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制造业崇拜的愚蠢 Our fetish for making things fails to understand ‘real work’

来源:www.en369.cn  作者:英语作文网  时间:2012-12-03  

制造业崇拜的愚蠢 Our fetish for making things fails to understand ‘real work’

You can buy a business suit by George at Asda for £29. It will be practical; ready to wear, polyester blended, machine washable. You can pay 10 times as much at Marks and Spencer for Italian tailoring and good quality wool fabric. And you can pay 10 times as much again for a bespoke suit from Savile Row. You need to decide whether you want a stylish suit, or just a suit; a customised suit, or just a good-looking suit. You need not pay much for a suit but you will pay a lot for style, and a lot more for personalisation.
你能在Asda用29英镑买一套西装。它实用、现成、聚酯混纺,可机洗。你可以在玛莎百货(Marks and Spencer)以高出10倍的价格购买一件出自意大利裁缝之手、采用上乘羊毛面料的西装。你还能用比这再高出10倍的价钱,在萨维尔街(Savile Row)定制一套西装。你需要做出决定:你是需要一套时尚的西装,还是只是一套西装;是定制西装,还是仅仅是一套好看的西装。你不需要花很多钱就能买上一套西装,但你得花不少钱买到设计感,花多得多的钱买到个性化。
You – or your government or insurer – will pay a pound or two for a pill and many times that for a specialist drug, such as a modern cancer treatment. Generally, the ingredients will cost a few pence at most. You might pay up to £10m for an aircraft engine, which would fit in a box the size of a small sofa. You are not paying for the materials.
你——或者你的政府或保险公司——会花上一、两英镑买某种药片,而专业药要贵上很多倍,例如现代抗癌药。一般来说,这些药物的组分最多值几便士。你可能要花费1000万英镑的高价购买一部飞机引擎,它将装在一个小沙发大小的箱子里。你付出的并不是原材料的成本。
The rear cover of the iPhone tells you it is designed in California and assembled in China. The phone sells, in the absence of carrier subsidy, for about $700. Purchased components – clever pieces of design such as the tiny flash drive and the small but high-performing camera – may account for as much as $200 of this. The largest supplier of parts is Samsung, Apple’s principal rival in the smartphone market. “Assembled in China” costs about $20. The balance represents the return to “designed in California”, which is why Apple is such a profitable company.
iPhone后盖上写道,它在加州设计,在中国组装。在没有运营商补贴的情况下,这部手机的售价为700美元左右。采购的零配件——设计精巧的组件,例如小型闪存和高性能的小型摄像头——可能占到其中的200美元。最大的零配件供应商是三星(Samsung),后者是苹果(Apple)在智能手机市场上的主要竞争对手。“在中国组装”的成本为20美元左右。售价中的其余部分代表着“加州设计”的回报,这就是苹果盈利能力如此之强的原因。
Manufacturing fetishism – the idea that manufacturing is the central economic activity and everything else is somehow subordinate – is deeply ingrained in human thinking. The perception that only tangible objects represent real wealth and only physical labour real work was probably formed in the days when economic activity was the constant search for food, fuel and shelter.
制造业拜物教思想——这种观念认为制造业是核心的经济活动,其他活动多多少少都是次要的——深深地植入人类思维。只有看得见、摸得着的物品才代表真正的财富,只有体力劳动才是真正的工作的观念,或许是在经济活动就是不断搜寻食物、燃料和居所的时期形成的。
A particularly silly expression of manufacturing fetishism can be heard from the many business people who equate wealth creation with private sector production. They applaud the activities of making the pills you pop and processing the popcorn you eat in the interval. The doctors who prescribe the pills, the scientists who establish that the pills work, the actors who draw you to the performance and the writers whose works they bring to life; these are all somehow parasitic on the pill grinders and corn poppers.
我们从很多商界人士那里听到对制造业拜物教尤为愚蠢的表达方式,他们把财富创造与私营部门生产等同起来。他们为生产你服用的药丸,加工你在演出休息时食用的爆米花喝彩。开处方的医生、确定药丸有效的科学家、吸引你去看表演的演员,以及提供剧本的编剧,似乎都成了依附于药丸研磨机和爆米花机的寄生虫。
When you look at the value chain of manufactured goods we consume today, you quickly appreciate how small a proportion of the value of output is represented by the processes of manufacturing and assembly. Most of what you pay reflects the style of the suit, the design of the iPhone, the precision of the assembly of the aircraft engine, the painstaking pharmaceutical research, the quality assurance that tells you products really are what they claim to be.
如果你考察一下我们现在消费的制成品的价值链,你会很快明白,制造和组装过程在产出价值中所占的比例有多小。你花的大部分钱,都是在反映西装的式样、iPhone的设计、飞机引擎的构造精度、细致的制药研究,以及质量保证(告诉你这些产品确实像他们说的那样好)。
Physical labour incorporated in manufactured goods is a cheap commodity in a globalised world. But the skills and capabilities that turn that labour into products of extraordinary complexity and sophistication are not. The iPhone is a manufactured product, but its value to the user is as a crystallisation of services.
在一个全球化的世界里,制成品所包含的体力劳动是一种廉价商品。但将这些劳动转变为具有高度设计和技术含量的产品所需的技巧和能力并不廉价。iPhone属于制成品,但其对用户的价值却是服务的结晶。
Many of those who talk about the central economic importance of manufactured goods do so from an understandable concern for employment and the trade balance. Where will the jobs come from in a service-based economy, manufacturing fetishists ask? From doing here the things that cannot be done better elsewhere, either because of the particularity of the skills they require, or because these activities can only be performed close to home. Manufacturing was once a principal source of low-skilled employment but this can no longer be true in advanced economies.
很多人谈论制成品的核心经济重要性,是出于对就业和贸易平衡的担心,这是可以理解的。制造业拜物教徒们会问:在一个以服务业为基础的经济中,就业将来自何处?它们将来自做那些在其他地方不可能做得更好的事情,要么是因为它们所需技能的独特性,要么是因为这些活动只能在本地进行。制造业曾经是低技能就业的主要来源,但在发达经济体,这种情况已不可能存在。
Most unskilled jobs in developed countries are necessarily in personal services. Workers in China can assemble your iPhone but they cannot serve you lunch, collect your refuse or bathe your grandmother. Anyone who thinks these are not “real jobs” does not understand the labour they involve. There is a subtle gender issue here: work that has historically mostly been undertaken by women at home –like care and cooking – struggles to be regarded as “real work”.
在发达国家,多数不需要技能的工作必然位于个人服务领域。中国工人可以组装你的iPhone,但他们无法为你提供午餐、给你收垃圾或是为你的祖母洗澡。认为这些并非“真正的工作”的人,不理解其中所包含的劳动。这里存在一个微妙的性别问题:那些在历史上大多由女性在家承担的工作——例如护理和烹饪——都很难被视为“真正的工作”。
Where will exports come from, they ask? From exporting “designed in California” or “tailored in Savile Row”. Ask Apple, or your tailor, how they derive their earnings.
他们问道:出口将来自哪里?他们将来自出口那些“加州设计”或“在萨维尔街剪裁”的商品。问问苹果,或者问问你那做西装的师傅,他们的收入是如何得来的。

译者:梁艳裳
 

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