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經濟學人:關于利息:低利率意味著不公平(1)

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Finance and Economics

財經
Free exchange
自由交流
Negative justice
負公平
Sub-zero interest rates are neither unfair nor unnatural.
負利率既非不公平也非不自然。
DENMARK'S Maritime Museum in Elsinore includes one particularly unappetising exhibit: the world's oldest ship's biscuit, from a voyage in 1852.
丹麥的埃爾西諾航海博物館藏有一件特別讓人沒有胃口的展品:世上最古老的船員干糧,它出自1852年的一次海上航行。
Known as hardtack, such biscuits were prized for their long shelf lives, making them a vital source of sustenance for sailors far from shore.
這種以硬面包聞名的干糧,是因為它們長久的保存期限而備受重視的,這使得它們成為了遠洋航行的船員的一個關鍵的給養來源。

ecof180626.jpg

They were also appreciated by a great economist, Irving Fisher, as a useful economic metaphor.

同時,它們還被一位偉大的經濟學家——歐文·費雪推崇為一個有用的經濟學比喻。
Imagine, Fisher wrote in "The Theory of Interest" in 1930, a group of sailors ship wrecked on a barren island with only their stores of hardtack to sustain them.
假設,費雪在1930年的《利息理論》中寫道,一群船員在一次船只失事中落難到了一座貧瘠的島嶼上,只有儲備的硬面包來維持生計。
On what terms would sailors borrow and lend biscuits among themselves?
船員相互間會以何種條件借入和出借干糧呢?
In this forlorn economy, what rate of interest would prevail?
在這個孤立無助的經濟體中,何種利率會占上風呢?
One might think the answer depends on the character of the unfortunate sailors.
人們或許會認為,答案取決于不幸的船員的人品。
Interest, in many people's minds, is a reward for deferring gratification.
在許多人的頭腦中,利息是對推遲滿足感的一-種獎賞。
That is one reason why low interest rates are widely perceived as unjust.
這是為什么低利率被廣泛地認為是不公平的一個原因。
If an abstemious sailor were prepared to lend a biscuit to his crewmate rather than eating it immediately himself, he would deserve more than one biscuit in repayment.
如果某位省吃儉用的船員準備把一份干糧借給他的同伴,而不是立即自己吃掉,他會理應得到多于一份干糧的償還。
The rate of interest should be positive- and the sharper the hunger of the sailors, the more positive it would be.
利率應當是正的——而且船員的饑餓感越強烈,它會正的越多。
In tact, Fisher pointed out, the interest rate on his imagined island could only be zero.
實際上,費雪指出,在這個他所設想的島嶼上,利率可能僅為0。
If it were positive, any sailor who borrowed an extra biscuit to eat would have to use more than one biscuit in the future to repay the loan.
如果它是正的,任何一位借了額外的干糧吃的船員,今后都不得不用多于一份的干糧來償還這筆貸款。
But no sailor would accept those terms because he could instead eat one more piece from his own supply, thereby reducing his future consumption by one, and only one, piece.
但是, 沒有船員會接受這種條件。這是因為,他可以代之以吃掉自己供給中的多于一份的干糧,因而減少了他未來的消費中的一份,并且僅僅是一份而已。

文章來自經濟學人

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exchange [iks'tʃeindʒ]

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n. 交換,兌換,交易所
v. 交換,兌換,交

 
deserve [di'zə:v]

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vi. 應該得到
vt. 應受,值得

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tact [tækt]

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n. 機智,手法

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appreciated [ə'pri:ʃieit]

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vt. 欣賞;感激;領會;鑒別 vi. 增值;漲價

 
negative ['negətiv]

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adj. 否定的,負的,消極的
n. 底片,負

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unjust ['ʌn'dʒʌst]

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adj. 不公平的

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abstemious [æb'sti:miəs]

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adj. 節制的

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sustenance ['sʌstinəns]

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n. 維持生計,食物

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loan [ləun]

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n. 貸款,借出,債權人
v. 借,供應貨款,

 
coincident [kəu'insidənt]

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adj. 同時發生的,巧合的,一致的,符合的

 
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