招生专业：英汉同声传译 科目名称： 英汉互译
It is not a coincidence that the global economy is experiencing the most severe case of unemployment during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Unemployment is highly dependent on economic activity; in fact, growth and unemployment can be thought of as two sides of the same coin: when economic activity is high, more production happens overall, and more people are needed to produce the higher amount of goods and services. And when economic activity is low, firms cut jobs and unemployment rises. In that sense, unemployment is countercyclical, meaning that it rises when economic growth is low and vice versa.
But unemployment does not fall in lockstep with an increase in growth. It is more common for businesses to first try to recover from a downturn by having the same number of employees do more work or turn out more products—that is, to increase their productivity. Only as the recovery takes hold would businesses add workers. As a consequence, unemployment may start to come down only well after an economic recovery begins. The phenomenon works in reverse at the start of a downturn, when firms would rather reduce work hours, or impose some pay cuts before they let workers go. Unemployment starts rising only if the downturn is prolonged. Because unemployment follows growth with a delay, it is called a lagging indicator of economic activity. (228 words)
Centuries ago, while Europe, Africa and the Americas were third-world poor, China was not only the most populated, wealthiest, and most sophisticated country in Asia, but on the planet. “The Travels of Marco Polo,” published in 1295, told astonishing tales of enormous banquet rooms with a thousand seats, walls studded with precious stones, and consumers using paper money to purchase mass-printed books from well-stocked bookstores. In Europe, monks hand-copied books while in China thousands of bestsellers rolled off modern printing presses. China’s iron manufacturing industry produced one hundred twenty-ﬁve thousand tons a year—an amount not equaled the West until the twentieth century. Cast iron, the crank handle, deep drilling for natural gas, the belt drive, the ﬁshing reel, chess, matches, brandy, gunpowder, playing cards, the spinning wheel, the umbrella, and countless other inventions—such were the products of China’s inventive genius.
Europeans would eventually borrow Chinese innovations like the plow and experience an agricultural revolution. Similarly, literacy spread as the Europeans exploited paper and printing, both Chinese inventions. The European industrial revolution was built atop Chinese technology.
It seems profoundly difficult for American leaders to acknowledge some sort of cultural equivalency with the Chinese. The only way the Chinese can succeed, such logic goes, is via underhanded, uncivilized methods. President Obama points the finger at the mandarins running the world’s second largest country, accusing them of manipulating U.S.-China trade. Yet the unspoken truth is that China is expert at doing what the president wants Americans to do: “discovering, creating and building the products that are sold all over the world.” Mr. Obama repeats the canard that China’s remarkable economic success is due to sinister currency deflation. But when the Federal Reserve recently announced it would purchase $600 billion dollars of U.S. treasury securities, the German finance minister observed: “What the U.S. accuses China of doing, the U.S.A. is doing by different means . . . it doesn’t add up when the Americans accuse the Chinese of currency manipulation and then, with the help of their central bank’s printing presses, artificially lower the value of the dollar.”
* canard：a false report or piece of news