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为什么国家之间也有贫富差距? – 译学馆
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Why Some Countries Are Poor and Others Rich

在全球196个国家中 有25个富有的国家
There are 196 countries in the world. 25 of them are very rich, defined as having
在这些国家中 人均财富超过十万美元的
an average wealth per person of over $100,000 a year.
They are:
但贫穷的国家也相当多 以下国家被认为是
But far more countries are quite poor, and some – which we’re considering here – are
very very poor.
These are the 20 poorest countries in the world: where the per capital wealth is under
年人均财富低于一千美元 也就是说天人均财富少于三美元
a $1,000 a year, or under three dollars a day.
每一个国家目前或多或少都走在发展的道路上 但是贫穷国家发展的极为缓慢
Every country is now more or less on a path to growth, but the poor ones are growing very,
very slowly. If Zimbabwe continues at its current growth rate, it will qualify as a
‘rich country’ in 2722 years.
What we want to know in this film is why some countries prosper and others stagnate:
– so we can understand what rich countries are doing right
– and get a better grip on the challenges and hurdles facing poor countries.
There are basically three factors that determine whether a country will be rich or poor.
The first is:
制度是重中之重 一般来说 富有国家拥有优越的制度
Institutions are beyond important. Broadly speaking, rich countries have ‘good
institutions’ and poor ones have very, very bad ones.
The correlation between poverty and corruption is direct. The richest countries in the world
大多有简单的制度 腐败现象也最少
are quite simply invariably also the least corrupt ones.
And the most corrupt countries are also the poorest.
当一个国家存在腐败现象时 政府不能收到足够的税收来维持良好的制度
When countries are corrupt, they can’t collect enough taxes to get the good institutions
they would need to escape the poverty trap.
Half of the wealth of the world’s poorest 20 countries goes into offshore accounts.
Lost revenues in these countries totals between $10 and $20 billion dollars a year
同时 因为没有足够的税收 贫穷的国家不能对治安 教育
Meanwhile, without an adequate tax base, poor countries can’t invest in police, education,
医疗 交通进行投资
health, transport.
现在 一个看待腐败的方式是 它通常包含一个以宗族为基础的思考模式
Now, a more generous way to look at corruption is that it’s really a case of clan-based
以雇佣为例 在富有国家 你只需要简单注重于个人功绩
thinking. Say you’re hiring someone. In the rich countries, you’re meant to do so
面试许多申请者 然后选择最优秀的一个
simply on merit, interviewing lots of candidates then picking the best one irrespective of
any personal connection.
但是在贫穷国家 在宗族思维的影响下 雇佣过程也会腐败
But in poor countries under the sway of clan-based thinking, that approach would itself be corrupt:
无视所谓的最好的候选人这是你的责任 从一群匿名的人中
it’s your duty to disregard the so-called best candidate from an anonymous bunch, in
挑选一个你自己的团队的人 你的叔叔 你的兄弟 你的第二个表弟
order to pick someone from your own team: your uncle, your brother, your second cousin,
the guys from the same tribe.
As a result, poor countries don’t allow themselves access to the intelligence and
talent of the whole population.
There’s a second thing that keeps countries poor:
人们的思维 世界观和信仰发生了什么
– what goes on in people’s minds, outlooks and beliefs…
A striking statistic pops up here in relation to religion.
If there’s one generalisation you can make about religion and wealth, it’s that the
这就是 很少的人相信 他们越富有 就越有机会
less people believe, the richer they stand a chance of being.
19 of the richest countries in the world have 70% or more of their populations saying religion
is not at all important to them.
这里的例外是不出所料的-美国 它的管理结合了
The exception here is – unsurprisingly – the United States, which manages to combine great
religiosity with huge wealth (more on that in a second).
相反的 世界上最贫穷的国家还有极端信仰
And conversely, the poorest nations in the world are also extremely believing ones. Here’s
how many people think religion and the supernatural is deeply important in the following countries:
在世界上最贫穷的国家中 基本上每个人都是信徒
In the world’s poorest country, simply everyone is a believer.
Why is belief quite so bad for wealth creation?
因为通常 宗教与现在我们不可能改进的观念
Because in general, religiosity is connected up with the idea that the here and now can’t
相依存 所以人们必须将精力集中在精神世界 以期冀在来世获取幸福
be improved, so you should focus on the spiritual and look forward to a next world instead.
It makes quite a bit of sense when you live here.
In the rich world on the other hand, people are generally great believers in their capacity
信仰通过自己的努力和智慧 可以改变命运
to alter their destiny through effort and talent.
十分不巧 为了解释美国的反常 宗教似乎并不是阻碍经济增长的原因
Incidentally, to explain the anomaly of the United States, religion seems not to slow
down economic growth here because it is a particular sort of religion: an overwhelmingly
和特殊的唯物主义 美国的上帝
Protestant and exceptionally materialistic kind. The American god
doesn’t want you to think of building the new jerusalem
而是希望在现世 在堪萨斯州或休斯顿
in the next world, He wants it here and now in Kansas or Houston.
There’s another big factor that determines the wealth and poverty of nations:
贫穷国家通常处于热带地区 这并不是巧合
Poor countries are overwhelmingly located in the tropical regions. This isn’t a coincidence.
在很多方面 生活在热带地区更加艰难
Life is, in many ways, simply far far tougher there.
The problems begin with agriculture:
Tropical plants are generally a lot less packed with carbohydrates.
贫穷的国家的土地通常也较为贫瘠 另外热带气候
Poor countries have worse soil too. Also, and perhaps surprisingly, a tropical
climate can be disadvantageous to photosynthesis.
从历史的角度看 社会变得富裕的决定性因素 可能就是他们的财产
Historically, a key determinant in the likelihood of societies growing rich was their possession
of large domesticated animals (such as horses and oxen) which liberated a huge part of the
workforce from having to plough by hand.
但是在非洲的热带地区 家养动物 从生至死 被一种
But in tropical africa, domesticated animals have throughout time been devastated by a
further appalling scourge: the Tsetse fly.
这种小小的飞虫 只出现在非洲 因为那里的温度和湿度
This small fly—exclusively present in Africa because of its heat and humidity— knocks
使动物处在一种极其筋疲力尽的状态中 昏昏欲睡
out animals on an enormous scale, making them sleepy or inactive – and has had a profound
并且极大地影响了非洲发展科技 提高劳动生产率
effect on the ability of Africans to develop technology, increase agricultural productivity
and amass wealth.
— It isnt just plants and animals that suffer
in the tropics. In the middle latitudes, humans are open to a terrifying array of diseases
100%的低收入国家 同时被至少5种热带疾病影响
100% of low-income countries are affected by at least five tropical diseases simultaneously.
The magical temperature which has helped to make rich countries rich is 16 degrees centrigade.
虽然这看上去是一个令人十分不悦的结论 但是当入秋后的温度低于16度
However superficially unpleasant, that drop below 16 degrees as autumn starts to bite
is quite literally, a foundation stone of civilisation.
地理还包括交通运输 但是总体上贫穷国家的交通也非常糟糕
Geography also encompasses transport and poor countries are, on the whole, very badly connected.
内陆国家玻利维亚和半内陆国家巴拉圭 都是南非最贫穷的国家
Landlocked Bolivia and semilandlocked Paraguy are the poorest nations in South America
非洲只有一条主要的运输河尼罗河 并途经15个内陆国家
Africa has only one major navigable river, the Nile and hosts 15 landlocked nations,
11 of which have average incomes of $600 or less.
这并不是巧合 亚洲最贫穷的国家阿富汗 也同样是内陆国
Not coincidentally, the poorest country in Asia, Afghanistan, is also landlocked.
Then there’s the matter of natural resources.
Natural resources (like oil or precious metals) can be real trouble – and, paradoxically,
自相矛盾的是 贫穷国家会用铁锹去挖
poor countries tend to have them in spades.
这些自然资源就是经济学家们说的增强剂 自然资源可以帮助
These natural resources are what economists call intensifiers: they will help to make
制度健全完善的国家更加富裕 也可使制度不完善的国家更加贫穷
a country with good institutions richer, but one with bad institutions get even poorer,
经济急落的 被称为资源陷阱
precipitating what’s called the resources trap.
So the Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the world’s most mineral rich countries;
掌握着世界上最丰富的钶钽铁矿 每一部手机中都含有一些这种金属
holding most of the world’s Coltan, which every mobile phone has a bit of inside.
But natural resource wealth helps elites to grab money without requiring the cooperation
of the whole society. If the only way to grow wealthy is to assemble high tech aeroengines,
举个例子 你需要整个社会帮你采购工程所需 但如果
for example, you’re going to need your whole society to buy into the project but if you
你只开采矿产 那就只需要一些劳动力 枪支
just need to extract a few minerals, you can do so with a small labour force, guns and
an airstrip long enough to ferry your loot out to market.
这些从铁矿中掠夺的财富使正中心通过枪支掌控了反叛者 并使社会的每一个阶层腐败
The wealth from Coltan keeps DRC armed rebels in guns and corrupts every level of society.
那么应该如何权衡不同因素的重要性呢 制度
So how should one weigh up the relative importance of all these different factors, institutional,
文化和地理 决定了一个国家的财富
cultural and geographic, in determining the wealth of a nation.
这并没有一个硬性规定 但作为一个指导 可以表明
There’s no hard and fast rules, but as a guide, one can suggest that:
50% of a nation’s wealth comes down to its institutions
20%是因为文化 10%则因为纬度
20% is due to its culture. and 10% each can be allocated to latitude,
connectivity with the rest of the world, and geological good fortune.
如果你是一个政策的制定者 这个讨论有蕴含的广泛的实用性
If you’re a policy maker, this discussion has wide practical implications. But at a
但是在更加个人的角度 从中可以获取两点
more personal level, one might take away two things from it;
首先 谦逊 你应该更加清楚的知道 你的成功归功于什么
Firstly, Modesty: you should have a better idea of what you owe your individual success
这不仅仅是你个人的努力工作 或者是聪慧的头脑 因为你生活的社会
to – which is not so much your own hard work or fine mind, as the broader society you live
已经产生了数百年 你现在获得的利益 都是从社会中 不知不觉获取的
in which was produced over centuries and which you now draw benefit from unknowingly.
同样重要的是 同情心 一种不忍看到失败者的能力例如四肢被切断的人
And at the same time, Sympathy: an ability not to see failing societies just as basket
但更是当国家遇到 容易或者是十分困难的问题时
cases, but rather as countries facing comprehensible and hugely difficult problems. Our sympathy
can be enhanced by reflecting that the troubles of desperate lands are to a considerable extent
疟疾 缺乏运河 耳边采采蝇的嗡嗡声等等问题来提升
to do with malaria, a lack of navigable river and the horrific buzzing of the tsetse fly
而不是当 我们十分亲近的人失败时 我们希望自己 从未出现
– rather than always some more intimate human failing which we would ourselves never manifest.