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  摘要:考研英语作为一门考研公共课,虽然大家都学了英语十几年,却仍经常有总分过线挂在英语上的情况,因此英语复习不单单是单词、做题。阅读作为考研英语的大头,仅仅做考研真题或许没法满足你的阅读量,因此帮帮之后会不定时推出一篇英文美文,这些文章都与考研英语阅读同源,多读必有好处。

  ►背景介绍:截至2019年,埃及全国人口为9937万,而在这不到一亿的人口中,就有超过500万的国家公务员,相当于每个公务员平均仅服务20位公民。庞大的公务员数量导致大量闲职的存在,一些人的工作甚至仅仅是复印资料或者泡茶。

  Twilight of the bureaucrats

  官僚的黄昏

  Millions of retiring Arab civil servants need not be replaced

  数百万即将退休的阿拉伯公务员不需要人来顶替

  Governments could save billions if they resist the urge to hire more

  政府如果能抑制住招募更多公务员的冲动,就能节省数十亿美元

  At a municipal parking garage in Cairo, a row of freshly painted machines wait to dispense tickets to drivers. But the machines are turned off. Attendants stand next to them and hand out tickets manually.

  在开罗的一个市政停车场,一排崭新的机器正在待命,等着给司机们分发票据。但这些机器是关着的。工作人员站在它们旁边,手动分发着票据。

  It is one of many useless government jobs in the Egyptian capital. Stamping passports at the airport can be a three-person affair. Offices are full of functionaries who make photocopies or brew tea (few do both).

  这是埃及首都诸多政府闲职中的一个。机场给护照盖章的工作甚至都要3个人来做。办公室里到处都是复印资料或泡茶的工作人员(很少会兼做这两项)。

  More than 5m Egyptians work in the civil service. Each serves fewer than 20 citizens, if “serves” is the right word. Other developing countries get by with a far less populous public sector.

  埃及有超过500万名公务员。如果“服务”这个词算是用得恰当的话,那么平均下来每个公务员仅服务不到20位公民。相比于埃及,其他发展中国家的公务员则要少得多。(小编注:截至2019年,埃及人口为9937万。)

  The president, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, thinks little of his workforce. At a conference in May he suggested that 1m employees could do the work now accomplished by 5m. (Anyone who has dealt with Egyptian bureaucracy would probably agree.)

  公务员人数并没有引起埃及总统阿卜杜勒·法塔赫·塞西的重视。在5月份的一次会议上,他暗示只需要100万人就可以完成现在500万名公务员的工作。(任何一位与埃及官僚机构打交道的人都会同意这一观点。)

  He worries that firing them would cause unrest, however. Instead, his government has a better solution: do nothing and let the bureaucracy shrink itself. About 2.2m of Egypt’s civil servants are in the top two pay brackets, which usually require decades of service to reach.

  然而,总统担心解雇这些公务员会引起国家动乱。相反,他的政府有一个更好的解决方案:无为而治,让官僚机构自我缩减人数。埃及约有220万名公务员享受着前两个等级的工资待遇,这通常需要工作数十年才能达到。

  The prime minister, Mustafa Madbouly, wagers that at least 35% of the workforce will retire within a decade.

  总理穆斯塔法·马德布利断言,至少35%的公务员将在10年内退休。

  That would reduce a wage bill that consumes 27% of government revenue, freeing billions for badly needed investment. Many of these jobs plainly do not need to be filled.

  减少的工资单(埃及政府财政收入的27%都用来给公务员发工资了)将为国家亟需的投资腾出数十亿美元。许多(退休公务员的)工作都不需要再安排人来补上。

  Egypt is dragging itself into the digital age. Citizens can renew their national ID cards online, and other documents will be available later this year.

  埃及正在进入数字时代。公民可以在网上更换新的身份证,在今年晚些时候,其他证件也将可以在线办理。

  The state is installing new electricity meters that can be recharged via smart cards. Even the notoriously archaic courts are buying computers. All of this will reduce the need for cadres to collect bills and scribble notes in ledgers.

  全国正在安装可以通过智能卡充电的新电表。即使是臭名昭著的古老法庭也在购置电脑。所有这些都将减少对诸如收账和记账之类公务员的需要。

  Many Arab countries are in a similar situation. Cushy state sinecures were once seen as a birthright. Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak bloated Egypt’s public sector to keep the middle class loyal.

  许多阿拉伯国家也有类似的情况。轻松的政府闲职曾经被视为与生俱来的权利。为了维持中产阶级的忠诚度,安瓦尔·萨达特和胡斯尼·穆巴拉克(两位都是埃及前总统)扩充了埃及的公务员队伍。

  Gulf governments started a long hiring spree during the oil boom of the 1970s. For a generation, though, public-sector hiring has not kept pace with population growth. Though Egypt’s workforce has swollen by 7.7m since 2005, the bureaucracy registered a net increase of just 190,000.

  在20世纪70年代的石油繁荣时期,海湾各国政府开始了一个长期的公务员招聘狂潮。然而,对于这一代人来说,公务员的招聘没能跟上人口增长的步伐。尽管埃及的劳动人口自2005年以来已经增加了770万,但公务员的净增长数仅为19万。

  Hiring has slowed in Saudi Arabia too, but a whopping 45% of citizens still work for the state (in the OECD, a club of mostly rich countries, the average is 18%). As in Egypt they skew old, with 31% aged 45 and over versus just 7% under 30.

  沙特阿拉伯对公务员的招聘也有所放缓,但公务员占全国人口的比例仍高达45%(发达国家组织——世界经合组织中各国公务员的人口比例平均为18%)。同埃及一样,沙特阿拉伯的公务员年龄也偏大,45岁以上者占31%,而30岁以下者仅为7%。

  The crown prince wants to steer young Saudis into the private sector, but few firms want to hire them on the cushy terms they demand. Over 30% of under-30s are jobless.

  沙特王子希望引导沙特年轻人进入私营企业工作,但很少有公司愿意开出他们想要的轻松的条件来雇佣他们。因此,超过30%的30岁以下的沙特人没有工作。

  ►重难点词汇:

  twilight n. 黎明,黄昏;薄暮;衰退期;朦胧状态 adj. 昏暗的,微明的;暮年的

  notoriously adv. 众所周知地;声名狼藉地;恶名昭彰地

  sinecure n. 闲职;挂名职务

  birthright n. 与生俱来的权利;长子继承权

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