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      英語世界
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      How Retirement Was Invented
      發布時間:2018年11月01日     趙敏、仲文明 譯  
      來源: 英語世界
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      How Retirement Was Invented

      退休制度之誕生

       

      By Sarah Laskow

      文/莎拉·拉斯科夫

       

      The earliest schemes for financial support in old age were pegged[1] to life expectancy.

       

      對老年人的財政支持制度最早與預期壽命掛鉤。

       

      [1] peg使工資、價格等固定于某水平(或與……掛鉤)。

       

      In 1881 Otto von Bismarck[2], the conservative minister president of Prussia, presented a radical idea to the Reichstag[3]: government-run financial support for older members of society. In other words, retirement. The idea was radical because back then, people simply did not retire. If you were alive, you worked – probably on a farm – or, if you were wealthier, managed a farm or larger estate.

       

      1881年,時任普魯士首相的保守派奧托·馮·俾斯麥向德意志帝國議會提議,由政府出資對老年人提供財政支持,即建立退休制度。這是一個全新的理念,因為當時根本沒有退休一說?;钪?,就要工作——一般人很可能是干農活兒——家境富裕的人,就是管理農場或大莊園。

       

      [2] 德意志帝國首任首相(1871—1890),人稱“鐵血首相”(德語:Eiserner Kanzler;“鐵”指武器,“血”指戰爭)、“德國的建筑師”及“德國的領航員”。

       

      [3] Reichstag德意志帝國議會。

       

      But von Bismarck was under pressure, from socialist opponents, to do better by the people in his country, and so he argued to the Reichstag that “those who are disabled from work by age and invalidity have a well-grounded claim to care from the state.” It would take eight years, but by the end of the decade, the German government would create a retirement system, which provided for citizens over the age of 70 – if they lived that long.

       

      反對派社會黨人向俾斯麥施壓,敦促其讓本國國民生活更好,因而他在德意志帝國議會上主張,稱“年老傷殘無法工作者有充分理由享受國家的照顧”。原本計劃用八年推行,但直到第十年末,德國政府才設立了退休制度,僅面向70歲以上的公民——只要能活到這個歲數,就可以退休。

       

      This was a big “if,” at the time. That retirement age just about aligned with life expectancy in Germany then. Even with retirement, most people still worked until they died.

       

      然而,這是一個大大的假設,因為70歲差不多就是當時德國人的預期壽命。即便有了退休制度,大多數人還是工作到生命終點。

       

      There were exceptions though. Military pensions had long been given to soldiers who had risked their lives (though those pensions didn’t necessarily mean they could stop working altogether). In the United States, starting in the mid-1800s, certain municipal employees – firefighters, cops, teachers, mostly in big cities – started receiving public pensions, too, and in 1875, the American Express Company started offering private pensions. By the 1920s, a variety of American industries, from railroads to oil to banking, were promising their workers some sort of support for their later years.

       

      當然也有例外。從很早以前開始,曾冒生命危險保家衛國的軍人可領取軍人退休金(不過領退休金不代表他們完全不用工作)。19世紀中葉起,部分美國市政雇員,如消防員、警察、教師也開始領取公共養老金,不過主要限于大城市。1875年,美國運通公司開始為其員工提供企業養老金。20世紀20年代,鐵路、石油、銀行等美國各大行業均承諾為員工在晚年提供一定的資助。

       

      Most of these pension programs pegged the retirement age to 65. This mark had less to do with health and more with economics – workers could keep on trucking[4] for years, and “old age” didn’t necessarily mean bad health. (There was some research, however, that documented a decline in mental capabilities starting around age 60. Conventional wisdom held, too, that by 60 a man had certainly done his best work and should give way to the next generation.) When the federal government started creating what would become social security, some of the policies suggested would have had workers off the clock at 60, or even earlier. The economics of that didn’t quite work, though, and so when the Social Security Act was passed in 1935, the official retirement age was 65. Life expectancy for American men was around 58 at the time.

       

      這些養老金制度大多都將退休年齡設定在了65歲。這一數字和身體健康程度不再有太大關系,而更多和經濟掛鉤——年紀大的工人再干幾年沒問題,“年老”也并不意味著身體不好。(然而一些研究表明,人的智力大概到60歲便開始退化。傳統觀念也認為人到60,該功成身退、讓位給下一代了。)后來聯邦政府開始建立社會保障體系,有人提議將退休年齡設定為60歲甚至更早。不過這一提議沒有經濟學意義,1935年通過的《社會保障法》中,正式退休年齡仍為65歲。當時美國男性的預期壽命約為58歲。

       

      [4] truck〈非正式〉緩慢前進。

       

      Almost immediately after that, though, that balance changed. The Depression ended, and wealth and better medicine meant that in the post-war boom, Americans started to live longer. By 1960, life expectancy in America was almost 70 years. All of a sudden more people were living past the age where they had permission to stop working and the money to do it. Finally, they began to retire in large numbers – to stop working, to embrace leisure, to golf. For a few decades, older Americans lived without working, enough that we’ve come to expect that we should be able to retire, even if that may no longer be financially possible for many. Today, the Social Security Administration estimates that there are 38 million retired people in the United States alone.

       

      沒過多久,這種平衡便被打破。大蕭條結束后,戰后繁榮時期社會越發富裕,醫療得到改善,美國人平均壽命開始提高,20世紀60年代,美國人預期壽命近70歲。轉眼間,更多人活過了退休年齡,不僅可以不工作,經濟上也有保障。最終,越來越多的人退休——不用工作,享受閑暇,打打高爾夫。接下來數十年,美國老年人都過著悠哉的退休生活,讓人覺得到一定年齡就退休是天經地義的,即便對很多人來說不再有那個經濟基礎。今天,美國社會保障管理局估計僅美國就有3800萬退休人員。

       

      (譯者單位:中南大學)

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