还会继续上涨。
Mr Saez argues that there was little reason to expect enduring change from the Great Recession. The Depression hurt the rich, but it was the regulatory and tax changes that followed which made a lasting impact on income distribution. Regulatory reform in the wake of the latest crash has been far more restrained.
Saez 先生认为,不应该期待大衰退之后会发生持久的变化。经济大萧条重创富人阶层,但那是因为当时进行了管理和税务改革,给收入分配造成了长久的影响。而紧随此次大衰退而来的监管改革力度要比大萧条时温和多了。
Despite some Democrats’ rhetoric, big new tax increases are highly unlikely. Mr Obama proposes to cut the deficit by returning the top marginal income-tax rate to the 39.6% level of the late 1990s. Between 1932 and 1944, by contrast, the tax rate on top incomes rose from 25% to 94%. Such confiscatory rates are hard to imagine now.But the resumption of the pre-recession trend may change the political debate.
尽管一些民主党人善于言辞,但大幅提高税收几乎是不可能的。为了减少赤字,奥巴马提议将富人的边缘收入税率调回至20世纪90年代的水平,即39.6%。相比之下,在1932-1944年间,对富人征收的收入税率却从25%提高到94%。如今如此高的征收率已是难以想象的了。然而,但贫富差距的走势如果恢复到大衰退时期之前,那就可能会改变这场政治辩论。

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重点单词
  • bristlen. 刚毛,猪鬃 v. 僵硬,直立,激怒
  • trendn. 趋势,倾向,方位 vi. 倾向,转向
  • issuen. 发行物,期刊号,争论点 vi. & vt 发行,流
  • depressionn. 沮丧,萧条
  • enduringadj. 持久的,忍耐的
  • unlikelyadj. 不太可能的
  • experiencedadj. 有经验的
  • previousadj. 在 ... 之前,先,前,以前的
  • reformv. 改革,改造,革新 n. 改革,改良
  • framen. 框,结构,骨架 v. 构成,把 ... 框起来,陷