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经济学人 供给侧改革:里根主义歌曲的中国唱法The Economist 2016.01.02总第53期

外刊时文双语精析2021-01-13 09:43:35
From The Economist | Jan 2nd 2016

Economic ideology 经济意识形态

Reagan’s Chinese echo
里根主义歌曲的中国唱法


翻译

Jessy Yang

校对

张茁、李季

导读

李季


本文音频


The mystery of Xi Jinping’s supply-side strategy.习大大的供给侧经济战略之谜。



导读:

这篇文章主要是讲下面这句话

In Xiconomics, the thrust of supply-side policy is less clear, despite the term’s prominence at recent economic-planning meetings and its dissection in numerous articles published by state media. Investors, hoping the phrase might herald a renewed effort by the leadership to boost the economy, are eager for detail.
而在习大经济学中,尽管“供给侧改革”这个术语在近期的中央经济工作会议中炙手可热,官媒也发表了多篇文章中对这个高频词进行剖析,但是供给侧改革政策的主旨还是不甚明了。投资者渴望了解其更多的细节,他们希望这一词条预示着领导层想要投入新的精力来推动经济发展。

词汇

注意thrust除了常见的猛推、冲之意外,还有要点、要旨和重点的意思。herald是写作中经常可以用到的词汇,词典例句详见文中。

注意the termthe phrase这种小地方的替换。

另外文中标识的词汇中很多都是熟词僻意,比如“channel”,“late”,“blessing”请大家留心一下。

写作

如果根据这个参考译文进行翻译或者写作的话,可能很多人都会写成:

In Xiconomics, even though the term has been highlighted at recent economic-planning meetings and dissected in numerous articles published by state media, the thrust of supply-side policy is less clear.

再与原文比较一下:

In Xiconomics, the thrust of supply-side policy is less clear, despite the term’s prominence at recent economic-planning meetings and its dissection in numerous articles published by state media.

这样写肯定没有错,但是跟原文比较起来,这个句子的表达似乎还是差了一些。这种写法除了会让人觉得有点头重脚轻之外,而且使用的表达方式也让人觉得有点笨重。然后联系上下文来看,原文的表达方式也更加连贯和符合表达逻辑。所以这种写法是一种非常值得借鉴的方法,即不用句子表达,改成介词加名词的形式,既实现了精简,又使句子结构更加合理,至少可以作为一种替代性的写作方式。

Mr Xi faces no such democratic checks, but China’s ruling party is split between rival interest groups, and economic policy is often implemented in fits and starts as party leaders try to reconcile their competing demands.

此句中的短语“fits and start”可做三天打鱼、两天晒网讲,见词典中的例句:

My slimming attempts tend to go in fits and starts...

我的瘦身运动总是三天打鱼两天晒网。

翻译

提一个翻译的小问题,有些新手在做中英互译时,非常喜欢将英文和中文的标点符号完全对应,其实这是没有必要的。英文的句号着重是形式上的结束,而中文的句号“一句话的意思是否比较表达完毕”,相对英文而言,句号的语法要求相对较松,而且没有形式上的强制要求,所以我们在中文对于标点符号的要求是相对较低的。平常我们写作不是好多人都是一直用逗号用到尾吗?

我们来看看《经济学人》是怎么来演绎下面这句话的,三个逗号连接的中文句子,它用了三个英文的短句。

处置僵尸企业不能再拖,吃止痛药和简单输血已经不能解决问题,必须痛下决心实施外科手术””,政府智库国务院发展研究中心的陈昌盛最近这样写道。

We can no longer delay the clean-up of zombie corporations,” Chen Changsheng of the Development Research Centre, a government think-tank, wrote recently. “Taking painkillers and performing blood transfusions is not enough. We need the determination to carry out surgery.”



1. RONALD REAGAN, a sworn enemy of communism, and Xi Jinping, a doughty defender of Communist rule in China, ought to have little in common. Lately, though, Mr Xi has seemed to channel the late American president. He has been speaking openly for the first time of a need for “supply-side reforms”—a term echoing one made popular during Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s. It is now China’s hottest economic catchphrase (even featuring in a state-approved rap song, released on December 26th: “Reform the supply side and upgrade the economy,” goes one catchy line).

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罗纳德里根(Ronald Reagan)视共产主义为不共戴天的仇敌,而习大则是共产主义信条的坚决捍卫者,二人应该没什么共同点。但是最近习大好像和这位已故的美国前总统通灵了。他首次公开表示中国需要进行供给侧改革,这一概念与上世纪80年代里根总统任期内那个广为人知的经济政策遥相呼应。供给侧改革现已成为中国经济最热门的词条(甚至出现在1226日发布的一首得到了政府许可的说唱歌曲中:供给改革,升级经济,歌词唱起来朗朗上口)。
以下视频为中央电视台所推出的名为《深改小组两岁了》的Rap歌曲,大家感受下吧。

2. Reagan’s supply-side strategy was notable, at least at the outset, for its controversial focus on cutting taxes as a way of encouraging companies to produce and invest more. In Xiconomics, the thrust of supply-side policy is less clear, despite the term’s prominence at recent economic-planning meetings and its dissection in numerous articles published by state media. Investors, hoping the phrase might herald a renewed effort by the leadership to boost the economy, are eager for detail.

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里根的供应经济策略曾经轰动一时,至少在一开始是这样,它主要通过减税来促进企业增加生产和投资,这在当时备受争议而在习大经济学中,尽管“供给侧改革”这个术语在近期的中央经济工作会议中炙手可热,官媒也发表了多篇文章中对这个高频词进行剖析,但是供给侧改革政策的主旨还是不甚明了。投资者渴望了解其更多的细节,他们希望这一词条预示着领导层想要投入新的精力来推动经济发展。

3. Mr Xi’s first mentions of the supply side, or gongjice, in two separate speeches in November, were not entirely a surprise. For a couple of years think-tanks affiliated with government ministries had been promoting the concept (helped by a new institute called the China Academy of New Supply-Side Economics). Their hope is that such reforms will involve deep structural changes aimed at putting the economy on a sounder footing, rather than yet more stimulus. Since Mr Xi gave the term his public blessing, officials have been scrambling to fall in line with supply-side doctrine, designing policies that seem to fit it or, just as energetically, working to squeeze existing ones into its rubric.

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习大在11月两次不同的演讲场合中首次提到了供给侧,但这也并非完全出乎意料。近年来,政府部门的智囊团一直在推广这个概念,其中包括一个叫做华夏新供给经济学研究院的新兴研究机构。他们希望这样的改革能够涉及深层次的结构性变化,这些变化旨在为经济发展提供更稳定的根基,而非给予更多的刺激。自从习大公开支持这一概念后,官员们要么是制定相关的配套政策,要么是劲头十足地将现有政策生拉硬拽至这个框架之内,他们通过这些方式争先恐后地加入了供给侧学说的行列。

4. Mr Xi’s aim may be to reinvigorate reforms that were endorsed by the Communist Party’s 370-member Central Committee in 2013, a year after he took over as China’s leader. They called for a “decisive” role to be given to market forces, with the state and private sectors placed on an equal footing. But Mr Xi lacked a catchy phrase to sum up his economic vision. The one he most commonly used was simply that the economy had entered a “new normal” of slower, more mature, growth. That phrase had its detractors, for it seemed to imply passive acceptance of a more sluggish future. “Supply-side reform” is being made to sound like a call to action. Xinhua, a state news agency, neatly tied the two phrases together: “supply-side structural reform is the new growth driver under the new normal.”

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2013年,即习大担任国家领导人一年之后,370名中共中央政治局委员通过了一系列的改革方案,习大此举可能是想为这些改革方案注入新的活力。委员们主张让市场力量起决定性作用,将国营部门和私营部门放在同等的地位上。但是当时习大缺少一个朗朗上口的词条来概括他的经济愿景。过去他常说经济已经进入了一个增长放缓却更为成熟的新常态阶段。但是这一措辞受到了批评者的诟病,因为它似乎暗示着对未来经济更加疲软这一趋势的被动接受。供给侧改革则更像是主动出击。国家新闻通讯社新华社还巧妙地将这两个词条放在一起:供给侧结构性改革是新常态下新的增长动力。

5. But what does it mean? Those who first pushed supply-side reform onto China’s political agenda want a clean break with the credit-driven past. Jia Kang, an outspoken researcher in the finance ministry who co-founded the new supply-side academy, defines the term in opposition to the short-term demand management that has often characterised China’s economic policy—the boosting of consumption and investment with the help of cheap money and dollops of government spending.

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但其含义到底是什么呢?那些首次将供给侧改革推上中国政治日程的人希望彻底摆脱过去由信贷驱动的那个阶段。贾康是一位直言不讳的财政部研究员,还是新供给经济学研究院共同创始人。他是这样定义供给侧改革的:短期需求管理是中国经济政策的常见特征,即借助低息贷款和大量的政府支出促进消费和投资增加,而供给侧改革则是这一情况的对立面。

6. The result of the old approach has been a steep rise in debt (about 250% of GDP and counting) and declining returns on investment. Supply-siders worry that it is creating a growing risk of stagnation, or even a full-blown economic crisis. Mr Jia says the government should focus instead on simplifying regulations to make labour, land and capital more productive. Making it easier for private companies to invest in sectors currently reserved for bloated state-run corporations would be a good place to start, some of his colleagues argue.

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旧有模式的后果是债务急剧上升(目前约占国内生产总值的250%,而且还在上升)及投资回报率下降。供给学派担心这会导致经济停滞,甚至全面的经济危机。贾康认为,政府应该把重点放在简政放权上,由此提高劳动力、土地和资本的生产效率。他的一些同事认为,对于目前那些保留给体制臃肿的国营企业的行业,政府应该降低私营企业投资这些行业的准入难度,这样会是一个好的开始。

7. There are plenty of differences between China’s supply-siders and those who shaped Mr Reagan’s programme, not least in their diagnosis of their respective economies’ ills. The Americans thought that production bottlenecks were fuelling inflation and stifling growth. Their Chinese counterparts worry about the opposite: excessive production causing deflation and unsustainably rapid growth. Still, the language used in China can sound just as radical. “We can no longer delay the clean-up of zombie corporations,” Chen Changsheng of the Development Research Centre, a government think-tank, wrote recently. “Taking painkillers and performing blood transfusions is not enough. We need the determination to carry out surgery.”

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中国的供给学派和里根经济学背后的供给学派有许多不同,尤其是在他们各自对其经济弊病的诊断方面。美国人认为生产瓶颈助长了通货膨胀,抑制了经济增长。而中国供给学派的担忧却恰恰相反:生产过剩会导致通货紧缩和经济增长停滞。而且,中国方面使用的措辞听起来比较激进。处置僵尸企业不能再拖,吃止痛药和简单输血已经不能解决问题,必须痛下决心实施外科手术””,政府智库国务院发展研究中心的陈昌盛最近这样写道。

8. There may be another similarity as well: a revolution that falls short of its hype. Reagan had to work with a Congress controlled by his political opponents, and the policies he enacted were more moderate and muddled than supply-side purists had hoped. Mr Xi faces no such democratic checks, but China’s ruling party is split between rival interest groups, and economic policy is often implemented in fits and starts as party leaders try to reconcile their competing demands.

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两者之间可能也存在一个相似之处:改革与大肆宣传的情况都有所差距。当年里根不得不与其政治对手控制的国会联手,与纯粹的供应学派的预想相比,他制定的政策更为保守,也更加混乱。习大虽然无需面对这种民主监督,但是执政党的内部也存在意见相左的利益竞争群体,正因为领导人需要设法调和他们之间的需求冲突,经济政策的实施经常是三天打鱼两天晒网。

9. Supply us with a slogan仅仅是喊口号?
Mr Xi’s adoption of the supply-side mantra marks the start of protracted tiptoeing. Over the past two months, party propagandists have asked economists at top universities and research institutions to expound on their views of what supply-side reforms should entail, according to insiders. It is a slogan in search of content.

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习大奉行的供给侧改革这一准则标志着一个持久性敏感话题的开始。据内部人士透露,过去的两个月,党宣部门邀请了顶尖大学和研究机构的经济学家就供给侧改革应该包含的内容发表自己的看法。这成了一个需要往里面填充内容的口号。

10. In the recent proliferation of articles and speeches about supply-side reforms, there are clearly differences over what the emphasis should be. The National Development and Reform Commission, a powerful planning agency, argues that China needs to become more innovative and efficient in making the kinds of things its consumers want to buy. But its version of “supply-side reform” would look more like stimulus than surgery. Tax cuts since 2014 on purchases of electric cars offer a taste of what may lie ahead; sales of these vehicles have surged nearly fourfold this year.

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在最近发表的有关供给侧改革的文章和演讲中,关于其侧重点应该是什么的论述存在明显不同。实权规划部门国务院发展与改革委员会表示,中国需要在消费者乐于购买的产品生产上加大创新力度和提高效率。但是这种供给侧改革的说法更像是刺激经济发展而非是真正的大手术。2014年以来对购买电动汽车的减税政策预示着未来的走向;今年电动汽车的销量是2014年销量的将近四倍。

11. Some fret that the supply-side talk is a dangerous distraction. As Yao Yang of Peking University puts it, the economy’s main ailment now is a lack of demand, not a problem with supply. The cure for that, he believes, is a short-term burst of monetary easing, the very thing that ardent supply-siders have been hoping to banish.

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有些人担心供给侧的说法只是一种转移注意力的危险方式。北京大学的姚洋指出,当前经济的主要问题是需求不足,而不是供给问题。他认为解决此问题的方法是短期的货币宽松,而这正是热情的供给学派一直以来希望摒弃的做法。

12. For all the recent debate, early signs are that the supply-side shift may not amount to a serious change of course. Measures proposed by the government in late December include lower corporate borrowing costs, an easing of entry barriers in underdeveloped sectors such as health care and a reduction of excess capacity in sectors such as property. It just so happens that all these policies have already been in place for months or even years. If nothing else, Mr Xi’s supply-side reforms will prove that China is among the world’s most accomplished suppliers of slogans.

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针对最近所有的争论,早期有迹象表明,政策重心向供给侧转移并不意味着当前的路线有重大改变。12月底政府提出了一些措施,包括降低企业的借贷成本,降低医疗保健等发展落后行业的准入门槛,减少房地产等部门的过剩产能。其实,这些政策在几个月甚至几年前就已经开始实施了。如果习大的供给侧改革再没有其他新花样,那只能说明中国是世界上喊口号最在行的国家之一。


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