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#155: Woodrow Wilson Takes Office Seeking Tax, Banking and Business Reform

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Woodrow Wilson and his cabinet seated around table, 1913
Woodrow Wilson and his cabinet seated around table, 1913

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Welcome to the MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

A new leader stood before the American people on March fourth, nineteen thirteen. He was Woodrow Wilson -- the twenty-eighth president of the United States.

1913年3月4日,一位新的国家领导人站在了美国人民的面前,他就是伍德罗.威尔逊,美国历史上第28任总统。

Wilson belonged to the Democratic Party. He was progressive in his belief that government should take an active part in efforts for social reforms.

威尔逊是民主党人,他相信进步派理念,认为政府应该在社会改革中发挥积极作用。

This week in our series, Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe begin the story of Wilson's presidency.

KAY GALANT: Woodrow Wilson had spent most of his life at Princeton University. First he was a professor. Then he was university president. Next, Wilson was elected governor of the state of New Jersey. His early success as governor made him a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in nineteen twelve.

伍德罗.威尔逊一生的大部分时间在普林斯顿大学度过。开始时,他在那里做教授,后来成为校长。之后他又当选新泽西州的州长。当上州长之后没多久,因为政绩不俗,他成为1912年民主党总统候选人提名大会上呼声很高的候选人。

Wilson traveled widely around the country during the campaign. He made speeches to many groups. He tried to make himself and his ideas known to as many Americans as possible.

在竞选期间,威尔逊的足迹遍布全国各地。他向众多社会群体发表演讲,尽可能让更多的美国人了解他和他的治国理念。

HARRY MONROE: Wilson called his program "the New Freedom." One of his campaign promises was to fight for better conditions for America's small business owners.

威尔逊把这个理念称为"新自由"。他的一个竞选承诺是:要为美国的小企业主们争取到更好的经营环境。

Such proposals helped him win the Democratic nomination for president. Then he defeated President William Howard Taft and former president Theodore Roosevelt in the election. Woodrow Wilson, the former president of a university, had become the president of a nation.

这类政治主张使他获得了民主党总统候选人提名。在总统选举中,威尔逊击败了当时的总统塔夫脱和以前当过总统的西奥多.罗斯福。就这样,以前领导一所大学的威尔逊现在成了一个国家的领袖。

A crowd gathering for the Woodrow Wilson's inauguration parade in 1913
A crowd gathering for the Woodrow Wilson's inauguration parade in 1913

The largest crowd in Washington, D.C.'s history welcomed Wilson outside the Capitol Building on the day of his inauguration. He called on the American people to join him in making the country a better place. "Our duty," Wilson said, "is to correct the evil without hurting the good. I call all honest men, all patriotic, all forward-looking men to my side."

人们在华盛顿特区国会大楼外欢迎威尔逊,人数之多创下了历史纪录。威尔逊呼吁美国人与他一道,把国家建设得更好。他说:"我的职责就是在不伤害美好事物的同时,纠正邪恶。我呼吁所有正直、爱国、有前瞻性的人站在我这一边。"

KAY GALANT: Wilson wasted no time. He immediately called a special session of Congress to act on Democratic campaign promises to reduce import taxes, or tariffs. Wilson felt strongly about the need to reform these taxes. He broke tradition by leaving the White House to appear before Congress, in person, to appeal for his tariff proposals.

威尔逊总统没有浪费时间,一上任就马上要求国会召开特别会议,就民主党在竞选时承诺的降低进口关税问题采取行动。威尔逊强烈认为进口关税应进行改革。他一改以前总统的做法,亲自跑到国会,呼吁议员们支持自己的改革方案。

Many members of Congress opposed Wilson's plans. But the new president used the results of a Senate investigation to win the fight. The investigation showed that a number of senators owned companies that depended on high tariffs for their profits. The votes of these senators were influenced by their property holdings.

许多国会议员反对威尔逊的计划,但威尔逊利用参议院一项调查的结果赢得了这次斗争。这项调查显示,许多参议员拥有自己的公司,而这些公司要靠高关税才能谋利。这样,这些参议员们的财产就影响到了他们的投票结果。

Public knowledge of the situation forced many of them to give up their holdings and stop resisting tariff reform. Congress finally approved Wilson's proposals.

在公众了解到这一情况后,许多参议员不得不放弃了手中的公司,也不再抵制关税改革。

HARRY MONROE: Lower tariffs reduced the amount of money taken in by the federal government. So the Senate also approved a tax on income, or earnings. A constitutional amendment had been passed earlier to permit such a tax.

最后,国会通过了威尔逊的建议。低关税导致联邦政府收入降低,所以参议院也批准了征收所得税的法案。此前,国会已经通过宪法修正案,准许征收所得税。

President Wilson and the Democratic Party were pleased with the new tariff and income tax bills. But they were far from finished. Next they turned their efforts to reform of the banking industry.

威尔逊总统和民主党对新的关税和所得税法很满意,但他们的目标还远没有实现。接下去,他们把精力转移到银行业的改革上。

For several years, many people had recognized the need for changes in the banking system. The old system of uncontrolled private banks had developed years earlier, before the United States became a major industrial nation. Many people agreed that a more modern system was needed. But they could not agree on details.

几年来,许多美国人认识到,银行体制需要改革。多年前,也就是美国在成为世界主要工业国之前,已经发展起了一套不受控制的私人银行系统。现在,许多人都认为,美国需要一个更加现代的银行体系,但他们无法就改革的细节达成一致意见。

KAY GALANT: President Wilson said control of the nation's wealth was held by too few men. He noted a report that said just two men controlled ten percent of the total wealth of the United States.

威尔逊总统指出,国家的财富被控制在少数人手里。他列举一份报告说,有两个人掌握着美国百分之10的财富。

Wilson said the nation needed a money supply that could be increased or reduced, when necessary, to correct economic conditions. He said a method was needed to let banks help each other during economic emergencies. And he said laws were needed to prevent a few wealthy men from using the economic resources of the country for their own purposes.

他说,国家需要一个货币体系,在必要的时候增加或减少货币供应量;还需建立一套办法,使各个银行在遇到紧急经济问题时能相互帮忙。威尔逊还指出,美国需要出台法律,阻止少数有钱人利用国家的经济资源来实现自己的个人目的。

Finally, Wilson said, "The control of this system of banking must be public, not private. It must belong to the government itself."

最后,他说,"银行体系必须由公众而不是私人所控制,控制权须交给政府。"

HARRY MONROE: Wilson called his proposal for a central bank the Federal Reserve System.

威尔逊将设想中的中央银行体系称为联邦储备系统。

Under the plan, the nation would be divided into twelve areas. Each area would have its own federal reserve bank. These area banks would not do business with the public. They would serve only as "bankers' banks." And they would issue a new form of money supported by the federal government. Most important, the leaders of the new system would be chosen by the government--not by private business.

根据他的计划,美国将被分为十二个区,每个区都有自己的联邦储备银行。这些银行不对公众开展业务,而是"银行的银行"。联邦储备银行将发行一种由联邦政府支持的新货币。最重要的是,这个新银行系统的领导人是由政府指定的,不是由私人企业来决定的。

Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson

KAY GALANT: Bankers, business leaders, and their representatives in Congress sharply criticized President Wilson's proposals. They said government control of the banking system was socialism, not capitalism.

结果,银行家、企业主和他们在国会中的代言人都强烈批评威尔逊的建议。他们说,政府控制银行就是搞社会主义,不是资本主义。

But Wilson refused to change his proposals. And he helped to lead the fight to make them law. Finally, Congress agreed.

但是,威尔逊拒绝修改他的建议,而且他还协助了把这些建议变成法律的努力。最终,国会屈服了,接受了威尔逊的建议。

It did not take long for bankers to discover that the new system was much better than the old one. Today, the Federal Reserve System is one of the most important institutions in the United States.

而银行家们没用多长时间就发现,新的银行体制其实要好于旧体制。今天,联邦储备系统是美国政府最重要的机构之一。

HARRY MONROE: For Woodrow Wilson, the fight over the banking system was yet another political success. He had won major reforms in the nation's tariffs, taxes, and banking systems. Now he told Congress that new legislation was needed to control the power of monopolies and trusts. These were the giant companies and business alliances that controlled complete industries.

对于威尔逊而言,银行体制改革的斗争是他政治生涯的又一次成功。至此,他已经实现了在关税、所得税和银行体制上的重要改革。现在,他对国会说,需要出台新的立法,以控制垄断企业或大托拉斯的权力。垄断企业和托拉斯指的是控制整个行业的巨型企业和企业联盟。

Wilson proposed a new anti-trust law to control the actions of large companies. His supporters in Congress wrote a bill that listed a number of business activities that no longer would be permitted.

威尔逊建议出台一部新的反托拉斯法,以控制大垄断企业的行为。他在国会的支持者起草了一个议案,列出许多将不再被允许的商业活动。

For example, no longer could a company set prices that would reduce competition or create a monopoly. No longer could corporations buy stocks of competing companies. No longer could they demand that a store refuse to sell competing products. The new bill also protected labor unions from being charged with anti-trust violations. It gave unions more power to organize and protect workers.

例如:企业将不准为了减少竞争或实现垄断而设定产品价格;不能购买竞争企业的股票;不能要求零售商拒卖自己竞争对手的商品。新法案还保护工会不受违反反托拉斯法的指控,并给予工会更大的权力,让它们组织和保护工人。

KAY GALANT: At President Wilson's request, Congress also prepared a law that set up a government agency called the Federal Trade Commission. The commission was given the job of investigating wrong-doing in business. It had the power to force companies to obey the new anti-trust laws and other rules.

根据威尔逊总统的要求,国会还起草了另外一个议案,准备设立一个名叫"联邦贸易委员会"的政府机构。这个委员会的职责是调查非法商业行为,并有权强制企业遵守新的反托拉斯法和其它法律。

Both the anti-trust law and the Federal Trade Commission helped protect small business owners from the power of business giants. Once again, the proposals caused fierce debate. But, once again, Congress finally voted to give Wilson most of what he wanted.

反托拉斯法和联邦贸易委员会帮助保护小企业主免受大企业的压制。威尔逊的这一建议再次引起了激烈的辨论,但是,国会再次投票通过了威尔逊的大部分主张。

HARRY MONROE: The early months of Wilson's term were one of the most successful times in the history of any president. The new president had won the election by promising major reforms in the economic life of the country. And he had kept that promise.

威尔逊总统上任后头几个月所取得的成功是美国历任总统中最显著的。威尔逊在竞选时曾承诺,要对国家的经济生活进行重大改革,他兑现了承诺。

The reforms were not only a victory for Woodrow Wilson. They also changed the face of American business and economics for many years to come. The income tax, for example, grew to become the federal government's main source of money.

这些改革不仅是威尔逊本人的胜利,而且在今后很长时间里改变了美国经济和企业的面貌。例如,所得税后来逐渐成了美国联邦政府的主要财政来源。

KAY GALANT: Woodrow Wilson had taught history in the days when he was a professor at Princeton University. He knew his actions as president could influence the country for a long time. But, as a historian, he also knew his own term in the White House could be changed by unexpected events. That is just what happened.

威尔逊在普林斯顿大学当教授时教过历史。他知道,作为总统,自己的行为对国家将产生长远的影响。但是,作为一名历史学家,他也深知,自己的总统任期将会受到许多不可预知事件的影响。而事实也正是如此。

Wilson campaigned for president mainly on national issues. But he soon was forced to spend more and more time on international issues. His first big problem was across the United States' southern border, in Mexico. That will be our story next week.

威尔逊在竞选期间关注的主要是国内问题,但不久之后,他就不得不花越来越多的时间来解决国际问题。他面对的第一个重大问题发生在美国南部的邻国墨西哥。

(MUSIC)

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe.

You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and images at www.unsv.com. 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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作者:perfect100
woodrow wilson made a series of reforms in ecnomic area,including tariffs ,taxes ,making anti-trust laws....
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