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托福TPO-40 Lecture 4(上)

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Narrator: Listen to part of a lecture in a United States Government class.

请听美国政府课上的部分内容

Professor: We've been talking about the basic services and facilities that an economy needs to function: roads, bridges, rail systems, water supplies, power grids, and so forth, what we call infrastructure.

教授:我们一直在讲经济运行需要的基本服务和设施,比如道路、桥梁、铁路系统、供水、电网等等,我们把这些叫做基础设施。

Now, traditionally much of a society's infrastructure, particularly the transportation infrastructure, has been owned and operated by states, by governments.

传统上来说,一个社会的大部分基础设施,特别是交通设施都是为国家,为政府所有和运营的。

But lately, local and state governments have started to consider and sometimes actually enter into various deals to privatize parts of their infrastructure, particularly in the transportation sector.

但是近来,地方和州政府开始考虑,实际上有时候已经达成了各种交易把它们的部分设施私有化,特别是交通部门的设施。

And why is this privatization happening?

这种私有化为什么会产生呢?

美国政府.jpg

Well, as you may know, in the 1950s and 60s there was a tremendous highway building boom.

你们也许知道,在二十世纪五十年代和六十年代有一个巨大的高速公路修建大潮。

Governments created a huge interlocking network of highways with associated bridges and tunnels.

政府创造了一个巨大的高速公路连锁网,还带有桥梁和隧道。

But these facilities are getting old now and they're becoming more and more expensive to maintain, very expensive actually.

但是这些设施现在越来越旧了,而且要维护也越来越贵,实际上非常贵。

Tolls and tax revenues don't often cover all the needed repairs.

通行费和税收收入通常无法负担所有必需的维修费用。

Student: So why don't the governments just raise tolls and taxes?

学生:那政府为什么不直接增收通行费和税呢?

Professor: Well, that's not so simple.

教授:没有这么简单。

Government officials are elected by voters and voters get upset when their taxes go up.

政府官员是由选民选举产生的,税金上调选民就会不满。

And as for highways tolls, commuters especially don't like paying higher tolls, merely proposing increases can damage political careers.

至于高速公路通行费,通勤人士尤其不喜欢支付更高的通行费,仅仅提议增加费用都会损害他们的政治生涯。

So there's tremendous pressure on governments to find other ways to maintain infrastructure assets.

所以政府要找到其他方法维护这些基础设施压力山大。

One solution is to sell or lease a part of the infrastructure, a toll bridge, a tunnel, something like that to a private company, usually a company that specializes in this sort of thing.

一个解决方案是把部分基础设施比如一座收费的桥、一个隧道之类的卖或租一家私营公司,这家公司通常是专门经营这种设施的。

The idea is that the company that buys or leases a bridge or a highway or whatever will find it easier to keep it in good repair.

政府的想法是,买下或租下了一座桥或一条高速之类的这家公司要保养这个设施会更简单。

Student: That will make commuters happy.

学生:这样通勤人士就高兴了。

Professor: Right, there could be better service.

教授:没错,可能会有更好的服务。

Since they are not government entities, private companies face less political resistance, say to raising tolls in order to provide that better service.

因为他们不是政府部门,所以私营公司,比方说为了提供更好的服务而增收通行费时面对的政治阻力更少一些。

But besides that, there's another reason governments like these deals.

但是除此之外,政府喜欢这些交易还有一个原因。

States often have trouble paying their bills and they can use money they get from selling or leasing a piece of infrastructure to balance their budgets.

州政府通常都很难付清账单,所以他们可以用从卖或出租部分基础设施中得到的钱来平衡预算。

Student: That all sounds good to me.

学生:在我看来没有问题啊。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
pressure ['preʃə]

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n. 压力,压强,压迫
v. 施压

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network ['netwə:k]

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n. 网络,网状物,网状系统
vt. (

 
function ['fʌŋkʃən]

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n. 功能,函数,职务,重大聚会
vi. 运行

 
merely ['miəli]

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adv. 仅仅,只不过

 
narrator [næ'reitə]

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n. 叙述者,讲解员

 
interlocking [intə(:)'lɔkiŋ]

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adj. 联锁的,交织在一起的 动词interlock的

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boom [bu:m]

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n. 繁荣,低沉声,帆杠,水栅
vi. 急速增

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resistance [ri'zistəns]

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n. 抵抗力,反抗,反抗行动;阻力,电阻;反对

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transportation [.trænspə'teiʃən]

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n. 运输,运输系统,运输工具

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tunnel ['tʌnl]

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n. 隧道,地道
v. 挖隧道,挖地道

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