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研究生英语综合教程UNIT4课文及翻译(含汉译英英译汉)

UNIT4

1. Think for a moment about your own life — the activities of your day, the possessions you enjoy, the surroundings in which you live. Is there anything you don’t have at this moment that you would like to have? Anything that you have, but that you would like more of? If your answer is “no,” then congratulations — either you are well advanced on the path of Zen self-denial, or else you are a close relative of Ted Turner . The rest of us, however, would benefit from an increase in our material standard of living. This simple truth is at the very core of economics. It can be restated this way: we all face the problem of scarcity.

2 Almost everything in your daily life is scarce. You would benefit from a larger room or apartment, so you have a scarcity of space. You have only two pairs of shoes and could use a third for hiking; you have a scarcity of shoes. You would love to take a trip to Chicago, but it is difficult for you to find the time or the money to go — trips to Chicago are scarce.

3 Because of scarcity, each of us is forced to make choices. We must allocate our scarce time to different activities: work, play, education, sleep, shopping, and more. We must allocate our scarce spending power among different goods and services: food, furniture, movies, long-distance phone calls, and many others.

4 Economists study the choices we make as individuals and how those choices shape our economy. For example, the goods that each of us decides to buy ultimately determine which goods business firms will produce. This, in turn, explains which firms and industries will hire new workers and which will lay them off.

5. Economists also study the more subtle and indirect effects of individual choice on our society. Will most Americans continue to live in houses, or — like Europeans will most of us end up in apartments? Will we have an educated and well-informed citizenry? Will museums and libraries be forced to close down? Will traffic congestion in our cities continue to worsen, or is there relief in sight? These questions hinge, in large part, on the separate decisions of millions of people. To answer them requires an understanding of how people make choices under conditions of scarcity.

6. Think for a moment about the goals of our society. We want a high standard of living for all citizens: clean air, safe streets, and good schools. What is holding us back from accomplishing all of these goals in a way that would satisfy everyone? You probably already know the answer: scarcity. 1. 想一想你的生活:你每天从事的活动,你所拥有的财产,你所居住的环境。此时此刻,你是否希望拥有一些你所没有的东西?对于那些你已经拥有的,你是否希望拥有更多?如果你的答案是否定的,那么恭喜你:你要么早已看破红尘,要么就是腰缠万贯。然而,我们大多数人的答案却是肯定的,我们都希望拥有更多,从而进一步提高物质生活水平。这一简单的真理就是经济学的核心。我们或许可以重新表述这个问题:我们都面临稀缺。

2 几乎日常生活中的一切都是稀缺不足的。比如说你希望你的房间或公寓能再大点儿,那么对你而言,居住空间就是稀缺的;比如说你只有两双鞋,你还想拥有一双适于徒步旅行,那么鞋子对你来说就是稀缺的;再比如说你很想去趟芝加哥,可是你既没有余钱也没有空闲去,那么芝加哥之行对你而言就是稀缺的。

3 因为稀缺,我们不得不进行选择。我们不得不把稀缺的时间在工作、娱乐休闲、教育、睡眠、购物等不同的活动中进行分配;我们也不得不把稀缺的金钱在食物、家具、电影、长途电话等不同的产品和劳务中进行分配。

4. 经济学家研究社会中个体的选择及这些选择对个体经济状况的影响。例如,个体对产品的选择最终决定了企业生产什么产品,这继而又决定了哪些企业要招工,哪些企业要裁员。

5 经济学家也研究个体的选择对社会所产生的细微的间接的影响。多数美国人的家的归宿是独立的房子还是像欧洲人那样的公寓?国民受教育程度会越来越高吗?博物馆和图书馆以后都得关门歇业吗?城市里的交通堵塞会越来越严重还是会缓解在即呢?这些问题在很大程度上都取决于成千上万个个体的决定。若想回答这些问题必须明白人们如何在稀缺的前提下进行选择。

6.想一想我们社会的目标:全体国民生活水平的提高、清新的空气、良好的治安、好的学校。是什么原因使我们不能实现这所有的目标而使人人都满意呢?你想必已经知道答案了:稀缺。

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