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不和总统的女儿做生意,后果很严重

更新时间:2017-2-12 9:59:44 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The Lesson of Nordstrom: Do Business With the Trumps or Else
不和总统的女儿做生意,后果很严重

It is a clear violation of federal ethics rules for White House staff members, or any other federal employees, to use their official positions for private gain. But what President Trump did on Wednesday in his Twitter attack on the Nordstrom department store chain, castigating it for dropping Ms. Trump’s line, was far worse.

如果白宫幕僚或任何其他联邦雇员使用官方职位谋求私人利益,明显就是违反了联邦道德规范。但是,特朗普总统本周三在推特上对诺德斯特龙(Nordstrom)百货连锁店发起攻击,谴责其下架他女儿产品的行为远远更糟。

In sum, Nordstrom made a business decision not to do business with the president’s daughter because her clothing line was not selling well, and the president used his official position to attack the company for this decision.

总之,诺德斯特龙做了一个商业决定,不与总统的女儿做生意,因为她的服装产品线不畅销,但总统却利用自己的公职来攻击该公司的这个决定。

The president’s tweet — posted on his personal account and then re-sent from his White House account — is an act of intimidation. Nordstrom interacts with many executive branch agencies: the Department of Labor, the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service and others. Each one of these agencies will be headed by Trump appointees. Most will be staffed with other political appointees as well. The president is telling all of these people that he is very angry with Nordstrom. The message is clear, and it won’t take much for a political appointee in some agency to conceive of an ingenious way of ingratiating himself with the White House by making life difficult for the store chain.

总统的推文先是贴在他的个人帐号上,然后又用他的白宫帐户重新发了一遍,这是一种恐吓举动。诺德斯特龙与很多行政机关都有往来:劳工部、联邦贸易委员会、证券交易委员会、国税局等等。这些机构中的每一个都将由特朗普任命的人领导。大多数机构还会有其他政治任命者。总统是在告诉所有这些人,他对诺德斯特龙很生气。他传达的消息很清楚,机构中的政治任命者很容易就会想到一个巧妙的方式来讨好白宫,给这家连锁商店制造麻烦。

Most important, regardless of whether such retaliation actually happens, Nordstrom and the handful of other companies that announced they, too, would drop the line have to live in fear of it for the rest of the Trump administration. And now every other department store knows that it had better not make a similar “business decision” that displeases the president. In other words, do business with the Trump family and help the Trump family promote its products, or else.

最重要的是,不管这种报复是否真的会出现,诺德斯特罗姆和其他一些同样宣布放弃总统女儿品牌的百货公司,将会在特朗普任内一直存在担忧。现在,其他的百货公司都知道了,它们最好不要再做出类似的“商业决定”,以免让总统感到不快。换句话说,就是要和特朗普家族做生意,帮助特朗普家族推广其产品,不然就会有麻烦。

This is not the way free markets work, particularly in the United States. We fought a revolution in part against the mercantilism that prevailed in Britain, where the king and members of Parliament played favorites and people who wanted to ingratiate themselves with the government did business with companies in which powerful politicians had an interest (the South Sea Company and the East India Company were the two most notorious examples). Edmund Burke and Adam Smith railed against this type of corrupt relationship between business and government in Britain; similarly, the founders of our country did not want that type of abuse of power going on here.

这不是自由市场的运作方式,特别是在美国。我们曾发起一场革命,部分原因就是反对英国盛行的重商主义,那里的国王和议会成员对公司厚此薄彼,渴望讨好政府的人与背后有政治权贵支持的公司做生意(南海公司[South Sea Company]和东印度公司[East India Company]就是两个最著名的例子)。埃德蒙·伯克(Edmund Burke)和亚当·斯密(Adam Smith)反对英国这种腐败的政商勾结;同样,美国的奠基人也不希望这种滥用职权的行为发生。

The modern-day Tea Party movement arose in the aftermath of the Great Recession, a reaction to the perception that politicians were playing favorites in bailing out Wall Street banks and auto companies. The Republican Party for years has made a very strong case for an economy in which market actors make their own decisions free of government interference.

现代茶党运动在大衰退(Great Recession)之后兴起,是因为人们认为政界人士在帮助华尔街银行和汽车公司摆脱困境的过程中厚此薄彼。共和党多年来一直坚定地支持在经济中让市场参与者自己做决定,不受政府干预。

And now all of that — and indeed the bedrock principles of limited government power that go back to Thomas Jefferson — lies in shambles as a president seeks not only to use his official position to promote the business of the Trump family but also to retaliate against other businesses for the decisions they make in the marketplace.

现在,所有这一切,以及托马斯·杰斐逊(Thomas Jefferson)当年确立的有限政府权力基本原则,全部遭到破坏,因为有个总统不仅利用公职来帮助特朗普家族做生意,而且还要报复其他公司在市场中所做出的商业决定。

Americans have worried about losing freedoms in the Trump administration, including freedom of religion and of the press, as well as the right to be heard by an independent judiciary. We learned this week that free markets are at risk as well.

美国人本已担心特朗普政府执政期间他们会丧失宗教和新闻等方面的自由,丧失由一个独立的司法机构进行审理的权利。本周我们发现,面临风险的还有自由市场。

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