经济学人:活的自由同时多付税款
日期:2012-03-30 14:53

(单词翻译:单击)

LAST week the state of Washington began auctioning the licences to 167 of the liquor stores it runs. By June 1st Washington will be out of the liquor business altogether, freeing private businesses to sell spirits in the state for the first time since Prohibition. Last year, despite dire warnings about corporate profiteers, drunk drivers and surging policing costs, voters in the state approved the privatisation in a referendum by 59% to 41%.
上周,华盛顿州开始向它经营的167家酒精类饮料商店拍卖许可证。到6月1日为止,华盛顿州将彻底放手酒精类业务,这是自禁酒令以来首次允许私营企业在州内出售烈性酒。去年,尽管公司牟利严重,醉架司机增多,警务成本上升此类事件接连不断,一次全民投票中支持烈性酒出售私有化的选民占59%,发对的占41%。
Something similar happened in Georgia on March 6th, when voters lifted the ban on sales of alcohol on Sundays in 24 of the 27 cities and counties that had put the issue on the ballot, alongside the state’s presidential primary. Since Georgia first allowed local governments to hold referendums on Sunday sales last year, voters have approved the practice in 129 out of 154 instances, often by huge margins. Last year in Texas, attempts to turn “dry” localities “wet” succeeded on 57 out of 64 occasions. In West Virginia meanwhile, the state legislature has just passed a bill allowing liquor stores to hold tasting sessions. It is the ninth state to approve such a measure since 2009. “The world is getting wetter,” exults Frank Coleman of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), an industry group.
3月6日,类似的事情发生在乔治亚州,那时27个城市和郡县进行了投票,有24个城市和郡县撤销限制,允许星期天出售烈性酒,当时这可是州内的头等大事。自从去年乔治亚州首次允许当地政府就星期天出售烈性酒进行全民投票,在154项类似事件中,选民同意了129项,经常以压倒性的票数胜利。去年在德克萨斯州,64次是否允许当地街道出售烈性酒的投票中,有57次通过了。同时在弗吉尼亚州的西部,州立法机构刚刚通过一项法案,允许烈性酒商店举行品酒大会。这是自2009年以来第9个州批准此类法案。行业集团美国蒸馏酒理事会弗兰克•科尔曼狂喜道:“将有更多的地方允许出售烈性酒”。
It is not just drinkers who are benefiting from a loosening of puritanical regulations around America. Massachusetts last year became the 24th state to allow casinos in some form. Ohio did the same in 2009, and Maryland did in 2008. Maine, not to be outdone, has just issued its first casino licence, and also lifted a ban on fireworks at the beginning of the year. Rhode Island legalised fireworks in 2010, and will hold a referendum in November about expanding gambling.
不仅仅只有酒徒从美国国内严谨法律法规的松弛中获益。去年马萨诸塞州成为第24个允许赌城以某种形式存在的州。俄亥俄州2009年实行,马里兰州2008年实行。缅因州也不甘落后,刚刚颁发了第一个赌场许可证,同时在年初时撤销烟火禁令。罗德岛州在2010年使烟火燃放合法化,将于今年11月就扩大赌场业务进行全民投票。


This trend is not, sadly, the result of a sudden renunciation of paternalism by state governments. Rather, it stems from the states’ dire fiscal straits in the aftermath of the recession. “States are looking for a source of revenue beyond [directly] taxing their residents,” says Holly Wetzel of the American Gaming Association, which represents gambling interests. Mandy Rafool of the National Conference of State Legislatures puts it more bluntly: “States have been so desperate over the last few years that they’re looking at everything.”
可惜的是,这种趋势不是因为州政府突然放弃严格管制,而是因为经济衰退后各州财政赤字严重。“各州正在寻找财政来源,而不是直接对居民征税”,代表赌场利益的美国博彩协会的霍利•策尔说。全美州议会联合会的曼迪•拉夫说的更直截了当:“各州过去几年财政吃紧所以想尽一切办法。”
Officials in Massachusetts, for example, have suggested that the three casinos to be built there could bring in as much as $400m a year, plus $300m in initial licensing fees. By the same token, local governments hope that lifting bans on booze or fireworks will bring in big dollops of sales and excise tax. When Michigan approved the sale of new types of fireworks at the beginning of last year, the legislature estimated the change would bring in an extra $5.5m a year in taxes and fees. A similar argument is made for extending licensing hours, or allowing tastings: that they will boost sales, bringing in extra tax dollars. Dannel Malloy, the governor of Connecticut, who in January proposed lifting price controls and allowing Sunday sales among other reforms, argues that they will yield $6m-11m in new revenue, and help return as much as $570m in sales now lost to neighbouring states.
举个例子,马萨诸塞州的官员表示,打造三家赌城可以带来每年400万美元的收入,外加起初300万美元的许可证费用。出于同样的目的,当地政府预期撤销痛饮或烟花燃放的禁止将大大地增加生产税和消费税收入。当密歇根州在去年年初批准新型烟花的出售,立法机构就估计这将带来550万美元的额外税收和费用收入。同样的论断也适用于许可证期限的延长,或者允许品酒大会举行的批准:他们将促进生产销售,带来额外的税收收入。康乃狄格州州长丹尼尔•马洛依1月份提议在其他改革中撤销价格管制,允许星期天售酒,他说这将产生600万到1100万美元的新收入,且有助于拿回现在被临州获得的近570万美元的销售额。
But despite all these initiatives, many parts of America are still lumbered with a bizarre and complex array of restrictions on drinking, gambling and the like that seem entirely out of keeping with a country that proudly calls itself the land of the free. Even after Washington leaves the club, 17 states will still maintain a government monopoly on either the sale or distribution of spirits, or both. In Maryland it is actually certain counties that run their own liquor stores, monopolising sales of even wine and beer.
但是尽管有了所有这些创意,美国许多地方仍然身处困境,对饮酒,赌博等此类事件大量限制且制定纷繁复杂的法规,这完全脱离了自称为自由之国的理念。即使在华盛顿州脱离俱乐部后,仍有17个州对烈性酒的生产或销售或两者一起维持政府垄断。在马里兰州,还是有某些郡县经营自己的烈性酒商店,甚至是垄断葡萄酒和啤酒的销售。
Many states, especially in the South, remain a confusing patchwork of wet, dry and “moist” counties, the latter being those that allow sales of only certain forms of alcohol at certain types of establishment. There are over 4,000 state and federal laws concerning alcohol, says Mr Coleman of DISCUS, and another 1,900 were proposed in 2008 alone. Rules about gambling are an equally perverse mix. Only 12 states have no casinos of any sort. But several more allow them only on boats or at racetracks. Another 12 limit gambling to Indian reservations. And four states still ban fireworks of all kinds.
许多州,尤其是在南方,依然政策未明,有允许售酒的郡县,禁止售酒的郡县和介于两者之间的郡县,后者就是那些郡县只允许某些形式的酒精饮料在某些会所进行销售。美国蒸馏酒理事会的科尔曼先生说,关于酒精饮料就有4000多条的州和联邦法规,仅在2008年就提议了1900条。关于赌博的法规同样纷繁复杂,不合要求。只有12个州没有任何形式的赌场。但是还有几个州只允许赌场开在船上或者赛车跑道上。另有12个州禁止在印第安人保留地赌博。还有4个州仍然禁止任何形式的烟花燃放。
Not all attempts to liberalise these regimes succeed. Republican governors in Virginia and Pennsylvania have failed to push through promised privatisations of state liquor stores, despite their party’s control of both state legislatures. In Kentucky, the Republican-controlled Senate squelched the newly re-elected Democratic governor’s plans to hold a referendum on bringing casinos to the state. Andrew Cuomo, New York’s Democratic governor, vetoed a bill that would have permitted only the most innocuous forms of fireworks, such as sparklers.
并不是所有放宽限制的努力都取得成功。弗吉尼亚州和宾夕法尼亚州的共和党州长没能尽快兑现烈性酒商店私有化的诺言,尽管共和党控制两州的立法机构。在肯塔基州,共和党控制的参议院破坏了新当选民主党就打造州内赌场进行全民投票的计划。纽约州民主党州长安德鲁•库奥默,否决了一项议案,该议案只允许如烟花帮等最无害形式的烟花燃放。
Lobby groups for these industries take heart from the fact that the movement is, at least, all in one direction. No states have significantly tightened restrictions in recent years. Each easing of the rules makes the next one more likely, by demonstrating that disaster does not occur. Despite the steady deregulation of alcohol, for example, drunk driving and underage drinking are at record lows. And even as fireworks become more widely available, they are causing fewer injuries.
这些行业的游说团一致认为至少这项运动的目的是一样的。近几年来没有那个州成功地加强管制。因为没有灾难发生,每次政策的放松使得下一个政策实现更加可能。比如,尽管稳步放松对酒精的管制,醉架率和未成年人饮酒率还是降到史上最地点。还有就算烟花燃放随处可见,伤亡事件反而减少。
Yet even the lobbyists are careful not to call too loudly for the lifting of all strictures. The American Gaming Association says it takes no position on whether more states should legalise gambling. DISCUS claims not to mind whether states run their own liquor stores, as long as they are willing to “modernise” them by allowing tastings, long hours, a big choice and so on.
然而即使游说团也是小心谨慎,没有过分要求消除所有限制。美国博彩协会说,对是否有更多的州实现赌博合法化不发表任何立场。美国蒸馏酒理事会声称不会介意各州是否经营烈性酒商店,只要他们愿意放宽限制,允许举行品酒大会,延长营业时间,开放更多的选择等等。
Most strikingly, lobbyists and politicians seem to shy away from the notion that regulation should be trimmed simply in the name of personal freedom, rather than on practical grounds. The legislature in New Hampshire (motto: “Live free or die”) recently considered a bill that would have allowed shops that already had licences to sell beer and wine to buy spirits in bulk from the state monopoly and resell them. The sponsor told his fellow lawmakers that by approving the proposal they would be “promoting limited government” and “enhancing freedoms”. The state House of Representatives, which is controlled by Republicans, sent the measure down to defeat, 179-123.
更令人瞩目的是,游说者和政客们似乎有意避开这样的理念,法规只可以个人自由名义而不是实际名义进行调整。新罕布什尔州的立法机构(口号:“活得自由,死得光荣”)最近审查一项议案,该议案允许已经拥有出售啤酒和葡萄酒执照的商店从国家垄断商店大量购进烈性酒,在进行转卖。赞助商们告诉他们的立法同僚,若提案获得批准,他们可以“提倡有限政府”和“提高自由水平”。受共和党控制的美国众议院以179票对123票的结果使这项议案流产。

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重点单词
  • establishmentn. 确立,制定,设施,机构,权威
  • associationn. 联合,结合,交往,协会,社团,联想
  • defeatn. 败北,挫败 vt. 战胜,击败
  • disastern. 灾难
  • trendn. 趋势,倾向,方位 vi. 倾向,转向
  • measuren. 措施,办法,量度,尺寸 v. 测量,量
  • frankadj. 坦白的,直率的,真诚的 vt. 免费邮寄,使自
  • arrayn. 数组,(陈)排列,大批,一系列 vt. 排列,布署
  • alcoholn. 酒精,乙醇,酒
  • approvev. 批准,赞成,同意,称许