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      2007年考研英語真題第3篇 Rising financial risks for American families

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      During the past generation, the American middle-class family that once could count on hard work and fair play to keep itself financially secure had been transformed by economic risk and new realities.

      在過去的十幾年里,美國那些曾經可以依靠辛勤勞動和公平條件維持穩定收入的中產階層家庭的生活被經濟風險和新現實改變了。

      Now a pink slip, a bad diagnosis, or a disappearing spouse can reduce a family from solidly middle class to newly poor in a few months.

      如今,一份解雇通知書、一個不利的診斷結果或者配偶的去世都可能在幾個月之內將一個家庭從穩定的中產階層家庭降格成為一個新貧困家庭。

      In just one generation, millions of mothers have gone to work, transforming basic family economics.

      在僅僅一代人的時間里,數百萬母親出去工作,改善家庭的基本經濟狀況。

      Scholars, policymakers, and critics of all stripes have debated the social implications of these changes, but few have looked at the side effect: family risk has risen as well.

      學者、決策者以及各類批評人士對這些變化的社會意義爭論不休,但是,很少有人關注這些變化的副作用:家庭的風險增加了。

      Today's families have budgeted to the limits of their new two-paycheck status.

      如今的家庭根據其新的雙收入限度安排開支。

      As a result, they have lost the parachute they once had in times of financial setback - a back-up earner (usually Mom) who could go into the workforce if the primary earner got laid off or fell sick.

      因此,它們失去了它們在經濟蕭條時期曾經有過的緩解舉措——一個后備掙錢者(通常是媽媽),如果家庭的主要掙錢者失業了或者病倒了,她可以出去工作。

      This “added-worker effect” could support the safety net offered by unemployment insurance or disability insurance to help families weather bad times.

      這種“額外工人效應”可以支撐失業保險或殘疾保險提供的安全網,以便幫助家庭渡過難關。

      But today, a disruption to family fortunes can no longer be made up with extra income from an otherwise-stay-at-home partner.

      但現在,家庭財產的損失再也不可能通過呆在家里的其他伴侶的額外收入來彌補了。

      During the same period, families have been asked to absorb much more risk in their retirement income.

      在同一時期,要求家庭在其退休收入中承擔更多風險。

      Steelworkers, airline employees, and now those in the auto industry are joining millions of families who must worry about interest rates, stock market fluctuation, and the harsh reality that they may outlive their retirement money.

      鋼鐵廠的工人、航空公司的職員和汽車產業工人加入了數百萬不得不擔心利率、股市波動以及可能比其退休收入存在時間更長的嚴酷現實家庭。

      For much of the past year, President Bush campaigned to move Social Security to a saving-account model, with retirees trading much or all of their guaranteed payments for payments depending on investment returns.

      在去年的大部分時間里,布什總統一直致力于將社會保險體制轉變成一種儲蓄存款賬戶模式,要求退休人員將其大多數或所有保障報酬用來交換依靠投資回報所得的報酬。

      For younger families, the picture is not any better.

      對于更年輕的家庭來說,前景不容樂觀。

      Both the absolute cost of healthcare and the share of it borne by families have risen - and newly fashionable health-savings plans are spreading from legislative halls to Wal-Mart workers, with much higher deductibles and a large new dose of investment risk for families' future healthcare.

      衛生保健和家庭承擔份額的絕對成本都上漲了——而且,最近實施的健康儲蓄計劃正在從立法機關擴展到沃爾瑪員工,包含大量更高的減免,并且給家庭未來的衛生保健帶來許多新投資風險。

      Even demographics are working against the middle class family, as the odds of having a weak elderly parent - and all the attendant need for physical and financial assistance - have jumped eightfold in just one generation.

      甚至人口統計狀況也對中產階層家庭不利,因為有一個體弱、年邁的父母——以及由此而產 生的所有物資和經濟援助——就在僅僅一代人的時間里增長了8倍。

      From the middle-class family perspective, much of this, understandably, looks far less like an opportunity to exercise more financial responsibility, and a good deal more like a frightening acceleration of the wholesale shift of financial risk onto their already overburdened shoulders.

      從中產階層家庭的角度來看,大多數情況是可以理解的,這根本不像一種發揮更多支付能力的機會,而是像一種將經濟風險大規模轉向那些已經負擔過重的家庭的令人恐懼的加速行為。

      The financial fallout has begun, and the political fallout may not be far behind.

      經濟副作用已經開始,政治副作用可能也將開始。

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      status ['steitəs]

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      n. 地位,身份,情形,狀況

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      setback ['setbæk]

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      n. 頓挫,挫折,退步

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      spouse [spauz]

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      n. 配偶

       
      primary ['praiməri]

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      adj. 主要的,初期的,根本的,初等教育的

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      stock [stɔk]

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      n. 存貨,儲備; 樹干; 血統; 股份; 家畜

       
      shift [ʃift]

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      v. 更替,移

       
      disability [disə'biliti]

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      n. 無力,無能,殘疾

       
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