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经济学人:社会平衡器 与富人之间的距离

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Special report: (A special report on Singapore) The rich are always with us Inequality. But we don't like them that much.

特别报道:(一份新加坡的特别报道)虽然富人总与我们同在,但是我们并不喜欢他们
Measured by its Gini coefficient, Singapore is among the world's most unequal countries.
如果根据基尼系数来衡量,新加坡是世界上最不平等的国家之一。
The comparison is unfair: Singapore is also a city, and Hong Kong, New York and London all have higher Gini coefficients than it does.
这种比较方法是不公平的:新加坡是一个城市,而同为城市的香港、纽约和伦敦的基尼系数都比它高。

富人的生活.jpg

But Singapore measures its coefficient rather differently, excluding shorter-term foreign workers and non-working families.

不过新加坡测量基尼系数的方法与众不同,不包括短期的外籍劳工和非工作家庭。
And, understandably, it includes employers' CPF contributions as income.
而且可以理解的是该计算方法将劳工的公积金上缴额包含在收入内。
Since these are capped for higher-paid workers, that narrows the income gap.
因为这些措施限制了高薪者的收入,缩小了贫富差距。
Egalitarians are troubled by Singapore's reliance on several hundred thousand low-paid foreigners.
新加坡对于数十万低收入外籍劳工的依赖困扰着平等主义者。
They are ubiquitous on building sites.
建筑工地随处可见他们的身影。
Many live in crowded dormitories or worse.
许多人住在拥挤的宿舍或者更糟的地方。
The frustrations some suffer were exposed by a riot in December 2013 after an Indian construction worker, on his Sunday off, was run over and killed by a bus.
2013年12月,一名印度籍建筑工人星期日休假时被一辆公共汽车碾死,一些人的挫折感在这次事件中暴露无遗。
But such events are highly unusual.
但这样的事件是极不寻常的。
Lee Hsien Loong thinks Singapore should not fret overly about its inequality rankings.
李显龙认为新加坡不应过度担心不平等排名。
“If I can get another ten billionaires to move to Singapore,” he said in 2013, “my Gini coefficient will get worse but I think Singaporeans will be better off, because they will bring in business, bring in opportunities, open new doors and create new jobs.”
2013年他说,“如果我能让另外十大亿万富豪搬到新加坡,我国的基尼系数将变得更糟。但我认为新加坡人将过更好的,因为他们将带来生意、机会,开启新的大门、创造新的工作。”
A generation ago people at all levels of society believed that a rising tide would lift all ships: they were better off than their parents, and knew their children would be better off still.
建国一代的社会各层人民一致认为,水涨船高,惠泽众生——他们过得比父母们好,而他们的孩子将会更好。
But that may no longer be true.
但这种理论可能再也站不住脚。
In April, in one of a stimulating series of lectures to mark SG50, Ho Kwon Ping, a successful businessman, discussed waning faith in meritocracy.
4月份,在一场纪念新加坡建国50周年激动人心的系列演讲中,功成名就的商人何光平讨论了对精英体制衰落的信心。
He warned that “the original social leveller”, the education system, may now “perpetuate intergenerational class stratification”.
他警告说,“原先的社会平衡器”——教育系统,现在反而固化了代际的阶层分化。
Only 40% of the children in the most prestigious primary schools live in HDB flats, home to about 80% of all children.
全国生活在政府组屋的儿童达80%,其中只有40%就读于最负盛名小学。
Singapore's government, unlike New York's or London's, is its citizens' overall tax authority, and its tax system is regressive.
与纽约或伦敦的政府不同,新加坡政府是公民的总体税务机关,并且是递减的征税体制。
It has no capital-gains or inheritance taxes, and income tax is low: even after a recent rise, the top rate is 22%.
没有资本收益税和遗产税,所得税很低——即使最近涨了,所得税最高税率才22%。
In future elections it will face growing pressure to redistribute wealth more actively.
在未来的选举中,新加坡政府在更加积极分配社会财富方面将面临日渐增长的压力。
At every stage it will balk, wary of the “slippery slope” towards effete welfarism. But it has the resources.
在每个阶段,它都拒绝并且担心滑向无能的福利主义。但是它还有很多资源可以利用。

译文编自AuroraW

重点单词   查看全部解释    
inequality [.ini'kwɔliti]

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n. 不平等,不平均,差异,多变性,不等式

 
perpetuate [pə'petjueit]

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vt. 使永存,使不朽

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exposed [iks'pəuzd]

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adj. 暴露的,无掩蔽的,暴露于风雨中的 v. 暴露,

 
overall [əuvə'rɔ:l]

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adj. 全部的,全体的,一切在内的
adv.

 
ubiquitous [ju:'bikwitəs]

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adj. 到处存在的,遍在的

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reliance [ri'laiəns]

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n. 信赖,所信赖的人或物

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stimulating

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adj. 刺激的,令人兴奋的 动词stimulate的现

 
measured ['meʒəd]

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adj. 量过的,慎重的,基于标准的,有韵律的 动词me

 
primary ['praiməri]

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adj. 主要的,初期的,根本的,初等教育的

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original [ə'ridʒənl]

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adj. 最初的,原始的,有独创性的,原版的

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