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美国政府与奶酪的故事 – 译学馆
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美国政府与奶酪的故事

Big Government Cheese | Planet Money | NPR

The government manages a lot of things.
政府管理着许多事情
Air and water quality, roads and bridges,
例如空气质量和水质量 道路和桥梁
the tone of the national conversation.
还有国内言论的氛围
Also, once upon a time, a heck-load of cheese.
然而在过去 他们还曾管着一大堆奶酪
[Oh my God. It’s cheese!]
哦天呐 奶酪
It all started in 1976.
这一切要从1976年说起
Jimmy Carter was running for president, and he started floating this idea.
吉米•卡特在竞选总统时提出了这个构想
– Although I am a farmer,
“虽然我是个农民
I am not in favor of guaranteeing farmers a profit.
但我并不赞同向农民保证他们会有一定的收益
I am in favor of giving famers an equal break.
不过 我支持给予他们同等的休息时间”
This wasn’t just political pandering.
这并不只是政治上对民众的迎合
There’s an argument that our country has to
在我们的国家
be able to produce its own food,
一直有粮食自给自足的争论
because relying on other countries for food — that’s a national security risk.
因为依赖其他国家的粮食供应 会导致国家安全危机
Now this was a campaign promise
这只是一个竞选时的承诺
that nobody really expected him to fulfill,
没有人会真正地期待他兑现这个承诺
but then he became president,
但随后他当选了总统
and in 1977 he announced his plan to help farmers.
并在1977年宣布了他为帮助农民而设立的计划
And he wasn’t alone — Congress wanted in.
不只有他 国会也想加入这个计划
We now go live to the Capitol.
现在 让我们把目光转向国会
–Uh, we also love the farmers.
“噢 我们同样爱着农民们”
And so they passed a law for dairy farmers saying
于是 他们通过了一条为奶农设立的法规
that they wanted the price of milk
法规中说道 他们希望牛奶价格
to go up automatically every six months.
能够以六个月为周期自然上涨
There are two ways to make that happen.
想要做到这点有两种方法
You either lower the supply by telling producers to produce less milk,
要么让生产者减少牛奶产量 以减少供应
or increase the demand.
要么增加牛奶的需求
Our government decided that increasing consumption
美国政府认为刺激消费
was more American than agriculture quotas.
要比农业限产 更“美国”
So they started buying milk themselves.
因此他们开始自己购买牛奶
The Carter administration has announced a new
卡特政府宣布了一项新规划
program to increase the demand of milk.
以增加牛奶的需求量
Milk prices are expected to rise…
牛奶价格有望提高……
–Buckle up, Bessie.
系好安全带 贝茜
But the thing about milk is,
但是像牛奶这种东西
it’s kind of hard to stockpile and transport.
是很难储存和运输的
You’d have to get all these huge tankers,
政府不得不调用大型奶罐车
and of course it starts going bad the minute it’s out of the cow.
当然 牛奶在从奶牛身上挤出来的那一刻 就已经开始变质了
So they moved one step down the supply chain to dairy-based products
所以他们选择了位于产业链下端 以牛奶为基础的奶制品
like cheese.
例如奶酪
The way this program worked is that the federal government says,
对于该计划的运作方式 联邦政府宣称
“We will buy as much cheese, butter or nonfat dry milk
“我们会以这些价格购买所有你们想卖的
as you want to sell us, at these prices.”
奶酪 黄油 或脱脂牛奶”
The government buys more cheese, cheesemakers buy more milk
政府购买的奶酪越多 奶酪制作者就会买进越多的牛奶
and the resulting demand pushes the price of milk up.
随之而产生的需求就会推动牛奶价格的上涨
The government is creating a price floor,
政府规定了一个最低价
and in order to do this,
为了实现他们的目标
they have to be willing to buy all of the cheese
他们必须得购买
that anybody wants to sell them at this price.
任何人以这个价格卖给他们的奶酪
And if you’re a cheese seller and you hear this,
如果你是个奶酪销售者
you’re like, “Well,
你听到这个消息 你会想
I’m going to just sell them
“哦 我可以只把我质量最差的奶酪
my worst cheese at that price.”
以这个价格卖给他们”
So to prevent this, the government said,” Look,
为了阻止这种情况发生 政府说
if we’re going to buy your cheese,
“看 如果我们要买你的奶酪
first you have to meet with Bob.”
那你得先见见鲍勃”
Bob Aschebrock was a cheese grater. No,
鲍勃•阿施布兰特是一个奶酪刨丝器
no, no, no, no, a cheese grader.
不不不 是一名奶酪定级员
Like what a teacher does.
就像是老师那样
Bob’s job was to make sure that all
鲍勃的工作就是确定所有的奶酪
of the cheese met USDA grade A cheddar standards.
都符合美国农业部确立的切达奶酪A级标准
He spent 30 years testing and tasting cheese for the United States government.
他花了三十年的时间为美国政府品尝和测评奶酪
He’d use his cheese-trying equipment
他用他的奶酪测试仪器
to look for the 17 flavor defects
去寻找切达奶酪可能产生的
that could happen in cheddar cheese.
十七种风味上的缺陷
Flat, bitter, yeasty, malty, acidic,
口味单调 苦 发酵过度 麦芽味重 酸
old milk, fruity, metallic, sour,
牛奶不新鲜 果味浓重 金属味 有酸腐味
whey taint, wheaty, onion,
乳清过多致使味道混浊 谷物残留 有刺鼻气味
barny, lipase and sulfide — it just goes on.
储存不当 脂肪酶含量过高 有硫化物等等
Bob and his fellow cheese graders were on the road all the time,
鲍勃和他的奶酪定级员同行总是路上奔波
just eating cheese;
只为了品尝奶酪
and the government just kept buying and buying.
而政府还在不停地购买
Before long, every warehouse in Wisconsin was full.
很快 威斯康星州的每一个仓库都满了
There was cheese in practically every cold storage
在美国 几乎每一个冷藏库都充满了奶酪
in the United States, and the government needed an even bigger space to put it in.
而政府为了放下这些奶酪 需要更大的地方
Ideally one with its own temperature controls.
最好是一个自带控温功能的地方
So they began renting these caves in Kansas.
所以他们开始在堪萨斯州租借地窖
35 feet beneath the ground, the size of 120 football fields.
这个地窖在地下35英尺的地方 大概有120个足球场的大小
And trainloads of cheese started to show up.
由此一列列火车运载着奶酪来到这个地方
And when news gets out
当有消息称
that the government is filling caves with cheese,
政府在用奶酪堆满地窖时
the press goes nuts.
媒体都疯了
“I’m Steve Inskeep.
“我是史蒂夫•英斯基普
Cheese-span is reporting that the latest chatter in cheddar
据奶酪前线报导 有关切达奶酪的最新咨询是
is the cheese cave crisis.
地窖奶酪危机
Ron Elving has this report.”
罗恩•艾尔文报道”
“The rind is off the government cheese program.”
“政府奶酪政策的弊端逐渐显现出来”
Eventually, Jimmy Carter left office,
最终 吉米•卡特卸任美国总统
and Ronald Reagan was left to figure out what
罗纳德•里根被留下来指导
to do with all of this cheese.
如何处理这些奶酪
The government was buying one in every four pounds of the country’s cheddar cheese.
在美国 每四磅卖出的切达奶酪中 就有一磅是政府购买的
“Well, my God, Jimmy.
“哦 我的天啊 吉米
It’s all cheese.”
这全都是奶酪啊”
And the clock was ticking
时间紧迫
because all this cheese was starting to get moldy.
因为这些奶酪开始发霉
So the government needed to find a market for the stuff, and fast.
所以政府需要尽快为这些东西寻找一个市场
“ Well, they have to be careful because of something called commercial displacement.
那么 他们必须得小心商业代替
If they just send a flood of cheese on the market,
如果政府就这样向市场输送大批奶酪
they’ll end up hurting the producers
他们最终将会以
they’re trying to help
廉价的商品让现有需求饱和
by providing a less expensive product to meet existing demand.”
伤害到他们本想帮助的生产商
So the government had the cheddar reprocessed into new bricks
所以政府将切达奶酪二次加工成新的奶酪砖
and started giving it away at food banks.
然后开始通过食物银行向一部分人发放这些奶酪
The idea was that these consumers
他们认为因为这一部分消费者
probably weren’t going to buy cheese anyway,
并不会购买奶酪
so they’re not necessarily hurting the market.
所以 实际上他们并没有打扰市场
And lo, a new pop culture icon was born.
然后 一个新的流行文化符号诞生了
“ Government cheese makes the best grilled cheese
政府特制奶酪能做出你此生吃过
you done ever had in your life.”
最好的烤干酪
“Where do you buy government cheese?”
你在哪里买政府特制奶酪呢?
You don’t buy it…
你不需要去买它
You have to be on…
你必须得在……
you got to be on their special mailing list.
你必须在他们的特殊派发名单上
You’re going to end
最终 你将会一边
up eating a steady diet of government cheese
蜗居在河边的货车里
and living in a van down by the river.”
一边每日“享用”着政府提供的奶酪
The government cheese caves started to empty out.
政府储存特制奶酪的地窖开始变空
The guaranteed milk price,
曾言保障牛奶价格
which had been going up automatically every six months,
每六个月自动上涨
was eventually frozen.
最终也被终止了
But that does not mean the government had fixed the problem.
但是这并不意味着政府解决了这个问题
The thing about price controls is that once you start them,
因为价格调控这种东西 一旦开始
they are really, really hard to unwind.
就很难很难恢复原样
This is a basic supply and demand problem.
这是基本的供求问题
The government was demanding an unnatural amount of milk,
政府人为创造不正常的牛奶需求量
and so farmers were supplying an unnatural amount of milk.
所以农民将会产出非常规的牛奶产量
One part of the solution then was to gently get that milk supply down.
这个解决方案的一部分就是和缓的降低牛奶的供应量
So the government literally paid dairy farmers
所以 政府真的就给奶农发钱
to stop producing milk.
让他们不要再挤牛奶了
That did some good.
这有一定的效用
And then on the other side,
而在另一方面
the government tried to replace some of their artificial
政府试图以新的真正的市场需求
demand for milk with new real demand for milk.
取代他们人为干涉的市场需求
Which led to things like — Got Milk?
于是就有了 “got milk?”的牛奶广告战
So this weird campaign promise had a hand
所以这个令人匪夷所思的竞选承诺
in basically the two most important dairy
参与到了 流行文化中乳业的
moments in pop culture,
两个最重要的高光时刻
and it served as an instant signifier of a government program
同时 它也立即成为
gone fully off the rails.
政府规划完全出差错的能指

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视频概述

政府对经济的宏观调控是否真的百利而无一弊?美国上个世纪后期有关奶酪的一系列宏观调控政策以及它所产生的影响或许会给我们不一样的思考。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

Steva

审核员

审核员BZ

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeZrnbKNkuw

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