您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 观点 >> 正文

特朗普时代,腐败的影响会有多糟

更新时间:2016-11-30 10:40:35 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Why Corruption Matters
特朗普时代,腐败的影响会有多糟

Remember all the news reports suggesting, without evidence, that the Clinton Foundation’s fund-raising created conflicts of interest? Well, now the man who benefited from all that innuendo is on his way to the White House. And he’s already giving us an object lesson in what real conflicts of interest look like, as authoritarian governments around the world shower favors on his business empire.

还记得吗?好多媒体报道都曾在没有任何证据的情况下暗示,克林顿基金会(Clinton Foundation)的募款活动制造了利益冲突。而现在,从这种含沙射影中获益的人即将入主白宫。此外,当世界各地的威权政府纷纷为他的商业帝国提供帮助的时候,他已经向我们展示了一个实例,助我们看清真正的利益冲突长什么样。

Of course, Donald Trump could be rejecting these favors and separating himself and his family from his hotels and so on. But he isn’t. In fact, he’s openly using his position to drum up business. And his early appointments suggest that he won’t be the only player using political power to build personal wealth. Self-dealing will be the norm throughout this administration. America has just entered an era of unprecedented corruption at the top.

当然了,唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)可以拒绝这些帮助,并把他自己及家人与酒店之类的生意切割开来。但他没有。事实上,他正公开利用自己的身份招揽生意。而他初步做出的任命显示,他不会是唯一一个利用政治权力攫取个人财富的人。损公肥私将成为整个特朗普政府的行事原则。美国刚刚踏入一个将会以前所未有的高层腐败为特征的时代。

The question you need to ask is why this matters. Hint: It’s not the money, it’s the incentives.

你需要问的问题是,这有什么要紧?提示:重点不是钱,而是激励机制。

True, we could be talking about a lot of money — think billions, not millions, to Mr. Trump alone (which is why his promise not to take his salary is a sick joke). But America is a very rich country, whose government spends more than $4 trillion a year, so even large-scale looting amounts to rounding error. What’s important is not the money that sticks to the fingers of the inner circle, but what they do to get that money, and the bad policy that results.

是的,这里面涉及一大笔钱——单就特朗普而言,或许就得往十亿而非百万的量级上想(这就是为什么他不拿薪水的承诺是一个残酷笑话)。但美国是一个非常富有的国家,政府每年的支出会超过4万亿美元,因此即便大肆上下其手,也只不过是九牛一毛。处于权力核心的人划拉了多少钱并不重要,重要的是他们为了拿到那些钱做过的事情,以及由此出炉的糟糕政策。

Normally, policy reflects some combination of practicality — what works? — and ideology — what fits my preconceptions? And our usual complaint is that ideology all too often overrules the evidence.

一般情况下,政策是实用性——什么是有效的?——和意识形态——什么是符合我的观念的?——相结合的产物。而我们常常会抱怨,意识形态总是凌驾于事实根据之上。

But now we’re going to see a third factor powerfully at work: What policies can officials, very much including the man at the top, personally monetize? And the effect will be disastrous.

但现在我们将会看到第三种因素发挥强大的作用,看到官员,其中包括身居最高位者,可以利用什么样的政策中饱私囊。而其效应将是灾难性的。

Let’s start relatively small, with the choice of Betsy DeVos as education secretary. Ms. DeVos has some obvious affinities with Mr. Trump: Her husband is an heir to the fortune created by Amway, a company that has been accused of being a fraudulent scheme and, in 2011, paid $150 million to settle a class-action suit. But what’s really striking is her signature issue, school vouchers, in which parents are given money rather than having their children receive a public education.

让我们以特朗普选择贝茜·德沃斯(Betsy DeVos)担任教育部长为例,从相对而言的小处说起。德沃斯和特朗普有着某种明显的相似之处。她丈夫是安利公司(Amway)所创财富的继承人之一。该公司一直被指控为骗局,曾在2011年支付1.5亿美元,就一桩集体诉讼与原告达成和解。但真正令人震惊的是她的标志性主张“学券制”——发给家长们一些钱,而不是让其子女在公立学校就读。

At this point there’s a lot of evidence on how well school vouchers actually work, and it’s basically damning. For example, Louisiana’s extensive voucher plan unambiguously reduced student achievement. But voucher advocates won’t take no for an answer. Part of this is ideology, but it’s also true that vouchers might eventually find their way to for-profit educational institutions.

目前有大量证据能够表明学券的实际效果——基本上是毁灭性的。例如,路易斯安那州庞大的学券计划确凿无疑地拖累了学生的成绩。但学券倡导者却不许别人说一个不字。这在某种程度上牵涉到意识形态问题,但还有一点也是真的:学券最终可能会流向营利性教育机构。

And the track record of for-profit education is truly terrible; the Obama administration has been cracking down on the scams that infest the industry. But things will be different now: For-profit education stocks soared after the election. Two, three, many Trump Universities!

营利性教育在以往的表现是相当可怕的;奥巴马政府一直致力于粉碎那些损害该行业的骗局。但现在情况将有所不同:营利性教育机构的股价在大选过后急剧上升。看啊,两家、三家,好多家特朗普大学!

Moving on, I’ve already written about the Trump infrastructure plan, which for no obvious reason involves widespread privatization of public assets. No obvious reason, that is, except the huge opportunities for cronyism and profiteering that would be opened up.

往下说,我已经撰文探讨过特朗普的基础设施规划,该规划在没有任何明显原因的情况下涉及了对公共资产的广泛私有化。所谓没有任何明显的原因,是不包括提挈亲信和不当得利的巨大机遇之门将会由此打开。

But what’s truly scary is the potential impact of corruption on foreign policy. Again, foreign governments are already trying to buy influence by adding to Mr. Trump’s personal wealth, and he is welcoming their efforts.

但真正可怕的是腐败对外交政策的潜在影响。在这方面,外国政府同样已经在竭力通过帮助特朗普创造更多个人财富来换取影响力,而他正对它们的努力表示欢迎。

In case you’re wondering, yes, this is illegal, in fact unconstitutional, a clear violation of the emoluments clause. But who’s going to enforce the Constitution? Republicans in Congress? Don’t be silly.

不用想了,没错,这就是非法的,事实上是违宪的,显然违反了薪酬条款。但谁会履行宪法呢?国会那些共和党人?别傻了。

Destruction of democratic norms aside, however, think about the tilt this de facto bribery will give to U.S. policy. What kind of regime can buy influence by enriching the president and his friends? The answer is, only a government that doesn’t adhere to the rule of law.

不过,先把对民主规范的破坏放在一边,想一想这种事实意义上的贿赂会让美国的政策出现的偏颇。什么样的政权可以通过帮助总统及其朋友们致富来换取影响力?答案是:只有不遵守法治原则的政府才能做到。

Think about it: Could Britain or Canada curry favor with the incoming administration by waiving regulations to promote Trump golf courses or directing business to Trump hotels? No — those nations have free presses, independent courts, and rules designed to prevent exactly that kind of improper behavior. On the other hand, someplace like Vladimir Putin’s Russia can easily funnel vast sums to the man at the top in return for, say, the withdrawal of security guarantees for the Baltic States.

想想看:英国或者加拿大可以罔顾相关规章,给特朗普高尔夫球场开绿灯,或者为特朗普酒店拉生意,从而讨好即将上台的新政府吗?不可以——这些国家有自由的媒体、独立的法院,还有专门用来预防这种不当行为的规则。另一方面,弗拉基米尔·普京(Vladimir Putin)领导下的俄罗斯之类的地方,则可以轻而易举地向身居最高位的人输送巨额钱款,以换取某些回报,比如取消为波罗的海国家提供的安全保障。

One would like to hope that national security officials are explaining to Mr. Trump just how destructive it would be to let business considerations drive foreign policy. But reports say that Mr. Trump has barely met with those officials, refusing to get the briefings that are normal for a president-elect.

有人也许期待,国家安全官员会向特朗普解释,让生意上的考量来驱动外交政策会带来多大的毁灭性后果。不过有报道称,特朗普只是和那些官员见了面,但拒绝像一个正常的候任总统一样听取简报。

So how bad will the effects of Trump-era corruption be? The best guess is, worse than you can possibly imagine.

那么,在特朗普时代,腐败的影响会有多糟糕?最有可能成真的猜测是,糟到超出你的想象。

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表