手机APP下载

您现在的位置: 首页 > 英语听力 > 国外媒体资讯 > 经济学人双语版 > 经济学人财经系列 > 正文

经济学人:莱克星顿 向农民们表忠

来源:经济学人 编辑:mike   VIP免费外教试听课 |  可可官方微信:ikekenet
 下载MP3到电脑  批量下载MP3和LRC到手机
加载中..

Lexington

莱克星顿
Paying fealty to farmers
向农民们表忠
When Ted Cruz is the only person talking sense, something is wrong
当只有特德·克鲁兹在理时,事情就有鬼了。
A FEW years ago, while reporting on the madness that is European farm subsidies, this columnist came up with a “Richard Scarry” rule of politics. Most politicians hate to confront any profession or industry that routinely appears in children's books (such as those penned by the late Mr Scarry). This gives outsize power to such folk as farmers, fishermen, doctors, firemen or—to cite a fine work in the Scarry canon—to firms that build Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. The rule is seldom good news for taxpayers, and there is a logic to that too: picture books rarely show people handing over fistfulls of money to the government.
几年前,当莱克星顿专栏报道欧洲农作物补贴的疯狂时,曾经提出过理查德·斯凯瑞政治定律,即,多数政客都不愿意招惹一般会出现在童话书里的职业或产业,就如斯凯瑞曾写过的那些。这给了诸如农民、渔民、医生、消防员和制造汽车卡车等交通工具的公司(这在斯凯瑞的书里是一个很棒的职业)过大的权利。这一定律对纳税人来说弊大于利,毕竟,图画书很少画出人们给政府送钱的场面。

The Scarry rule was tested afresh on March 7th at the inaugural “Iowa Ag Summit”, a campaign-style forum for politicians pondering White House runs in 2016. Reflecting Iowa's clout as host of the first caucuses of the presidential election cycle, the summit lured nine putative candidates, all of them Republicans. Democrats were also invited, but declined. Such grandees as Jeb Bush, a former governor of Florida, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey took turns to sit on a dais beside a shiny green tractor, to tell an audience of corn (maize) growers, pork-producers and hundreds of reporters how much they love farmers.

在3月7日的爱荷华州农业峰会开幕式上,这个定律再次被验证。爱荷华州农业峰会是一个竞选性质的论坛,主要供政客思考白宫在2016年的运转。作为总统竞选圈内第一次党团会议的举办地,爱荷华州充分发挥了其影响力,推选出了9名候选人,9人均为共和党。民主党也在邀请之列,但他们拒绝出席。佛罗里达州前州长杰布·布什、威斯康星州州长斯考特·沃克和新泽西州州长克里斯·克里斯帝等政要轮流坐在讲台上,旁边是一台闪闪发亮的绿色拖拉机。他们告诉听众里的玉米种植者、猪肉养殖者和上百名记者,他们有多爱农民。
The gathering was an unprecedented show of strength by the farm lobby. Rather than wait for journalists to tease out candidates' positions over months on the campaign trail, the nine Republicans were each quizzed on stage for 20 minutes by the summit's organiser, Bruce Rastetter, an Iowa ethanol and pork magnate. His most pointed questions concerned the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a federal mandate which obliges oil firms to blend billions of gallons of ethanol into vehicle fuel each year. Most of that ethanol is made from corn, in a process of questionable value to the environment, though a newer type made from stuff like corn stalks is better for the planet and for people in poor countries who eat corn or feed it to animals.
该次机会展现了农业游说团体前所未有的魄力。选民们不必再在长达数月的竞选中,等待记者探出候选人的立场,这一次,9名候选人在台上就接受了20分钟的提问,提问者是峰会的组织者布鲁斯·拉斯泰特,他是一名爱荷华乙醇和猪肉业巨头。他所提出的问题中,最值得注意的是关于可再生燃料标准(RFS)的,根据该项联邦法令的规定,石油公司在为机动车提供燃料时,每年要加入数以亿计加仑乙醇,而这部分乙醇大多数是来自玉米,但加工过程对环境的利弊尚且很难说,此外,用玉米杆等材料生产乙醇的新方式对地球其实更有好处,对贫穷国家以玉米为食物或饲料的人们来说也更合理。
Taking a stance on the RFS is a nightmare for ambitious Republicans. Boosters insist that ethanol has created 73,000 jobs in Iowa, and many more across the electorally important Midwest. They declare that every barrel distilled means less oil bought from foreign regimes that hate America. The corn lobby adds that recent doubts over the future of ethanol quotas have hit farm incomes and cost jobs, including at Iowa tractor factories. Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa, who calls the Ag Summit a “bold and brilliant” way to educate presidential candidates about farming, notes that agriculture was booming during the 2008 and 2012 elections, and so was not much discussed. Now, amid falling prices, he calls farmers “genuinely fearful”.
对立场暧昧的共和党来说,就可再生燃料标准站队简直堪称噩梦。支持者坚称,乙醇产业在爱荷华州创造了73,000个就业机会,在重要的选举去中西部甚至创造的更多。他们还说,每多提取出一桶燃料,就可以少向那些憎恨美国的国家买一桶石油。玉米游说团体补充道,近期对乙醇未来在能源中所占比重的猜疑打击了农产品收入,造成了失业,包括爱荷华州的拖拉机工厂也遭受打击。爱荷华州州长特里·布兰斯塔德把这次农业峰会称为教会总统候选人农业知识的一个“大胆而聪明的方式”,他说,2008-2012竞选期间正值农业繁荣期,因此被鲜少提及。而如今,面对下跌的物价,他说农民们“真的怕了”。
However, the RFS is a glaring example of Big Government meddling. It is awkward, to put it mildly, for a small-government conservative to favour rules that force Americans to buy more of something than they want. For, adding to Republicans' pain, the RFS is resented by the oil industry, which makes good money by blending a bit of ethanol into petrol but loathes plans to make it add a lot more.
但可再生燃料标准是一个大政府干预的例子。有些条例强迫美国人不顾自身意愿过多消费,对于赞成这些条例的小政府保守党来说,说得好听一点,是有些尴尬的。因为正如共和党的痛脚,可再生燃料标准在石油产业中并不讨喜,将少量乙醇混入汽油他们能赚大钱,但添加再多乙醇,他们就不开心了。
Most Republicans at the Ag Summit tried to have it both ways. They poured noisy scorn on federal regulation and loudly declared their faith in free markets. They expressed confidence that farmers, not bureaucrats, know best how to manage the land. This was the cue for some corny reminisce. “I've sat on the end of a turnrow and watched a wheat crop be lost to a hailstorm,” sighed Rick Perry, a former governor of Texas and farmer's son. Mr Bush noted that Florida had lots of citrus farms. Asked whether he backs rules that would label all produce by country of origin, he managed to woo Christians, Iowans and Hispanics in a single answer, and all while presenting himself as a family-loving Everyman. The day after the Ag Summit would find him at a Publix supermarket after church, shopping for “Sunday Fun Day” at his Florida home, explained Mr Bush, whose wife is Mexican. Iowa beef would be on the menu and his own special guacamole, and “I want to know where that avocado is from.”
农业峰会上,多数共和党都想既顾此,又不失彼。他们大声谴责联邦规定,并摆明他们对自由市场的信心。他们充满信心地表示,最了解如何管理土地的是农民而非官僚,这引出了一些人埋藏久远的记忆。德克萨斯州前州长里克·佩里是一个农民之子,他叹息道:“我曾经坐在一个洞穴里,眼睁睁地看着一场冰雹毁掉了小麦。”杰布·布什还提到佛罗里达有很多柑橘农场。当被问及他是否支持将农产品标明产地的规定时,他成功地用一个答案同时对基督徒、爱荷华州人和西班牙裔美国人示好—他说,他的妻子是墨西哥人,所以在农业峰会之后,他会在去教堂之后来到大众超市,为他在佛罗里达的家里度过“快乐的周日”而采购。
Then seven of the nine murmured that the RFS was the law and so should be enforced, or should be preserved for a while to give farmers certainty as they plant crops. Market forces would ultimately prevail, said Mr Bush delicately, so that farmers might not need the RFS after 2022 “or somewhere in the future”. This pandering marked a timely shift for some. Mr Walker used to denounce ethanol mandates with a passion, calling them “central planning” and “fundamentally wrong”. But the Wisconsin governor, whose fortunes have been surging of late, can ill-afford to alienate a next-door state like Iowa, full of pious, thrifty midwestern conservatives in his image. So Mr Walker told the Ag Summit that he is willing to see the RFS continue, at least for now.
9名候选人中,有7个人声势较弱地表示,可再生燃料标准毕竟是法律,应该被遵守,或起码保留一段时间,让农民在种玉米的时候心里有底。而布什先生微妙地说,市场的力量最终会发挥作用的,因此在2022或未来的某个时候,农民也许将不再需要可再生燃料标准。这般迎合言论对某些人来说标志着适时的转变。斯考特·沃克曾极力谴责乙醇法令,称其为“中心控制”,是“根本错误”的。但威斯康星的州长近日好运连连,他不能疏远邻州爱荷华,在他的计划里,该州充满了虔诚节约的中西部保守党。因此沃克在农业峰会上说,起码暂时来说,他愿意看到可再生燃料标准保留下来。
Patrick Pig at the trough
饲料槽前的帕特里克猪
The pandering is bipartisan: ethanol backers cheered reports that Hillary Clinton has recruited an aide to Tom Vilsack, the agriculture secretary and a former Iowa governor, to run her campaign in the state. Yet the pandering is not universal. Mr Perry did not explicitly endorse the RFS. His fellow-Texan, Senator Ted Cruz, told Iowans that he opposes it, explaining his conviction that “Washington should not be picking winners and losers.”
这种迎合奉承在两党中都存在。希拉里·克林顿为农业部长汤姆·维尔萨克招来一名助手和一名前爱荷华州长来运行她在该州的竞选,消息一出,就引来乙醇法支持者的欢呼。但这种迎合并不普遍。里克·佩里实际上还没有明确认可可再生燃料标准。他属下的一名德克萨斯州参议员特德·克鲁兹对爱荷华人说,他反对该项标准,因为“华盛顿不应该一手定胜负。”
Mr Cruz is betting that political dynamics are changing. The Ag Summit showed the farm lobby's strength but also its vulnerability: a truly confident industry would not even ask candidates to declare their fealty, almost a year ahead of the first presidential caucus. In 2000 Senator John McCain simply skipped Iowa, because he opposed ethanol subsidies. Today, the shrink-the-government right is more confrontational. Mr Cruz sensed a political advantage in flying to Iowa to sit beside a tractor telling farmers that they are wrong to want federal help. The coming months will reveal if he is right, or if the Scarry rule remains in force.
克鲁兹是在赌,政治风向已经变了。农业峰会在展示农业游说团体实力的同时,也展示了其脆弱性—一个真正有自信的产业,是不会在第一次总统竞选党会开始一年前,就让候选人表忠的。2000年时,约翰·麦凯恩仅仅因为反对对乙醇进行补贴就放弃了爱荷华州。如今,对是否要减小政府权力的讨论更加如火如荼。克鲁兹认为,飞去爱荷华州,坐在拖拉机旁,告诉农民们,他们想要寻求联邦帮助的想法是错的这一举动,会带来政治优势。未来的几个月里将见证,究竟他是对的,还是斯凯瑞定律的地位仍牢不可催。 翻译:杨雪 校对:靳方方

译文属译生译世

重点单词   查看全部解释    
cue [kju:]

想一想再看

n. 暗示,提示,信号
vt. 给 ... 提

 
regulation [.regju'leiʃən]

想一想再看

n. 规则,规章,管理
adj. 规定的,官方

 
environment [in'vaiərənmənt]

想一想再看

n. 环境,外界

 
certainty ['sə:tnti]

想一想再看

n. 确定,确实的事情

联想记忆
check [tʃek]

想一想再看

n. 检查,支票,账单,制止,阻止物,检验标准,方格图案

联想记忆
corn [kɔ:n]

想一想再看

n. 谷物,小麦,玉米
v. 形成(颗粒状),

 
wheat [wi:t]

想一想再看

n. 小麦,小麦色

 
vulnerability [.vʌlnərə'biliti]

想一想再看

n. 易受攻击,弱点,[计]漏洞

 
confidence ['kɔnfidəns]

想一想再看

adj. 骗得信任的
n. 信任,信心,把握

联想记忆
election [i'lekʃən]

想一想再看

n. 选举

联想记忆

发布评论我来说2句

    英语学习专题

    • 英语听写训练
      听写强化训练系统有听写比对,按句停顿,中文翻译、听写错词提示等特色功能.
    • 经济学人中英双语版
      提供经济学人中英双语版文章、音频、中英字幕,类别包括文艺、人物、科技、商业等..
    • 可可英语微信:ikekenet
      关注可可英语官方微信,每天将会向大家推送短小精悍的英语学习资料..

    可可英语官方微信(微信号:ikekenet)

    每天向大家推送短小精悍的英语学习资料.

    添加方式1.扫描上方可可官方微信二维码。
    添加方式2.搜索微信号ikekenet添加即可。