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经济衰退即将成为战后持续时间最长的衰退 - 美联社

(2009-03-09 10:32:20)
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Recession on track to be longest in postwar period -By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – Factory jobs disappeared. Inflation soared. Unemployment climbed to alarming levels. The hungry lined up at soup kitchens.

华盛顿 – 工厂的工作消失了。通货膨胀居高不下。失业率攀升至警戒线。饥饿的人们在流动救济厨房前排起长队。

It wasn't the Great Depression. It was the 1981-82 recession, widely considered America's worst since the depression.

以上描述的不是大萧条。而是1981-82年的经济衰退,被普遍认为是美国自经济大萧条以来最坏的时期。

That painful time during Ronald Reagan's presidency is a grim marker of how bad things can get. Yet the current recession could slice deeper into the U.S. economy.
里根执政期间的这一痛苦经历无情地提醒着人们事情会坏到什么程度。然而今天的衰退对美国的经济的影响将更为深入。

 

If it lasts into April — as it almost surely will — this one will go on record as the longest in the postwar era. The 1981-82 and 1973-75 recessions each lasted 16 months.

如果持续到四月份 — 这几乎是毋庸置疑的 — 这次衰退将成为战后时间最长的经济衰退。1981-82年及1973-75年的经济衰退都持续了16个月。

Unemployment hasn't reached 1982 levels and the gross domestic product hasn't fallen quite as far. But the hurt from this recession is spread more widely and uncertainty about the country's economic health is worse today than it was in 1982.

失业率的增加和国内生产总值的下降还没有到达1982年的水平。但这次衰退的危害波及更广,而且今天对国家经济健康的不确定性比1982年时更甚。

Back then, if someone asked if the nation was about to experience something as bad as the Great Depression, the answer was, "Quite clearly, `No,'" said Murray Weidenbaum, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Reagan White House.

里根白宫的经济顾问委员会主席Murray Weidenbaum说,上两次危机时,如果有人问国家是否会经历大萧条那样糟糕的局面。回答是,“很清楚,‘不会’,”

"You don't have that certainty today," he said. "It's not only that the downturn is sharp and widespread, but a lot of people worry that it's going to be a long-lasting, substantial downturn."

“今天你不会再那么确信了,”他说。“这不仅仅是因为经济下滑迅速且广泛,而是很多人担心这将是一次时间很长的持续下滑。”

 

For months, headlines have compared this recession with the one that began in July 1981 and ended in November 1982.

几个月来,报纸头条对比了这次与始于1981年7月、结束于1982年11月的衰退。

_In January, reports showed 207,000 manufacturing jobs vanished in the largest one-month drop since October 1982.

一月,报导显示有20万7千份制造业工作消失,创造了自1982年10月以来最大的单月降幅。

_Major automakers' U.S. sales extended their deep slump in February, putting the industry on track for its worst sales month in more than 27 years.

主要汽车制造商的美国销量在二月份继续下降,汽车工业进入了超过27年来的最差销售月。

_Struggling homebuilders have just completed the worst year for new home sales since 1982.

苦苦挣扎的房屋制造商度过了自1982年以来新房销售最差年。

_There are 12.5 million people out of work today, topping the number of jobless in 1982.

今天有一千二百五十万人失业,超过1982年的失业人数。

 

"I think most people think it is worse than 1982," said John Steele Gordon, a financial historian. "I don't think many people think it will be 1932 again. Let us pray. But it's probably going to be the worst postwar recession, certainly."

“我想大多数人认为这次比1982年更糟,”金融历史学家John Steele Gordon说。“我不认为多数人觉得这会是1932年的再现。让我们祈祷不会。但它可能会成为战后最严重的一次经济衰退,肯定会这样的。”

The 1982 downturn was driven primarily by the desire to rid the economy of inflation. To battle a decade-long bout of high inflation, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, now an economic adviser to President Barack Obama, pushed interest rates up to levels not seen since the Civil War. The approach tamed inflation, but not without suffering.

1982年的下滑主要是由将经济从通货膨胀中解脱出来的愿望导致的。在与高通胀进行的长达一个世纪的战斗中,当时的美联储主席Paul Volcker,目前是总统Barack Obama的紧急顾问,将利率提高到了美国内战以来的最高值。这一方法制止了通货膨胀,但也付出了代价。

Hardest hit was the industrial Midwest; the Pacific Northwest, where the logging industry lagged from construction declines; and some states in the South, where the recession hit late.

最严重的打击是对中西部产业;在太平洋西北部,伐木业受建筑业衰退的影响而放缓;南部的一些州最近也受到了经济衰退的影响。

Frustrated workers fled to the Sunbelt to find work. In Michigan, which led the nation in jobless workers, newspapers offered idled auto workers free "job wanted" ads in the classified section. Mortgages carried double-digit interest rates. When the 1982 recession ended, the national jobless rate had hit 10.8 percent.

失望的工人们涌向西部和西南部寻找工作。在失业人数位于全国首位的密歇根州,报纸在分类版块为失业的汽车工人免费提供应工广告。贷款实行两位数利率。当1982年的经济衰退结束时,全国失业率达到了10.8%。

 

Just like today, that recession led to political finger-pointing.

跟今天一样,经济衰退导致政党之间的相互指责。

When the government reported a 10.1 percent jobless rate for September 1982, organized labor rallied across the street from the White House. A few protesters chained themselves to an entrance at the Labor Department. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce called it a national tragedy and blamed Democrats. Democrats called it a national tragedy and blamed Reagan.

当政府公布1982年9月的失业率为10.1%时,工会工人们在白宫前的街道上集会。一些抗议者将自己绑到了劳工部的一个入口处。美国商会将这称为国家的悲剧并归咎于民主党。民主党称这为国家的悲剧而归咎于里根。

Even months after the recession officially ended, Reagan was greeted in Pittsburgh by signs that said: "We want jobs, Mr. Hoover" and "Reagan says his economic program is working — are you?" President Herbert Hoover's term is forever linked in history with the Great Depression.

甚至在经济衰退正式结束的几个月后,里根在匹兹堡还受到了这样的标语欢迎:“我们需要工作,Hoover先生”以及“里根说他的经济计划奏效了 — 你说呢?”总统Herbert Hoover的任期永远与大萧条联系在一起。

 

Those not as badly hurt have fuzzy memories of the 1981-82 recession.

而那些没有受到如此重创的对1981-82年的经济衰退只有模糊的印象。

Not Jim O'Connor of Pekin, Ill., who was president of United Auto Workers Local 974 when Caterpillar Tractor Co. was laying off workers in Peoria in the 1980s.

伊利诺斯州Pekin的Jim O'Connor就是如此,当卡特彼勒牵引机公司80年代在Peoria裁员时,Jim O'Conno担任联合汽车工人本地974的主席。

Maybe time has soothed the sting O'Connor felt, but he contends the economic problems facing workers today are worse than during the recession he survived nearly three decades ago.

也许是时间抹平了O'Connor的伤痛,但他认为今天工人们面对的经济问题比他近三十年前经历的那场衰退更糟糕。

"The days of walking out of one factory and walking into another one down the street are over," O'Connor said. He retired from Caterpillar in 2001 but thinks he might find part-time job to help pay his health insurance.

“离开一家工厂走进几步远的另一家工厂的日子已经结束了,”O'Connor说。他2001年从卡特彼勒退休,但考虑找一份兼职来帮助支付健康保险。

"When I hired in at Caterpillar in 1968, we had numerous factories here. Almost all of that has left the country or moved South. The unions don't have any leverage anymore at the bargaining table. So these young people (today) aren't only out of work, you know. They weren't making a living wage when they lost their job," he said.

“当我1968年受雇于卡特彼勒时,我们在这儿有很多工厂。它们几乎都已经离开了这个国家或者迁往南部了。工会在谈判桌上没有任何作用。所以,今天这些年轻人不是仅仅失业,你知道。当他们失去工作时,他们赚不到生活费,”他说。

 

Like Reagan did then, Obama is dishing up hope. Trouble is, people can't visualize any reward they might get from making it through this recession, said William Niskanen, an economic adviser to Reagan.

正如里根在那时所作的一样,Obama给出希望。问题在于,人们无法看到他们挺过这次经济危机所能获得的回报,里根的经济顾问William Niskanen说。

There's little hope of any gain from the pain. Falling housing and stock prices have undermined household wealth. People are worried about losing their jobs, their homes and their retirement savings all at a time when health care is weighing down income.

从这次的痛苦中获得益处的希望微乎其微。下降的房屋和股市已经破坏了家庭财富。当收入为卫生健康所累时,人们还要担心失去工作、失去家园以及退休储蓄。

"In the 1980s, it was clear to people that the inflation rate was going to come way down and it did," Niskanen said. "There was a sense that we were going through a tough time for a while as a price of getting inflation down and that things would come back up. Today, they can't see any gain from what's going on."

“在80年代,人们很清楚通胀率会降下来,而且它的确降下来了,” Niskanen说。“大家有一种感觉,我们会经历一段艰难时期作为拉低通胀的代价,一切都会重新好起来。今天,人们看不到正在经历的这一切能带来任何好处。”

 

Consumer confidence is in free fall. Banks are in peril. The overall economy, as measured by the GDP, shrank at a 6.2 percent annual rate in final three months of last year, the worst drop since the first quarter of 1982. The unemployment rate, at 8.1 percent in February, hasn't reached the 10.8 percent reported in November 1982, but the recession is not over.

消费者信心直线下降。银行处境危险。整体经济,根据GDP代表的年利率,在去年的最后三个月缩减到了6.2%,是1982年第一季度以来最大的下降。失业率二月份是8.1%,尚未到达1982年11月报导的10.8%,但衰退尚未结束。

It's not only blue-collar workers who are feeling the greatest anguish. Americans who are trapped in houses worth less than their mortgages are suffering. So, too, are people whose personal wealth is tied to the stock market. Personal wealth is dwindling in the U.S., and the effects of the financial meltdown have been felt around the world.

不止是蓝领工人感到这巨大的痛苦。房屋价值低于贷款值的美国人同样处于痛苦中。同一处境的还有那些资产系于股市的人。个人财富在美国正在缩水,金融倒坍的影响在全世界都能感受到。

 

"This recession is broader, deeper and more complicated than virtually anything we have ever seen,"

Wachovia Corp. economist Mark Vitner said. "The whole evolution of the credit markets resulted in all sorts of complex financial instruments that are difficult to unwind. It's like trying to unscramble scrambled eggs. It just can't be done that easily. I don't know if it can be done at all."

“这次的衰退比我们所见过的任何一次都更广泛、更深入、更复杂,”Wachovia公司的经济学家Mark Vitner说。“信贷市场的演进造就了多种多样难以解开的复杂金融工具。就像要把炒蛋复原成鸡蛋一样。不会那么容易解决的。我甚至不知道能否解决。”

He said he sees fear in the eyes of his clients.

他说他在顾客眼中看到了恐惧。

"I've had people come up and hug me after a presentation, which is unusual," he said. "I haven't told them anything about how it's going to be better, but they just feel better having a better understanding of what's happening."

“一次演讲结束后人们上前拥抱了我,这很不寻常,”他说。“我没有告诉他们任何关于局面将如何好转的事情,但更好地理解正在发生的一切让他们感觉好多了。”


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090308/ap_on_bi_ge/the_worst_recession

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