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[MTI翻译硕士英语] 2015年同传英译汉第二篇文章原文

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发表于 2022-6-18 10:37:47 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Rapidly declining fertility – especially if rates go very low – does pose challenges. Yet it also can provide substantial benefits that have received less attention.

First, as noted, fertility decline is associated nearly everywhere with greater rights and opportunities for women. The deferral of marriage and the reduction of births to two, one or none across so much of the world – and, again, in countries that are still far from rich – are broadly consistent with the higher educational attainment and career aspirations of young women. It is no surprise that the hand-wringers over fertility decline are usually men.

Second, the workforces of societies with low-to-moderate fertility rates often achieve higher levels of productivity than do higher fertility societies. This is one reason China’s economic growth far outstripped India’s from 1970 to 2010 – a period when fertility declined rapidly in China (though only partly because of the one-child policy, now being relaxed), but did not decline as much in most of India.

Substantial fertility declines in southern India, notably in the state of Kerala, have been associated with significant economic and educational gains. It is not hard to figure out why. Children, teenagers and young adults are generally less productive than middle-aged workers with more experience, especially as employment in services rises and physical labor in agriculture and industry declines.

The fewer children who need primary and secondary education, the more resources there are that can be invested in higher-quality education per child – especially crucial for younger children – and in expanding access to higher and continuing education for teenagers and young adults.

Although China, in the early stages of its economic rise, benefited by tapping into a large pool of rural migrants moving to low-wage manufacturing jobs in towns and cities, the country is clearly trying to move rapidly (perhaps too rapidly) toward mass higher education, from which it anticipates rising productivity from a slower-growing, but higher-paid work force.

Third, by enhancing the employment and career experiences of young adults, lower fertility can also bring about greater social and political stability. High-fertility societies commonly produce large numbers of young adults who have trouble finding productive employment – many experts have attributed everything from terrorism to the Arab Spring to this “youthquake” of disaffected young adults in the Middle East and North Africa – but this begins to change 20 to 30 years after fertility rates start to decline.

Finally, lower fertility rates may gradually reduce the incentives that have led a surprisingly large number of governments to encourage the emigration of their own young citizens, both to find work and send home hard-currency savings, as well as to remove them from potential political activism at home.

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