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体育比分捷报:#139: Harrison's Presidency Marked by Anger Over Trusts

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A political cartoon criticizing the power of Standard Oil
A political cartoon criticizing the power of Standard Oil

FAITH LAPIDUS: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

The eighteen eighties were years of important change in American business and industry.

19世紀80年代,美國工商業經歷了重要的變革。

Twenty years after the Civil War, the Unitedbl States had become one of the leading industrial nations of the world. As the number of factories increased, so did competition between businesses.

內戰結束20年后,美國已經加入世界主要工業化國家的行列。隨著工廠數量的不斷增加,企業之間的競爭也越發激烈。

Some industrialists cooperated with their competitors to reduce competition. But this did not always succeed. There was no legal way to enforce their agreements.

有些工業家選擇同競爭對手合作,以減少相互間的競爭。但這種合作不一定能成功,因為當時美國還沒有相關法律來確保雙方執行合作協議。

This week in our series, Leo Scully and Jack Weitzel tell how these issues were handled during the administration of President Benjamin Harrison.

LEO SCULLY: In eighteen seventy-nine, a new form of business organization was developed -- the trust. In a trust, stock owners of many competing companies give control of their stock to a committee, or group, of trustees.

1879年,一種新型的商業組織誕生了,這就是托拉斯。所謂托拉斯,就是眾多相互競爭的企業的持股人將他們的股票交給一個由托管人組成的委員會或機構來管理。

The trustees operate all the companies as one and pay profits to the stockholders. The profits would be high, because there would be no competition to drive down prices.

這些托管人像管理單個企業那樣管理所有相關企業,并給持股人分紅。托拉斯的紅利是非常高的,因為在托拉斯內部,公司間已經沒有競爭,所以能夠保持產品的高價。

One of the first trusts was formed by John D. Rockefeller in the oil industry. The stockholders of seventy-seven oil companies gave control of their stock to nine trustees of Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company. The nine men controlled ninety per cent of the nation's oil production.

最早一批托拉斯企業包括石油大王洛克菲勒創立的標準石油公司。77家石油公司將它們的股票控制權交給標準石油公司由九名托管人組成的董事會。結果,這九個人實際上控制了美國百分之90的石油生產。

JACK WEITZEL: The success of the Standard Oil Company led to the creation of trusts in other industries. Soon there was a sugar trust, a salt trust, a steel trust, even a whisky trust.

標準石油公司的成功促使其它行業也紛紛成立托拉斯。很快,美國出現了制糖業托拉斯、鹽業托拉斯、鋼鐵托拉斯,甚至還有威士忌托拉斯。

These huge corporations represented hundreds of millions of dollars. This great wealth made them very powerful.

這些龐大的企業擁有數億美元的資產,財富使它們擁有很大的勢力。

Former President [Grover] Cleveland, himself a friend of business, warned of a growing danger. "Corporations," he said, "should be carefully-controlled creatures of the law and servants of the people. Instead, they are fast becoming the people's masters."

前總統克利夫蘭本人對工商界很友善,但他警告說,美國正面臨一種日益增長的危險。他說:"大企業本應受到法律的嚴格監管,是人民的仆人??墑?,實際情況卻恰恰相反,它們很快就要成為人民的主人了。"

LEO SCULLY: The public began to demand government controls of the trusts. Farmers claimed that prices were too high, and they blamed the trusts. Workers said their unions could not negotiate with the new industrial giants. Small businessmen charged that trusts were too powerful. They said the trusts could destroy them.

公眾開始要求政府對這些托拉斯實行監管。農民說,現在物價太高,都是托拉斯引起的。工人說,他們的工會根本無法與這種巨型企業進行談判。而小企業指責托拉斯的勢力太過強大,足以逼小企業關門。

Public demands for action led the governments of fifteen states to pass anti-trust laws. But the state laws could do nothing. Most of the trusts were nationwide corporations which did business in many states.

公眾的呼吁使美國15個州的州政府通過了反托拉斯法。但這些法律并起不了什么作用,因為絕大多數托拉斯都是全國性企業,經營業務分布在許多州里。

Public protest was so great that both parties in the eighteen eighty-eight elections promised to pass a federal law against trusts.

公眾對托拉斯的反感情緒高漲,所以在1888年的總統選舉中,民主共和兩黨都承諾要通過聯邦反托拉斯法。

JACK WEITZEL: A number of such bills were proposed. One offered by Senator John Sherman, a Republican, was approved by Congress. President Benjamin Harrison signed it into law in eighteen ninety.

后來,議員們提出了許多相關議案,其中共和黨參議員約翰·謝爾曼的議案得到了國會的批準。1890年,哈里森總統在議案上簽字,使之成為法律。

The Sherman Anti-trust Law sounded severe. It said it was illegal for a trust or any other organization to interfere with interstate commerce -- trade among the states. It was also illegal for any person or organization to form a monopoly -- to get control of a whole industry. The law ordered harsh punishment for any person found guilty of these crimes.

謝爾曼反托拉斯法的內容聽起來很嚴厲。該法禁止托拉斯或其它組織妨礙州際貿易,還禁止任何個人或組織搞行業壟斷。所有違反這些規定的人都將受到嚴厲懲罰。

It sounded like a strong law. But it was not. It was written in a very general way that left the courts to decide what the law really said. Opponents of the Sherman Anti-Trust Bill said its purpose was not to destroy trusts, but to make the public believe that trusts would be destroyed.

這部法律聽起來似乎很強硬,其實不然。法律的內容很籠統,很多問題必須交給法院來解讀和判定。反對這部法律的人說,謝爾曼反托拉斯法并不是想要消滅托拉斯,而只是要安撫公眾,讓他們覺得,托拉斯是可以被消滅的。

LEO SCULLY: During President Harrison's administration, only eight corporations were accused of violating the new anti-trust law. Of the eight, only one was found guilty, and only in a very limited way.

在哈里森總統執政期間,只有八家公司被指控違反了新推出的反托拉斯法,其中只有一家公司被裁定確實違法,而且也不嚴重。

The first company charged was the Whisky Trust. A court dismissed the case. It said the government failed to prove that the trust had interfered with interstate commerce.

第一家被指控的是威士忌酒托拉斯,法院沒有受理這起案件。法院認為,政府無法證明威士忌托拉斯妨礙了州際貿易。

A few years later, the government asked the courts to break up the huge sugar trust which controlled ninety-eight percent of the sugar-producing industry.

幾年后,政府要求法院解散控制著全國百分之98的市場的制糖業托拉斯。

The Supreme Court refused to do so. It said that it was true the trust had formed a monopoly in the sugar-producing industry. But it said the monopoly was in manufacturing -- not in trade or interstate commerce. Therefore, said the high court, the sugar trust was legal and did not violate the anti-trust law.

但最高法院拒絕這么做。最高法院認為,的確,制糖業托拉斯壟斷了全國制糖業,但這種壟斷僅限于生產領域,并不涉及買賣或州際貿易。因此,最高法院說,制糖業托拉斯是合法的,它并沒有違反反托拉斯法。

JACK WEITZEL: Industrial trusts helped to reduce competition among American companies. High tariffs also gave some protection from competition with foreign companies. But business leaders were not satisfied. They demanded even higher taxes on imports to further reduce competition.

行業托拉斯減少了美國各企業間的競爭,而高關稅也在一定程度上?;ち嗣攔久饈芡夤鏡木赫?。但工商業的領導人還是不滿意,他們要求制定更高的進口關稅,進一步減少競爭。

So, Republican Congressman William McKinley of Ohio proposed a new tariff bill -- one that would raise import taxes higher than ever before. The tax already was about thirty-eight percent on most imported products. The new measure would raise it to almost fifty percent.

于是,來自俄亥俄州的共和黨眾議員威廉.麥金利提出了一項新的關稅議案,打算把關稅提高到前所未有的程度。當時,絕大多數進口商品的關稅稅率已經是百分之38了, 而麥金利議案要求把稅率提高到差不多百分之50。

LEO SCULLY: Not everyone in the Harrison administration supported the high tariff measure. Secretary of State [James] Blaine wanted to increase trade between the United States and other countries. He warned that new, high tariffs would destroy those plans.

然而,在哈里森政府中,并不是人人都支持這項議案。國務卿布萊恩希望能增加美國與其它國家的貿易,他警告說,新的高關稅會破壞促進貿易的計劃。

A cartoon from Puck magazine makes fun of President Harrison, left, for his support of a tariff on tin. Secretary of State James Blaine is at right.
A cartoon from Puck magazine makes fun of President Harrison, left, for his support of a tariff on tin. Secretary of State James Blaine is at right.

Blaine also opposed the bill because he felt it would hurt the Republican Party politically. In a letter to Congressman McKinley, Blaine said the bill would anger the farmers by adding as much as eight percent to the price of shoes for their children.

布萊恩反對此議案還因為它會給共和黨帶來政治損失。布萊恩在給麥金利的信中說,這項議案將激怒農民,因為它一旦通過,將導致物價上漲,甚至農民的孩子穿的鞋都會漲價百分之8。

"Such movements as this for protection," said Blaine, "will move the Republican Party only into speedy defeat."

他說:"這樣的?;ぴ碩?,只能加速共和黨的失敗。"

JACK WEITZEL: Most western and southern congressmen opposed the tariff bill, because it would mean higher prices to the people of their states. But the bill could not pass without the support of some of them. So, supporters of the tariff bill offered a deal.

大多數來自西部和南部各州的國會議員都反對這項議案,因為該議案將使他們州的物價上漲。而如果這些議員投反對票,關稅議案就無法在國會通過。于是,議案的支持者提出了一個妥協方案。

If westerners voted for the tariff measure, then eastern lawmakers would support a silver purchase bill that the westerners wanted.

那就是,如果西部州的國會議員支持關稅議案,那么東部州的國會議員就支持西部各州希望通過的一項白銀采購議案。

The bill, known as the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, would have the government buy four-and-one-half-million ounces of silver each month. The government would pay for the silver with paper money -- treasury notes -- which could be exchanged for gold or silver money.

這個白銀采購議案就是謝爾曼白銀采購法,規定政府每個月要采購450萬盎司的白銀。政府將以國庫券來購買白銀,而國庫券可以兌換成黃金或白銀。

LEO SCULLY: Western mines were producing huge amounts of silver. By selling it to the government, the mining interests hoped to keep the price of silver from falling. Western interests spoke in Congress now with a much stronger voice. In eighteen eighty-nine and eighteen ninety, six western territories became states. This added twelve more western representatives in the Senate and others in the House.

當時,美國西部的礦山生產了大量白銀。投資者希望把白銀賣給政府,這樣就可以保持白銀的價格不下跌。與此同時,西部在國會的影響力增大了。這是因為在1889年和1890年,西部六個地區已經成為美國的州,從而使西部在參議院增加了12個議席,在眾議院也增加了席位。

The deal was agreed to. Both the McKinley Tariff Bill and the Sherman Silver Purchase Bill were approved by Congress and signed by President Harrison. As expected, the price of imported goods rose. And the people blamed the Republicans.

西部議員接受了妥協方案。這樣,麥金利進口關稅議案和謝爾曼白銀采購議案都在國會獲得通過,并經哈里森總統簽字成為法律。不出所料,進口商品價格上漲,人民紛紛指責共和黨。

JACK WEITZEL: In the congressional elections of eighteen ninety, the Republican Party suffered heavy losses.

結果,在1890年的國會選舉中,共和黨遭到慘敗。

The Republican majority in the Senate was cut to eight. And not all the Republican senators would support the party on every issue. The Republicans lost control in the House of Representatives. Only eighty-eight were elected to House seats. Democrats elected two hundred thirty-five Representatives.

共和黨在參議院的多數減少到只剩8個。而且并非所有的共和黨參議員在每個問題上都支持本黨。在眾議院,共和黨失去了控制權,只剩88個席位,而民主黨獲得了235個席位。

Voters also elected nine House members and two Senators from a new political organization -- the People's Party. The new party was born in farming areas of the West and South. It was a party of protest, formed by men who refused to support either of the two old parties.

選民還投票將9個眾議院席位和兩個參議院席位送給了一個新的政黨--人民黨。人民黨來自美國西部和南部的農業區,它是一個抗議黨,由那些既反對共和黨、也反對民主黨的人組成。

LEO SCULLY: Years before, farmers had united in agricultural organizations they called granges. A national grange had been formed.

幾年以前,農民們就曾建立起自己的農業組織,叫作"農莊",并在后來成立了一個全國性的農莊。

During hard times, the grange organized political action groups to help elect officials who were friendly to farmers. But as farm conditions improved, the Granges began to disappear.

在困難時期,農莊組織政治活動,為那些對農民友善的官員助選。而隨著農業生產環境的改善,農莊逐漸淡出了農民的生活。

A few years later, farmers began to build new organizations. Like the granges, they began as social and economic groups.

而幾年后,農民們又開始成立新的組織,和農莊一樣,這些組織最初都是社會和經濟組織。

By the late eighteen eighties, many of these groups had united into two large organizations. One, with more than one million members, was the Southern Alliance. The other, with fewer members, was the National Farmers' Alliance. Members of the two groups began to unite for political action.

到19世紀80年代,許多這樣的組織開始聯合起來,成為兩大團體。一個是南方農民聯盟,擁有超過一百萬成員。另一個叫全國農民聯盟,人數稍少一些。這兩大農民團體開始聯合起來,要在政治上采取行動。

That will be our story on the next program of THE MAKING OF A NATION.

(MUSIC)

FAITH LAPIDUS: Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Leo Scully and Jack Weitzel. You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and images at 球盘体育比分 www.341124.live. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

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