2010考研英语历年真题来源报刊阅读15:富裕与幸福(如何衡量)

来源:www.putclub.com 2019-03-28

Affluence Happiness (and how to measure it
  
HAVING grown at an annual rate of 3.2% per head since 2000, the world economy is over half way towards notching up its best decade ever. If it keeps going at this clip, it will beat both the supposedly idyllic 1950s and the 1960s. Market capitalism, the engine that runs most of the world economy, seems to be doing its job well.
  
But is it? Once upon a time, that job was generally agreed to be to make people better off. Nowadays thats not so clear. A number of economists, in search of big problems to solve, and politicians, looking for bold promises to make, think that it ought to be doing something else: making people happy.
  
The view that economics should be about more than money is widely held in continental Europe. In debates with Anglo-American capitalists, wily bons vivants have tended to cite the idea ofquality of lifeto excuse slower economic growth. But now David Cameron, the latest leader of Britains once rather materialistic Conservative Party, has espoused the notion ofgeneral well-being” (GWB) as an alternative to the more traditional GDP. In America, meanwhile, inequality, over-work and other hidden costs of prosperity were much discussed in the mid-term elections; andwellness” (as opposed to health) has become a huge industry, catering especially to the prosperous discontent of the baby-boomers.
  
Much of this draws on the upstart science of happiness, which mixes psychology with economics. Its adherents start with copious survey data, such as those derived from the simple, folksy question put to thousands of Americans every year or two since 1972:“Taken all together, how would you say things are these dayswould you say that you are very happy, pretty happy or not too happy?” Some of the results are unsurprising: the rich report being happier than do the poor. But a paradox emerges that requires explanation: affluent countries have not got much happier as they have grown richer. From America to Japan, figures for well-being have barely budged.
  
The science of happiness offers two explanations for the paradox. Capitalism, it notes, is adept at turning luxuries into necessitiesbringing to the masses what the elites have always enjoyed. But the flip side of this genius is that people come to take for granted things they once coveted from afar. Frills they never thought they could have become essentials that they cannot do without. People are stuck on a treadmill: as they achieve a better standard of living, they become inured to its pleasures.
  
Capitalisms ability to take things downmarket also has its limits. Many of the things people most prizesuch as the top jobs, the best education, or an exclusive home addressare luxuries by necessity. An elite schooling, for example, ceases to be so if it is provided to everyone. Thesepositional goods”, as they are called, are in fixed supply: you can enjoy them only if others do not. The amount of money and effort required to grab them depends on how much your rivals are putting in.

参考译文:

富裕与幸福(如何衡量)
  
自2000年起就以人均3.2%的年速率增长着的世界经济如今已离目标——“创有史以来经济发展最好十年”——更加近了。如果继续这样大跨步前进,将超越人们心中“美好的50年代及60年代”。市场资本主义——世界绝大多数国家经济发展的引擎,似乎递交上了一份令人满意的答卷。
  
真是这样吗?曾几何时,大家都相信“满意的答卷”就是让人们生活更加富裕。但如今却不那么确定了。许许多多想要解决大问题的经济学家和想要做出大胆承诺的政治家们开始认为,“满意的答卷”应该不止这些,还应能使人们幸福。
  
欧洲大陆国家普遍接受这样一个观点:经济学绝不只是关于钱。在和盎格鲁血统的美国人争论时,那些老谋深算的奢华贵族们就常常打出“生活质量”的招牌来美化本国缓慢的经济增长速度。而今大卫·卡梅伦,作为一度十分崇尚物质的英国保守党的最新领导人,也提出应更加关注GWB(国内幸福指数)而不仅仅只看GDP(国内生产总值)。同时在今年美国的中期选举中,不公平超负荷工作以及其他一些繁荣背后的隐性成本也被大量讨论,幸福——作为健康的对立面,成了一项巨大产业,也深深迎合了婴儿潮一代对繁荣的不满。
  
这些大都与现今正势如破竹般发展的“快乐学”有关,这也将心理学融入经济学。“快乐学”的追随者们从浩如烟海的数据调查出发,例如自1972年起每隔一两年便要向数千名美国人进行的问卷调查。问题简单又平常,如“总的来看,你觉得眼下自己过得如何?是非常幸福,基本幸福,还是不太幸福呢?” 得出的结论中有些是不足为奇的,如相比穷人,富人普遍感觉更幸福。但这里有一个矛盾没法解释——富裕国家却并没有随着富裕程度的提高而增加幸福感。从美国到日本,幸福指数一直没有变化。
  
快乐学为这一矛盾提供了两个解释。首先,它注意到,资本主义善于将奢侈品变成必需品, 给大多数人送去上层精英们惯于享受的一切。但这一美妙功能带来的副作用是:人们把一度觊觎而现在拥有的一切都视作理所当然。以前从未奢望拥有的那些浮华虚饰如今变成了不可或缺的必需品。人们陷入了一个怪圈:当生活水平提高的时候,反倒为其所赋予的愉悦所伤。
  
资本主义把事物“低端化”的本领也有其不足之处。人们所看重的许多东西——如一流的工作、尖端的教育和自己拥有的住房这些奢侈品其实是和必需品相辅相成的。例如,精英教育如果针对每个人,便不再是精英教育。所谓的“地位性商品”都是限量供应的,在别人得不到的情况下才是一种享受。为此所付出的人力财力就要看你的对手付出多少了。

#p#副标题#e#

词汇解析:

cater  vi.备办食物,满足(需要),投合
  
[真题例句] “Instead of intimate shops catering to a knowledgeable elite.” these were storesanyone could enter, regardless of class or background. This turned shopping into a public and democratic act.”[2006年阅读1]
[例句精译] “不像那些个人商店那样,只满足有学识的精英人士的需求”,这些商店“不论阶级与背景,任何人都能进入。这推进了购物大众化和民主化的进程。”
  
prosperous  a.繁荣的,兴旺的
  
[真题例句] America and Americans were prosperous beyond the dreams of the Europeans and Asians whose economies the war had destroyed.[2000年阅读1]
[例句精译] 美国的国富民强是那些经济遭到战争破坏的欧亚诸国做梦也无法想到的。
  
derive  v.取得,导出,引申

[真题例句] “Anthropologyderives from the Greek words anthroposhumanand logosthe study of.”[2003年翻译]
[例句精译] Anthropology(人类学)一词来源于希腊词anthropos(人类)和logos(研究)。
  
elite n.①[总称]上层人士,掌权人物,实力集团;②出类拔萃的人(集团),精英
  
[真题例句] Reporters tend to be part of a broadly defined social and cultural elite (②), so their work tends to reflect the conventional values of this elite.[2001年阅读3]
[例句精译] 记者们属于广义的社会文化精英的一部分,因此他们的工作往往反映了这些精英传统的价值观。
  
stick  n.棍,棒,手杖;v.①刺,戳,扎;②粘合,附着;③坚持,固守
 
[真题例句] This means that our noses are (3:limited) to perceiving those smells which float through the air, (4:missing) the majority of smells which stick

(v.②) to surfaces.[2005年完形]
[例句精译] 这就意味着人的鼻子只局限于察觉飘浮于空气中的气味;而错过大部分粘附于物体表面的气味。
[真题例句] You will be on safer ground if you stick (v.③) to scapegoats like the Post Office or the telephone system.[2002年阅读1]
[例句精译] 如果你选择去评论邮局或电话局这样的替罪羊,那你就会处于比较安全的境地。
  
exclusive   a.①专有的,独占的;②除外的,排他的
  
[真题例句] 61. Physical dependence on certain substances results from.[1997年阅读3]
[B] exclusive (①) use of them for social purposes
[例句精译] 61. 对某些物质的生理依赖是由于。
[B] 出于社交目的而专用这些物质

背景知识:

GDP的数字在增加,可清澈的河流和蔚蓝的天空却越来越少。当听到一个天真无邪的孩子和父母争论为什么天是灰色的时候,我们无言却不惊讶。当打开一幢漂亮别墅的窗子正要欣赏窗外美景的你突然闻到一股臭气扑面而来,你的幸福感觉还剩多少?当问一位病入膏肓的富翁他最想要的是什么时,他会毫不犹豫地回答是健康,即使散尽他的家财。
  
社会发展的最终目标是使人民获得幸福。然而用这个标准去考量GDP指标时,却发现它似乎并不是一个能够完整体现这一点的指标。是的,我们看到了经济增长,但却没有看到由此带来的人们幸福感同等程度的增加。GDP被萨缪尔森称为“20世纪最大的发明之一”,它虽然是一个重要指标,但却不是万能的。

 




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