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考研英语阅读:《经济学人》读译参考TEXT 733

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经济学人:人口即命运?(3)

 

It is possible that population is destiny, other things equal, but other things are never equal.And so a plague here, or a fateful decision by a Chinese emperor there, can set a region down a path that wipes out the advantages of population.Perhaps those advantages must be harnessed by the right sorts of institutions,or an accommodating culture—which take far longer to develop or adopt than technologies do to emerge.There is no academic consensus regarding what determines economic fortunes over long time horizons, important though the question is.

 

译文

如果其他事物都不发生变化,那么人口或许就是命运,但是其他事物不可能不变。这里一场瘟疫或是那里中国皇帝的一个重大决定便可以决定一个国家的道路,这条道路可能会消除人口的优势。或许那些优势必须被正确的制度或包容的文化加以利用—发展或采用这些制度或文化所需时间比技术涌现所需时间更久。关于从长远来看是什么决定了经济命运还没有达成学术共识,虽然这个问题很重要。

 

Alternatively, one might argue that conditions have changed in ways that amplify the power of population.A billion brains seem a more economically potent force in an era of mass education, in contrast to the mass illiteracy that prevailed in the past.But crucially, Asia's recent rise has not been the result of a spurt of indigenous innovation given its impetus by the size of its population.Rather, it has happened as part of a wave of globalisation, which aided the transfer of technological know-how.Openness to exchanges of goods and ideas, or indeed to immigration, is not an immutable parameter,but subject to change based on human preferences.

 

译文

或者有人认为条件变化的方式放大了人口的力量。和过去大批文盲盛行的时代相比,在大众教育时代,十亿人在经济上的力量似乎更加强大。但关键是,鉴于其人口规模的动因,亚洲的近期增长并非是自主创新冲刺的结果,而是全球化浪潮的一部分,这种全球化浪潮协助了技术专门技能的转移。对商品交换和想法交流或对外来移民的开放态度不是一个不可改变的参数,但却会受到人类偏好变化的支配。

 

Mr Desmet and his co-authors reckon that eliminating all barriers to migration would raise global welfare threefold—an extraordinary figure that reflects yawning differences in output per person between countries, and the unrealised human potential they represent.As intriguing as it is to consider the directions in which macro variables such as population or GDP are likely to nudge the world in coming centuries,it is human decisions that will determine which places and people are given the opportunity to become rich.National populations matter to the extent that borders do.It is a depressing notion, but a plausible one, that in half a millennium's time they will matter still.

 

译文

Desmet先生和他的共著者们认为消除所有移民障碍将会让全球福利增长三倍—这是一个非凡的数字,反映了国家和他们所代表的未实现的人才潜能之间人均实际产出的巨大差异。研究在未来几世纪人口或GDP等宏变量将推动世界朝哪个方向前进很有趣,赋予哪些地方和哪些人致富的机遇是由人类决策所决定的。国家人口和边界的重要性相当。这是一个令人沮丧的观念,但也是一个看似合理的观念,在半个世纪中,它们仍然很重要。

注释

1.plague 瘟疫

A cholera plague had been killing many prisoners of war at the time.

当时霍乱疫情已在夺去很多战俘的生命。

 

2.consensus 共识

There is a general consensus among teachers about the need for greater security in schools.

教师们对必须加强学校的保安有普遍的共识。

 

3.amplify 扩大

Her anxiety about the world was amplifying her personal fears about her future.

她对世界的忧虑加剧了她对自己未来的恐惧。

 

4.immutable 不可变得

Nothing in the world is immutable.

世界没有一成不变的东西。

 



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