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#168: After Harding Dies, President Coolidge Tries to Rebuild Trust in the Government

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Calvin Coolidge making speech at his inauguration in 1925
Calvin Coolidge making speech at his inauguration in 1925

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

This week in our series, Steve Ember and Shirley Griffith talk about Calvin Coolidge and how he became president of the United States.

STEVE EMBER: The early nineteen twenties were a troubled time for the United States. Congress and the public began to discover crimes by several officials in the administration of President Warren Harding. Harding himself became seriously sick during a trip to Alaska and western states. He died in a hotel room in California in August, nineteen twenty-three.

20世纪20年代初对美国来说是个具有挑战性的时期。国会和公众开始发现沃伦.哈丁政府内一些官员的腐败行为。哈丁总统到阿拉斯加和美国西部视察时身患重病,并于1923年8月病逝在加州一家酒店的房间里。

Harding's vice president, Calvin Coolidge, became the new president. Both men were Republicans. Their policies on issues were much the same. Coolidge, however, was a very different man. He was completely honest. He was the kind of president the country needed to rebuild public trust in the government.

哈丁的副总统加尔文.柯立芝成为新一任美国总统。哈丁和柯立芝都是共和党人。两人实行的政策基本相同。然而,柯立芝是一个与哈丁不同的人,他非常诚实,正是重建公众对政府的信任所需要的那种总统。

Calvin Coolidge, around 1919
Calvin Coolidge, around 1919

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Calvin Coolidge was quiet and plain-looking. He was the son of a farmer and political leader from the small northeastern state of Vermont.

柯立芝不爱说话,长相平凡。他来自东北部小州佛蒙特,父母是农民和地方政治领导人。

Young Calvin worked at different jobs to pay for his college education. He became a lawyer. He moved to another northeastern state -- Massachusetts -- where he became active in Republican Party politics. First he was elected mayor of a town. Then he was elected to the state legislature. Finally, he was elected governor of Massachusetts.

It was as governor that Coolidge first became known throughout the United States.

年轻的柯立芝靠四处打工支付自己的大学学费,毕业后成了一名律师。他来到了美国东北部另一个州--麻萨诸塞州,在这里,他成为共和党的一名积极分子。他先是当选为一个镇的镇长,后来又当选州立法会议员,最后成为麻萨诸塞州州长。他当州长时的业绩让他闻名全国。

STEVE EMBER: In nineteen-nineteen, a group of policemen in the city of Boston tried to start a labor union. This violated the rules of the police department. So the commissioner of police suspended nineteen of the union's leaders. The next day, almost seventy-five percent of Boston's policemen went on strike.

1919年,麻萨诸塞州波士顿市一些警察想成立工会,这违犯了警察局的相关规定,所以警署把19个工会领导人停职。第二天,波士顿近百分之75的警察举行罢工。

Criminals walked freely through the city for two nights. They robbed stores and threatened public safety. Frightened Americans all across the country waited to see what Governor Coolidge would do.

于是,犯罪分子连续两个晚上在波士顿胡作非为,他们抢劫商店,威胁公众安全。全国各地惊恐万分的美国人都等着看柯立芝州长将怎么办。

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: He took strong action. He called on state troops to end the strike. He said: "There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time."

他采取了强硬行动,下令州武装部队介入,结束罢工。柯立芝说:"任何人在任何地方任何时候以罢工来威胁公众安全都是不行的。"

Most Americans approved of what Coolidge did. The people of Massachusetts supported him, too. They re-elected him governor by a large number of votes. Then, in nineteen twenty, Republicans nominated Warren Harding for president. They nominated Calvin Coolidge for vice president. When President Harding died in California, Coolidge, his wife, and two sons moved to the White House.

绝大多数美国人赞成柯立芝的做法,麻萨诸塞州人民也支持他,他们再次高票选举他为州长。随后,在1920年,共和党提名哈丁为总统候选人,提名柯立芝为副总统候选人。哈丁总统在加州病逝后,柯立芝携妻子和两个孩子搬进了白宫。

STEVE EMBER: America's thirtieth president was, in some ways, an unusual kind of person to lead the country. He said little. He showed few feelings. Coolidge's policies as president were not active. He tried to start as few new programs as possible. He was a conservative Republican who believed deeply that government should be small.

从某些方面讲,这位美国第三十任总统治理国家的方法可谓与众不同。他很少讲话,喜怒不形于色。作为总统,他的政策并不主动,尽可能少推出新政策新做法。他是一位保守的共和党人,深信小政府的理念。

Coolidge expressed his belief this way: "If the federal government should go out of existence, most people would not note the difference." And once he said: "Four-fifths of our troubles in this life would disappear if we would only sit down and keep still."

柯立芝曾经这样表述他的信念:"如果联邦政府不存在了,大多数老百姓应该不会感到什么不同。" 他还曾经说过:"如果我们只是静静地坐下来,那么我们生活中五分之四的麻烦都会消失。"

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Coolidge believed that private business -- not the federal government -- should lead the country to greater wealth and happiness. He continued President Harding's policy of supporting American business both inside the United States and in other countries. The government under President Coolidge continued high taxes on imports in an effort to help American companies.

柯立芝认为,带领美国走向更加繁荣和幸福生活的是私营企业而不是联邦政府。他延续了哈丁总统的政策,支持美国私营企业在国内和国外的发展,并继续实行高额进口关税,以扶持美国企业。

STEVE EMBER: Many Americans shared Coolidge's ideas about small government and big business. In the early nineteen twenties, many of them were living better than ever before.

许多美国人赞同柯立芝小政府大企业的想法。在20世纪20年代,许多人都过上了比以往任何时候都好的日子。

At that time, companies were growing larger. The prices of their stocks rose higher and higher. There were lots of jobs. And the wages of many workers increased. Americans agreed with their president that there was little need for government spending and government programs, when private industry seemed so strong.

美国企业的规模越来越大,它们的股价一直上涨。到处都是工作机会,很多工人的工资提高了。美国人同意他们总统的看法,那就是,当私营企业很强大的时候,不需要政府去花钱或者实施什么政策。

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: The American economy grew in the nineteen twenties for several reasons. The world war had destroyed many factories and businesses in Europe. The United States did not suffer the same destruction. It was still a young country. It had great natural resources, trained workers, and a huge market within its own borders. When peace came, Americans found their economy stronger than any other in the world.

美国经济在20世纪20年代经历了快速发展。几个因素造成了这种发展。第一次世界大战摧毁了欧洲的很多工厂和企业,但美国没有遭受到这种破坏。美国还是一个年轻的国家,拥有丰富的自然资源、熟练的工人和巨大的国内市场。所以,当和平到来时,美国人发现他们的经济实力已经超过了世界上其它所有国家。

STEVE EMBER: Changes in the American market also helped economic growth. "Installment buying" became popular. In this system, people could buy a product and pay for it over a period of several weeks or months.

另外,美国市场的一些变化也促进了美国经济的快速发展。"分期付款"越来越普遍。根据这种付款方式,人们购买某件商品,可以在今后几个星期内或几个月内分期支付货款。

The total cost was higher, because they had to pay interest. But the system made it possible for more people to buy more goods. It also made the idea of borrowing money more acceptable to many Americans.

这样,虽然购买者得支付利息,从而使得商品的总价格增加,但这种付款方式让更多人能够购买更多的商品。这种付款方式也让美国人越来越能接受借钱的观念。

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: The growing importance of the New York stock markets also helped economic growth in the nineteen twenties. Millions of Americans bought shares of stock in companies that seemed to grow bigger every month.

纽约股票市场的作用日益重要,这也促进了20世纪20年代美国经济的发展。数百万美国人购买那些似乎每个月都在扩张的公司的股票。

Such investment almost became a national game. People would buy shares of stock, then sell them when the stock rose in value. There were many stories of poor people who became rich overnight by buying the right stocks.

这种投资方式几乎成了全国都在玩儿的一种游戏。人们买进股票,然后在股价上涨后再卖出获利。在美国出现了许多穷人因为买到了一支好股票而一夜暴富的故事。

The American Congress also helped the economy by lowering income taxes. People had more money to spend on new goods. Another important reason for economic growth was a change in the way American companies were operated.

美国国会降低了所得税率,这也为经济发展帮了忙,因为人们有更多钱去买东西。美国经济快速发展还有一个重要原因,那就是美国公司的运营方式发生了变革。

STEVE EMBER: During the nineteen twenties, the idea of manufacturing goods in the most scientific way became very popular. The father of this idea of "scientific management" was an engineer, Frederick Taylor.

在20世纪20年代,利用最科学的方法生产产品的观念深入人心。而发明"科学管理"概念的是一位工程师,他叫弗雷德里克.泰勒。

Mister Taylor developed a system to study manufacturing. He studied each machine involved in the process. He studied how much work each person did. He studied how goods moved from one part of a factory to another. Then he offered ideas to business owners about ways to produce goods faster and for less cost.

泰勒发明了一种研究制造流程的系统。他研究生产过程中每台机器、每个工人干多少工作,产品如何从工厂的一个环节进入另一个环节,然后,他给企业主出点子,告诉他们如何以更快的方式和更低的成本来生产产品。

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Taylor's ideas of scientific management appealed to business owners. Automobile manufacturer Henry Ford proved that the ideas could work in his new car factory in the state of Michigan. Ford used the assembly line system of production. In this system, each worker did one thing to a product as it moved through the factory. This helped cut prices and increase wages.

泰勒的科学管理法吸引了企业主。汽车制造商亨利.福特证明,这种方法可以在他位于密西根州的新汽车制造厂中发挥作用。福特利用流水线生产汽车。根据这种方法,在汽车被组装的过程中,每个工人只在整个流程中干一道工序,这种办法帮助降低了汽车制造成本,提高了工人工资。

STEVE EMBER: Ford and other businessmen learned a great deal about how to control costs, set prices, and decide how much to produce. All these changes in production and marketing helped Ford and other American companies grow larger and stronger.

福特和其他企业主掌握了很多控制成本、设立价格、设定产量的方法。所有这些生产和市场销售环节的变化帮助福特和其他美国公司发展得规模越来越大,实力越来越强。

Henry Ford's Model-T car became popular throughout the country. So did other new products. Radios. Refrigerators for cooling food. Vacuums to clean carpets. Ready-made cigarettes. Beauty products.

亨利.福特的T型汽车行销全美国。其它许多新产品也是如此,如收音机、电冰箱、吸尘器、卷烟和化妆品等。

Americans in the nineteen twenties began to buy all kinds of new products they had never used before.

20世纪20年代,美国人开始购买各种各样他们以前从来没有用过的新商品。

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Calvin Coolidge was in the White House. However, business led the nation. Times were good. Americans trusted business and its leaders. It became an honor to call someone a businessman. Colleges organized business classes. Middle-class citizens in almost every city and town gathered to discuss business ideas.

住在白宫的是加尔文.柯立芝,而领导美国的却是企业。美国进入了黄金时期,美国人信赖企业和企业的领导人,把某人称为商人成为一种荣誉。大学开办商业课程。各个城镇中产阶层的人常常聚集在一起讨论生意经。

President Coolidge spoke for millions of Americans when he said: "The chief business of the American people is business."

柯立芝说出了数百万美国人的心声,那就是:"美国人首要的事就是做生意。"

STEVE EMBER: Coolidge represented traditional values and a simple way of life. He knew exactly how every dollar he earned was saved or spent. And he spent no more money than was necessary.

柯立芝代表的是传统的价值观和简单的生活方式,他非常清楚如何留下还是花掉自己所挣的每一块钱。除了必要的花销外,他从来不多花钱。

The strange thing was that Coolidge was extremely popular with a public that was spending large amounts of money. Some economic experts warned that the country's quick economic growth would end in economic depression. Most Americans, however, believed that the good times had come to stay. They enjoyed the good things in life that work and success in business could bring.

奇怪的是,大把花钱的美国人却非常爱戴这位节俭的总统。不过,有些经济学家警告说,美国经济的快速发展将导致经济衰退。然而,绝大多数美国人认为美好时光会永远停留,他们尽情地享受工作和生意成功所带来的美好生活。

On our next program, we will see how the economic growth of the nineteen twenties brought exciting changes to the day-to-day life of millions of Americans.

(MUSIC)

BOB DOUGHTY: Our program was written by Nancy Steinbach. The narrators were Steve Ember and Shirley Griffith. You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and historical 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.

___

This is program #168

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