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去闯荡世界吧,美国的年轻人们

更新时间:2017-4-24 18:45:58 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Go East, Young American
去闯荡世界吧,美国的年轻人们

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — One of the fiercest debates in the nation these days centers on immigration to America, and whether it takes jobs away from people already here. But maybe the solution is emigration from America. Today, there are nine million American civilians living abroad — up from four million in 1999. In the 21st century, America’s greatest export could just be … Americans.

阿拉伯联合酋长国阿布扎比——最近,美国最激烈的一项争论是进入美国的移民问题,以及已经在这里的人是否被移民抢走了工作。不过,也许解决方案是从美国移民到外国。如今,有900万美国公民生活在国外,多于1999年的400万人。21世纪美国最大宗出口产品可能是……美国人。

Just as India’s greatest export has long been Indians. In 1936, when my grandfather was 16, he had to help support his five younger siblings in a village in Gujarat. His father sent him to Nairobi, Kenya, where he began his career sweeping floors in his uncle’s accounting office. In turn, his children moved, to America, to England, to Australia. In the 1970s my father stood for nine hours a day at the Diamond Dealers Club on West 47th Street in Manhattan because he couldn’t afford an office. My grandfather’s descendants are doctors, lawyers, public servants, corporate executives all over the world. Mobility is survival.

正如印度最大宗出口产品一直是印度人。1936年我祖父16岁,不得不在古吉拉特邦的一个村子里帮忙养活五个弟弟妹妹。他的父亲把他送到肯尼亚内罗毕,在叔叔的会计事务所里开始了他的清洁工事业。后来,他的孩子们搬到了美国、英国和澳大利亚。在20世纪70年代,我父亲每天在曼哈顿西47街的钻石交易俱乐部(Diamond Dealers Club)站9个小时,因为他租不起办公室。我祖父的后代在世界各地从事医生、律师、公务员和公司高管等职业。流动就是生存。

Many Americans recoil at the idea that they should have to go abroad for anything more taxing than sightseeing. The number of Americans working abroad is very low compared with other developed countries. Only a third of Americans have a working passport; three-quarters of Britons do, and 60 percent of Canadians.

很多美国人不喜欢为了赚钱而非观光而出国。与其他发达国家相比,在国外工作的美国人很少。只有三分之一的美国人拥有工作护照;而四分之三的英国人和60%的加拿大人拥有工作护照。

If you were to believe President Trump, and even some supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders, you would think that this is because every American has a divine right to a well-paid job in his own country.

如果你相信特朗普总统,甚至一些伯尼·桑德斯(Bernie Sanders)参议员的支持者,你会认为这是因为每个美国人都有在自己的国家得到一份高薪工作的神圣权利。

The 20th century was the American century; the 21st, not so much. A young person in Denmark or New Zealand has a better quality of life than a young person in the United States. There you can go to college free, not have to worry about money when you’re sick, and enjoy two months’ vacation even if you’re only an intern. Partly this is due to the significant underinvestment by the government in education, health care and the arts, which has left sections of the United States looking like postwar Europe.

20世纪是美国的世纪,但21世纪并不完全是这样。丹麦或新西兰的年轻人比美国年轻人的生活质量更高。在那里,上大学免费,生病了不用担心没钱看病,就算是实习生也能享受两个月的假期。一个原因是美国政府在教育、医保和艺术方面的投入严重不足,这使得美国的部分地区看起来像战后的欧洲。

Americans who work abroad do quite well; American pilots for Chinese airlines, for example, make $300,000 a year. All around the world, there are legions of Americans making a good living as engineers, corporate executives, English teachers.

在国外工作的美国人拿着高收入,比如为中国航空公司工作的美国飞行员的年薪高达30万美元。在世界各地,有大批美国人担任工程师、企业高管和英语教师,生活得很好。

Critics say this kind of globalization is only for the elite, those lucky and wealthy enough to have been educated at the best schools. But it’s not just jobs requiring a college degree that Americans should consider doing overseas. A 150-peso-an-hour job in an automobile plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico, isn’t the same as a $40-an-hour union job in Detroit; but you will live much better than if you made $8 an hour slinging burgers in Scranton, Pa. Maybe, instead of building a wall, President Trump should be demanding that Mexico open up its labor market to Americans.

批评者表示,这种全球化只适用于精英阶层,也就是那些在最好的学校接受过教育的幸运而富有的人。但是,美国人不是只能考虑在国外从事要求大学学位的工作。在墨西哥阿瓜斯卡连特斯的一家汽车厂每小时赚150比索,跟在底特律一个时薪40美元的有工会职位没法比,但如果你本来是在宾夕法尼亚州斯克兰顿做汉堡,每小时赚8美元,那么墨西哥的那份工作就好很多。也许,特朗普总统与其建墙,还不如要求墨西哥向美国人开放劳动力市场。

I certainly understand why Americans might be attached to their house, their friends and family, their home country. I’ve made New York my home, the last home for those who have no other. The United States is a beautiful country, a safe country and, for most people, a comfortable country. It’s true that we should fight for better-paying jobs at home; companies move jobs abroad so they can pay workers less, in countries with looser environmental and labor laws.

我当然理解为什么美国人可能依恋自己的房子、朋友、家人和故乡。我把纽约当作自己的家,对没有其他家的人来说,它就是最后一个家。美国是一个美丽的国家,一个安全的国家,在大多数人看来,它还是一个舒适的国家。我们的确应该在家里争取薪酬更高的工作。公司把工作转移到国外,是为了在环境法和劳动法更宽松的国家给工人支付更少的工资。

But American jobs are disappearing not because they’re moving to Mexico or China; it’s because they are increasingly being done by robots. What we need is not tariffs, but training. We also need to gently teach our children: You might prefer to stay in the house you were born in all your life, but it’s not a constitutional right.

但美国工作的消失不是因为它们被挪到了墨西哥或中国,而是因为它们越来越多地被机器人完成。我们需要的不是关税,而是培训。我们还需要温和地教导我们的孩子:你可能希望在你出生的房子里待一辈子,但这不是一项宪法权利。

My family had to move because there was no future in rural Gujarat; 200 years of British colonialism had left the Indian economy in ruins. When we moved, we missed our vegetarian food, our family, the trees, the rivers and our language. Some of it we could take with us; some of it we couldn’t. We returned to Gujarat when we could.

当初我的家人不得不离开古吉拉特邦农村是因为那里没有前途,200年的英国殖民统治毁掉了印度经济。离开时,我们怀念那里的素食、家人、树木、河流和语言。其中一些我们可以一起带走;还有一些不能。后来,我们在方便时回那里看过。

Americans are more fortunate; the whole world looks like America now. Americans who emigrate don’t have to go without cheeseburgers, “Seinfeld” or the English language.

美国人更幸运,因为现在整个世界看起来都像美国。移民到国外的美国人照样可以吃芝士汉堡、看《宋飞正传》(Seinfeld),讲英语。

So go forth into the world with confidence, young American! Don’t believe Mr. Trump’s defeatist talk of “American carnage.” Americans have a spirit of enterprise, efficiency and honesty that is unparalleled in the world. If you don’t believe me, try visiting a Chinese or Indian or Russian government office — and see how an American government office compares.

所以,美国的年轻人们,充满信心地闯世界去吧!不要相信特朗普的“美国浩劫”失败主义言论,美国人的进取、高效和诚实精神在全世界都是无与伦比的。如果你不相信,那么你去中国、印度或俄罗斯的政府办公室看看,再跟美国政府的办公室比较一下。

Some of my former New York University students were able to land lucrative jobs in the booming Indian news industry because they have writing and editing skills honed at a top American university. In India, their salaries can buy them an apartment, nice dinners, domestic help. Most of their peers in New York are still struggling in unpaid internships and have to be supported by loans or parents.

我在纽约大学(New York University)的一些学生能在蓬勃发展的印度新闻业找到赚钱的工作,因为他们在美国的顶尖大学里练就了写作和编辑技巧。在印度,他们的薪水足以买到一套公寓,享用精美的晚餐,雇佣人做家务。而他们留在纽约的同学大多仍在没有薪水的实习工作中挣扎,依靠贷款或家人资助为生。

For my college-going sons, there is no guarantee that there will be a job waiting after graduation in America. But they have already worked, with confidence, in Brazil and Indonesia. Growing up in New York has made them comfortable with the idea of living anywhere in the world. The other day, my older son, who wants to be a journalist, told me he was thinking about looking for a job in … India.

对于我正在上大学的儿子们来说,他们毕业后不一定能在美国找到一份工作。但他们已经充满信心地在巴西和印度尼西亚做过一些工作了。在纽约长大让他们能够接受在世界各地生活的想法。有一天,我想做记者的大儿子对我说,他在考虑在印度找一份工作。

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