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年轻一代如何改变遭遇失败的命运

2014-05-04    来源:fortune    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

如今的经济形势变了。因此,仅仅努力学习,获得良好的教育,已经不能保证美国的年轻一代能够过上富足的生活。婴儿潮一代的父母们和新一代的领袖需要携起手来,以教育为起点,重建新的社会契约,才能避免今天的年青一代遭遇失败的命运。

We've all heard the message from our parents: If you work hard, get a good education, and play by the rules, you will do well in life. Baby boomers like me were able to turn that formula into the American Dream.
从小到大,父母一直教导我们:如果你努力学习,获得良好的教育,同时遵守游戏规则,你肯定会过上好日子。像我这样的婴儿潮一代能够把这个公式转化为美国梦。

But while we were able to graduate from high school, vocational school programs, or college into an economy that was growing and providing us with great opportunities, we cannot make the same promise to our children and grandchildren today. Instead of hope, the nation faces a widening economic divide; according to Gallup and other surveys, a majority of Americans agree that the U.S. has been going in the wrong direction for at least a decade, and they expect the next generation will have a lower standard of living than ours.
我们这一代人从高中、职校或大学毕业后,正处于上行趋势的美国经济为我们提供了许多好机会,但我们现在无法给我们的子女和孙辈做出同样的承诺。这个国家所面临的不再是充满希望的璀璨未来,而是日益扩大的经济鸿沟;根据盖洛普公司(Gallup)和其他机构的调查,大多数美国人认为美国至少已经朝着错误的方向前行了10年之久,而且预计下一代人的生活标准将低于我们这一代。

Is this gloomy outlook inevitable? Have the global economy, ever-advancing technology, and other forces left us with no control over the destiny of future generations? Only if we choose to do nothing. Reversing course is possible, but it will take a cross-generational effort by baby boomers and next-generation leaders to negotiate what I call a New Social Contract that fits and works with the features of the future economy and workforce.
这个令人沮丧的前景是不是已经不可避免?全球化经济、日新月异的技术和其他力量是否已经让我们无法控制后代的命运?要是我们选择袖手旁观,就会出现上面这样的后果。扭转航向是可能的,但这需要婴儿潮一代和下一代领导者携手努力,尤其是需要协商出我所说的“新社会契约”,一种适合未来经济和劳动力特征,并行之有效的社会契约。

In future columns, I'll lay out the pieces of that comprehensive strategy, which calls for major overhauls of business, labor, government, and educational institutions as well as the relationships among them. But before we can get to possible solutions, we need to more clearly understand the problems young people -- especially millennials between 18 and 33 years of age -- face in entering the labor market today.
我在以后的专栏中将详细论述这项全面战略的内涵,它要求对企业、劳工、政府和教育机构及它们之间的关系进行彻底改革。但要想获得可行的解决方案,我们首先需要更清楚地了解年轻人(特别是18岁到33岁之间的千禧一代)进入今天的劳动力市场时所面临的种种问题。

The essence of the problem is that young people face a severe shortage of good jobs. It has taken almost five years after the supposed end of the Great Recession of 2007-2009 to finally get back the number of jobs lost. But that does not take into account the growth in the labor force since then.
这个问题的实质是,提供给年轻人的就业机会严重不足。2007-2009年的“大衰退”理论上结束之后,美国经济历时近5年,才终于恢复了流失的工作数量。但这并没有考虑从那时以来的劳动力增幅。

To get back to the same employment levels as before the recession, between 13.5 and 15 million new jobs would need to be created by the end of this decade. That's a minimum of 200,000 jobs per month, which is 50,000 more jobs a month than the average since 2009.
要想让就业率恢复至经济衰退前的水平,美国经济就需要在这个十年结束时创造1,350万至1,500万个新岗位,也就是说每月至少需要新增20万个就业机会,这个数字要比2009年以来的月平均工作岗位增幅多出5万个。

How does this affect young people entering the job market? Nearly 40% of recent college graduates are "underemployed," i.e., working in low-wage retail, restaurant, or other service jobs that don't require a college degree, don't put their skills to work, or provide opportunities for further learning and development, according to Northeastern University's Center for Labor Market Analysis. Such jobs pay wages that are hardly sufficient to meet their college debt payments, much less start a career or a family. And the evidence is clear: Starting off this way results in significant, even permanent damage to their incomes and careers.
这种情况将对进入就业市场的年轻人产生什么影响?根据东北大学(Northeastern University)劳动力市场分析中心(Center for Labor Market Analysis)提供的数据,近40%的应届大学毕业生“就业不足”,也就是说,他们从事的是零售、餐饮或其他工资低下的服务性工作。这类工作不需要大学学历,不能发挥他们的技能,无法提供进一步学习和发展的机会。这类工作支付的薪酬几乎不够偿还大学债务,更不用说靠它们来成家立业了。证据显而易见:以这种方式开启职业生涯会对他们的收入和事业造成显著、甚至是永久性的损害。

This current reality clashes with our own recent past. For three decades following World War II, wages rose in tandem with increases in productivity -- that was the essence of the old "Social Contract." But in the 30 years since 1980, earnings have essentially flatlined: While the productivity of American workers grew by a healthy 80%, family income grew by only about 10%, and average hourly wages inched up by about 6%.
这个现状迥异于我们这代人的经历。二战后的30年里,工资与生产率同步增长——这是旧“社会契约”的本质。但在上世纪80年代之后的30年里,工人的收益基本上趋于平缓:虽然美国工人的生产率飙涨了80%,但家庭收入仅增长了大约10%,每小时平均工资的增速更是低得可怜,仅仅只有6%左右。

The first decade of this century -- sometimes called "the lost decade" -- has been even worse. Real wages (wages adjusted for increases in the cost of living) either declined or did not increase for high school or college graduates. Only those at the top of the occupational ladder with advanced degrees experienced modest wage growth. The "Occupy" movement had its facts right: Most of the income growth went to the top 1% or less of the population. America is now suffering from the highest level of income inequality of any time since the 1920s.
本世纪头十年(有时也被称为“失去的十年”)的形势继续恶化。高中或大学毕业生的实际工资(剔除生活费用上涨因素后的工资水平)要么下降,要么没有增长。只有那些拥有高学历,位居职业阶梯顶层的人群的工资出现了温和增长。“占领”运动的确看清了事实:收入增幅基本上落入了收入最高的1%或更小比例人口的口袋。美国目前的收入不平等程度正处于20世纪20年代以来的最高水平。


上图为1945年至2005年间生产率(绿色曲线)、家庭收入(紫色曲线)、每小时平均薪酬(蓝色曲线)的指数变化走势。来源:劳工统计局和经济政策研究所

Can this downward, disturbing trend be changed? I believe it can, if we start work now on building a consensus strategy for the future.
这种令人不安的下行趋势能否改变?如果我们现在就开始致力于构建一个面向未来的战略共识的话,我相信是可以的。

Education is still the starting point -- a necessary but far from sufficient solution today. The good news is there appear to be a growing consensus and considerable momentum in the country to expand access to early childhood education and to reform elementary and secondary schools. For today's young workers to compete on a global stage, all the rhetoric about "life-long learning" will need to become a reality. We have the tools to do this now. Every U.S. university and community college is experimenting with "online" or distant courses. And many employers complain that new entrants don't have the right mix of skills.
教育依然是起点——这是一切解决方案的前提,但我们目前做的还远远不够。好消息是,全美上下似乎正在就扩大儿童早期教育和改造小学和中学等问题达成越来越多的共识,而且获得了可喜的进展。要想让今天的青年工人在全球舞台上竞争,所有关于“终身学习”的豪言壮语都需要变为现实。我们现在拥有做到这一点的工具。美国所有的大学和社区学院都在尝试“在线”或远程课程。同时,许多雇主抱怨说,新入职的员工不具备恰当的技能组合。

The obvious solution is for university, community college, and industry leaders to get together and design the coursework and the on-the-job experiences young workers need to be productive, learn, grow, and gain access to better and higher paying jobs.
一个显而易见的解决方案是,大学、社区学院和行业领袖携起手来,共同设计课程和实际工作体验,以改善年轻工人的生产率,让他们不断学习,成长,最终获得收入更高的好工作。

But education alone will not solve sluggish job creation or wage stagnation.
但教育本身还不足以解决低迷的就业创造和工资停滞问题。

In my upcoming columns, I'll raise other ideas and proposals, such as moving off the fixation with short-term shareholder value as the sole purpose of the firm, the need to invent new "next-generation" labor organizations, and ways to update employment policies to catch up with the changing economy and labor force. Some will be controversial, and I will invite your comments, ideas, and engagement as we go along. Together, we might just find common ground on a Social Contract that works for the next generation as effectively as the old one worked for mine.
我在接下来的几篇专栏文章中还将提出其他意见和建议,比如企业不应该一门心思地把短期股东价值作为唯一的经营目标,我们需要创造全新的“下一代”劳工组织,还要设法更新雇佣政策以适应不断变化的经济和劳动力形势。其中一些建议肯定会引起争议,我非常渴望各位读者参与进来,畅谈各自的真知灼见。通过一番共同努力,我们或许会找到共同点,最终为下一代制定一份跟我们这一代人曾经享有的契约同样有效的社会契约。(财富中文网)

Thomas A. Kochan is a professor of industrial relations, work, and employment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management. He is author of the book,Restoring the American Dream: A Working Families' Agenda for America.
本文作者托马斯•科汉是麻省理工学院斯隆商学院教授,以研究劳资关系、工作和就业等问题著称。他还著有《恢复美国梦:一项面向美国工薪家庭的议事日程》一书。



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