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TED 贫穷的根源是什么?过低的薪水已经使他们无法正常生存 [复制链接]

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在线jenny
 

只看楼主 倒序阅读 使用道具 楼主  发表于: 2018-12-20
I'd like to start with a simple question: Why do the poor make so many poor decisions? I know it's a harsh question, but take a look at the data. The poor borrow more, save less, smoke more, exercise less, drink more and eat less healthfully. Why?

我想用一个简单的问题开始今天的话题,为什么穷人会做出这么差劲的决定,我知道这是个尖锐的问题,让我们来看一下数据,穷人借钱更多,储蓄更少,抽烟更多,饮酒更多,锻炼更少,而且饮食更为不健康,这是为什么呢?
Well, the standard explanation was once summed up by the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. And she called poverty "a personality defect." A lack of character, basically.
标准的解释是英国首相撒切尔夫人曾经总结过的,她把贫穷称之为“个性缺陷”,基本上就是缺乏某种个性。
Now, I'm sure not many of you would be so blunt. But the idea that there's something wrong with the poor themselves is not restricted to Mrs. Thatcher. Some of you may believe that the poor should be held responsible for their own mistakes. And others may argue that we should help them to make better decisions. But the underlying assumption is the same: there's something wrong with them. If we could just change them, if we could just teach them how to live their lives, if they would only listen.
我相信在座各位可能不会有很多人这么大胆的说,但是‘穷人自身有问题’这个概念,不单是撒切尔夫人提出的,有人可能会认为穷人应该对自己犯的错负责,另一些人可能会说我们应该帮他们做出更好的决定,但是这两种观点背后的假设都是一样的,就是他们是有问题的,如果我们可以改造他们,如果我们可以教导他们如何生活,如果他们能听从教导的话。
And to be honest,this was what I thought for a long time. It was only a few years ago that I discovered that everything I thought I knew about poverty was wrong.It all started when I accidentally stumbled upon a paper by a few American psychologists. They had traveled 8,000 miles, all the way to India, for a fascinating study. And it was an experiment with sugarcane farmers.You should know that these farmers collect about 60 percent of their annual income all at once, right after the harvest. This means that they're relatively poor one part of the year and rich the other.
老实说,有很长一段时间,我也是这么想的,几年前,我才发现,我之前自以为对贫穷的所有了解都是错的。一次我无意中看到几个美国心理学家的论文,才恍然大悟。为了一个异想天开的研究,他们不远万里去到印度,他们用蔗糖农民做了一个实验。请大家了解这些农民年收入的百分之六十是一次性获得的,就在收割季之后,也就是说在一年中的一段时间,他们会比较贫困。
The researchers asked them to do an IQ test before and after the harvest. What they subsequently discovered completely blew my mind. The farmers scored much worse on the test before the harvest. The effects of living in poverty, it turns out, correspond to losing 14 points of IQ. Now, to give you an idea, that's comparable to losing a night's sleep or the effects of alcoholism.
研究人员请他们在收割前后分别做一次智商测试,他们的发现完全颠覆了我的三观,在收割前农民们的智商测试得分要低得多,结果显示,生活贫困的影响会反映为智商测试得分平均低了14分,为了让大家对这个分数有个概念,这就相当于失眠一整夜或酒精的影响。
A few months later, I heard that Eldar Shafir, a professor at Princeton University and one of the authors of this study, was coming over to Holland, where I live. So we met up in Amsterdam to talk about his revolutionary new theory of poverty. And I can sum it up in just two words: scarcity mentality. It turns out that people behave differently when they perceive a thing to be scarce. And what that thing is doesn't much matter --whether it's not enough time, money or food.
几个月后,我听说,普林斯顿大学教授以及本研究的作者之一,艾尔达·夏菲尔要来我住的荷兰了,于是我们在阿姆斯特丹见了面,讨论了他关于贫穷的革命性的新理论,我可以用两个字总结,稀缺性心态,结果显示,当人们认为某个东西稀缺的话,行为方式就会改变,这个东西是什么并不重要,有可能是时间金钱或食物。
You all know this feeling, when you've got too much to do, or when you've put off breaking for lunch and your blood sugar takes a dive. This narrows your focus to your immediate lack -- to the sandwich you've got to have now, the meeting that's starting in five minutes or the bills that have to be paid tomorrow. So the long-term perspective goes out the window.
大家都知道这种感觉,如果你手上有太多事情要做,或是你吃午餐时间推迟了血糖水平急剧下降,这会让你的注意力集中在最直接的缺乏上,一定要立刻吃到三明治,五分钟后就要开的会或是明天必须付清的账单,‘看的长远’此刻早已在九霄云外了。
You could compare it to a new computer that's running 10 heavy programs at once. It gets slower and slower, making errors. Eventually, it freezes -- not because it's a bad computer, but because it has too much to do at once. The poor have the same problem. They're not making dumb decisions because they are dumb, but because they're living in a context in which anyone would make dumb decisions.
可以把这种情况比作一台新电脑,同时运行十个繁重的程序,电脑就会变的越来越慢,会出错,最终会死机,不是因为这台电脑不好,而是因为他一次性要处理太多内容了。穷人的问题是一样的,他们不是因为愚蠢 做出了愚蠢的决定,而是因为在他们生活的那种环境下,任何人都有可能做出愚蠢的决定。
So suddenly I understood why so many of our anti-poverty programs don't work. Investments in education, for example, are often completely ineffective. Poverty is not a lack of knowledge. A recent analysis of 201 studies on the effectiveness of money-management training came to the conclusion that it has almost no effect at all.
因此我突然能够理解,为什么现在很多扶贫项目都没用,例如很多教育投入都是完全无效的,贫穷并不是缺少知识。最近一个关于财富管理训练有效性的201项研究的分析,得到了一个结论,即训练几乎完全无效。
Now, don't get me wrong -- this is not to say the poor don't learn anything -- they can come out wiser for sure. But it's not enough. Or as Professor Shafir told me, "It's like teaching someone to swim and then throwing them in a stormy sea."
请不要误会,不是说穷人什么也学不到,当然,经过训练后,他们会更明智,但这样还不够,或者就像夏菲尔教授跟我说的,“这就像教会人游泳,然后就把他们仍进惊涛骇浪的大海里”。
I still remember sitting there, perplexed. And it struck me that we could have figured this all out decades ago.I mean, these psychologists didn't need any complicated brain scans; they only had to measure the farmer's IQ, and IQ tests were invented more than 100 years ago. Actually, I realized I had read about the psychology of poverty before.
我还记得当时自己坐在那里,十分困惑,让我备受打击的是,我们原本在几十年前就应该想明白这件事,心理学家不需要做那些复杂的脑部扫描,只需要测评农夫的智商,而智商测评早在一百多年前就有了,实际上,我发现自己以前就已经看过关于贫穷的心理学。
George Orwell, one of the greatest writers who ever lived, experienced poverty firsthand in the 1920s. "The essence of poverty," he wrote back then, is that it "annihilates the future." And he marveled at, quote, "How people take it for granted they have the right to preach at you and pray over you as soon as your income falls below a certain level."
乔治﹒奥威尔是在世最伟大的作家之一,他在上世纪二十年代曾亲身经历过贫穷,当时他这样写道‘贫穷的本质’在于他‘消灭了未来’,用他的话来说,他对下面这种事很惊讶,“一旦你的收入降到某个水平以下,人们就非常理所当然地认为,他们有权向你说教,为你祈祷”,直到今天,这段话仍能引起共鸣。当然了,主要问题在于,怎么办呢?
Now, those words are every bit as resonant today. The big question is, of course: What can be done? Modern economists have a few solutions up their sleeves. We could help the poor with their paperwork or send them a text message to remind them to pay their bills. This type of solution is hugely popular with modern politicians, mostly because, well, they cost next to nothing. These solutions are, I think, a symbol of this erain which we so often treat the symptoms, but ignore the underlying cause.
现代经济学家跃跃欲试几个方案,我们可以帮穷人做文件工作,或者给他们发短信提醒他们付账单,现在政治家很喜欢用这类方案,主要是因为成本几乎没有。我认为这些方案就是我们这个时代的一个标志,也就是我们常常只管治标,却忽略了治本。
So I wonder: Why don't we just change the context in which the poor live? Or, going back to our computer analogy: Why keep tinkering around with the software when we can easily solve the problem by installing some extra memory instead? At that point, Professor Shafir responded with a blank look. And after a few seconds, he said, "Oh, I get it. You mean you want to just hand out more money to the poor to eradicate poverty. Uh, sure, that'd be great. But I'm afraid that brand of left-wing politics you've got in Amsterdam -- it doesn't exist in the States."
所以我不禁想,为什么我们不去改变穷人的生活环境呢?或者,再说回刚才讲的电脑类比理论,既然增加内存就能简单解决的问题,何必非要不停地修改软件呢?在那当下,夏菲尔教授的回答是茫然的眼神,过了几秒钟,他说,“我懂了,你是说你想直接给穷人钱来根除贫穷,当然了,这样倒是挺好。但我恐怕你在阿姆斯特丹得到的这种左翼政治思想在美国不存在呢”。
But is this really an old-fashioned, leftist idea? I remembered reading about an old plan -- something that has been proposed by some of history's leading thinkers. The philosopher Thomas More first hinted at it in his book, "Utopia," more than 500 years ago. And its proponents have spanned the spectrum from the left to the right, from the civil rights campaigner, Martin Luther King, to the economist Milton Friedman. And it's an incredibly simple idea: basic income guarantee.
可这真的是过时的左翼想法吗?我记得曾经看过一个老计划,是历史上顶尖的思想家曾经提出来的,早在五百年前的哲学家托马斯﹒莫尔,就率先在其著作《乌托邦》中提出了,这个理论的支持者左翼和右翼人士都有,从民权运动家马丁﹒路德﹒金到经济学家米尔顿﹒弗里德曼,这是一个极其简单的理论:基本所得保障理论。
What it is? Well, that's easy. It's a monthly grant, enough to pay for your basic needs: food, shelter, education. It's completely unconditional, so no one's going to tell you what you have to do for it, and no one's going to tell you what you have to do with it. The basic income is not a favor, but a right. There's absolutely no stigma attached.
很简单,就是每个月能保证你基本需求的收入,食物、住所、教育,完全是无条件的,因此没人会跟你说必须做到什么才能得到,没人会跟你说,你必须用这个来做什么,基本收入不是恩惠而是权力,绝对没有任何附加条件。
So as I learned about the true nature of poverty, I couldn't stop wondering: Is this the idea we've all been waiting for? Could it really be that simple? And in the three years that followed, I read everything I could find about basic income. I researched the dozens of experiments that have been conducted all over the globe, and it didn't take long before I stumbled upon a story of a town that had done it -- had actually eradicated poverty. But then ... nearly everyone forgot about it.
在我了解了贫穷的真相以后,我不禁想知道,这是我们所有人一直在等待的理论吗?真的会这么简单吗?随后三年,我把所有能找到的关于基本所得的资料都看了,研究了全球范围内所做的数十个实验,没过多久,我就发现了一个小镇的故事,这个小镇做到了真的根除了贫穷,可是另一方面,几乎所有人都忘了这个故事。
This story starts in Dauphin, Canada. In 1974, everybody in this small town was guaranteed a basic income,ensuring that no one fell below the poverty line. At the start of the experiment, an army of researchers descended on the town. For four years, all went well. But then a new government was voted into power, and the new Canadian cabinet saw little point to the expensive experiment.
故事发生在加拿大多芬,1974年这个小镇里的每一个人,都得到了基本所得保障,确保了所有人都不会落入贫困线以下,在这个实验的最初,一队研究人员来到小镇,四年里一切顺利,可是后来选出了一个新政府执政,新任加拿大内阁认为这个昂贵的实验毫无意义。
So when it became clear there was no money left to analyze the results, the researchers decided to pack their files away in some 2,000 boxes.Twenty-five years went by, and then Evelyn Forget, a Canadian professor, found the records. For three years, she subjected the data to all manner of statistical analysis, and no matter what she tried, the results were the same every time: the experiment had been a resounding success.
因此最后竟然没有资金来对实验结果进行分析,于是研究人员把档案用两千个箱子收起来。二十五年过去后,加拿大一位教授伊芙琳﹒法尔热,发现了这些记录,她花了三年时间,把这些数据进行了各种类型的统计分析,无论她怎么试,每一次的结果都是一样的,这个实验十分成功。
Evelyn Forget discovered that the people in Dauphin had not only become richer but also smarter and healthier. The school performance of kids improved substantially. The hospitalization rate decreased by as much as 8.5 percent. Domestic violence incidents were down, as were mental health complaints. And people didn't quit their jobs. The only ones who worked a little less were new mothers and students -- who stayed in school longer. Similar results have since been found in countless other experiments around the globe, from the US to India.
伊芙琳﹒法尔热发现,多芬的人民不仅变得更为富有,还更加聪明和健康,孩子在学校的成绩大幅提高,住院率则下降了百分之八点五,家庭暴力事件下降,心理健康投诉也下降了,而且人们并没有辞掉工作,唯一稍微减少了一点劳动的是初为人母的女性和学生,因为他们在学校里待的时间更多了。之后,全球范围内,无数的实验都得到了类似的结果,从美国到印度。
So ... here's what I've learned. When it comes to poverty, we, the rich, should stop pretending we know best.We should stop sending shoes and teddy bears to the poor, to people we have never met. And we should get rid of the vast industry of paternalistic bureaucrats when we could simply hand over their salaries to the poor they're supposed to help.
所以我了解到,当说到贫穷问题时,我们这些富人应该停止假装自己最懂,我们应该停止给那些我们从没见过的穷人送鞋子和玩具,我们应该消除惯有的家长式官僚主义作风,我们可以直接把他们的薪水转发给他们本该帮助的穷人。
Because, I mean, the great thing about money is that people can use it to buy things they need instead of things that self-appointed experts think they need. Just imagine how many brilliant scientists and entrepreneurs and writers, like George Orwell, are now withering away in scarcity. Imagine how much energy and talent we would unleash if we got rid of poverty once and for all.
因为金钱最大的好处就是让人们能买自己需要的东西,而不是那些自以为是的专家认为他们需要的东西。想想看,有多少杰出的科学家企业家以及像乔治﹒奥威尔那样的作家,现在正因稀缺而消失。想想看,如果我们能一次性永久根除贫穷,那么我们能释放出多少能量和才智。
I believe that a basic income would work like venture capital for the people. And we can't afford not to do it, because poverty is hugely expensive. Just look at the cost of child poverty in the US, for example. It's estimated at 500 billion dollars each year, in terms of higher health care spending, higher dropout rates, and more crime. Now, this is an incredible waste of human potential.
我认为基本所得 对人们所起的作用就像风险投资,而我们承受不起不这样做的后果,因为贫穷非常昂贵,就比如说美国因为贫困儿童所产生的费用吧,由于不断增加的医疗费用、辍学率以及犯罪率,每年预计要在这上面花费五千亿美金,这是人类潜能惊人的浪费。
But let's talk about the elephant in the room. How could we ever afford a basic income guarantee? Well, it's actually a lot cheaper than you may think. What they did in Dauphin is finance it with a negative income tax.This means that your income is topped up as soon as you fall below the poverty line. And in that scenario,according to our economists' best estimates, for a net cost of 175 billion -- a quarter of US military spending, one percent of GDP -- you could lift all impoverished Americans above the poverty line. You could actually eradicate poverty. Now, that should be our goal.
再来说说那个显而易见的问题吧,我们如何负担基本所得保障呢?其实费用可能比大家想象的要低得多,多芬采取的措施是实行负所得税,也就是说,一旦你落入贫困线以下,就补充你的收入,如果实行这样的措施,根据我们的经济学家“最好的预估”,净成本为一千七百五十亿美元,仅为美国军费支出的四分之一,GDP的百分之一,就能把所有贫困的美国人拉到贫困线以上,可以真正地根除贫穷。这应该是我们的目标。
The time for small thoughts and little nudges is past. I really believe that the time has come for radical new ideas, and basic income is so much more than just another policy. It is also a complete rethink of what work actually is. And in that sense, it will not only free the poor, but also the rest of us.
思想局限只做小小推动的时代已经过去了,我坚信这个时代要引来彻底的新思路,基本所得不仅仅是一项政策,更是对工作真正的意义的全新思考。从这个意义上来说,它不仅能解放穷人,还能解放其他人。
Nowadays, millions of people feel that their jobs have little meaning or significance. A recent poll among 230,000 employees in 142 countries found that only 13 percent of workers actually like their job. And another poll found that as much as 37 percent of British workers have a job that they think doesn't even need to exist. It's like Brad Pitt says in "Fight Club," "Too often we're working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need."
如今数百万人觉得自己的工作毫无意义,最近有一项对142个国家二十三万名雇员的调研显示,仅有百分之十三的员工真心喜欢自己的工作,另一项调研发现有百分之三十七的英国工人认为他们所做的工作毫无存在的必要。就像布拉德﹒皮特在《搏击俱乐部》里说的“我们常做讨厌的工作,然后赚钱买不需要的东西”。
Now, don't get me wrong -- I'm not talking about the teachers and the garbagemen and the care workers here. If they stopped working, we'd be in trouble. I'm talking about all those well-paid professionals with excellent résumés who earn their money doing ... strategic transactor peer-to-peer meetings while brainstorming the value add-on of disruptive co-creation in the network society.
请不要误会,我在这里说的不是教师、清洁工还有护工,如果他们不再工作,我们就麻烦了,我说是那些简历很好看从事着高收入职业的人,他们赚钱是靠在关系网社会中在集思广益讨论破坏性共创的附件价值时,举办策略性交易点对点会议或之类的事情。
Or something like that. Just imagine again how much talent we're wasting, simply because we tell our kids they'll have to "earn a living." Or think of what a math whiz working at Facebook lamented a few years ago:"The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads."
再次想想看我们浪费了多少才能,仅仅因为我们跟孩子们说他们将必须‘讨生活’,或是想想几年前一个在脸书工作的数学天才的哀叹,“我这一代最优秀的头脑都在考虑让人们如何点击广告”。
I'm a historian. And if history teaches us anything, it is that things could be different. There is nothing inevitable about the way we structured our society and economy right now. Ideas can and do change the world. And I think that especially in the past few years, it has become abundantly clear that we cannot stick to the status quo -- that we need new ideas.
我是个历史学家,如果说历史教会了我们什么,那就是事情是可以改变的。如今我们构建社会和经济的方式,没有什么是必然的,思想可以而且依然改变了世界。我认为,特别是在过去几年,情况已经十分清楚了,我们不能在现状里固步自封,我们需要新思想。
I know that many of you may feel pessimistic about a future of rising inequality, xenophobia and climate change. But it's not enough to know what we're against. We also need to be for something. Martin Luther King didn't say, "I have a nightmare."He had a dream.(Applause)
我们知道很多人可能会感到悲观,认为未来不平等会加剧,排外和气候变化会更为恶劣,但只是了解我们面临的困难是不够的,我们还需要做好准备,马丁﹒路德﹒金说的可不是“我有个噩梦”,他有个梦想。
So ... here's my dream: I believe in a future where the value of your work is not determined by the size of your paycheck, but by the amount of happiness you spread and the amount of meaning you give. I believe in a future where the point of education is not to prepare you for another useless job but for a life well-lived. I believe in a future where an existence without poverty is not a privilege but a right we all deserve. So here we are. Here we are. We've got the research, we've got the evidence and we've got the means.
所以,这就是我的梦想,我相信未来你的工作价值不再由薪水所决定,而是由你传播出去的快乐和你所赋予的意义所决定,我相信未来教育的意义不再是培养你去做无用的工作而是培养你度过美好的人生,我相信未来没有贫困的生活不再是一种特权,而是所有人都享有的权利。
Now, more than 500 years after Thomas More first wrote about a basic income, and 100 years after George Orwell discovered the true nature of poverty, we all need to change our worldview, because poverty is not a lack of character. Poverty is a lack of cash.
在这里,我们有了研究有了证据,我们还有了方法,在托马斯﹒莫尔第一次写了基本所得的五百多年后,在乔治﹒奥威尔发现了贫穷的真相的一百多年后,我们都需要改变自己的世界观,因为贫穷不是缺少性格,贫穷是缺钱。
Thank you.(Applause)
谢谢!
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