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刮奖有惊喜,还能创造一个更好的公民社会

更新时间:2016-10-13 12:00:45 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

For Better Citizenship, Scratch and Win
刮奖有惊喜,还能创造一个更好的公民社会

China, with its largely cash economy, has a huge problem with tax evasion. Not just grand tax evasion, but the everyday “no receipt, please” kind, even though there have been harsh penalties: Before 2011, some forms of tax evasion were even punishable by death.

以现金为主的中国经济面临巨大的逃税问题。这其中有大宗的逃税案,也有日常生活中那种“不提供发票”式的逃税,尽管针对逃税有严厉的惩罚措施:2011年以前,进行某些形式的逃税甚至可以判处死刑。

The country needed a different approach. So what did it do to get people to pay sales tax?

中国需要一个不一样的办法。那么,为了让人们缴纳销售税,它采取了哪些措施呢?

A. Hired a force of inspectors to raid restaurants and stores to catch people skipping the receipt, accompanied by big fines and prison terms.

A. 招募一批检查员,对餐馆和商铺进行突击检查,抓不开发票的人现行,对涉事人员处以高额罚款和徒刑。

B. Started an “It’s a citizen’s duty to denounce” exhortation campaign.

B. 发起一场“公民有义务检举”的劝诫运动。

C. Installed cameras to photograph every transaction.

C. 安装摄像头,对每一笔交易进行拍照。

D. Turned receipts into scratch-off lottery games.

D. 把发票变成刮刮乐一样的彩票游戏。

One of these things is not like the other, and that’s the answer: D. Instead of punishing under-the-table transactions, China wisely decided to encourage legal transactions by starting a receipt lottery. Many places have done this — Brazil, Chile, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia and Taiwan, among others. In Taiwan, for example, every month the tax authorities post lottery numbers; match a few numbers for a small prize, or all of them to win more than $300,000.

这几项中有一项和其他的都不一样,它就是答案D。中国不惩罚不法交易,而是明智地决定用一种发票彩票来鼓励合法交易。很多地方都是这么做的,比如巴西、智利、马耳他、葡萄牙、斯洛伐克和台湾等。在台湾,税务机构每月都会公布彩票号码,宣布一些号码中了小奖,或是所有号码共同赢得逾30万美元(约合200万元人民币)。

China took it further. Customers need not store their receipts and wait until the end of the month to see if they’ve won money. Gratification is instant: Each receipt, known as a fapiao, is a scratch-off lottery ticket. People still game the system, but much less. The fapiao system has greatly raised collections of sales tax, business income tax and total tax. And it’s cheap to administer: one study found that new tax revenue totaled 30 times (PDF) the cost of the lottery prizes.

中国更进了一步。消费者无需将发票保留到月底,直到那时才知道自己是否中奖了。他们立即就能感受到中奖的乐趣:每张发票都是一张刮刮乐彩票。这种制度依然会有人钻空子,但不像以前那么猖獗。这种发票制度极大地增加了消费税、企业所得税和总税收收入,且管理成本低廉:一项研究发现,新的税收收入总额是彩票奖金成本的30倍。

When a receipt is a lottery ticket, people ask for a receipt. They hope to get money, but just as important, they like to play games. Those axioms apply around the globe.

当发票就是彩票时,人们会主动要求开发票。他们希望中奖,但同样重要的是,他们想玩游戏。这些原理全球适用。

“We have groups that say: we can give out an incentive to our customers worth $15,” said Aron Ezra, chief executive of OfferCraft, an American company that designs games for businesses. “They could do that and have everyone get an incentive for $15. But they’d get better results for the same average price by having variability — some get $10, some get $100.” The lottery makes it exciting.

“我们有好多公司说:我们可以给消费者提供价值15美元的奖励,”为企业设计游戏的美国公司OfferCraft的首席执行官阿伦·埃兹拉(Aron Ezra)说。“它们可以这么做,让每个人都得到15美元的奖励。但通过设计出差异,一些人是10美元,一些人是100美元,它们可以取得更好的效果。”彩票抽奖会让事情变得激动人心。

The huge popularity of lotteries shows this. Another example is the Save to Win program, which credit unions are using in seven states. Microscopic interest rates weren’t enough to get low-income customers to save. So instead, for every $25 they put into a savings account, depositors get one lottery entry. They can win a grand prize — in some states, $10,000 — or $100 prizes every month.

彩票的大受欢迎证明了这一点。另外一个例子是被七个州的信用社采用的存钱有奖(Save to Win)活动。低利率不足以让低收入消费者存钱。于是,储户每向一个储蓄账户中存入25美元,便可获得一次彩票抽奖的机会。他们每月可能会中一项大奖——在有些州是1万美元——或是100美元的小奖。

What else could lotteries do?

彩票抽奖还能做什么?

Los Angeles and Philadelphia have been the sites of experiments to increase dismal voter turnout in local elections by choosing a voter at random to win a large cash prize. In May 2015, the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project in Los Angeles offered $25,000 to a random voter in one district during a school board election, in a project named Voteria.

洛杉矶和费城做过一些实验,内容是通过随机选出一名选民作为一大笔现金奖励的获奖人这种方式,来提高当地选举中令人沮丧的投票率。2015年5月,在一个名为Voteria的项目中,洛杉矶西南选民等级教育项目(Southwest Voter Registration Education Project)随机向某区的学校董事会选举中的一名选民发放了2.5万美元。

What effect did Voteria have? (More than one can apply)

Voteria产生了什么影响?(多选)

A. The idea created a lot of outrage.

A. 引发了大批民众的愤慨。

B. It increased turnout by 46 percent among residents who had heard of it.

B. 让听说此事的民众的投票率上升了46%。

C. It decreased turnout; offering money made people less willing to do their civic duty.

C. 导致投票率下降,提供金钱降低了人们履行公民义务的意愿。

D. The idea was declared illegal by the courts.

D. 被法院宣布违法。

The answers are A and B.

答案是A和B。

Many commenters hated Voteria. “This gimmick perverts the motivation to vote,” said The Los Angeles Times. But it had a large effect on turnout among residents who knew of it, according to a study led by Fernando Guerra of the Center for the Study Of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University. Oh, and it made a very startled Ivan Rojas, a security guard, $25,000 richer.

很多评论人士厌恶Voteria。“这种把戏扭曲了投票的动机,”《洛杉矶时报》(Los Angeles Times)称。但是,据洛约拉马里蒙特大学(Loyola Marymount University)洛杉矶研究中心(Center for the Study Of Los Angeles)的费尔南多·格拉(Fernando Guerra)领导的一项研究称,它对知道它的居民的投票率产生了很大影响。哦,它还让保安伊万·罗哈斯(Ivan Rojas)非常吃惊地获得了2.5万美元。

Guerra told a local radio program that Voteria was unique among nonpartisan efforts to increase turnout. “We don’t have anything that’s been as successful as this, at least that political science literature has been able to capture,” he said.

格拉在当地一个电台节目中表示,在没有任何党派倾向的增加投票率的努力方面,Voteria独领风骚。“没有其他方法像它这么成功,至少政治学文献中没有记载,”他说。

After Los Angeles conducted Voteria, The Philadelphia Citizen, a newspaper that publishes a column titled “Ideas We Should Steal,” stole it. The paper got a $10,000 grant from the foundation of its chief investor to create a Philly Voteria for the mayor’s race. “Yes, we’re that desperate,” said The Citizen. Among people who were aware of the idea, turnout increased by 5 percent.

在洛杉矶实行Voteria后,《费城公民报》(The Philadelphia Citizen)——该报有个专栏叫《我们应该盗用的主意》(Ideas We Should Steal)——就“盗用”了它。该报从其主要投资者的基金会争取到1万美元奖金,为市长选举设立了Philly Voteria。“是的,我们就是这么迫切,”《费城公民报》称。在知道这个项目的人中,投票率增加了5%。

Voteria raised a lot of issues. In Los Angeles it was selectively applied in a largely Latino district. It is a gimmick — it draws attention to voter alienation, but offers no real solution. And were the lottery-motivated voters informed voters, or did they pull a random lever?

Voteria引发了很多争议。在洛杉矶,它被故意选在一个以拉丁裔为主的区域实行。它是一个把戏——它引发了人们对选民疏远的关注,但没有给出真正的解决方案。那些为抽奖而投票的人是了解情况的选民吗?他们会不会制造了一种随机性?

A counterargument is that millions of dollars are spent in elections — including public money in many places — in ways that alienate and misinform voters. Why is a lottery worse?

反方论点是,有成百上千万美元花在选举上——在很多地方用的是公款——只是起到疏远和误导选民的作用。为什么抽奖更恶劣呢?

Sweden’s Speed Camera Lottery, instead of just ticketing speeders, also rewarded drivers going at or below the speed limit. They could enter a lottery with a grand prize of $3,000 — prize money culled from the proceeds of speeding tickets.

瑞典的测速摄像抽奖(Speed Camera Lottery)不仅向超速者罚款,而且奖励那些在限速范围内行驶的司机。他们可以参加最高奖金为3000美元的抽奖——奖金来自超速罚款。

What were the results?

结果如何呢?

A. The accident rate went up, as drivers slowed down too suddenly.

A. 事故率上升,因为司机们减速太突然。

B. Average speed in a 30 k.p.h. (18.6 m.p.h.) zone dropped from 32 k.p.h. (20 m.p.h.) to 25 k.p.h. (15.5 m.p.h.).

B. 在每小时限速30公里的区域,平均车速从每小时32公里降至25公里。

C. It had no effect.

C. 没有作用。

D. The average speed dropped and stayed down, even after the lottery ended.

D. 平均车速下降,并保持稳定——即使在抽奖结束后。

It’s B.

答案是B。

The idea came from Kevin Richardson, an American entertainment industry executive and game producer. The concept itself was the result of a game: Richardson had won a contest, sponsored by Volkswagen, to devise enjoyable methods to help people change their behavior.

这个主意来自美国娱乐业高管和游戏设计师凯文·理查森(Kevin Richardson)。这个概念本身也是游戏的结果:理查森赢得了大众汽车(Volkswagen)赞助的一场关于设计有趣方法帮助人们改变行为的竞赛。

But even though the average speed dropped while the camera was up, the effect quickly vanished when the experiment ended. Sweden tried the camera in five other places. On average, speed was reduced by 8 percent, which would cut fatal accidents by 32 percent. Swedish traffic officials concluded that while the lottery was effective, it would have to be in use continuously.

不过,虽然在摄像头使用期间,平均时速降低了,但实验结束后,效果很快就消失了。瑞典在另外五个地方也试用了这种摄像机。车速平均降低8%,那会减少32%的致命车祸。瑞典交通官员认为,虽然抽奖有效,但必须持续使用。

But Sweden didn’t expand or continue the speed lottery, and no one else has used it. Richardson has a theory about why: “Sweden was very open to it because their goal is to achieve zero traffic deaths,” he said. “While in the U.S.A. and other countries, giving tickets is a revenue-generating thing and the idea of getting rid of it would be abhorrent to somebody.”

但是瑞典没有推广或继续使用车速抽奖,其他国家都没有尝试。理查森对其中的原因有自己的理解:“瑞典对它的态度很开放,因为他们的目标是实现零交通死亡事故,”他说,“而在美国或其他国家,开罚单是一个收入来源,完全不用开罚单会遭到某些人抵触。”

Like any scheme to pay people to do things they should be doing anyway, lotteries have their critics.

和所有通过付钱来促使人们做他们本就该做的事的项目一样,抽奖也招致批评。

One fear is that enforcing norms with money could make things worse: if people are rewarded for good behavior, they tend to think of it as an economic choice and not a moral one. That can weaken the social norms that are often a more powerful enforcer of rules.

一种担心是,用钱来执行规定会让事情变得更糟:如果人们因表现良好而得到奖励,那么他们会认为那是一种经济选择,而非道德选择。那可能会削弱社会规范,后者在迫使人们服从规则方面往往更强大。

On the other hand, people are fined for bad behavior all the time. Rewarding them for good behavior is essentially the same action, in reverse. Insurance companies have good driver discounts, for example. That’s just a more pleasant way to say that they charge bad drivers more.

而另一方面,人们一直在因不良行为遭受经济处罚。因良好行为而获得奖励在性质上跟处罚是一样的,只是方向相反。比如,保险公司给予好驾驶员折扣。这只是用一种更和气的方式表示,他们会向糟糕的驾驶员收取更多的费用。

One big market for lotteries is in promoting health. Such lotteries have been used to get people to:

抽奖的一个大市场是促进健康。此类抽奖被用于促使人们去:

A. Be screened for tuberculosis.

A. 扫描肺结核。

B. Have safer sex.

B. 进行更安全的性爱。

C. Keep their medical appointments.

C. 遵守跟医生的预约。

D. All of the above.

D. 以上全部。

It’s D, of course.

答案当然是D。

Health-related lotteries aren’t new. In 1957, Glasgow held a mass X-ray campaign to diagnose tuberculosis. Health officials aimed to X-ray 250,000 people and in the end got three times that many. One reason for the enthusiasm: a weekly prize draw. A lovely vintage newsreel reported on the campaign.

与健康相关的抽奖不是新鲜事。1957年,格拉斯哥为诊断肺结核进行了一项民众X光扫描活动。卫生官员们想扫描25万人,结果来检查的人是这个数字的三倍。群众热情的一个原因是:每周抽奖。一部可爱的老新闻片报道了这场活动。

More than 50 years later, researchers set up a lottery among young adults in Lesotho, designed to promote safe sex practices. Every four months the subjects were tested for two sexually transmitted diseases, syphilis and trichonomiasis. A negative test got them entered into a lottery to win either $50 (equivalent to a week’s average salary) or $100. The idea was to see if incentives to reduce the spread of syphilis would also protect against HIV.

50多年后,研究者们在莱索托的年轻成年人中设立了一个抽奖活动,旨在宣传安全性行为。每四个月,研究对象参与两项性传播疾病检查:梅毒和滴虫病。如果化验结果为阴性,可以参加抽奖,赢取50美元(相当于一周的平均工资)或100美元。此举的目的是验证减少梅毒传播的激励手段是否也能保护人们免于感染HIV。

The results were significant — a 21.4 percent reduction in the rate of new H.I.V. infections, and a 3.4 percent lower prevalence rate of HIV in the treatment group after two years. And the effect was lasting — the gains persisted a year after the experiment ended. The lottery worked in large part because it was most attractive to those most at risk: many people who take sexual risks also enjoy taking monetary risks, and might be eager to play a lottery.

其成效颇为显著——两年后,实验组中的新增艾滋病毒感染率下降了21.4%,艾滋病患病率下降了3.4%。而且这种成效颇为持久,一直持续到实验结束一年后。抽奖之所以能起作用,在很大程度上是因为它对那些最爱冒险的人最有吸引力:许多在性行为方面冒险的人,同样也乐于在金钱方面冒险,他们可能更渴望玩抽奖游戏。

The authors wrote in a blog post: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first H.I.V. prevention intervention focusing on sexual behavior changes (as opposed to medical interventions) to have been demonstrated to lead to a significant reduction in H.I.V. incidence, the ultimate objective of any H.I.V. prevention intervention.”

研究者们在一篇博客中写道:“据我们所知,这是聚焦于改变性行为(而非进行药物干预)的预防性干预方法头一次被证明可以显著降低艾滋病发病率,达到艾滋病预防性干预的终极目标。”

Back in America, almost every medical clinic has a big no-show problem. All patients suffer, because to compensate for no-shows, clinics book multiple patients for the same slot — hence the 12-minute doctor’s appointment.

在美国,病人放弃预约几乎对每家医疗诊所来说都是一个大问题。所有病人都要付出代价,因为为了抵消放弃预约的影响,诊所会把许多病人都约到同一时段——因此医生问诊时间只有12分钟。

OfferCraft worked with one clinic where the no-show rate was 50 percent, said Ezra. The clinic had tried fining people when they didn’t come to their appointments. This increased attendance slightly, but patients hated it, and it was very difficult to collect the fines.

埃兹拉说,OfferCraft曾为一家弃约率一度高达50%的诊所服务。那之前,该诊所曾试着对不在预约时间现身的病人处以罚款。出席率稍微提高了一些,但病人厌恶这种做法,而且罚款也很难收上来。

So the clinic set up a lottery. When patients checked out and made their follow-up appointment, they were invited to play a Spinning Wheel game. A prize was certain, but they didn’t know if they’d won a $10, $50 or $150 gift card. To find out and receive their prize, they had to keep their appointment.

所以这家诊所开设了抽奖活动。病人如约来看病并预约下一次门诊之后,会获邀玩一场轮盘(Spinning Wheel)游戏。得奖是肯定的,但他们不知道自己赢的是10美元、50美元,还是150美元的礼品卡。为了知道得奖的结果和领到奖品,他们必须再次如约上门。

The no-show rate dropped to below 30 percent.

诊所的毁约率由此降到了30%以下。

Why not just hold a lottery for $150? “In a traditional lottery system lots of people assume, well, I’m not going to win,” said Ezra. “The results are stronger when you know you’ve won something.”

为什么不只设一个150美元的奖项呢?“在传统的抽奖活动中,许多人都觉得,嗯,我不会赢的,”埃兹拉说。“当你知道自己中了奖,但不知道是什么的时候,效果更好。”

Games can provide powerful incentives for just about any behavior. (And perhaps the quizzes in this column kept you reading to the end.) So let’s play one more game: Tweet your best ideas for using a lottery, using #GameMyFix.

游戏几乎可以给任何行为提供强有力的刺激。(或许正是这个专栏中的问答测验让你一直读到了最后)所以让我们再来玩一个游戏:使用GameMyFix做话题标签,在Twitter上发布你能想到的有关抽奖的最佳点子。

Could a lottery for graduates reduce school dropout? Would a chance at a big prize get people into the gym? Could it keep ex-offenders from falling back into crime? How about a lottery for carpoolers? People who reduce their home water consumption by 15 percent?

为研究生设立抽奖活动能降低退学率吗?一个得大奖的几率可以促使人们去健身房健身吗?它能让有犯罪前科的人免于再次犯罪吗?给合伙用车的人(carpoolers)设个奖项如何?还有将家庭用水量减少15%的人呢?

We’d love to be able to enter those tweets in a prize lottery, but that’s against Times rules. So we’ll choose the best ideas, publish them, and put them in front of people who might use them. Maybe, as with the speed camera, someone will take your idea out for a low-speed spin.

我们乐意为这些推文设立一个抽奖活动,但那有违时报的规定。所以我们会选出其中最好的点子公布出来,放到可能会使用它们的人面前。或许,就像超速监控摄像头一样,有人会把你的点子付诸实践,小心测试一下。

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