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经济学人:继承税:为向死亡征税而辩(2)

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Such levies pit two vital liberal principles against each other.

这类征税置自由主义的两项关键原则于相互冲突之中。
One is that governments should leave people to dispose of their wealth as they see fit.
一是,政府应当让人们资源处置自己的财富。
The other is that a permanent, hereditary elite makes a society unhealthy and unfair.
二是,永久、世袭的精英会让社会变得不健康和不公平。
How to choose between them?
如何在两者之间选择呢?
Some people argue for a punitive inheritance tax.
有些人赞成惩罚性继承税。
They start with the negative argument that dead people no longer enjoy the general freedom to disburse their wealth as they wish—as the dead have no rights.
他们从反面论据入手,认为死人不再享有按照其愿望处置个人财富的一般自由——因为死人没有任何权利。

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How could they, when they are not affected one way or the other by what happens in the world?

当他们无论如何都不受世事的影响时,他们怎么可能享有权利呢?
That does not ring true.
这听起来不假。
The logic would be to abrogate even the most modest of wills.
其逻辑会是取消哪怕是最适当的意愿。
But inheritances are deeply personal and the biggest single gift that many give to causes they believe in and loved ones they may have cherished.
但是,遗赠物是绝对私人的,是许多人馈赠给他们信奉的事业和他们可能挚爱的人的最大的单一礼物。
Many (living) people would feel wronged if they could not provide for their children.
如果不能提供给自己的后代,许多(活着的)人会觉得待其不公。
If anything, as the expression of their last wishes, bequests carry more weight than their passing fancies do.
如果有什么不同的话,作为他们遗愿的表达,遗赠物比流逝的幻想带有更大的分量。
The positive argument for steep inheritance taxes is that they promote fairness and equality.
赞成严苛的继承税的正面论据是,它们促进公平和平等。
Heirs have rarely done anything to deserve the money that comes their way.
子孙后代们几乎毫无应该得到来到他们面前的这笔钱的作为。
Liberals, from John Stuart Mill to Theodore Roosevelt, thought that needed correcting.
从约翰·斯图亚特·穆勒到西奥多·罗斯福的自由主义者认为,这需要纠正。
Roosevelt, who warned that letting huge fortunes pass across generations was “of great and genuine detriment to the community at large”, would doubtless be aghast at the situation today.
曾经发出让巨大的财富世代相传“是对整个社会巨大且真正伤害”之警告的罗斯福,无疑会对当今之现状感到惊愕。
Annual flows of inheritance in France have tripled as a proportion of GDP since the 1950s.
在法国,自上世纪50年代以来,年均继承流站GDP的比例增长了三倍。
Half of Europe's billionaires have inherited their wealth, and their number seems to be rising.
一半的欧洲富人继承了他们的财富,而且数量似乎正在上升。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
vital ['vaitl]

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adj. 至关重要的,生死攸关的,有活力的,致命的

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fairness ['fɛənis]

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n. 公平,公正

 
fiscal ['fiskəl]

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adj. 财政的,国库的

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misunderstand ['misʌndə'stænd]

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v. 误解,误会

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promote [prə'məut]

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vt. 促进,提升,升迁; 发起; 促销

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abrogate ['æbrəugeit]

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vt. 废除,废止

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logic ['lɔdʒik]

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n. 逻辑,逻辑学,条理性,推理

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genuine ['dʒenjuin]

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adj. 真正的,真实的,真诚的

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liberal ['libərəl]

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adj. 慷慨的,大方的,自由主义的
n. 自

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negative ['negətiv]

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adj. 否定的,负的,消极的
n. 底片,负

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