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北京赛车信誉群:经济学人:财政乘数 责任该到哪里为止?

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2018年04月13日

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Economics brief: Fiscal multipliers

经济概要:财政乘数

Where does the buck stop?

责任到哪里为止?

Fiscal stimulus, an idea championed by John Maynard Keynes, has gone in and out of fashion.

由凯恩斯首倡的财政刺激思想经历了大起大落。

At the height of the euro crisis, with government-bond yields soaring in several southern European countries and defaults looming, the European Central Bank and the healthier members of the currency club fended off disaster by offering bail-outs.

在欧元?;叻迨?,鉴于多个南欧国家的政府债券收益率疯涨,违约近在眼前,欧洲央行和这个货币俱乐部中较为健康的几个成员国通过提供救助的方式抵御了灾难。

But these came with conditions, most notably strict fiscal discipline, intended to put government finances back on a sustainable footing.

但是,这些救助是有条件的,最引人注目的是严格的财政纪律,意在让政府财政回归一种可持续的基础。

Some economists argued that painful budget cuts were an unfortunate necessity.

有的经济学家认为,痛苦的预算削减是一种不幸的必然。

Others said that the cuts might well prove counterproductive, by lowering growth and therefore government revenues, leaving the affected countries even poorer and more indebted.

有的则认为,预算削减极有可能被证明适得其反,因为它拉低了增长,进而减少了政府收入,使得受其影响的国家穷上加穷,债务越来越重。

In 2013 economists at the IMF rendered their verdict on these austerity programmes: they had done far more economic damage than had been initially predicted, including by the fund itself.

2013年,国际货币基金组织的经济学家拿出了他们对这些紧缩计划的看法:它们已经造成了远远高于最初预期——包括国际货币基金组织自己的最初预期——的经济破坏。

What had the IMF got wrong when it made its earlier, more sanguine forecasts?

那么,国际货币基金组织做出其较早的、更加乐观的预期时错在哪里了呢?

It had dramatically underestimated the fiscal multiplier.

它大大低估了财政乘数。

The multiplier is a simple, powerful and hotly debated idea.

财政乘数是一种简单、有力且争论激烈的思想。

It is a critical element of Keynesian macroeconomics.

它是凯恩斯宏观经济学的一个重要组成部分。

Over the past 80 years the significance it has been accorded has fluctuated wildly.

在过去的80年中,它被赋予的重要性大起大落。

It was once seen as a matter of fundamental importance, then as a discredited notion.

它一度被视为一件具有根本重要性的事情,之后,又被看成是一种信誉扫地的观念。

It is now back in vogue again.

如今,它再度风靡一时。

The idea of the multiplier emerged from the intense argument over how to respond to the Depression.

财政乘数的思想出自如何应对大萧条的激烈争论。

In the 1920s Britain had sunk into an economic slump.

上世纪20年代,英国陷入了一场经济衰退。

The first world war had left prices higher and the pound weaker.

第一次世界大战让物价节节攀升,英镑日渐疲软。

The government was nonetheless determined to restore the pound to its pre-war value.

然而,政府仍然决心让英镑回到其战前的价值。

In doing so, it kept monetary policy too tight, initiating a spell of prolonged deflation and economic weakness.

在做这件事的过程中,英国政府把货币政策收得太紧,引发了一场旷日持久的通缩和经济疲软。

The economists of the day debated what might be done to improve conditions for suffering workers.

当时的经济学家曾就如何改善深受其苦的工人的状况进行过一番讨论。

Among the suggestions was a programme of public investment which, some thought, would put unemployed Britons to work.

在各种建议当中,其中就有一项有人认为会让失业的英国人去工作的公共投资计划。

The British government would countenance no such thing.

英国政府是不会赞成任何这种事情的。

It espoused the conventional wisdom of the day—what is often called the “Treasury view”.

它站在了当时的传统智慧,也就是常说的“财政部观点”一边。

It believed that public spending, financed through borrowing, would not boost overall economic activity, because the supply of savings in the economy available for borrowing is fixed.

它坚信,由于经济体中可用于举债的储蓄供给是固定的,透过举债资助的公共开支不会推动整体经济活动。

If the government commandeered capital to build new roads, for instance, it would simply be depriving private firms of the same amount of money.

例如,如果政府强制资本去建造新的道路,这只会抢走私人企业同等数量的钱。

Higher spending and employment in one part of the economy would come at the expense of lower spending and employment in another.

经济体某一部分的更高的开支和就业的到来,会以另一部分的更低的开支和就业为代价。

As the world slipped into depression, however, and Britain's economic crisis deepened, the voices questioning this view grew louder.

然而,随着世界滑入衰退,英国经济?;战ゼ由?,质疑这一观点的声音越来越大。

In 1931 Baron Kahn, a British economist, published a paper espousing an alternative theory: that public spending would yield both the primary boost from the direct spending, but also “beneficial repercussions”.

1931年,英国经济学家卡恩男爵发表了一篇支持某种替代理论的论文:公共开支除了会产生来自直接开支的主要推动之外,还会带来“受益反应”。

If road-building, for instance, took workers off the dole and led them to increase their own spending, he argued, then there might be a sustained rise in total employment as a result.

他指出,例如,如果建造道路让工人摆脱了失业救济,进而又导致他们增加自身花销,那么,其结果可能是一种总就业的持续上升。

Kahn's paper was in line with the thinking of John Maynard Keynes, the leading British economist of the day, who was working on what would become his masterpiece, “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money”.

卡恩的论文与当时正在撰写会成为其代表作的《就业、利息和货币通论》的著名英国经济学家约翰·梅纳德·凯恩斯的思考一脉相承。

In it, Keynes gave a much more complete account of how the multiplier might work, and how it might enable a government to drag a slumping economy back to health.

《在通论》中,凯恩斯对财政乘数可能如何发挥作用以及它如何能让政府把处于下滑中的经济体回归健康给出了一个远为完整的描述。

Keynes was a singular character, and one of the great thinkers of the 20th century.

凯恩斯是一位非凡之人,是20世纪伟大思想家之一。

He looked every inch a patrician figure, with his tweed suits and walrus moustache.

从外表上看,他的花呢外套和海象式胡子无不表明他是一位达官贵人。

Yet he was also a free spirit by the standards of the day, associating with the artists and writers of the Bloomsbury Group, whose members included Virginia Woolf and E.M.Forster.

然而,根据当时的标准,他还是一位思想开明的人,与成员包括弗吉尼亚·伍尔夫和E·M·福斯特在内的布鲁姆斯伯里团体的作家和艺术家关系密切。

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