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外刊精读系列之Economist[1]

字数统计: 1.4k阅读时长: 6 min
2020/01/29 Share

第一次写有关经济学人精读的博客,此次精读的文章题为Inequality Illusion,属于整篇杂志的Leaders部分,即整本最为核心的社论(editorial)。

Gist

Gulf in wealth and income between the rich and the poor could be lower than people expect. Plus, a large number of individuals have exaggerated its drawbacks, causing misconceptions among people.

Strcuture

①para 1 Background - People today tend to hold that the inequality is on the upward curve.

②para 2-9 Core Idea & its supporting evidences - 4 pillars of the idea above is being shaken.

  • The top 1% of earners, actually, have barely become detached from the rest of the world.
  • The household incomes & wages have actually swollen rather than shrunk in the past decades.
  • Labour share have not fallen in most countries.
  • The notion that the inequalities of wealth have been soaring is hard to prove.

③para 10-13 Discussion & Conclusion - A revolution in antitrust enforcementis urgently demanded for to reinviorate competition: both high-income earners and high-skilled immigration are expected to be loosen.

Excerpts

①Even in a world of polarisation, fake news and social media, some beliefs remain universal, and central to today’s politics. ②None is more influential than the idea that inequality has risen in the rich world. ③People read about it in newspapers, hear about it from their politicians and feel it in their daily lives. ④This belief motivates populists, who say selfish metropolitan elites have pulled the ladder of opportunity away from ordinary people. ⑤It has given succour to the left, who propose ever more radical ways to redistribute wealth. ⑥And it has caused alarm among business people, many of whom now claim to pursue a higher social purpose, lest they be seen to subscribe to a model of capitalism that everyone knows has failed.

Analysis

①Even in a world of polarisation, fake news and social media, some beliefs remain universal, and central to today’s politics.

翻译:即使在一个充斥极端化、假新闻、社交媒体的世界,一些看法依然广泛流行,且对现在的政治很重要。

逻辑:该句直接给出现在世界的现状(极端化、假新闻、社交化)。

解析:前半句为状语,描述了整体环境(fake newssocial media经常会用到,可以多看看,加强记忆)。后半句描述了这些看法的特点:1)广泛流行;2)对现今的政治很重要。

②None is more influential than the idea that inequality has risen in the rich world.

翻译:在富裕国家中不平等的现象已经加剧这个看法最具有影响力。

逻辑:该句接上句,顺势表达这个看法(不平等现象已加剧)是最具有影响力的。

解析:首先,全句采用否定(none)+比较级(more influential)=最高级(the idea is most influential)的形式,引出了本文的主题——人们认为不平等的现象正在加剧。

例句:Nothing is more essential than cellphones transforming the way people communicate and live in a changing and complex world.

③People [read about it in newspapers], [hear about it from their politicians] and [feel it in their daily lives].

翻译:人们在报纸中读到它,从他们的政治家口中听到它,在日常生活中感受到它。

逻辑:该句展现了这个想法影响之深远、传播之广泛。

④This belief motivates populists, who say selfish metropolitan elites have pulled the ladder of opportunity away from ordinary people.

翻译:这种看法激发了民粹主义者,他们说自私的都市精英已经夺走了平民百姓的上升渠道。

逻辑:该句阐述了这种想法所造成的影响(不良的)。

解析:populism意为民粹主义,近些年在各个国家,特别是在网络平台上比较泛滥的一种思想。-sm后缀可表示某某主义,例如individualism(个人主义)、collectivism(集体主义)、fundamentalism(原教旨主义)等等。metropolitan elite意为都市精英或者城市精英,metropolitan意为都市的,表达大城市的时候可以用metropolis或者megacity。elite意为精英,可以与其他词组合成为词组,如elite university(重点大学)。后半句中pull the ladder of opportunity away from …,表面意为“将机会的梯子从…拉走了“,之前学过类似的表达struggle to climb the social ladder,其实两者都表达了社会阶层流动的困难。

⑤It has given succour to the left, who propose ever more radical ways to redistribute wealth.

翻译:它(这个想法)给左翼提供了援助,这些人请求用更加极端的方式来分配财富。

逻辑:这个句子和上面一句相承接,表示这种看法的影响。

⑥And it has caused alarm among business people, many of whom now claim to pursue a higher social purpose, lest they be seen to subscribe to a model of capitalism that everyone knows has failed.

翻译:它(这个想法)已经造成了商人们的警觉,他们中的许多人现在声称去追求更高的社会目标,以免他们被看作是赞同一种所有人都认为失败了的资本主义模式。

逻辑:表示了这种看法对于商人们的影响,他们对此非常警觉。

解析:主句比较简短(不加赘述),后面的从句比较长(从many of whom开始均为从句),但不复杂,主要是表现了这些商人为了自保而做出了一些行动。后半句中比较重要的表达是subscribe to,它主要有两种意思(订阅/赞同),显然此处表达为订阅并不合适,因此应该是赞同的意思。

Summary

该段的整体逻辑已经很明朗了:①句引入背景,②提出本文主题即大众现在持有的看法,③句描述了这种看法的影响范围之广,④⑤⑥则简洁地阐述了这种看法对不同地人带来的影响。

Key points:

  1. 否定 + 比较级 = 最高级
  2. pull the ladder of opportunity away from …
  3. struggle to climb the social ladder
  4. subscribe to 赞同h
  5. be volatile around a flat trend 表达(数据)上下波动
  6. of deprivation 贫困的 impoverished/poor
  7. triumph over 战胜
  8. call for 要求 demand/require
  9. starve sb of sth 使某人得不到某种东西 deprive sb of sth/strip sb of sth
CATALOG
  1. 1. Gist
  2. 2. Strcuture
  3. 3. Excerpts
  4. 4. Analysis
  5. 5. Summary
    1. 5.1. Key points: