明星资讯腾讯娱乐2017年12月19日 04:29:18
The euro-zone economy欧元区经济Cyclical stagnation周期性萧条The recovery grinds to a halt复苏放缓THIS weeks figures for the euro-zone economy were dispiriting by any measure. An aly feeble and faltering recovery has stumbled. Output across the euro area was flat in the second quarter. That followed a poor start to the year when the single-currency club managed to grow by just 0.2%.无论怎么看,欧元区本周的经济数据都是令人失望的,疲软脆弱的复苏已经摇摇欲坠。第二季度欧元区的GDP增长速度为零,而在此之前的第一季度,这个单一货币组织仅仅实现了0.2%的增长。There were some bright spots in the bulletin of misery. Both the Dutch and Portuguese economies, which had contracted in the first quarter, rebounded, growing by 0.5% and 0.6% respectively. Spanish growth picked up from 0.4% in the first quarter to 0.6% in the second. But these perky performances were overshadowed by the poor figures recorded in the three biggest economies. Italy, the third largest, had aly reported a decline of 0.2%, pushing it into a triple-dip recession. France, the second biggest, continued to stagnate. But the real blow came from Germany, the powerhouse of the euro zone, where output slipped by 0.2%.在整个欧元区的阴霾中仍有几缕阳光。荷兰和葡萄牙继第一季度的经济萎缩后,在第二季度有所反弹,增长率分别达到0.5%和0.6%。西班牙的经济增速也从第一季度的0.4%攀升到第二季度的0.6%。然而,这些姣好的成绩被欧元区中最大的三个国家的经济数据冲淡了。意大利,欧元区的第三大经济体,已经公布了0.2%的衰退,这使得意大利陷入了自2008年经济危机以来的第三个衰退期。法国,欧元区的第二大经济体,其经济增长仍然保持停滞。但是最致命的一击来自德国,作为欧元区的驱动机,其GDP下滑了0.2%。The setback may reflect some temporary factors, as workers took extra time off after public holidays. German output was also depressed by a fall in construction, some of which had been brought forward to the first quarter thanks to warm weather. This effect should also be temporary. However, the tensions between Europe and Russia over Ukraine and the resulting sanctions may adversely affect German growth in the coming months.这次衰退可能反映了一些时事问题,比如工人罢工。德国的萧条部分是因为建筑业的下滑,由于气候原因一些工程已经被提前到第一季度实施。这些因素都是暂时的。然而,欧盟和俄罗斯在乌克兰事件上紧张关系,以及由此产生的制裁可能在未来一段时间内对德国的经济增长有不利影响。The new GDP figures are yet more evidence that the euro-zone economy is in a bad way, not least since it has come to rely so heavily upon Germany, which had grown by 0.7% in the first quarter. It is not only that growth is evaporating; inflation is also extraordinarily low. In July it was only 0.4%, far below the target of just below 2% set by the European Central Bank (ECB). Consistently low inflation has prompted fears that Europe will soon slide into deflation. Prices are aly falling in Spain and three other euro-zone countries.新的GDP数据还表明,欧元区经济增长呈现颓势,尤其是它对德国强烈的依赖--德国在第一季度的增速为0.7%。经济恶化不仅是因为这个增长速度已经不复存在了,还因为极低的通胀水平。七月份的通胀水平仅为0.4%,远远低于欧洲中央(ECB)设立的略低于2%的目标。持续的低通胀水平让人担忧欧洲可能即将进入通货紧缩期。西班牙以及其他三个欧元区国家的物价早已经开始下降了。Deflation would be particularly grave for the euro area because both private and public debt is so high in many of the 18 countries that share the single currency. Even if inflation is positive but stays low it hurts debtors, as their incomes rise more slowly than they expected when they borrowed. If deflation were to set in, the effects would be worse still: when prices and wages fall, debts, which do not shrink, become harder to repay.通货紧缩对于欧元区是非常严重的,因为在使用单一货币的18个国家中,私人债务和公共债务大都相当繁重。即使是偏低的正水平通胀也会伤害到债务人,因为他们收入的增长要比借债时候的预期慢。如果通货紧缩真的到来,其影响将会很糟糕:当物价和工资都降低了,债务却并不同时缩减,因此偿还债务变得更加困难。The poor GDP figures will intensify pressure on the ECB to do more. Aly in June it lowered its main borrowing rate to just 0.15% and became the first big central bank to introduce negative interest rates, in effect charging banks for deposits they leave with it. That has helped bring short-term, wholesale interest rates close to zero and has also weakened the euro. Both these effects will help to bolster the economy and restore growth.低靡的GDP数据将迫使欧洲央行(ECB)采取更多的措施。早在今年六月,就将基准利率低到了0.15%,成为引进负利率的第一大央行,实际上对存留的资金收取利息。这项举措使得短期大额利率接近零,同时欧元走弱。这两种效应都有助于经济复苏。As well as these interest-rate cuts, the ECB announced that it would lend copiously to banks for as long as four years, as long as they pledged to improve their own lending performance to the private sector. The plan, which resembles the Bank of Englands “funding for lending” scheme, has some merit but may not boost lending as much as expected due to the feeble state of the banks. It will also take a long time to work its way through the economy.除了降息之外,ECB申明,四年内,只要商业保增加对私有部门的信贷,央行将提供充足的资金。类似英格兰的“融资换贷款计划”,这个计划已经小有成效,但是由于本身元气已伤,其促进贷款的效果可能不如设想中的那么好。并且,这几个计划从开始实行到发挥作用需要很长一段时间。The ECBs critics say that this is not enough and urge the central bank to introduce quantitative easing—creating money to buy financial assets. The ECB is likely to hold off; it seems to consider QE as a weapon of last resort. For his part Mario Draghi, the central banks president, urges countries like Italy and France to get on with structural reforms that would improve their underlying growth potential. Patience on all sides is wearing thin.欧洲央行的批评者认为这些措施并不够,并且他们要求央行推出量化宽松政策--创造货币来购买金融资产。ECB的态度是尽可能延缓推出QE,在它看来,QE是最后的武器。央行行长马里奥·德拉吉就此发表了言论,他鼓励意大利、法国等国家继续进行结构化改革以提高其经济增长的潜力。各方人士对欧元区经济复苏都已迫不及待。 /201408/322221



  Airbnb versus hotels租房网VS旅馆Room for all, for now人人有房,就是现在But there are signs that the sharing site is starting to threaten budget hotels有信号显示住房分享网站开始威胁快捷酒店EVEN as they lobby regulators to crack down on residential sharing services, hoteliers play down the threat such companies pose to their industry. The top brass at the Marriott, Four Seasons and Hilton chains have all said that these firms do not compete for their core market of accommodating high-end and business travellers; a vice-president of The Ritz-Carlton group recently claimed she had not even heard of Airbnb. And Airbnb itself agrees, arguing that it does not displace existing lodging but is creating new demand. “Im optimistic that there isnt going to be a war” with hotels, Brian Chesky, its boss, said in January.尽管旅店老板正游说监管者取缔住房分享务,但他们仍淡化这类公司给其行业带来的威胁。万豪、四季、希尔顿的高管们说这类公司并没有在他们的核心市场展开竞争;丽嘉副总裁最近表示从来没听过Airbnb。Airbnb自身也这么认为,声称其业务并没有取代现存旅馆而是创造了新需求。一月,Airbnb老板布莱恩说:“我保持乐观态度,将不会和旅馆发生正面冲突。”A recent study seems to confirm that, for now at least, Airbnb is only nibbling at the hotel industrys lunch rather than eating it whole. A team at Boston University examined hotel revenues in Texas, where Airbnb has grown much faster in some cities . They could not find a significant influence from Airbnb on business and luxury hotels. But in places where it has established a presence, it cut the revenues of budget hotels by 5% in the two years to December 2013.最近一项研究似乎实了这一观点,至少就目前看来,Airbnb只是吃掉了这个产业的一小部分而不是一口全吃掉。波士顿大学的一个小组调查了德州酒店的收入情况,在这个州的某些城市,Airbnb的增长快于该州其他城市。他们没有发现Airbnb对商务酒店和豪华酒店的明显影响。但在某些发展较好的地方,Airbnb在截止2013年12月的两年内蚕食了快捷酒店5%的收入。If Airbnb were to keep growing at its current rate—its listings are doubling every year—the Texas study suggests that by 2016 the dent in budget hotels takings will be 10%. With their high fixed costs, that could push many of them into the red. Of course, Airbnb may hit the limits of either supply or demand before then, but smaller hotels are aly blaming it for their woes. “I see a direct correlation between our revenues going down and [Airbnbs] going up,” says Vijay Dandapani, the president of Apple Core Hotels in New York. “We had continued growth until Airbnb.” The financing round that Airbnb has just closed, valuing it at more than all but the four largest global hotel groups, suggests that investors agree.德州的研究表明,如果Airbnb按目前每年翻倍的增长速度发展,在2016年将会削减快捷酒店10%的份额。因快捷酒店较高的固定成本,这将直接导致很对酒店出现赤字。当然,Airbnb也会遇到自身供给和需求的限制,但小旅馆们早就将自己的古难归咎于Airbnb。纽约苹果核酒店管理公司总裁维贾伊说:“我看到了我们酒店收入下滑和Airbnb收入增长的直接联系,我们本该继续增长的,直到Airbnb开始抢夺市场份额。”Airbnb最新一轮融资刚刚结束,投资者相信其价值仅次于四大国际酒店管理集团。Moreover, Airbnb is beginning to make inroads into business travel. Ever more companies are letting staff book their own itineraries, and giving them incentives to be thrifty. Google sets a budget for each trip, and employees who underspend them get credits they can donate to charity or use for future perks like flight upgrades.此外,Airbnb开始进军商务旅行市场。更多的公司开始让员工自己定行程,给他们节约的激励。谷歌给每一个行程都设预算,员工节约下来的钱可以捐给慈善机构,也可以留下当做例如飞机升舱一类的未来福利。Concur, a travel- and expense-management firm, has seen its corporate clients Airbnb bookings grow from a rounding error at the start of 2012 to more than 1m so far this year. Much of this comes from groups looking for flats with multiple bedrooms and shared workspace. If Airbnb can integrate with online travel agencies such as Expedia and increase the share of its hosts that provide instant booking confirmation, business hotels may find themselves with a surprisingly unignorable competitor.一家旅行费用管理公司Concur见了Airbnb的增长,2012年初其客户在Airbnb的业务量微乎其微,但今年现阶段其业务量已经超过100万美元。其中大部分业务来自寻找带多间卧室并共享工作区域这类公寓的顾客。如果Airbnb能整合像Expedia这样的网上旅行社,并增加能提供即时预订确认的主机的共享程度,商务酒店或许会惊奇地发现一个不可动摇的强大竞争者。 /201405/294178

  Business商业报道Aviation航空运输业Ghost at the feast宴会上的幽灵Airlines stand to lose heavily should the euro collapse一旦欧元崩溃,航空公司需面临其带来的惨重损失MEETINGS of airline bosses are rarely cheerful events, profits being tighter than leg room in economy.航空公司老板们的商务会议鲜有高兴的事,该领域的利润比经济舱那放脚空间还要拮据。But this years annual gathering of the International Air Transport Association should have been different.但是今年国际航空运输协会的年度聚会应该会有所不同。For a start, the airlines umbrella group picked the most promising market to host the pow-wow, which was held in Beijing.首先,航空公司的伞型集团选择了在最有前景市场的北京来主持举办这次会晤。Not only is air travel booming within and from China, but the countrys airlines also made half of all global profits last year.不仅是中国国内、国际航空旅行的蓬勃发展,而且该国航空公司去年赚到了全球航空领域一半的利润。But as IATA delegates assembled for their gala dinner on June 11th at the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square,但是6月11日,当国际航空运输协会代表们在天安门广场人民大会堂里齐聚一堂共度晚宴时,there was a ghost at the feast.宴会上存在一个幽灵。The topic on most peoples minds was not the dozens of airports to be opened this decade in China, nor the quarter of a trillion dollars the host country is spending to become an aviation and aerospace superpower.大多数人考虑关注的话题不在于中国数十个机场将在本年代陆续开放,也不在于该主办国将花费数万亿美元的四分之一即成为航空航天的超级大国。On the contrary, all eyes were focused on the spectre of financial chaos in Europe.相反,所有的目光都聚焦着对欧洲经融危机带来的恐慌和忧虑。The euro zones troubles have aly pushed many European carriers into the red.这次欧元区的危机已使得许多欧洲航空公司财政赤字。IATA predicts that there is a “serious risk” of bankruptcies.国际航空运输协会预测存在着一个破产的“严重风险”。Indeed, Malev and Spainair, two fair-sized European airlines, have aly gone bust.实际上,匈牙利航空和西班牙航空这两家一般规模的欧洲航空公司已经破产。Several big airline groups, notably Air France-KLM, are trying to make deep cuts. The global industrys after-tax profits are forecast to fall from .9 billion in 2011 to billion this year; that is just 0.5% of revenue.几大航空公司团体,特别是法航-荷航正试图大幅削减。全球行业内的税后利润预计将从2011年的79亿美元降低到今年的30亿,这仅仅是国家财政收入的0.5%。And if the euro collapses?那如果欧元崩溃了呢?“It would be worse than 9/11,” says Willie Walsh, the boss of I, which owns British Airways and Iberia.拥有英国航空公司和伊比利亚航空的国际航空集团老板威利沃尔什声称,这个比例将不到9/11。Things feel all the worse because 2012 might otherwise have been a good year.有些事情感觉反而更糟,这是因为2012年或许在其他方面将会是美好的一年。Oil prices have moderated of late. Global passenger traffic has risen by 6%, faster than the long-term trend.石油价格近来已经回落。全球客流量上升了6%,上升速度超过了长期趋势。Freight contracted in 2011, but is reviving in many markets.2011就签下了货运合同,在许多市场这仅仅正在复苏之中。Asset utilisation is 79%, up from 74% in .资产利用率从年的74%上升到了79%。Planes are relatively full, especially in America.飞机相对完整,尤其是在美国。That said, the industry faces three risks besides a European meltdown.这就是说,该行业除了欧洲金融危机将面临三大风险。First, an oil-supply shock—resulting from an Iranian crisis, say—would send fuel prices sharply up again and wipe out profits.首先是伊朗危机下的石油供应冲击,这将使得燃料价格再次飙升,削减行业利润。Some airlines, including KLM, are investing in biofuels, but full commercialisation looks a decade away.包括荷航在内的一些航空公司正在投资于生物燃料,但是者想要完全商业化可能还需要十年时间。Others use financial hedges, but these are pricey and can backfire if oil prices drop.另一些航空公司则使用金融对冲基金,但是这是相当昂贵的而且如果石油价格下降的话可能适得其反。Delta is even now finalising a deal to buy an oil refinery.美国达美航空公司甚至现在正在最终敲定一项购买一个炼油厂的协议。The second risk arises from the flood of new planes due to be delivered shortly.第二个风险滋生于即将大量交付使用的新飞机。Production snags at both Airbus and Boeing have kept capacity tighter than planned.空中客车公司和波音公司的生产障碍在于比原计划保其客容量需更加严格。If everyone uses their new planes to expand capacity, rather than to replace clunkers, there could be a lot of empty seats.如果所有的人都使用他们的新飞机来扩大产能,而不是更换旧机的话则可能会有很多空位。The final threat pits ghost against host.最后的威胁是针对这次主办方的。The European Commissions inclusion of greenhouse gases from aviation in its emissions-trading scheme is opposed by over 30 countries,欧盟委员会在它提出的碳排放交易计划中关于来至航空温室气体混合物这点有超过30个国家反对,of which China is the most defiant.对此中国是最肆无忌惮的。If a compromise is not found, European countries must levy hefty fines on offenders and may seize aircraft—which could set off a trade war.如果没有找到一个妥协之处,欧洲各国必定会对其违规者征收巨额罚款,而且可能会扣押飞机,这必将引起一场贸易战。On June 12th the China Air Transport Association, which represents Chinese carriers, said that China would retaliate with similar measures.6月12日,代表中国航空公司的中国航空运输协会声明:中国将采取相似的措施以作为回应。The Chinese government has forbidden its airlines from participating in the ETS.中国政府已经禁止其航空公司参与该碳排放交易计划。It has even threatened to cancel orders placed by its airlines with Airbus.它甚至还威胁要取消其航空公司与空中客车公司的订单。No coincidence, then, that this weeks banquet was paid for by the European aircraftmaker.那么本周的宴会是由欧洲的飞机制造商赞助的,这也并非偶然。The Chinese appear unbowed.中国看起来似乎不会屈。 /201307/246988Alaskas bush country阿拉斯加乡下,冰原濯濯Hunting for dividends红利何去The virtues and shortcomings of Eskimo capitalism爱斯基资本模式,优耶弊耶ALASKANS like to talk about how distant the rest of America feels. In downtown Anchorage, with its familiar fast-food restaurants and hotel chains, this line can sound a little affected. Not so in rural Alaska, the swathes of frozen tundra that the states inhabitants call the bush. In Napaskiak, a village of 400 people on the west coast of the state, it is not unusual to see a black-robed Russian Orthodox priest riding a four-wheeled motorbike with two children and a wife perched on the back.美国本土鞭长驾远是阿拉斯加人的老生常谈,这种说法要是在安克雷奇市中心却会让人有点儿摸不着头脑,因为这里快餐店林立,连锁旅馆鳞次栉比。但阿拉斯加乡下确是另一番天地,冰冻苔原层层遍布,当地人称此为灌木,在西部海岸纳帕斯杰克这一400人的村庄,时常可见俄罗斯东正教牧师黑袍素裹,四轮托扬长驱驾,而他的妻子和两个孩子坐在后座上。Rural Alaska is different politically, too. In most of the country, the more remote the location the greater hostility to the federal government. Alaskas Eskimos, by contrast, are reliable Democrats, keen on more government. One reason for this is that Washington set up an unconventional experiment in popular capitalism that attracts admiration from development economists and scorn from congressmen in almost equal measure.阿拉斯加乡下的政治也是别有风味,多数村庄地域越是偏远,对于联邦政府也越敌对,相比之下,阿拉斯加的爱斯基人则是最可靠的民主党人,对于联邦政府更加持,原因之一是华盛顿独树一帜采取大众资本主义,此举赢得了发展经济学家的青睐,但与此同时也成为了国会议员的笑柄。After the discovery of Americas biggest oilfield at Prudhoe Bay in 1968, the government needed access to land claimed by the Eskimos in order to build a pipeline, so it made them an offer. They were given 44m acres of land, 1 billion and shares in 12 regional and over 200 village corporations that were created under the deal.It was agreed that the corporations would be favoured for government contracts. These companies now provide a range of services, from running deportation facilities in Texas to providing support for operations in Afghanistan.1968年,美国最大的油田在普拉德霍湾拨云见日,当时政府需在爱斯基人的领地内建造一条输油管道,开门见山后,他们得到了4400万英亩土地,并以此建立了12所地区企业和200所乡镇企业,掌握10亿资产和股份,按要求,这些公司要承包政府的工作,如今,这些公司务范围十分广阔,从运营德克萨斯州的输送设备到为阿富汗的石油生产提供生产,不一而足。The work has been lucrative. The value of contracts awarded to native corporations rose from 508m in 2000 to 5.2 billion in 2008, according to a report from the Senate subcommittee on contracting oversight. Three of the companies—Arctic Slope, Bristol Bay and NANA—now have annual revenues in excess of 1 billion. The dividends from the shares have not turned all Eskimos into rentiers, but they provide most with enough money to pay their large heating bills.这是一项油水丰富的工作,一份参议院承包监督委员会的报告显示,这些公司的承包资产已经从2000年的5.08亿上涨到了2008年的52亿,其中3家公司的年收入已经超过了10亿,分别是北坡,巴斯托湾和北美报业联盟。虽说不是所有的爱斯基人都靠股息生活, 但这至少让大部分人都能付的起供暖费用。The companies were also charged with stimulating economic development and ameliorating social ills in Eskimo villages. Here, they have been less successful. Some of the problems faced by Eskimos, such as high suicide rates, are common in other isolated northerly places. But other ills are distressingly specific—like the prevalence of domestic violence. Alcohol is partly to blame. Booze cannot be bought or sold in Bethel, the regional hub, but there is a vibrant black market. Alcohol-related injuries are common. Bethels prison, which has exceeded its capacity, is full of hungover felons.在爱斯基村庄,这些公司在促进经济发展,缓解社会弊病方面也可圈可点,但这方面的成果并没有这般显著,虽说部分爱斯基人的问题在其他北方孤地也能找到印记如高自杀率,但有些问题却是它“独具一格”,如内部暴力行为普遍。在这方面酒精要负一部分责任,即使它在地区枢纽伯特利的交易市场上销声匿迹,却在活跃的黑市上饱受追捧,酒精导致的伤害十分普遍,伯特利的监狱里塞满了“醉”犯,已超其负荷。The smaller villages around Bethel are emptying out. Some of them only became permanent settlements when Alaskas Supreme Court ruled that the government was obliged to educate Eskimo children where they lived, rather than send them off to boarding school. When a school has fewer than ten pupils it closes, taking with it a source of employment. Another reason for the exodus is the price of petrol which, at 10 a gallon in the villages, makes heating a house through the winter and running a snowmobile expensive.在伯特利周边,很多小型村庄已是空巢一所,只有阿拉斯加最高法院强制规定爱斯基人的孩子必须在居住地就学,而不是去寄宿学校,他们才会迎来永久住民,当一所学校的学生数量不足十人,他就要倒闭,一大批就业岗位也随之流失,至此的另一原因是村庄里10美元一加仑的石油价格,冬季房屋供暖以及雪地托的成本都会因此而十分昂贵Yet rural Alaska is doing better than these developments suggest. More than 10% of its inhabitants may not have plumbing, but it is not as poor as many other parts of America. Besides, poverty feels different in a place where summers are spent fishing for wild salmon and autumn is moose-hunting season. Other indicators auger a bright future. The Yupik Eskimos, in Western Alaska, are in the midst of a baby boom: nearly 36% of the people in the area around Bethel are under 18. In the four decades following the Prudhoe Bay find, Alaskas Eskimo population doubled in size. Demographers reckon it will increase by a further 10% by the end of this decade.、但阿拉斯加乡村的发展远不止这些表象,虽说它超过10%的居民都没有管道系统,但与美国其他地区相比,他的富裕程度也是有过之无不及,况且贫穷二字在这样一个夏捕野鲑,冬逐驼鹿的地方也是披上了不同的外衣。一些其他的指标也暗示了光明的前景:阿拉斯加西部的爱斯基尤皮克人正当婴儿潮,他们在伯特利周边有将近36%的人未满18岁,在普拉德霍湾被发掘后的40年里爱斯基人的人口翻了一番,人口统计学家估计这一十年末它的人口还将增长10%。This complicates the way native corporations sp their wealth around. Many Eskimos who were born after the initial distribution of shares own none. About half of the 13 regional corporations have opened their rolls to “born-afters”, but doing this requires a vote from other shareholders that, in effect, dilutes their dividends. The migration of villagers also means that many shareholders no longer live in the places that the corporations were set up to benefit.这也解释了当地企业的分红方式,很多在股份初次分配后出生的爱斯基人都不参与分红,虽说在13所当地企业中将近一半公司的红利都已对那些后出生的人敞开大门,但这必须得其他股东的投票通过,这与取缔其红利收入无异。村庄里的人员流动也意味着很多人都不再呆在公司的始发地接受分红。The companies are facing challenges in Washington, too. Claire McCaskill, a senator from Missouri who chairs the contracting subcommittee, has criticised the way in which the law allows native corporations to fulfil contracts, some of which attract no other bidders, with subcontractors that do not employ any Eskimos. In one case a native company won a 2 billion contract to manage a satellite programme for the Department of Defence, which it promptly farmed out to Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems and General Dynamics. Companies owned by other minorities also receive preferential treatment, but the size of the contracts they can bid on is capped. This is a source of tension between black-owned businesses and their Alaskan competitors.这些公司也面临着来自华盛顿的挑战。密苏里州议员麦卡斯基尔掌控者契约下属委员会,他指责法律纵容这些公司一手遮天,有一些公司不再招标,次承包者也不再雇佣爱斯基人,例如,一家当地公司赢得了为国防部运营卫星系统的承包任务后,就立马委托给了洛克希德马丁公司,BAE系统公司和通用动力。一些其他少数民族的公司也会得到优待,但他们可承包的规模有限,这造成黑人企业和他们阿拉斯加竞争者之间关系紧张。The aim of the corporations, says Ana Hoffman, a Stanford-educated Yupik speaker who runs the Bethel Native Corporation, is to let people choose how they want to live. Some will continue to be subsistence hunters; others will choose to move away. So long as the money from the corporations makes its way back to the Eskimos, the race of their employees should not matter.伯特利本土公司运营者安娜霍夫曼从斯坦福毕业,说尤比克语,他说公司的目的就是让人们选择自己的生活方式,有些人继续捕猎,有些人选择搬离,但只要这些公司的收益仍会流入爱斯基人手中,公司的竞争便不足一提。 /201409/326418Science and technology科学技术3D printing3D打印A new brick in the Great Wall构筑长城的新砖石Additive manufacturing is growing apace in China中国的叠层制造正在飞速发展ALTHOUGH it is the weekend, a small factory in the Haidian district of Beijing is hard at work.虽然是周末,北京海淀区的一座小型工厂还在努力地运转着。Eight machines, the biggest the size of a delivery van, are busy making things.厂里的八台机器正在忙碌地制造产品,最大的机器有厢式货车大小。Yet the factory, owned by Beijing Longyuan Automated Fabrication System, appears almost deserted.然而这家隶属于北京隆源自动成型系统有限公司的工厂看上去就像废弃了一样。This is because it is using additive-manufacturing machines, popularly known as three-dimensional printers, which run unattended day and night, seven days a week.这是因为工厂使用的是叠层制造设备,即广为人知的三维打印机,可以一周七天,不分昼夜的无人化运转。The printers require an occasional visit from a supervisor to top them up with the powdered materials they use as their inks, or to remove a completed item, but apart from that they can be left on their own.这些打印机需要管理员不定期的来为其加满粉末状原料,作为它们的墨水,或者取走完成的物品,但除此之外,这些打印机可以自行运转。They build up the objects they are making one layer at a time, as the ink is sintered into place with a laser in a way that creates little waste and can make shapes impossible to achieve using the traditional subtractive technology of lathes, milling machines and cutting tools.它们一次一层的逐步构造物品,用激光以一种不会产生什么废料的方式将墨水在适当位置烧结,可以做出采用传统削减技术的车床、铣床、刀具不可能做出的形状。Though it is not yet y for use in mass production, 3D printing is excellent for making prototypes, customised jobs and short production runs, for there is no need to retool each time the specification changes.虽然3D打印目前不能用于大批量生产,但3D打印非常适用于制造原型件,定制加工及小批量生产,因为改变规格时不需要每次都更换刀具,All that need be done is to alter the software that controls the print heads.需要的只是更改控制打印头的软件而已。Western countries led the development of 3D printing, and the technique has been praised by Barack Obama as a way to revive Americas manufacturing industries.西方国家引领了3D打印的发展,该技术还被巴拉克·奥巴马誉为复兴美国制造业的一种途径。It may yet do so.3D打印或许能不负所望。But the extent to which that revival will be brought about by the return to America of production which has migrated to countries like China is harder to predict—for China has plans of its own.让以前转移到像中国这样的国家生产的产品回到美国生产会带来复兴,但复兴的程度更难预料——因为中国也有自己的计划。Keep your powder dry做好一切准备At the moment AFS is in the prototyping business.目前AFS从事的是原型设计业务,Its customers are mainly aerospace firms and vehicle-makers that need experimental designs turned into metal quickly.其客户大多是需要将实验设计快速转化为金属实样的航空公司及汽车制造商。The powders in its machines hoppers are plastics, waxes and foundry sand.其设备料斗中的粉末是塑料,蜡及铸造用砂。The results are sent off to foundries, where they are used to make moulds for the sand-casting of metal objects.完成品送到铸造厂,用来制作金属件砂模铸造用的模具。According to William Zeng, AFSs deputy general manager, all the parts needed to make a prototype car engine can be printed and cast in this way in under two weeks.据AFS的副总经理William Zeng称,制作一个汽车引擎原型所需的全部零件均可以这种方式打印并铸造,用时不到两周,A conventional machine shop would need several months to do that—not least because many of the components would have to be made by hand.而传统的机工车间需要数月时间才能做到——主要是因为许多组件需要手工制作。AFS also has a second line of business. It sells the laser-sintering printers it makes to others, for this is a rapidly growing industry.AFS还有一块副营业务,即将其制造的激光烧结打印机出售给其它公司,因为这是一个飞速增长的行业。And some of its machines, which cost up to 1.5m yuan, can do more than just sinter plastics, wax and sand; they can sinter metals directly.其某些设备的售价高达150万元人民币(约合25万美元),不只可以烧结塑料,蜡和砂子,还可以直接烧结金属。Indeed, one of the countrys largest 3D printers does just this.实际上,中国最大的3D打印机也有此功能。It is 12 metres long and it belongs to the National Laboratory for Aeronautics and Astronautics at Beihang University.该设备长12米,拥有者是北京航空航天大学的航空航天国家实验室。Wang Huaming, the laboratorys chief scientist, told a digital-manufacturing seminar organised recently by the Laboratory of High Performance Computing, a government research institute, that this behemoth is being employed to make large and complex parts for Chinas commercial-aircraft programme, which plans to build planes to rival those turned out by Airbus and Boeing.该实验室的首席科学家王华明最近在一次由高性能计算实验室组织的数字制造研讨会上说,这个大家伙是为中国的商用飞机项目制造大型复杂部件的,该项目计划制造出可以与空客和波音制造的飞机匹敌的飞机。These parts include titanium fuselage frames and high-strength steel landing-gear—objects that require the metal they are made from to be free of flaws which might cause them to fail.这些部件包括钛机身骨架及高强钢起落架,制造这些部件所用的金属要求没有任何瑕疵,否则会导致部件无法使用。Printing such things, rather than making them from precast metal, will be a technical tour de force, and Dr Wangs team is therefore working on the tricky problem of controlling the recrystallisation of metals after they have been melted by the laser.打印这些部件,而不用预制金属制作,将会是一项技术绝活,因此王士的团队正在致力解决的棘手问题是激光将金属熔化后对金属重结晶的控制。Making planes is about as high-tech as mechanical engineering gets.制造飞机算是机械工程中的高科技。But 3D printing in China is also busy at the other end of the market: extruding filaments of molten plastic to build up objects such as toys, mobile-phone cases and car fittings.但是3D打印在中国还广泛应用于其他市场:挤出熔融塑料的细丝来逐步构造出如玩具,手机壳及汽车配件等物品。One of the biggest firms in this field is Tiertime, which operates from Huairou on the outskirts of Beijing.位于北京市郊怀柔区的太尔时代是该领域最大的公司之一。Tiertime makes a range of 3D printers that produce objects from polymeric alloys of acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene.太尔时代生产一系列3D打印机,可以用丙烯腈,丁二烯和苯乙烯的聚合物合金制作物品。Tiertimes printers are also often used in the prototyping business, but unlike those of AFS they sit in designers offices rather than on factory floors.太尔时代的打印机也常用于原型设计业务,但与AFS的设备不同,太尔时代的设备是置于设计师的办公室,而非工厂的车间里。Some are small enough to sit on a desk.有的设备小到可以放在桌子上。They allow people to print their ideas directly, rather than having to.这让人们可以直接将自己的创意打印出来,而不用将创意发出去让别人制作。The company also makes even smaller printers, called UP, which sell for less than 6,000 yuan.太尔时代甚至还可以制造更小的打印机,叫做UP,售价不到6000元人民币。Personal printers like these are helping to create a Chinese version of the maker movement—a mixture of hobbyists and craft producers who, finding that 3D-printing technology greatly lowers the cost of going into production, are creating small manufacturing businesses.类似UP的个人打印机正在促进中国版创客运动的形成,即一批发现3D打印技术极大的降低了投产成本的业余爱好者及工艺品制造者正在纷纷建立小型制造企业。The maker movement began in America, but it is taking off in China too.创客运动始于美国,但在中国的创客运动也在迅速发展。Maker fairs are now being held in some of the big cities. Officials seem happy to encourage this, and some talk of introducing 3D printers into schools, to spark pupils interest in careers in engineering.某些大城市现在正在举办创客展会。官方似乎乐于持创客运动,某些官员谈及将3D打印机引入学校,激发学生从事工程职业的兴趣。3D printing is still a long way from replacing mass manufacturing. But in China, as in America and Europe, the technology is changing the way products are developed and made.3D打印要想取代大批量生产还有很长一段路要走。但在中国,与在美国和欧洲一样,该技术正在改变开发和制造产品的方式。And by lowering the cost of entry, 3D printing could herald yet another new generation of Chinese manufacturing entrepreneurs.通过降低成本门槛,3D打印或许能创造出新一代的中国制造业企业家。 /201312/267007

  Business商业报道Solar power in India印度太阳能Waiting for the sun等待着艳阳Is the sun the answer to Indias energy problems?太阳能是印度能源问题的解决办法吗?ON A salt plain near the border with Pakistan lies half a billion dollars worth of solar-energy kit paid for by firms from all over the world.靠近巴基斯坦边界的一块盐地,安装了来自全球的公司价值五亿美元的太阳能设备。A million panels stretch as far as the eye can see.目所能及的就有一百万块太阳能板了。Past a dishevelled brass band is a tent crammed with 5,000 people who cheer when Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat, declares the solar park open:穿过一群散乱的铜管乐队就是一个挤满了正在欢庆的5000人帐篷区,此时,古吉拉特邦的首席部长纳伦德拉·莫迪宣布太阳能电厂正式运行,I pray, sun god, that today Gujarat will show the way to the rest of the world for solar energy.我希望太阳神庇护我们,今天古吉拉特邦将向世界其他地方展示通向太阳能的道路。Despite the uncomfortable cult of personality around Mr Modi, Gujarat is an easy place to do business.除了对莫迪的个人崇拜令人感到不舒外,古吉拉特邦还是一个容易经商的地方。And solar power would appear to be an obvious winner for India.而太阳能仿佛令印度成为了最大的赢家。The country has plenty of sun and flat, idle land.印度境内有充沛的阳光和许多平坦闲置的用地。India is energy-hungry, but electricity supply is sporadic.而它又是一个能源缺乏的国家,电力供应时常不足。Costly diesel generators are popular. Solar power could replace them.连昂贵的柴油发电机在这里也很畅销。And solar parks, which look like giant Lego kits, are easier to build than conventional power plants.这方面太阳能可以替代。至于看上去像巨大的乐高积木桶的太阳能发电厂,比起建造传统的发电厂要容易多。The new park, in a place called Charanka, has just over 200 megawatts of capacity running, making it the biggest site in India.最新的电厂,建在Charanka,拥有超过200兆瓦发电量,使其成为印度最大的电力厂。It took 16 months to build. No one builds nuclear power stations nearly that fast.它花了16个月去建造,没有人能用这速度建造出原子能发电站。Two other factors make an Indian solar boom seem possible.还有两个原因使印度的太阳能得到广泛使用成为可能。Conventional energy generation, which in India means burning cheap but dirty local coal, is a mess.传统能源的生产十分混乱,在印度是通过燃烧便宜但污染大的煤炭来发电的。Power stations charge local electricity boards 3-4 rupees per kilowatt hour.发电站以每度电约3~4卢比卖给当地的供电局。The state coal monopoly is unable to dig up enough of the black stuff, forcing power firms to buy pricier imported coal.国家垄断了煤炭,却无法开采足够的量,这迫使能源公司购买更贵的进口煤炭。Hopes that India might find abundant natural gas off its coast have been dashed.印度期望能在远离海岸线的地方找到丰富的天然气的愿望已经破灭。Many observers think the price of conventional power will have to rise to 5-6 rupees.许多观测者认为传统能源价格将上升5~6卢比。Meanwhile, the cost of solar equipment has fallen by a third since 2010, reckons Alan Rosling of Kiran Energy,与此同时,一间由美国私募基金注资的太阳能公司—Kiran能源的阿兰?罗斯林指出,自2010年以后,a solar firm backed by American private equity.太阳能装备的花费已经下降了三分之一。Cheaper solar and pricier conventional power have persuaded many that solar will soon be competitive without subsidies.相对便宜的太阳能与较贵的传统能源令更多的人在没有补贴的情况下仍选择更有竞争力的太阳能。V. Saibaba, the boss of Lanco Solar, a firm that makes and operates solar parks, says that by 2016 Indian solar will match the price of conventional electricity.负责建造与运营太阳能发电厂的兰科太阳能公司的领导V. Saibaba说,到2016年印度的太阳能价格将接近传统电力的价格。That should mean a building boom.这意味着太阳能发电厂的建造潮将到来。Sunil Gupta of Standard Chartered, a bank, reckons Indias share of new global solar installations will rise from 1% this year to 5% by 2015.渣打的Sunil Gupta指出,印度的太阳能设备安装量在全球的份额将从今年的1%上升到2015年的5%。Indias central government has set a target for 20,000MW of installed solar generation by 2022, from under 1,000MW today.印度政府设定了一个指标,到2022年,安装的太阳能发电量将从现在的1000百万瓦以下上升到20,000百万瓦。That would still represent a miserly 5% or less of total power-generation capacity in India,这显得有点保守,因为这只是印度总发电量的5%,甚至更少。and cost perhaps billion-40 billion to build—a fraction of the investment in new coal-fired plants.投资约300亿美元~400亿美元去建造太阳能发电厂,而这只是相当于投资于新建的火力发电站的一小部分。So plenty of folk think the official target will be smashed.所以很多人认为官方目标将难以达成。D.J. Pandian, a civil servant in charge of energy policy in Gujarat, believes his state alone will easily reach 10,000MW of capacity in a decade.D.J. Pandian,一位负责古吉拉特邦能源问题的官员则相信,单单古吉拉特邦在十年内就将轻易地达到10,000百万瓦的发电量。But not everyone agrees.但不是每一个人都认同。Half of these plants wont be here in ten years, says a German boss at the new solar park—bad news,这些厂的一半在十年内都不会建在这里,一位在新的太阳能发电厂的德国领导说。since the contracts are for 25 years.他指出,坏消息是,因为合同是25年,Too many firms have cut corners, he reckons.导致太多公司节省成本。A Chinese executive raises his eyebrows at Indias plans to force solar firms to buy some equipment locally.一位中国执行官听了印度计划迫使太阳能公司购买当地的某些设备后扬起了眉毛。The supply chain and economies of scale are not there, he says.供应链以及经济规模还不理想。他说。An American manager scoffs: Weve all been coming to India for years and theyll never get there…一位美国经理调侃到,我们全部来印度已经多年了,清楚他们还没有达到那程度,They dont have the infrastructure.他们没有基础设施。The difficulty of getting plugged into the grid and a shortage of water to clean panels are common worries.难以接入电网以及因水的短缺而致难以清理太阳能板是常见的忧虑。Solar faces two other problems.太阳能普及面对两个问题。First, Gujarats state government has guaranteed high prices of 15 rupees for the first 12 years of operation to solar producers,第一个是,古吉拉特邦的政府要求确保太阳能生产商每度电15卢比的高价,作为第一个12年内的运营成本,which should mean they make money.这也意味着他们可以盈利。But at the national level there is a separate system.但在国家层面上仍有一个分流制。It relies on reverse auctions in which those solar producers who commit to producing power at the lowest cost win the right to operate.那些太阳能制造商是依靠逆向拍卖选出的,谁能用最低的成本生产能源,谁就能获得运营的权利。In the second national solar auction, of 350MW, in December, the winning firms committed themselves to selling solar power for as little as 7.5 rupees.在12月的第二个国家级太阳能运营拍卖会,其产能为350百万瓦,竞拍成功的公司已经承诺,他们将用低至每度7.5卢比的价格卖太阳能。Many people doubt that it is possible to make money at these prices.很多人怀疑按这些价格到底能不能实现盈利。An Indian engineer says the auction was a farce and that it is impossible to build a solid plant and operate it for less than 10 rupees.一位印度工程师说拍卖会只是一场闹剧,建立一个固定的工厂并以低于每度10卢比的价格运营它,这是不可能的。Firms bidding below, say, 8.5 rupees must assume that technology will improve, equipment prices will keep falling,参与投标的厂商们也说,要是技术得到提升,而设备价格又持续下降,or that they can make their sums work by borrowing cheap dollars rather than dear rupees.或者说他们能通过借到廉价的美元而不是昂贵的卢比来总结工作。只有这样,每度电8.5卢比才显得有可能。Second, if prices do not fall steeply, there may be little appetite for solar power.此外,如果价格没有快速下降,可能很少人会愿意使用太阳能。The grid is rickety.电网也变得摇摇欲坠。Many states distribution firms are financial zombies.许多国家的流通企业都是金融僵尸。Today the cost of solar subsidies is hidden—pooled with the overall generation bill in states such as Gujarat or,今天太阳能补贴的费用被隐藏了—像古吉拉特邦,统计在全部的账单中,或许,for projects under the national scheme, buried in the finances of a big state-owned conventional power firm.根据国家计划的项目,埋藏了一个大型的传统国有能源企业的资产。Such bureaucratic subterfuge works on a small scale.像这些官僚式的托词只影响了一小范围。But if the bill for solar swells, it is not hard to imagine the kind of public backlash against subsidies that has hit cash-strapped Europe.但要是太阳能的账单变大,不难想象,公众对补贴的不满将冲击欧洲的经济。Indias politicians may then start to ignore contracts.印度的政客可能将开始不履行合约。To solve Indias energy problems, solar firms must deliver blindingly low prices.要解决印度的能源问题,太阳能公司必须盲目地实现低价卖电。 点击此处下载本期经济学人讲解PDF与音频字幕 /201306/244631This is Burger Dale,one of the main rest camps in the Kruger national park.这是伯格·戴尔, 克鲁格国家公园的一处主要休息营地。As a sort of safe heaven for humans if you will.如果你愿意的话,它是人类一处安全天堂。But Im going to take things a little bit further,但是我要做的是再深入点,Im heading out into the bush on something called the Volatile Trail.我要进入被称为沃尔达烈的灌木丛。Its a little known wilderness experience,这是一次不为人知的荒野经验,and Im going to be living,walking and sleeping in an area that human rarely venture.而我要在一个人类几乎不曾冒险过的区域生活,散步及睡觉。But Im not just going to rely on my big nose to keep me out of trouble.但我不仅仅要依靠自己的大鼻子摆脱困境。We now have an expert ranging about my sound all times.我们现在会有一位专家来指点迷津。Otherwise,Ill be a fool.否则,我就是个傻瓜。For those of us more used to countering sheep or rabit,the prospect of this walk certainly causes some anxiety.对于那些我们过去更多是用来打猎羊或兔子的工具而言,这次旅程肯定会派不上用场。Im stepping into one of the worlds great wildernesses,full of danger,legend,and heroic tales of the African bush.我要走进一个世界上最伟大的荒野,充满危险,传说,英雄故事的非洲丛林。201306/245843

  This way, I want you to move, to follow me now.到这边来,我想要你移动,现在跟着我。Follow you now.现在跟着你。For the first time in two days, Yako is on edge in an instant.亚科2天以来第一次瞬间到了边缘。Just behind the scene. He knows we are here, and he can hear us. Aha.别看后方。他知道我们在这里,他听的到我们。啊哈。It’s difficult, because what you see is business.是有点困难,因为你看到的是一次狩猎。Yeap.Just stay there.对啊。就呆在那里。Yeap. I will do exactly what he tells us.对啊。我会按照他告诉我们的去做。Go go go, He’s still watching us.加油加油,他还在看着我们。But the young leaves a massive, and normally they are reluctant to leave their area, because this is his area.但年轻的离开了一只巨大的,通常他们都不愿离开他们的区域,因为这是他的领地。Ahm, it’s more he can hear us and see the movement.对,这是他能听到,看到动作。Anyway from here, this is his area, he’s not gonna leave it.反正在这里,这是他的领地,他是不会离开的。So I can we should all leave.所以我想我们都应该马上离开。201307/246745


  Leaders社论Minimum wages最低工资标准The logical floor多少才合理Moderate minimum wages do more good than harm. They should be set by technocrats not politicians实施适度的最低工资标准利大于弊,但是它们应该由技术专家而不是领导层来设定。ON BOTH sides of the Atlantic politicians are warming to the idea that the lowest-paid can be helped by mandating higher wages.欧美各国领导人逐渐开始赞同提高工资水平可以帮助贫困人群这一观点。Barack Obama wants to raise Americas federal minimum wage by 40% from 7.25 to 10.10 an hour, and more than three-quarters of Americans support the idea.奥巴马总统打算将联邦最低工资标准提高40%,时薪从7.25美元升为10.10美元,对此四分之三以上的美国人表示持。In Germany, one of the few big rich-world countries still without a national wage floor, the incoming coalition government has just agreed on an across-the-board hourly minimum of 8.50 from 2015.尚且没有设定最低工资标准的发达国家寥寥可数,德国是其中之一,但新成立的联合政府已经协商达成一致,计划于2015年起全面实行时薪8.50欧元的最低工资标准。In Britain, which has had a minimum wage since 1999, the opposition Labour Party is keen to cajole firms into voluntarily paying higher living wages.而英国在1999年起就已经实施最低工资标准,其反对党工党比较擅长于游说企业主们自愿付更高的最低生活工资。For free-market types, including The Economist, fiddling with wages by fiat sets off alarm bells.对于包括本刊《经济学人》在内的劳动力自由市场而言,通过法律规定来调整工资水准的做法会带来一定弊端。In a competitive market anything that artificially raises the price of labour will curb demand for it, and the first to lose their jobs will be the least skilled—the people intervention is supposed to help.对于竞争激烈的市场而言,任何人为提高劳动力成本的举措都会抑制劳动力的需求,而且首当其冲的失业者会是那些缺乏专业技术的工人们—这样一来人为干预是有一定作用的。That is why Milton Friedman called minimum wages a form of discrimination against the low-skilled; and it is why he saw topping up the incomes of the working poor with public subsidies as a far more sensible means of alleviating poverty.这就是为什么米尔顿·弗里德曼称最低工资标准是对那些没有专业技术的劳动者的歧视;此外,他认为通过分发国家补贴的方式来提高贫困人群的收入从而缓解他们贫困状况这种做法更为明智。Scepticism about the merits of minimum wages remains this newspapers starting-point.本刊对于实行最低工资标准的好处一直持怀疑态度。But as income inequality widens and workers share of national income shrinks, the case for action to help the low-paid grows.但是,随着收入差距扩大以及工人们所获收入占社会总工资比例下降,帮助贫困工人一事显得日益紧迫。Addressing the problem through subsidies for the working poor is harder in an era of austerity, when there are many other pressing claims on national coffers.在今天这个法制社会里,通过给贫困工人们分发国家补贴的方式来解决此问题甚是艰难,因为还有诸多其他方面需要政府开。Other policy options, such as confiscatory taxes, are unattractive.诸如征收没收性赋税等措施也并不可取。Nor is a moderate minimum wage as undesirable as neoclassical purists suggest.正如新古典主义纯粹主义者所言,设定适度的最低工资标准同样不会取得理想效果。Unlike those in textbooks, real labour markets are not perfectly competitive.不同于书本上的描述,现实中的劳动力市场其实并不属于绝对竞争市场。Since workers who want to change jobs face costs and risks, employers may be able to set pay below its market-clearing rate.由于那些想跳槽的工人们面临着一定成本和风险,雇主们便可能以低于其公开规定工薪的水平来付他们的工资。A minimum wage, providing it is not set too high, could thus boost pay with no ill effects on jobs.只要最低工资标准设定的不算太高,那么它就能够在不影响就业的情况下提高工资水平。French lessons法国的前车之鉴Empirical evidence supports that argument.历史的经验验了以上观点。In flexible economies a low minimum wage seems to have little, if any, depressing effect on employment.在较灵活的经济体中,实施最低工资标准似乎对就业的影响即使有也是很小的。Americas federal minimum wage, at 38% of median income, is one of the rich worlds lowest.美国联邦最低工资标准是其中值工资的38%,这一标准是发达国家里最低的。Some studies find no harm to employment from federal or state minimum wages, others see a small one, but none finds any serious damage.一些研究表明联邦或者州设的最低工资标准并不会对就业产生消极影响,另一些研究也表明这种影响很小,但是目前还没有数据显示设定最低工资标准会严重影响就业,Britains minimum wage, at around 47% of median income, with a lower rate for young people, also does not seem to have pushed many people out of work.英国的最低工资标准是其人均工资水平的47%,并且对于年幼者而言更是有所下降,但是这似乎也并未使很多人失业。High minimum wages, however, particularly in rigid labour markets, do appear to hit employment.然而,如果最低工资标准较高,尤其是在那些管制较严的劳动力市场,就业似乎也会受到影响。France has the rich worlds highest wage floor, at more than 60% of the median for adults and a far bigger fraction of the typical wage for the young.法国的最低工资标准是发达国家中最高的,其中成年人的占中值工资的60%以上,年幼者的最低工资标准占中值工资的比例则更大。This helps explain why France also has shockingly high rates of youth unemployment: 26% for 15- to 24-year-olds.这也是为什么法国的失业率较高的原因——法国15到24岁年轻人的平均失业率为26%。Theory and practice suggest two lessons for governments contemplating setting or changing minimum wages.理论与实践两方面的经验给了各国领导人关于是否设定或者更改最低工资标准两点启示。The first is to ensure that the level is pretty low—say, less than 50% of the median, with lower levels for less productive people such as the young and long-term unemployed. Germany risks breaking this rule.其一是要确保最低工资标准相对较低,务必要低于中值工资的50%,并且对于那些生产效率较低人群,比如年幼者和长期失业者这一标准要更低。Its proposed level is, by one calculation, 62% of the median wage.德国的做法很可能与此相背,他们的最低工资标准为中值工资的62%。One in six German workers is paid less than that, suggesting that jobs will be lost, especially in the less productive east of the country.而六分之一德国人的工资低于这一水平,这意味着很多人将面临失业,尤其是在劳动力效率较低的东德。Similarly the living wage which campaigners are calling for in Britain is 20% higher than the minimum wage.与此类似,在英国一些人倡导的最低生活工资比最低工资标准还要高出20%,That could hit employment.这会严重影响到就业。Though Americas proposed increase is huge, the minimum wage would still be only about 50% of the median.尽管美国对最低工资标准的提升幅度较大,但是其最低工资标准仍然将只占中值工资的50%。A second lesson is that politicians should give the power to set minimum wages to technocrats.其二是领导层应该将设定最低工资标准一事留给技术专家们解决。In Britain, the floor is adjusted annually on the advice of economists and statisticians in the Low Pay Commission; it has generally advanced gradually.在英国,这一标准每年都会根据低工资委员会的经济学家和统计学家的建议予以适当调整;并且总体来看呈逐年上升趋势。In America, the federal floor is set by politicians and adjusted irregularly in huge increments.而美国联邦最低工资标准是由领导层设定的,而且每次调整增幅较大,也没什么规律可言,That does no favours to American workers or their employers.这对美国的劳动者和企业雇主而言都没有益处。Finally, governments should remember that minimum wages are a palliative.最后,各政府应该谨记实施最低工资标准只能起到有限的作用。They should not distract attention from more fundamental causes of low wages—such as a lack of education and skills—and the efforts to address them.他们不能忽略导致部分劳动者工资水平过低的根源—例如受教育程度不高和缺乏相关技术培训,当然各国在此问题上所做的努力也是不够的。 201401/272134

  Lets begin with a cleaning tip:有个去污点子:If you have some tarnished orcorroded brass that you want to clean, an old brass candlestickfor example, you can use Coca-Cola, or any other cola softdrink, and that brass will come clean.如果你想要清除铜锈,例如铜烛台,可以使用可口可乐或者其它可乐饮料,清洗后的烛台光亮如新。And if Cola is such an effective cleaner of corroded metal , what is it doing to the inside ofyour stomach?如果可乐能有效清洁金属锈斑,那么可乐对人体的胃会产生什么影响呢?Cola cleans brass because its mildly acidic.可乐能清洁铜锈是因为可乐呈弱酸性。Heres what happens:When brass or another metal alloy becomes tarnished, this means that therehas been a chemical reaction between the oxygen in the air and one of the metals in the alloy.铜或其它金属合金生锈是因为空气中的氧气和合金中的某种金属发生了化学反应。Oxygen atoms combine with metal atoms to form whats called an oxide, and this oxide is whatmakes the metal appear tarnished.氧原子结合了金属原子,形成所谓的氧化物。氧化物就是金属锈。Acids, like the weak acid present in your can of Coke, can reactwith oxides to effectively reverse the process of tarnishing.而酸,比如可乐中的弱酸,和氧化物产生化学反应,能有效避免生锈。The acid dissolves the metal oxides thatmake the tarnish, leaving only shiny metal behind.酸可以分解金属氧化物,化学反应后的金属锃亮。You can try this at home, even if you dont have a brass candle stick.即便家里没有铜烛台,你可以做这样的试验:Leave a tarnished oldpenny in a glass of cola overnight.晚上,将一枚旧硬币丢进装有可乐的杯里。In the morning it will be shiny and fresh.第二天早上,硬币就变得闪亮如新。If the acid in cola is so good at attacking tarnished metal, what might it do to your insides?如果可乐能有效清洁金属锈斑,那么可乐对人体的内脏会产生什么影响呢?Actually, your stomach aly contains its own supply of acid which it uses to digest food.事实上,人体的胃里就有分泌的酸液来消化食物。This stomach acid is a great deal stronger than the acid in a can of Coke.胃酸的酸性比一听可乐还强。Indeed, stomach acidwould be an even better tarnish remover than cola!说真的,胃酸甚至比可乐更能除锈。 201407/314575


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