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[翻译]AS IT IS - Maine Voters Concerned About Income Gap

来源:慢速英语   时间:2016-10-26 09:37:05

The election in the United States next month is not just about who will be the next president. There are many local issues on the ballots as well.

美国下个月的大选不仅将会决定谁成为下任总统,选票上还会有很多地方议题(需要投票决定)。

For example, some states are considering making marijuana use legal. Other cities are thinking about raising taxes to help fund civic projects.

例如,一些州正在考虑吸食大麻合法化。其它城市在考虑增加税收以帮助资助市政项目。

In the northeast state of Maine, voters will decide whether or not to increase the minimum wage. The minimum wage is the lowest salary an employer is permitted to pay an employee.

在东北部的缅因州,选民们将决定是否提高最低工资。最低工资是指雇主被允许付给雇员的最低薪水。

Today, the federal government requires employees to be paid at least $7.25 an hour. But voters in Maine are considering raising the minimum wage each year so that it reaches $12 an hour by 2020.

联邦政府目前要求付给雇员的最低时薪为7.25美元。但是缅因州选民正在考虑逐年提高最低工资,这样到2020年最低时薪将会达到12美元。

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination brought attention to income inequality. Income inequality is the term used to describe the difference in wealth between the richest and poorest Americans.

佛蒙特州参议员伯尼·桑德斯(Bernie Sanders)争取民主党总统提名的竞选活动引发了人们对收入不平等的关注。收入不平等是一个术语,用于描述美国最富阶层与最穷阶层之间的财富差异。

Hillary Clinton defeated Sanders and won the Democratic nomination. She said she supports an increase in the minimum wage. Her opponent, Donald Trump, said he believes individual states should decide for themselves.

希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Clinton)击败了桑德斯赢得民主党提名。希拉里表示她支持提高最低工资。她的竞争对手唐纳德·川普(Donald Trump)表示,他认为各个州应该自行决定。

A group called Fight for $15 believes workers should be paid no less than $15 per hour. They have protested outside the presidential debates.

一家名为“争取15美元时薪”的组织认为,雇员的时薪应该不低于15美元。他们已经在总统辩论的会场之外抗议。

In the city of Portland, Maine, Hillary Morrison is a bartender at Vena’s Fizz House.

希拉里·莫丽森(Hillary Morrison)是缅因州波特兰市Vena's Fizz House的一位调酒师。

She has debts and expenses: food, rent, transportation and student loans.

她有各种债务和开支:食品、租金、交通和学生贷款。

But unlike many people who work making drinks or serving coffee, she has only one job.

但是和很多调制饮料和咖啡的人不同的是,她只有一份工作。

That is because her boss, Steve Corman, pays his employees a good salary.

这是因为她的老板史蒂夫·柯曼(Steve Corman)给员工提供了很高的薪水。

Morrison earns about $30 per hour on a busy night. Corman pays the bartender about $9 per hour. She gets the rest from tips, extra money customers pay for good service.

莫丽森晚上忙的时候每小时能赚30美元左右。科曼付给调酒师9美元左右的时薪。她其它收入来自小费,这是客户为满意服务支付的额外费用。

Under the current law in Maine, Corman could pay her less than $4 per hour since she is an employee who receives tips.

根据缅因州现行法律,因为她能收到小费,科曼可以付给她最低4美元的时薪。

Morrison said her salary is “incredible.” She said she would have to work two or three jobs in order to pay her bills without it.

莫丽森表示,她的收入“很不可思议”。如果没有这份收入,她就不得不做两三项工作来支付自己的账单。

While some people may be surprised that a bartender or waiter can earn $30 per hour, Corman thinks the higher salary is a good investment. He said his employees work hard, are loyal to his business and develop strong relationships with customers who come back again and again.

虽然有些人可能会惊讶,一个调酒师或服务员就能赚30美元的时薪,但是科曼认为,高薪是一项很好的投资。他说他的员工工作努力,效忠公司,并且同老客户建立了紧密的关系。

Chris Tyll owns a pizza restaurant in Portland called Pat’s Pizza. He sees the minimum wage issue differently. He said he is worried voters might not understand why increasing the minimum wage could hurt a business like his.

克里斯·迪尔(Chris Tyll)在波特兰开了一家名为Pat's Pizza的披萨餐厅。他对最低工资问题有不同看法。他说,他担心选民可能不明白为什么提高最低工资会伤害他这样的生意。

After adding up the cost of ingredients and labor, he said selling one pizza does not make that much money for the restaurant.

他说,在算上材料和人工成本后,餐厅卖一份批萨赚不到多少钱。

If restaurants had to pay their employees $12 per hour, a pizza might cost as much as $30.

如果餐厅不得不向员工支付12美元的时薪,一份批萨的价格可能就会高达30美元。

Tyll said people might not eat at such a costly pizza shop.

迪尔表示,人们可能不会在这么贵的披萨店吃饭。

“We’re asking people to make a decision, 10 seconds in a ballot box, as they look at this question,” Tyll said. He said he wants to see more of an effort to help workers learn new skills so they can get better jobs.

迪尔说,“我们请求人们关注一下这个问题,然后在投票箱前花10秒做个决定。”他说,他希望看到会有更多措施帮助工人们学到新技能,这样他们就能获得更好的工作。

Economists are not sure how a higher minimum wage would affect local economies.

经济学家不确定提高最低工资会对当地经济有何影响。

Some think workers would spend more if they made more, which would boost business. Others say businesses would be forced to raise prices without a guarantee that people would spend more for goods and services.

有人认为,如果工人们赚得越多就会花得更多,这会刺激经济。还有人说,企业将被迫提高价格,这无法保证人们会在商品和服务上消费更多。

The Economic Policy Institute said the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is not high enough to support the cost of living in the U.S. The institute also said the U.S. economy could still do well if minimum wage rose to $12 per hour by 2020.

美国经济政策研究所表示,目前7.25美元的联邦最低时薪不足以维持在美国的生活成本。该研究所还表示,如果到2020年最低时薪提高到12美元,美国经济照样会很好。

I’m Dan Friedell.

Words in This Story

bill – n. a document that said how much money you owe for something you have bought or used

rent – n. money that you pay in return for being able to use property and especially to live in an apartment, house, etc., that belongs to someone else

boss – n. the person whose job is to tell other workers what to do

tip – n. an extra amount of money that you give to someone (such as a waitress or waiter) who performs a service for you

boost - n. an increase in amount

ingredient – n. one of the things that are used to make a food, product, etc.

incredible – adj. difficult or impossible to believe

bartender – n. a person who serves drinks at a bar or restaurant

income – n. money that is earned from work, investments, business, etc.

marijuana – n. the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant that are smoked as a drug