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穷人国、富人国? – 译学馆
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Countries for winners; countries for losers

我们天生都想成为赢家 因此 绝大多数国家都是以强者为尊
We all, naturally, want to be winners. And so, consequently, a great many countries are
designed to reward winners. These are the countries that pay a good deal of attention
改善胜利者的生活环境 在这些国家中如果你是一名成功人士
to optimising the conditions of life available to people who win. In such lands, if one is
那么如果你生病了 会有最好的医院为你治疗 你会拥有最便利舒适的出行条件
a winner and falls ill, the hospitals are outstanding: The transport laid on for winners
居住在宽敞 明亮 舒心的房子中
is superlative: The housing for winners is spacious, light and uplifting: And winner
children are educated in establishments that resemble five star hotels: Of course, in such
当然 在这些国家 给失败者的政策并不怎么样 也没有多余的钱留给他们
lands, provisions for losers are not so quite so comfortable. There isn’t the money left
所以失败者的住房条件可能会很差 出行条件也令人尴尬
over. So housing for Losers can be challenging: Transport for Losers is something of a humiliation:
And the children of losers start to learn young about their negligible status. This
这些听起来会让人担心 但事实上我们并没有那么害怕的一个基本原因
could all sound worrying, but it tends not panic us very much for one fundamental reason
跟人类的思想有关 我们中的大多数人都认为 我们自然而然就会成为赢家
related to how the human minds work. Most of us naturally assume that we will – at
some point – become winners. You can see this optimistic part of the brain in action
就是去买彩票 成千上万的人都更愿意相信
in our well-observed proclivity for playing the lottery. Millions of us show an inclination
自己最终一定会中奖 尽管机会微乎其微
to believe that we will end up holding a winning ticket – despite the daunting odds. The
在英国中彩票的几率是一千四百万分之一 但这也无法让大多数人放弃
chances of winning the UK lottery are one in 14 million. This often isn’t enough to
如果我们是不买彩票的那群人 我们可能会同情买彩票的人
put many of us off. If we don’t play the lottery ourselves, we may feel a bit sorry
我们可能会嘲笑他们的愚蠢 完全不懂得统计学
for people who do. We may smile at their folly in getting statistics quite so wrong. But
但其实我们选举投票时 显露出的思维方式可能与其有惊人的相似
in the way we vote, we may display a strikingly similar mindset. We too may cast our votes
我们更可能把票投给决定只奖励一小部分胜利者的政党 而在投票中占大多数的穷人们
for political parties determined to reward a tiny subset of winners while casting the vast
仍然只能获得一个几乎没有尊严的结局 我们也应该去好好学习统计学了
majority of losers to a less dignified end. We would do well to study statistics.
The chances of starting a billion dollar company in the US.
The chances of earning less than $200,000 per annum in the US.
在欧洲需要依靠国家医疗 住房 交通 救济金度过一生的几率是92%
The chances of needing to depend on the state for health, housing, transport or welfare over a lifetime, in the european countries.
简单来讲 一定程度的金融脆弱性是统计学上的正常现象
In short, a degree of financial fragility is the statistical norm; being a loser is
而做个穷人也是人生常态 相比较成为强健 坚不可摧的胜利者
the norm. We are far more likely to end up with a mediocre salary, with delicate health
我们更可能以微薄的薪水 支离破碎的健康和几近于零的财产结束一生
and vulnerability to ill-fortune than we are to end up robust, invulnerable winners. Yet
即便如此 我们依然坚持创造并支持属于成功者的国家体系
still we insist on creating and supporting Winner Countries. Here are five of the world’s
这是全球排名前五的胜利者国家 这些国家用自己的方式极尽所能
top Winner Countries, countries that go out of their way to make the consequences of winning
为富人提供好的条件 第五名巴西 第四名印度 第三名中国 第二名英国 第一名美国
as pleasant as possible. In 5th place Brazil, in 4th place India , in 3rd palce China, in 2nd place the UK and in 1st place the US
不过这颗星球上也有一些不太显著的失败者国家 他们不太愿意引人注目
There are a few notable loser countries on our planet. They tend not to get the limelight. Here is
这是排名前五的国家名单 第五名荷兰 第四名 德国 第三名瑞士 第二名挪威
the list of the world’s top Loser Countries: 5. The Netherlands 4. Germany 3. Switzerland
第一名 丹麦 在失败者国家 投票的人很自然的接受他们是也将一直是
2. Norway 1. Denmark In Loser Countries, voters graciously assume that they are and will remain
普通人 因此制定的规则就会尽可能的让他们的生活环境变得舒适
losers – and therefore set about trying to make their condition as pleasant as possible.
他们确保公共交通 公共住房
They make sure there is a public transport system fit for losers: Public housing fit
和公立学校都完全适合普通人 在穷人国
for losers: And public schools fit for complete losers: In these Countries for Losers, it
做个成功者可能会有点苦涩 没有人会为你时髦的新车喝彩
can be a bit bitter to be a winner. No one applauds you for driving a fancy car. Money won’t
钱也不能让你的学校比穷人更好 你甚至还要开着自己的本田雅阁
buy you schools any better than the loser ones. You might even go to a loser hospital
去穷人的医院 而且你的税会非常高
of your own accord. And your taxes might be quite high. Both Countries for Winners and
穷人国和富人国都有自己的优点 问题只在于我们自己投票选出的社会
Countries for Losers have their advantages. The question is whether we are voting for
反应了我们自己的统计现实 接受我们会一直做普通人的事实
societies that reflect our own statistical realities. By accepting that we will almost
我们肯定会很沮丧 但是我们同时也解脱出来开始规划
certainly be and remain Losers, we might be sad no doubt, but we may also be liberated
生活在一个即便不会成功 日子也不会过得太惨的社会
to scheme to live in societies that make the consequences of failing a lot less bitter.
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