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白芝浩专栏 - 阿特拉斯一声吼,大英帝国抖三抖 [英国网评]

五毛网 英德 2017年08月30日 来源:龙腾网

脱欧和科尔宾上台将使英国陷入艾茵·兰德书中所预言的地狱般的光景。60多年前的10月,在出版的新书《阿特拉斯耸耸肩》中,作家艾茵·兰德曾经问道:若一个国家最有天赋的生意人因在纳税、法律法规以及其他事宜上遭受政府粗暴对待而忍无可忍罢工的话,社会会变的怎样?无疑,创新因此停滞,经济也不再增长,政府因不能再轻易捋到羊毛,将会变的更加霸道。  

                                    
Bagehot
In Britain, Atlas is about to shrug

阿特拉斯一声吼,大英帝国抖三抖

The combination of Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn could lead to the dystopia that Ayn Rand predicted

脱欧和科尔宾上台将使英国陷入艾茵·兰德书中所预言的地狱般的光景

(译者注:阿特拉斯是希腊神话中支撑地球的巨人,作者暗喻为支撑国家的精英阶层)Aug 24th 2017

IN “ATLAS SHRUGGED”, published 60 years ago this October, Ayn Rand asked what would happen if society’s most talented businesspeople got so fed up with being taxed, regulated and otherwise messed about by government that they went on strike. Innovation would cease. The economy would stagnate. And government, starved of easy pickings, would become more bullying.

60多年前的10月,在出版的新书《阿特拉斯耸耸肩》中,作家艾茵·兰德曾经问道:若一个国家最有天赋的生意人因在纳税、法律法规以及其他事宜上遭受政府粗暴对待而忍无可忍罢工的话,社会会变的怎样?无疑,创新因此停滞,经济也不再增长,政府因不能再轻易捋到羊毛,将会变的更加霸道。

The world’s fifth-largest economy is in the early stages of its own experiment with driving Atlas crazy. Since the Thatcher revolution of the 1980s Britain has been one of the most open and business-friendly large economies. It is the biggest recipient of foreign direct investment in Europe. It ranks seventh in the World Bank’s index of ease of doing business. It has the world’s most liberal corporate-takeover rules.

英国作为世界第五大经济体,正在处于用自废武功的方式把“阿特拉斯”逼的走投无路的早期阶段。自上世纪80年代撒切尔夫人改革以来,英国成为了最开放、最便于商业运作的大经济体之一,它成为了来自欧洲的海外投资的最大载体,在世界银行的经商便利度指数中排名第七,有着自由度最高的上市公司并购准则。

Britain continues to benefit from this regime. Unemployment has hit a 42-year low, at 4.4%. Google is preparing to build a campus for 5,000 employees in London’s King’s Cross district. But the settlement is under assault from two directions. The Conservative Party is negotiating Britain’s departure from the European Union, disrupting long-established flows of trade, talent and capital. Meanwhile, the main opposition party is led by a hard-leftist who wants to consign Thatcherism to the dustbin of history.

英国从现行制度中持续受益:失业率仅为4.4%,创42年来新低,谷歌也打算在伦敦的王十字区建造一处可容纳5000员工的园区。但现在,一切的安宁正在受到两方面的威胁:一方面是保守党所引领的英国脱欧谈判,正在扰乱经营多年的贸易、人才和资本流通;与其同时,最大的反对派工党正在一位极左领袖的指导下,准备将撒切尔主义扫进历史的垃圾堆。

Brexit is already beginning to damage Britain’s most globalised industry, finance. Most big investment banks have shifted some people and operations to the continent as a hedge. A trickle could become a flood when the City realises that the EU is unlikely to allow Britain to have its cake and eat it. Oliver Wyman, a consultancy, predicts that up to 75,000 finance jobs, or 7% of the total, will leave if Britain loses easy access to the single market. EY, another consultancy, puts the figure at 83,000. Demand for London houses costing over £2m ($2.6m) is beginning to sag, while the market for such homes in Paris and Frankfurt sizzles.

脱欧正在开始侵害英国全球化程度最高的产业:金融业。几乎所有的大投资行已经将部分人员和业务转移到欧洲大陆,以作为防范措施。咨询公司奥纬咨询曾预测,若英国失去单一市场的准入权,将会失去约7万5千个金融工作岗位,占总比例的7%,而另一家咨询公司,永安会计事务所预测这一数字将达到8万3千。另外,伦敦房市上所有总值超过200万镑(约260万美元)的房产销售持续疲软,而同类产业于巴黎和法兰克福的市场上却火热异常。

The Brexit effect is extending to a range of other industries, from talent-intensive ones, where people can decide where to work, to capital-intensive ones, where companies are loth to make investments if they are uncertain about the future. The number of foreign graduates seeking jobs in Britain has fallen by 12% since the referendum, according to LinkedIn, a professional networking site. Investment in the car industry this year is on track to be less than half its level in 2016, and a quarter that in 2015.

脱欧效应正在向其他产业领域蔓延,无论是人们可择业而居的人才密集型行业,还是企业主不愿就未来的不确定性慷慨解囊的资本密集型行业。根据专业人际关系网站“领英”统计,自脱欧公投以来,在英国有求职意向的留学生数量已下降了12%;今年整个汽车行业的资金投入与2016年相比同比下降了50%,只有2015年的1/4

Many Brexiteers regard temporary disruption as a price worth paying, for the reasons that Rand laid out in “Atlas Shrugged”. The EU is a giant bureaucracy that is more interested in regulating yesterday’s industries than inventing the future, they argue. Britain’s best chance of flourishing is to turn itself into a European Singapore and attract mobile industries.

许多脱欧派人士认为,这些短期的阵痛都属于为了脱欧而值得付出的代价,并用作家艾茵·兰德在《阿特拉斯耸耸肩》中所展示的情景做解释,他们争辩道,欧盟是一个大的官僚机构,只知墨守成规,不懂标新立异,大英帝国复兴的最好机遇是,将英国打造成欧洲的新加坡港,以吸引移动产业

An inspiring vision, perhaps, but it suffers from several problems. The first is that the EU is unlikely to allow a Singapore to form on its borders. Britain will face a choice between playing by European rules and getting access to European markets, or creating its own rules and being denied access to those markets. The second is that the cost of disruption could be very considerable indeed. Britain has a current-account deficit of around 3% of GDP. It also has an unusually large “gross” balance-sheet because it is a global hub for banks and holding-companies. This makes it sensitive to panics resulting from disruptions in the Brexit talks (such as one side walking out in a huff) or, worse, from Britain crashing out without a deal. The third and most important problem is the likely next prime minister. Where Singapore had Lee Kuan Yew, Britain will have Jeremy Bernard Corbyn.

前景是光明的,但道路无疑是曲折的。首先,欧盟绝不会允许一个新加坡诞生在其眼皮底下,英国将面临抉择:要么遵循欧盟的游戏规则,保持与欧洲市场的对接;要么自己创造规则,被排除在欧洲市场之外。其次,脱欧引起的阵痛,代价相当的大,英国的经常账赤字占总GDP的3%,其资产负债表异乎寻常的“臃肿“,因为英国一直是全球银行和控股公司的枢纽,其对脱欧谈判中的恐慌性结果异常敏感(譬如有一方不计后果的一意孤行),而更糟的可能是英国会因达不成任何协定被迫硬脱欧。第三,最重要的问题是领导人选,新加坡有李光耀,英国有的是杰里米·伯纳德·科尔宾。。。

Mr Corbyn stands on the verge of power. The Tory party is so demented that some members are rallying behind Jacob Rees-Mogg, a pantomime toff, to succeed Theresa May. There is little chance that Mr Corbyn would moderate his hard-leftism in government. He has been banging the same drums for 30 years, and is surrounded by fellow-travellers such as John McDonnell, his shadow chancellor, and Seumas Milne, his chief strategist, whose biggest disagreement is over whether Stalin or Trotsky is the greater inspiration. He is supported by snarling activists in the Momentum campaigning group and the Unite trade union.

科尔宾同志离上台只差一步之遥,保守党们已经彻底陷入癫狂,其中一些人甚至为雅各·里斯莫格摇旗呐喊,指望他这样一个不善言辞的纨绔子弟来代替特蕾莎·梅。若科尔宾上台,他领导下的政府不可能改变极左立场,因为他为此已经敲锣打鼓宣传了30年,和科尔宾搭档的将是他的同路人,影子财相约翰·麦克唐纳尔同志,以及他的首席战略师谢默思·米尔恩同志,当然,这两位同志首先得搞清楚斯大林和托洛茨基谁更伟大这个问题。站在科尔宾同志背后的还有声势浩大的“冲劲”组织,以及英国联合工会

(译者注:约翰·麦克唐纳尔就是2015年底在议会辩论中祭出毛主席红宝书的那位)
(译者注:经济学人这里搬出斯大林和托洛茨基,讽刺工党政府若上台,会陷入社会主义式的内斗)

The last straw

救命稻草

His election is likely to lead to the biggest test of strength between global markets and a sovereign government since François Mitterrand proposed an extensive programme of nationalisation on his election to the French presidency in 1981. Mitterrand was forced to back down, but Mr Corbyn may well hold out for longer. His politics are a deeper red than Mitterrand’s. He believes that change comes through conflict rather than consensus, so will expect the markets and media to tell him he is ruining the country: that’s what the reactionary establishment does. As heavily indebted renters, his young supporters may not mind surging inflation and crashing property prices.

科尔宾的上台,可能是自1981年密特朗当选法国总统后颁布一系列国有化计划以来,对整个全球市场和主权政府的最大挑战。密特朗最终被迫辞职,科尔宾或许会坚持的更久。他的政策比密特朗更具社会主义色彩,科尔宾认为,变革来自于斗争,而不是妥协,直到某天市场和媒体会告诉他,他的所作所为是在毁了这个国家:这也是反动的既得利益集团所期望的。当然科尔宾的年轻支持者们,作为债台高筑的租房者,他们是不会在乎通胀飙升和房价崩盘的。

The combined result of Brexit and Corbyn could be the dystopia that Rand warned about: a stagnant society driven by resentment of the successful. The flight of talent will not only have a knock-on effect on the wider economy, as high earners who would have spent money in London or Leeds start moving to Paris or Frankfurt. It will also reduce the state’s revenues, since the top 1% of earners pay almost 30% of income tax and the top 10% pay nearly 60%. Mr Corbyn seems to think that all he need do is to ask “the rich” to pay “a little bit more” and everything will be fine. But why would successful people put up with higher taxes, particularly if they follow on the heels of Brexit-related uncertainty and disruption? As Luke Johnson, a serial entrepreneur, points out, the world is full of places where Britain’s Atlases would be welcome, from neighbouring countries like France, which is courting London’s bankers and tech workers, to emerging markets such as Dubai and Singapore. When Atlas shrugs, the whole of Albion suffers.

脱欧和科尔宾上台将使英国陷入艾茵·兰德书中所预言的地狱般的光景:因精英阶层的不满导致社会停滞不前。精英阶层的倒戈,不但将造成宏观经济的连锁反应,譬如原本有意在伦敦或利兹市消费的高收入人群,正在转向巴黎或法兰克福;还有国家财政收入的降低,因为所得税的30%来自于收入顶尖的1%纳税人,而收入排名前10%的人更是贡献了所得税的60%,科尔宾似乎认为,只要彻底推行他的“劫富济贫”策略,一切问题都能解决,但为什么精英阶层会愿意容忍高税收呢?尤其是当他们看到脱欧所带来的混乱和不稳定,他们还会跟英国一条心吗?正如连环创业者卢克·约翰逊指出的,此处不留人,自有留人处,世界上多得是“阿特拉斯”们的去处,如邻国的法兰西,已对伦敦的银行家和科技工作者大献殷勤,还有如迪拜、新加坡这样的新兴市场。阿特拉斯一声吼,大英帝国也要抖三抖啊。

Economist.com/blogs/bagehot

 

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