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添加时间:2017-01-25 19:49:25 浏览次数: 作者:未知
  • If you have two strong arguments, the surest way to lose a debate is to add a third one. The superfluous1 argument of our time is, more often than not, the finger-wagging warning of economic doom2.


    Starting this week, we need to get our heads around the possibility that US President-elect Donald Trump3 is simultaneously4 reprehensible5 and economically successful — at least for some time. The instinct has often been to conflate political decency6 and economic efficiency because this is what has been done for such a long time. Fortuitously, our open, liberal systems also happened to be the most efficient. They even produced an acceptable distribution of income until about 10 years ago. Yet the period from 1989 to 2007 was exceptional — history is littered with economically successful dictators and economically disastrous7 liberal democrats8.

    本周开始,我们要开始考虑这样一个可能性了:美国当选总统唐纳德?特朗普(Donald Trump)既应该受到谴责,又在经济上获得成功——至少在一段时间内如此。人们的本能反应往往是把政治正派与经济效率混为一谈,因为长久以来一直是这么做的。碰巧的是,我们的开放、自由的体系也恰恰是最有效率的体系。它们甚至产生了让人可以接受(直到差不多10年前)的收入分配。然而1989年至2007年这段时期是个例外——人类历史的长河中充斥着在经济上获得成功的独裁者和带来经济灾难的自由派民主人士。

    You may be in Davos this week, seeking reaffirmation of your deeply held beliefs when you pontificate about the future of the universe. Or you may be on Facebook or Twitter, expressing your fury about where the world is headed. My advice is to narrow your focus. Brexit is terrible because it deprives young Britons of the right to choose where to live, study and work. It deprives them of a European identity many believed they possessed9 forever.


    If this is what upset you about the Leave vote, then you were insane to allow your political campaign to be hijacked10 by lobbyists who kept whining11 about the loss of the single European passport for banks. This is the superfluous argument that lost the Brexit referendum. Keep making that same mistake in the battles that loom12 in 2017 and the populists will win everywhere.


    Brexit has been a particularly bitter experience. Not only were the economic forecasts electorally disastrous, but some of them were wrong. It was gracious of Andy Haldane, Bank of England chief economist13, to admit the limitations of economic forecasting. But he is an exception. I know economists14 who now say that Brexit will cause a recession this year, having failed to produce one in 2016.

    英国退欧是一次格外苦涩的经历。经济预测不仅对投票结果造成了灾难性的影响,而且其中一些预测是错误的。英国央行(Bank of England)首席经济学家安迪?霍尔丹(Andy Haldane)高尚地承认了经济预测的局限性。但他是个例外。我认识的一些经济学家,他们现在说英国退欧会在今年引发一场衰退,即便有关2016年将出现经济衰退的预测未能应验。

    One of the many factors the forecasters have failed sufficiently15 to consider is the global environment. A Brexit-induced sterling16 crash could in theory have turned out to be dangerous. But this is not the 1970s. We are living in an age of excess global liquidity17, which renders a fall in sterling self-limiting. Asian investors18, for example, are streaming into the top of the London property market, where they find deflated19 prices, which they pay with a devalued currency.


    The truth is that our ability to forecast the future beyond the current quarter is limited. We certainly cannot forecast the economic impact of a complex political event, such as Brexit or the election of a new US president. Too many future unforeseen events will intrude20.


    We cannot translate the result of an opinion poll into an election probability, either. People keep asking me to tell them the probability of Marine21 Le Pen, the far-right National Front leader, winning the French presidency22. The problem is that the election campaign has not even started. The correct answer about the probability of a Le Pen victory is that I do not have the foggiest. Nor does anyone else.

    我们也无法把民调结果转化为选举概率。人们总是让我告诉他们极右翼政党国民阵线(National Front)领导人马琳?勒庞(Marine Le Pen)赢得法国总统大选的几率。问题是,现在竞选活动甚至还未开始。对于勒庞获胜几率的正确答案是,我一点也不知道。也没人知道。

    The curse of our time is fake maths. Think of it as fake news for numerically literate23 intellectuals: it is the abuse of statistics and economic models to peddle24 one’s own political prejudice. More often than not, there is a kernel25 of truth in those forecasts, as there was in the BoE’s prediction of what could happen after Brexit. The fakeness of the maths lies in an exaggerated inference. Economic models have their uses, as do opinion polls. They provide information to policymakers and markets. But nobody can see through the fog of the future.


    Fake maths has given us, the liberal establishment, the illusion of certainty. Once the illusion crumbles26, we are left with an uncomfortable question: is it possible that some populist demagogues will end up producing better economic policy than our friends in Davos? Take Italy as an example. The euro has been a disaster for the economy. If a populist were to win the Italian election, force a euro exit and default on foreign investors, is it not at least possible they would spur a genuine economic recovery? I do not know the answer; I know for sure that the present regime will not.


    The populists could succeed simply by undoing27 the mistakes of the present regime. They will not succeed in the long run. But they may succeed before they fail. The political and economic regime change we are undergoing constitutes the most serious assault on our values I can remember. We would be foolish to deny that it could just be possible, from the perspective of the median voter, that the odious28 populists are getting the economy right when the liberal elite29 did not.


     12级    英文科普 


    1 superfluous [su:ˈpɜ:fluəs] EU6zf   第7级
    • She fined away superfluous matter in the design. 她删去了这图案中多余的东西。
    • That request seemed superfluous when I wrote it. 我这样写的时候觉得这个请求似乎是多此一举。
    2 doom [du:m] gsexJ   第7级
    • The report on our economic situation is full of doom and gloom. 这份关于我们经济状况的报告充满了令人绝望和沮丧的调子。
    • The dictator met his doom after ten years of rule. 独裁者统治了十年终于完蛋了。
    3 trump [trʌmp] LU1zK   第10级
    • He was never able to trump up the courage to have a showdown. 他始终鼓不起勇气摊牌。
    • The coach saved his star player for a trump card. 教练保留他的明星选手,作为他的王牌。
    4 simultaneously [ˌsɪməl'teɪnɪəslɪ] 4iBz1o   第8级
    • The radar beam can track a number of targets almost simultaneously. 雷达波几乎可以同时追着多个目标。
    • The Windows allow a computer user to execute multiple programs simultaneously. Windows允许计算机用户同时运行多个程序。
    5 reprehensible [ˌreprɪˈhensəbl] 7VpxT   第12级
    • Lying is not seen as being morally reprehensible in any strong way. 人们并不把撒谎当作一件应该大加谴责的事儿。
    • It was reprehensible of him to be so disloyal. 他如此不忠,应受谴责。
    6 decency [ˈdi:snsi] Jxzxs   第9级
    • His sense of decency and fair play made him refuse the offer. 他的正直感和公平竞争意识使他拒绝了这一提议。
    • Your behaviour is an affront to public decency. 你的行为有伤风化。
    7 disastrous [dɪˈzɑ:strəs] 2ujx0   第7级
    • The heavy rainstorm caused a disastrous flood. 暴雨成灾。
    • Her investment had disastrous consequences. She lost everything she owned. 她的投资结果很惨,血本无归。
    8 democrats ['deməkræts] 655beefefdcaf76097d489a3ff245f76   第7级
    n.民主主义者,民主人士( democrat的名词复数 )
    • The Democrats held a pep rally on Capitol Hill yesterday. 民主党昨天在国会山召开了竞选誓师大会。
    • The democrats organize a filibuster in the senate. 民主党党员组织了阻挠议事。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    9 possessed [pəˈzest] xuyyQ   第12级
    • He flew out of the room like a man possessed. 他像着了魔似地猛然冲出房门。
    • He behaved like someone possessed. 他行为举止像是魔怔了。
    10 hijacked [ˈhaidʒækt] 54f3e68c506e45e75f9a155a27738c2f   第7级
    劫持( hijack的过去式和过去分词 ); 绑架; 拦路抢劫; 操纵(会议等,以推销自己的意图)
    • The plane was hijacked by two armed men on a flight from London to Rome. 飞机在从伦敦飞往罗马途中遭到两名持械男子劫持。
    • The plane was hijacked soon after it took off. 那架飞机起飞后不久被劫持了。
    11 whining [hwaɪnɪŋ] whining   第11级
    n. 抱怨,牢骚 v. 哭诉,发牢骚
    • That's the way with you whining, puny, pitiful players. 你们这种又爱哭、又软弱、又可怜的赌棍就是这样。
    • The dog sat outside the door whining (to be let in). 那条狗坐在门外狺狺叫着(要进来)。
    12 loom [lu:m] T8pzd   第7级
    • The old woman was weaving on her loom. 那位老太太正在织布机上织布。
    • The shuttle flies back and forth on the loom. 织布机上梭子来回飞动。
    13 economist [ɪˈkɒnəmɪst] AuhzVs   第8级
    • He cast a professional economist's eyes on the problem. 他以经济学行家的眼光审视这个问题。
    • He's an economist who thinks he knows all the answers. 他是个经济学家,自以为什么都懂。
    14 economists [ɪ'kɒnəmɪsts] 2ba0a36f92d9c37ef31cc751bca1a748   第8级
    n.经济学家,经济专家( economist的名词复数 )
    • The sudden rise in share prices has confounded economists. 股价的突然上涨使经济学家大惑不解。
    • Foreign bankers and economists cautiously welcomed the minister's initiative. 外国银行家和经济学家对部长的倡议反应谨慎。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    15 sufficiently [sə'fɪʃntlɪ] 0htzMB   第8级
    • It turned out he had not insured the house sufficiently. 原来他没有给房屋投足保险。
    • The new policy was sufficiently elastic to accommodate both views. 新政策充分灵活地适用两种观点。
    16 sterling [ˈstɜ:lɪŋ] yG8z6   第9级
    • Could you tell me the current rate for sterling, please? 能否请您告诉我现行英国货币的兑换率?
    • Sterling has recently been strong, which will help to abate inflationary pressures. 英国货币最近非常坚挺,这有助于减轻通胀压力。
    17 liquidity [lɪˈkwɪdəti] VRXzb   第11级
    • The bank has progressively increased its liquidity. 银行逐渐地增加其流动资产。
    • The demand and the supply of credit is closely linked to changes in liquidity. 信用的供求和流动资金的变化有密切关系。
    18 investors [ɪn'vestəz] dffc64354445b947454450e472276b99   第8级
    n.投资者,出资者( investor的名词复数 )
    • a con man who bilked investors out of millions of dollars 诈取投资者几百万元的骗子
    • a cash bonanza for investors 投资者的赚钱机会
    19 deflated [dɪf'leɪtɪd] deflated   第12级
    adj. 灰心丧气的
    • I was quite deflated by her lack of interest in my suggestions. 他对我的建议兴趣不大,令我感到十分气馁。
    • He was deflated by the news. 这消息令他泄气。
    20 intrude [ɪnˈtru:d] Lakzv   第7级
    • I do not want to intrude if you are busy. 如果你忙我就不打扰你了。
    • I don't want to intrude on your meeting. 我不想打扰你们的会议。
    21 marine [məˈri:n] 77Izo   第7级
    • Marine creatures are those which live in the sea. 海洋生物是生存在海里的生物。
    • When the war broke out, he volunteered for the Marine Corps. 战争爆发时,他自愿参加了海军陆战队。
    22 presidency [ˈprezɪdənsi] J1HzD   第9级
    • Roosevelt was elected four times to the presidency of the United States. 罗斯福连续当选四届美国总统。
    • Two candidates are emerging as contestants for the presidency. 两位候选人最终成为总统职位竞争者。
    23 literate [ˈlɪtərət] 181zu   第7级
    • Only a few of the nation's peasants are literate. 这个国家的农民中只有少数人能识字。
    • A literate person can get knowledge through reading many books. 一个受过教育的人可以通过读书而获得知识。
    24 peddle [ˈpedl] VAgyb   第10级
    • She loves to peddle gossip round the village. 她喜欢在村里到处说闲话。
    • Street vendors peddle their goods along the sidewalk. 街头摊贩沿著人行道兜售他们的商品。
    25 kernel [ˈkɜ:nl] f3wxW   第9级
    • The kernel of his problem is lack of money. 他的问题的核心是缺钱。
    • The nutshell includes the kernel. 果壳裹住果仁。
    26 crumbles [ˈkrʌmblz] e8ea0ea6a7923d1b6dbd15280146b393   第8级
    酥皮水果甜点( crumble的名词复数 )
    • This cake crumbles too easily. 这种蛋糕太容易碎了。
    • This bread crumbles ever so easily. 这种面包非常容易碎。
    27 undoing [ʌn'du:iŋ] Ifdz6a   第7级
    • That one mistake was his undoing. 他一失足即成千古恨。
    • This hard attitude may have led to his undoing. 可能就是这种强硬的态度导致了他的垮台。
    28 odious [ˈəʊdiəs] l0zy2   第10级
    • The judge described the crime as odious. 法官称这一罪行令人发指。
    • His character could best be described as odious. 他的人格用可憎来形容最贴切。
    29 elite [eɪˈli:t] CqzxN   第7级
    • The power elite inside the government is controlling foreign policy. 政府内部的一群握有实权的精英控制着对外政策。
    • We have a political elite in this country. 我们国家有一群政治精英。

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