纽约时报文摘 | 美国的最大威胁是我们自己

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Near the close of last Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate, Chuck Todd asked the candidates what he called “a simple question.” In “one word,” he asked, who or what is the biggest geopolitical threat to America today?
在上周三民主党总统竞选人辩论接近尾声时,查克·托德(Chuck Todd)问了一个他所谓的“简单问题”。他要求两人用“一个词”说出当今美国面临的最大地缘政治威胁是谁,或者是什么?

Reflecting on that moment, I asked myself what I would say. It didn’t take long to decide. It’s not China or Russia or Iran. It’s us. We’ve become the biggest threat to ourselves.
回想那一刻,我问自己,如果是我会怎样回答。我没花很长时间就有了答案。不是中国,不是俄罗斯,也不是伊朗。是我们。我们已经成为自己最大的威胁。

China, Russia, Iran and even North Korea’s “Little Rocket Man” aren’t going to take us down. Only we can take ourselves down.
中国、俄罗斯、伊朗,甚至朝鲜的“小火箭人”都不会把我们打倒。只有我们自己才能打倒自己。

Only we can ensure that the American dream — the core promise we’ve made to ourselves that each generation will do better than its parents — is not fulfilled, because we fail to adapt in this age of rapidly accelerating changes in technology, markets, climates, the workplace and education.
美国梦是我们对自己作出的核心承诺,也就是每一代人都会比父母辈做得更好。只有我们才能保证它肯定实现不了,因为我们无法适应这个技术、市场、气候、工作场所和教育加速变化的时代。

And that is nearly certain to happen if we don’t stop treating politics as entertainment, if we don’t get rid of a president who daily undermines truth and trust — the twin fuels needed to collaborate and adapt together — if we don’t prevent the far left from pulling the Democrats over a cliff with reckless ideas like erasing the criminal distinction between those who enter America legally and those who don’t, and if we fail to forge what political analyst David Rothkopf described in a?recent Daily Beast essay?as “a new American majority.”
如果我们继续把政治当作娱乐;如果我们无法摆脱一个每天都在破坏真相和信任的总统——真相和信任是合作与适应的两大动力;如果我们不能阻止极左翼用抹去合法与非法进入美国者之间的刑事区别这类不计后果的想法把民主党拖向悬崖;如果我们不能达成政治分析家戴维·罗斯科普夫(David Rothkopf)最近在《每日野兽》(Daily Beast)的发文中所描述的那种“新美国多数”,这种事几乎肯定会发生。

That’s a majority that can not only win the next election but can?actually govern?the morning after, actually enable us to do big hard things, because we have so many big hard things that need to be addressed — and big hard adaptations can only be done quickly together.
这样的多数派不仅能够赢得下次选举,而且确实能够在选举翌日执政,确实能让我们完成艰巨的任务,因为我们有那么多艰巨的任务需要处理,而艰巨的适应工作只能团结起来快速完成。

Sounds na?ve? No, here’s what’s na?ve. Thinking we’re going to be O.K. if we keep ignoring the big challenges barreling down on us, if we just keep taking turns having one party rule and the other obstruct — with the result that no big, long-term and well-thought-out adaptations get built.
听上去很幼稚?试想我们继续无视不断袭来的巨大挑战,如果我们继续轮流让一党执政、另一党设置障碍,那么我们就无法制定任何大的、长期的、经过深思熟虑的适应措施。这才是真正的幼稚。

Indeed, this moment reminds me of something that Mark Mykleby, a retired Marine colonel, said in a book I co-authored in 2011 with Michael Mandelbaum, “That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back:
事实上,现在这一刻让我想起2011年我与迈克尔·曼德尔鲍姆(Michael Mandelbaum)合著的《我们曾是那样——美国是如何在自己发明的世界上落后的,我们要怎样才能回来》(That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back)一书中引用退役海军上校马克·麦克莱比(Mark Mykleby)所说的话:

“At no time in our history have our national challenges been as complex and long-term as those we face today.” But, he said, the most salient feature of our politics of late has been our inability “to respond coherently and effectively to obvious problems before they become crises. … If we can’t even have an ‘adult’ conversation, how will we fulfill the promise of and our obligation to the Preamble of our Constitution — to ‘secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity’?” How indeed?
“在我们的历史上,我们国家面临的挑战从来没有像今天这样复杂和长期。”但是,他说,近期以来,我们的政治最显著的特点是,我们无法“在明显的问题演变成危机之前,连贯而有效地做出反应……如果我们甚至不能进行一次‘成年人’的对话,我们将如何履行我们对宪法序言的承诺和我们的义务——‘使我们自己和后代得享自由的幸福’?”是啊,怎么能呢?

Here are just a few of the challenges coming head-on:
以下是一些我们即将面临的挑战:

First, if we have four more years of Trump, we’ll probably lose any chance of keeping the global average temperature from rising only 1.5 degrees Celsius instead of 2 degrees — which scientists believe is the difference between being able to manage the now unavoidable climate-related weather extremes and avoiding the unmanageable ones.
首先,如果我们让特朗普再执政四年,我们可能会失去机会,让全球平均气温上升保持在1.5摄氏度,而不是2度——科学家认为只有做到前者,我们才能管理现已不可避免的与气候有关的极端天气,并且避免无法控制的极端天气。

Second, as Ray Dalio, the founder of the Bridgewater hedge fund, recently pointed out, there has been “little or no real income growth for most people for decades. … Prime-age workers in the bottom 60 percent have had no real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) income growth since 1980.” In that same time frame, the “incomes for the top 10 percent have doubled and those of the top 1 percent have tripled. The percentage of children who grow up to earn more than their parents has fallen from 90 percent in 1970 to 50 percent today. That’s for the population as a whole. For most of those in the lower 60 percent, the prospects are worse.”
其次,正如布里奇沃特对冲基金(Bridgewater hedge fund)创始人雷·戴利奥(Ray Dalio)最近指出的那样,“几十年来,大多数人的实际收入几乎或根本没有增长……自1980年以来,处于底层60%的黄金年龄段员工就没有真正的收入增长(扣除通货膨胀因素)。”在同一时期,“最富有的10%人群的收入翻了一番,而最富有的1%人群的收入翻了三倍。长大成人后收入超过父母的孩子所占的比例从1970年的90%下降到了今天的50%。这是针对全体人口的。对于大多数收入水平在60%以下的人来说前景更糟。”

The anger over that is surely one of the things that propelled Trump into office and, if not addressed, could propel someone even worse, like Donald Trump Jr., in the future.
对此事的愤怒肯定是促使特朗普上台的原因之一,如果不加以解决,未来可能会促使更糟糕的人上台,比如小唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump Jr.)。

Third, the next four years will redefine relations between the world’s two biggest economies — the U.S. and China. Either the U.S. will persuade China to abandon the abusive trade practices it adopted to go from poverty to middle income and from a technology consumer to a technology producer, or we’re headed for a world divided by a new digital Berlin Wall. There will be a Chinese-controlled internet and technology sphere and American versions — and every other country will have to decide whose to join. The globalization that provided so much peace and prosperity for the last 70 years will fracture.
其三,未来四年将重新定义世界最大的两个经济体——美国和中国——之间的关系。要么美国将说服中国放弃它从贫穷到中等收入国家、从技术消费国到技术制造国的转变过程中所采用的不公正贸易做法,要么我们将步入一个由一面新的数字柏林墙隔开的世界。其中将会有中国控制的互联网和技术领域,也有美国版本——并且所有其他国家都将不得不选择加入哪一边。过去70年来曾给我们带来如此多和平与繁荣的全球化将就此破裂。

Fourth, technology is propelling social networks and cybertools deeper and deeper into our lives, our privacy and our politics — and democratizing the tools for “deep fakes,” so that many more people can erode truth and trust. But the gap between the speed at which these technologies are going deep and the ability of our analog politics to develop the rules, norms and laws to govern them is getting wider, not narrower. That gap has to be closed to preserve our democracy.
其四,技术正在推动社会网络和网络工具越来越深入地进入我们的生活、我们的隐私和我们的政治——也在推动这些工具的民主化,以实现“深度伪造”,使更多人得以侵蚀真理与信任。但以这些技术深化的速度之快,我们的模拟世界政治在制定相关管理规则、准则和法律上的滞后只会是日渐加剧,而不是缓解。必须弥合这种差距方能保护我们的民主制度。

Fifth, today’s workplace is distinguished by one overriding new reality, argues?Heather McGowan, an expert on the future of work: “The pace of change is accelerating at the exact same time that people’s work lives are elongating.”
其五,未来工作方面的专家希瑟·麦高恩(Heather McGowan)认为,当今的职场有一项很突出的新现实:“变化在加速,与此同时人们的工作年限也在变长。”

When the efficient steam engine was developed in the 1700s, McGowan explains, average life expectancy was 37 years and steam was the driving force in industry and business for around 100 years. When the combustion engine and electricity were harnessed in the mid-1800s, life expectancy was around 40 years and these technologies dominated the workplace for about another century.
麦高恩解释称,18世纪开发出高效的蒸汽机时,人的平均预期寿命是37岁,蒸汽作为工业和商业的推动力,持续了100年左右。19世纪中叶开始使用内燃机和电力时,预期寿命40岁左右,这些技术主导工作场所大约又是一个世纪。

So in both eras, notes McGowan, “you had multiple generations to absorb a single big change in the workplace.”
因此麦高恩指出,在两段时期里,“都是几代人在职场中吸收一项大的变化。”

In today’s digital information age, “you have multiple changes in the nature of work within a generation,” McGowan says. This dramatically increases the need for lifelong learning. “The old model was that you learned once in order to work, and now we must work in order to learn continuously,” she contends. So we’re going from a model of “learn, work, retire” to a model of “learn, work, learn, work, learn, work.”
而在今天的数字信息时代,“工作的性质在一代人里会多次发生变化,”麦高恩说。这大大增加了终身学习的需要。“旧的模式是,你学习一次以便从事工作,现在我们必须工作才能持续学习,”她主张。所以说我们正在从“学习、工作、退休”的模式进入到“学习、工作、学习、工作、学习、工作”的模式。

In that kind of world the new social contract has to be that government makes sure that the safety nets and all the tools for lifelong learning are available to every American — but it’s on each citizen to use them. This moment “is not about who to blame or what to bring back or what to give away,” concludes McGowan. “It is about how to create a new deal that engages the American people to ‘take longer strides,’” as President John F. Kennedy said in seeking funding for NASA. But more of that striding will be on you for more of your life.
在这样一种世界里,新的社会契约必须是,政府要确保每一个美国人能得到安全网以及终身学习所需的所有工具——但对它们的使用,就要看每个国民自己的了。此时此刻“重点不在于该责备谁,要带回什么,或付出什么,”麦高恩总结称。“而在于如何建立新政,能促使美国人民‘迈出更大的步伐’”,正如在为美国国家航空航天局(NASA)寻求资助时,约翰·F·肯尼迪(John F. Kennedy)总统所说的那样。但在你人生的多数时间里,那样的步子将更多地取决于你自己。

Fortunately, the midterm elections showed us that there is a potential new American majority out there to be assembled to meet these challenges. After all, it was the independent voters, suburban women and moderate Republicans — who shifted their votes to Democrats, because they were appalled by Trump’s lying, racist-tinge nationalism and divisiveness — who enabled the Democrats to win back the House of Representatives. That same partnership could topple Trump.
幸运的是,中期选举向我们表明,可能有新的美国多数群体等待着被召集起来,去迎接这些挑战。毕竟,正是那些独立选民、郊区女性和温和派共和党人,是他们把选票转投给了民主党人,因为他们对特朗普的谎言、种族主义色彩的民族主义和分裂特征感到震惊,也是他们让民主党人夺回了众议院。同样的合作关系可以推翻特朗普。

If Democrats can choose a nominee who speaks to our impending challenges, but who doesn’t say irresponsible stuff about immigration or promise free stuff we can’t afford, who defines new ways to work with business and energize job-creators, who treats with dignity the frightened white working-class voters who abandoned them for Trump — and who understands that many, many Americans are worried that we’re on the verge of a political civil war and want someone to pull us together — I think he or she will find a new American majority waiting to be assembled and empowered.
如果民主党人能选出一个候选人,这个人能切中我们即将面临的挑战,但不就移民说些不负责任的话,或承诺让一些我们无力负担的东西免费,能界定与企业合作的新方式并能激励创造就业的机会,能对惊恐中抛弃他们、改投特朗普的工薪阶层白人选民予以尊重——并能理解很多很多美国人都担心,我们正处于政治内战的边缘,想要有人能把大家联合起来,我认为他或她将发现,有一个新的美国多数群体等待着被召集、被赋予力量。

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