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美国梦:只有4%的美国穷人摆脱贫穷进入中产 – 译学馆
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美国梦:只有4%的美国穷人摆脱贫穷进入中产

Born Poor, Stay Poor: The Silent Caste System of America | C. Nicole Mason

其实 我们要讨论的内容 并不是穷人如何走向
We’re not talking honestly about what it really takes to get from poverty to the middle
中产阶级
class.
例如,出身在贫苦家庭的只有百分之四能够
So, for example, we know that only four percent of people who are born into poverty will ever
跻身中产阶级,或者说,获得中产阶级般的成功
make it to the upper middle class or to, you know, have middle class success.
这也就意味着 另外96%的人依旧停留在了原来的阶级
And so what that means is that 96 percent of people are not making it out.
我认为人人生而平等这句话 其实是不准确的
And I think we’re being dishonest when we say everybody has a fair and equal chance
特别是当我们谈论到“美国梦”的时候
of achieving the American Dream.
其实 直到我上了大学 我才意识到自己其实算是个穷人
So it wasn’t until college that I figured out that I was poor.
在此之前 我都没有这个概念 我都不明白 对于
I hadn’t – before then I had no context for what it meant to have less than other
还有那些生活在我周围的人 又或者是同住在一个小镇上的人 穷人这个词有什么意义
people who lived around me or across town.
当然 我也不会知道 自己其实被排斥在了中产阶级之外
And I certainly didn’t know that I was outside of what was considered the middle class.
我第一次听到穷人这个词 是在一节
And the first time that I heard about people living in poverty was in a political science
政治课上
class.
我们在课上讨论了福利问题
In there we were talking about welfare policies.
因为那个时候 最大的政治问题之一 就是福利政策的改革
And one of the big policies at the time was welfare reform.
那时的争论相当激烈 大家都争论着我们应该做什么
And the debate was raging about what should be done and a lot of the conversation was
我们谈到到了那些 直接受这个政策影响的女人
up here and really detached from the women and families that were going to be directly
和家庭
impacted by the policy.
我们常常听到一个词叫福利女王(通常指那些通过钻空子获得更多福利的单身女黑人)
So we heard a lot of things about welfare queens, people living off the system, not
她们分明就不属于这个阶级 却因为不想工作 又有太多的小孩 而能够获得这些福利
wanting to work, women being lazy, having multiple children.
一个真正贫穷的女人 并不是这样子的
And that really wasn’t the reality for the women who were actually impoverished.
所以 当我们回看这些福利政策的时候
And so when we look at the kind of policies that result – the kind of policy, the welfare
我们发现这些政策常常适得其反 所以政策中需要有个规定
reform policy that we got on the other end we got a policy that said well, you can’t
比如 你不工作 就不能享受福利
– if you don’t work you can’t receive benefits.
比如 对你的工作时间也有一定要求
And you have time limits.
比如 如果你又多了一个小孩 那你也会受到惩罚
And if you have another child you’re penalized.
规定中的这些内容 都与女人们每天的生活息息相关
Those policies and that restrictiveness was counter to the everyday lived experiences
就是那些享受着福利的女人们
of the women who were actually receiving the benefits.
所以 这个政策并没有涉及到 贫穷以外的其他问题 比如教育问题
So what was excluded from that policy was a clear pathway out of poverty like education.
从一开始 这个政策就没怎么涉及儿童保育
There missing – in the very beginning there was very few provisions for childcare and
和很多 需要女人和家庭共同努力才能摆脱贫困
a lot of other things that we know family and women need to be able to chart a path
的方式
out of poverty.
每当提及贫困 人们第一想到的就是缺钱 缺资源 缺现金
When people think of poverty they think about money and resources and cash.
但其实 贫困所面临着的最大的困境在于 缺乏社会的交流和社会的关系网
But a big part of poverty is the lack of social connections and social networks.
而我们又知道 所谓的社会交际和社会网络 才是最强大的武器
And what we know is that those social networks and connections are really powerful in terms
帮助我们渡过难关和挫折
of helping people to navigate complex institutions and structures.
对于穷人来说 这一方面的东西 是缺失的
And for poor people those social networks are often missing.
所以 当我们讨论到 如何将穷人和中产阶级联系起来的时候
And when we talk about bridging from poverty to the middle class social networks and social
就会想到 沟通交流 建立社交网络 才是跨越这一障碍的关键
capital that are really important to making that leap.
当我们思考 那些部门和领导者们 应该怎样去支持和改善这个问题的时候
And so when we talk about what can institutions and leaders do to support that it’s really
就会发现 确保孩子们和低收入家庭之间要有足够的接触和沟通 这一点相当重要
important to make sure that children and people in low income neighborhoods have ample access
这相当于是一种与外界的交流
to bridge opportunities meaning opportunities outside of their community, that they’re
他们不仅要和生活周围的人交流 还要和不住在同一社区的人有交流
engaged in programs not only within their community but outside of their community that
这样 社交网络的范围才能比往日有些扩大
connect them to people outside of their normal social network.
我们要做的就是 共同努力 跨越阶级 跨越种族
What we need to do is be working together across class, across race and across all these
忽视我们之间的差异 而探索到底应该怎样交流沟通
markers of difference to figure out what are the connections?
我们如何 互相帮助
How might we support one another?
我们应当 取彼此之所长
And looking at the richness of what each of us bring to the table as opposed to assuming
而避彼此之所短
there’s a deficit coming from one end.
生活条件落后 教育质量低 基础设施不完善 图书馆和有关机构数量少
The poor housing, the poor quality schools, the infrastructure, the lack of libraries
医院不够 又面临着高失业率
and institutions in communities and hospitals and high unemployment.
我们不会讨论这些事情 这些事实如何阻碍了我们
We’re not talking about how those things are barriers in and of themselves to people
摆脱贫穷
escaping poverty.
所以一旦缺乏这方面的沟通 人们就会专注地想着先解决这些
And so when those things are absent from communities people are rightly preoccupied with securing
(物质上)的事情
those things.
我们不会探讨 如何使一个社区看上去是
And we’re not having that conversation about what does it really look like for a community
一派兴旺
to be thriving.
我们知道他的样子
We know what it looks like.
我们见过 你也知道
We’ve seen it, you know.
那些 有着高端学校 高就业率
We know that communities that have great schools, low levels of unemployment, low levels of
低犯罪率 公民参与度高 又有杂货店 和银行 的社区 我们也都知道
crime, high civic engagement, great grocery stores and banks.
那些社区做的很好
Those communities are doing well.
那里的大人和孩子们 也过得很好
The people and the kids in those communities are doing well.
但一旦失去了交流 那这个社区也会随即崩塌
And when those things are absent we know that the communities are not working and that people
人们也将陷入挣扎
are struggling.
所以 说到美国梦 我们就应该直面这个问题
And so we just need to be honest about what it really takes for everybody to have a fair
就是如何真正地实现 人人机会均等
shot at the American Dream.

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