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国家如何致富:自由贸易与保护主义之争 – 译学馆
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国家如何致富:自由贸易与保护主义之争

How to Enrich a Country: Free Trade or Protectionism?

现代经济面临的最紧迫的选择之一
One of the most pressing choices facing modern economies
即应采取
is whether to adopt
自由贸易政策
a policy of free trade
还是保护主义政策
or of protectionism,
也就是说 是否鼓励
that is, whether to encourage
外国商品以最低税率进入本国
foreign goods into the country with minimum tariffs.
而且允许产业外迁
and allow industries to relocate abroad;
或者 是否使外国企业
or whether to make it hard for foreign firms
难以进入本国市场销售他们的产品
to sell their goods internally
并且不鼓励本国厂家
and discourage domestic producers
受其他国家低廉劳力的诱惑
tempted by cheaper wages in other lands.
这像是一种很现代的困境
It feels like a very modern dilemma,
但 自由贸易与
but the debates between proponents of free trade
保护主义两方支持者间的论战
and protectionism
由来已久
go back a very long way.
激战始于15世纪的欧洲
The argument began in earnest in Europe in the 15th century
伴随着一个理论—
with the formulation of a theory
重商主义—的形成
known as mercantilism
也就是我们今天所说的
the forerunner of what we today
保护主义的先驱
refer to as protectionism.
重商主义如同其他所有经济学理论
Mercantilism was, like nearly every economic theory
关注于增加国家的财富
interested in increasing a nation’s wealth.
然而 重商主义认为
But, Mercantilists argued
为了变富
that in order to grow richer,
国家必须致力于
a country had to try
在本国境内制造尽量多的产品
to make as many things as possible within its own borders
并将对国外进口的依赖减少到绝对最低
and reduce to an absolute minimum any reliance on foreign imports.
政府的作用
The role of government
在于通过对进口商品征重税来帮助本地产业
was to help local industries by applying huge tariffs on imported goods
并限制国外制造商
and discouraging foreign manufacturers
与本地企业竞争
from competing with local players.
一个强大的国家应是知道如何
A strong country was one that knew how to
保护自身
provide for itself
并且在贸易中能够近乎完全独立
and could achieve almost total independence in trade
这个目标就是
a goal known as
经济上的自给自足
economic autarky.
重商主义的思想
The philosophy of mercantilism reigned supreme
一直被奉为经济学最有说服力的理论
as the most persuasive theory of economics
直到1776年3月9日
until the 9th of March 1776
也就是现代世界史上最重要的一本著作的出版之日
the publication date of possibly the most important book in the history of the modern world.
在《国家财富的性质和原因的研究》(简称《国富论》)一书中
In ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations’
苏格兰哲学家 经济学家亚当·斯密
the Scottish philosopher and economist Adam Smith
试图颠毁
attempted to dynamite
重商主义所倚赖的思想
the intellectual underpinnings of mercantilism.
斯密认为对于一个国家而言
Smith argued that the best way for
最好的增长财富的方式
any country to grow wealthy
不是尽力自产自销
was not to try to make everything by itself,
因为没有哪个国家可以指望
for no country could ever hope
在经济的每个部门都做到很好
to do well in every sector of an economy.
斯密注意到
Smith observed,
各国天然地
that countries naturally had
在某些领域具有不同的优势
different strengths in particular areas
有些善于制造红酒
Some were great at making wine,
而有些专长制作器皿
others had talent in pottery,
还有些是饰带制作专家
others still might be experts at making lace
而这些优势恰恰是
and it was on such strengths
各国应该关注的
that every country should focus.
这是这一理论在国家层面的应用
This was an application at the level of nations
并且是我们在个人生活层面也能充分理解的
of a theory we can understand well enough at the level of individual life.
如果一个人对财会有天资
If someone has a natural aptitude for accountancy,
那他们就没有必要
it makes no sense for them to spend
每天花大把时间
a considerable part of each day
学做奶酪
trying also to make cheese,
或缝纫裤子
to sew their own trousers
或学拉小提琴奏鸣曲
or to learn to play violin sonatas.
对于一个会计来说最好的情形是
Far better for the accountant,
奶酪制作师
cheese-maker,
裁缝和小提琴家
tailor and violinist
都在他们最擅长的方面独具专长
to specialize in the areas in which they each have the greatest advantage
他们完全可以互相通过贸易
and then trade with others to
来满足自己的相应需求
satisfy their remaining needs.
斯密写到:
As Smith noted:
“持家能手的座右铭是
“It is the maxim of every prudent master of a family,
永远不要在家里制作那些
never to attempt to make at home
比在外面花钱买都要贵的东西”
what it will cost him more to make than to buy.”
斯密强调 如果英国能够
Smith emphasized that if Britain could
比葡萄牙更廉价地生产羊毛制品
produce woolen goods more cheaply than Portugal
而葡萄牙比英国刚廉价地出产红酒
and if Portugal could produce wine more cheaply than Britain,
那么对双方而言有利的做法是
then it would be beneficial to both parties
以各自的低价产品
to exchange the product they could make at a lower cost
去交换彼此高造价的产品
for the one they could only make at a higher cost.
两国的总财富
The overall wealth of both countries
都将因劳力与资本被
would rise as labor and capital
优化配置到本国技术和而增长机遇最好的部门
would always be optimally employed, directed to those sectors
而得以增长
where native skill and opportunity was at its greatest.
政府的工作是
The job of the government
确认具有本国优势的部门
was to recognise sectors where there was a national advantage,
辅助劳动力教育
assist in the education of the workforce,
但同时也尽可能减轻关税
but otherwise, reduce tariffs as much as possible,
放权让路
and step out of the way.
迅速地
With astonishing speed,
斯密的理论说服了西北欧大部分经济政治阶级
Smith’s theory convinced most of the economic and political classes of north Western Europe.
在英国 他的思想首次试点于
In Britain, his ideas were first put to a practical test
本国主要的粮食产品:
in relation to the primary foodstuff of the nation:
玉米
corn.
多年来英国的粮价
Grain prices had, for many years,
都是受政府法令保护的
been protected by government decrees.
低价的外国粮食产品不让进来
Cheaper foreign grain had been kept out,
很显然是为了保护本国就业及国家财富
apparently in order to protect jobs and national wealth.
但是斯密的思想——如今被他最重要的信徒大卫·李嘉图推动
But Smith’s ideas, now driven forward by his foremost disciple David Ricardo,
认为对于进口粮食的关税
proposed that all tariffs on imported grain
即被称为《玉米法》的保护主义措施
protectionist measures known as The Corn Laws
实际上成了经济发展的阻碍
were in fact obstacles to economic growth.
国会通过激烈争论后
After bitter debates in Parliament,
该法最终在1846年被废止
the laws were repealed in 1846.
这一结果展示了斯密思想的
The result demonstrated both
优势及附带代价:
the advantages and incidental costs of Smith’s ideas:
玉米价格猛跌
the price of corn dropped sharply,
食物更便宜
food became cheaper
民众尤其是工人阶级
and everyone, especially the working classes,
有了更多闲钱去消费其他商品
had a lot more spare money to spend on other goods,
这反过来促进了英国经济的整体扩张
This, in turn grew the overall size of the British economy,
极大赶超了其他欧洲国家
so that it significantly outperformed all of its European counterparts.
但是–这是个很大的“但是”
But – and it was a very big but
英国农业大范围进入绝境
large swathes of British agriculture went to the wall.
从加拿大和美国进口的便宜玉米
Cheap imported corn, from Canada and the United States,
毁灭了英国农场以及保持了几百年的生活方式
destroyed farms and ways of life that had persisted for centuries.
斯密的理论既是正确的
Smith’s theories were both correct
但站在不同立场上看
and, depending on where one was standing,
又是令人痛心疾首的
plainly agonizing.
对自由贸易无疑很合理的辩护其实一直存在的问题是
An enduring problem for the undoubtedly very sound arguments in favour of free trade
人力成本很少被充分精深地讨论
is that its human costs have seldom been addressed with sufficient passion and ingenuity.
失去产业的人们的呼声
The cries of the dispossessed
并没有被真正了解:
have not been recognised for what they are:
对于国家的整体稳定
threats to the entire stability
与道德尊严的威胁
and moral dignity of a nation.
后来这一点被慢慢意识到
As has only gradually been realised,
开放经济的益处
the benefits of an open economy
只有在采取一系列措施去缓和随之而来的消极影响 才能结出胜利果实
can only properly bear fruit if a series of steps are taken to mitigate the attendant downsides.
任何想进行自由贸易的国家
Any nation committed to free trade
必须对于优势产业部门征税
must tax the sectors of the economy which have an advantage
然后用这些钱对那些
and then use the money to retrain those in the sectors of the economy
在与国外企业竞争中处于巨大劣势的部门进行再培训
with the gravest disadvantages in relation to foreign competition.
如果不对劳力和资本进行重新分配
Without such redirection of money and labor
国家将变得政治极其不稳定
a nation will become highly unstable politically
因而危及自由贸易带来的进步成果
thereby endangering any progress that free trade has made.
其次 政府必须确保经济体中的每个人
Secondly, governments must enable everyone in the economy
都能找到他们的天然优势领域
to find their own natural areas of strength;
也就是说 在教育方面大力投资
which means high levels of investment in education
以及制定大量维护社会稳定的措施
and a raft of measures to maximize social mobility.
富人的垄断行为
Monopolistic behaviour by the rich
跟惩罚性的进口关税一样 会危及自由贸易系统的完整性
endangers the integrity of a free trade system just as much as punitive import tariffs.
从理性上来说 自由贸易无疑会赢了这场论战
Intellectually, free trade has undoubtedly won the argument.
比如 一个墨西哥造车工人每小时工资8美元
When a Mexican worker can make a car for eight dollars an hour,
而一个美国工人则是每小时58美元
whereas an American one costs 58 dollars an hour,
很显然让墨西哥工人来做会利益最大
it is clearly wise to allow Mexico to do what it can do best,
不管这对美国造车工人产生了什么影响
whatever the effect on American car workers.
然而自由贸易的拥护者严重忽略了
However, defenders of free trade have been grossly negligent
在制定政治计划时要顾及
when it comes to instituting the political programs necessary
体制的各项有效运作
to support the efficient operations of the system.
它忽视了造车工人、挖煤工、炼钢工人的疾苦
It has forgotten the pain of the car workers, the coal miners and the steel makers.
而在民主国家
And, in democracies,
已为这种忽视付出惨痛代价
there has been a heavy price to pay for this neglect,
一个新的重商主义阶级崛起
in the form of the rise of a new class of mercantilists,
他们已成功提出必须提高关税
who have successfully argued that barriers must again increase,
以及国家应尽量在国境内生产一切商品来取得复兴
that a country should try to make everything within its own borders to regain its greatness
低廉的进口商一直是本国就业的破坏者
and that cheap importers are invariably the destroyers of domestic jobs.
这些论点毫无意义
These arguments make no sense,
但是只要自由贸易的支持者
but so long as the proponents of free trade
没有制定出补救自由贸易缺陷的合理计划
fail properly to articulate a program to remedy free trade’s operations,
整个国家将会被重商主义的简单愿景而诱惑
whole nations will be seduced by the easy promises of the mercantilists
从而深受其害
and will suffer accordingly
直到亚当·斯密的智慧再次得以重申
until the distinctive wisdom of Adam Smith can once more reassert itself.

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视频概述

究竟是自由贸易还是保护主义才能让国家致富?也许我们可以从亚当斯密的经典著作中找到答案。

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ITyd1Pzek0

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