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[豆知识] 【整理】2011-11-27&12-03 美国政府破产的故事 (2/3)

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[豆知识] 【整理】2011-11-27&12-03 美国政府破产的故事 (2/3)


Bits-of-Knowledge-2011-11-27&12-03

 

The Story of Broke


The United States isn't broke; they're the richest country on the planet and a country in which the richest are doing exceptionally well. But the truth is, their economy is broken, producing more pollution, greenhouse gasses and garbage than any other country. In these and so many other ways, it just isn't working. This episode of BOK will explain how U.S. government spend the money and call for a shift in government spending toward investments in clean, green solutions that can deliver jobs AND a healthier environment. Here is Part II.








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jessiyear在 整理的参考文本:
So where is all that money going?



Well, first the military takes the biggest chunk, 726 billion dollars in 2011. Wow! We could build a lot of better future with that kind of money. Spending billions on fighter planes we don't need or wars with no end and then saying we're broke just isn't honest. It's like calling your kid from your billion-dollar yacht to tell you can't afford her school lunch money.



Then hundreds of billions more go to propping up the dinosaur economy. You know, the obsolete system we talked about in The Story of Stuff, the one that produces more pollution, greenhouse gases and garbage than any other on earth, and doesn't even make us happy. In so many ways, it's just not working. But we're keeping it on life support instead of building something better. A lot of that life support comes in the form of subsidies.



A subsidy is a giveaway that gives some companies a lift over others. That's not necessarily a bad thing. We should help companies that are building a better future. The problem is our government keeps lifting up companies that are actually dragging us down. Everywhere you look along the dinosaur economy, you'll find these subsidies.



There’re spending subsidies: where the government just gives our money away like payments that benefit big agribusiness while helping drive family farms off a cliff, or the less obvious version where the government foots the bill for things corporations should pay for themselves like cleaning up toxic chemical spills or giant livestock manure ponds, or building roads that only go to one place like a new Walmart, or paying for polluting and wasteful garbage incinerators that would never make financial sense to build on their own.



Then there’re tax subsidies which excuse big corporations from contributing their fair share, like the enormous tax breaks granted to oil and gas companies even in times of record profits. These subsidies amount to billions we should be collecting and putting to good use.



And then there're risk transfer subsidies where our government acts as an investment bank or an insurance company for corporations doing risky things, like building nuclear reactors. If anything goes wrong, we have to cover for them.



There’re freebie subsidies, where our government gives stuff that belongs to all of us to corporations for cheap or even free. That's billions more that we should be collecting but never see. Like permits to mine public lands granted at prices set in the Mining Law of 1872. Really? 1872! President Grant signed this law to encourage settlement of the West. News flash, it's settled. And all this doesn't even count externalized costs. They don't show up on any spreadsheet and could amount to trillions of dollars including all of the damage to the environment, public health and the climate that this dinosaur economy causes. Without laws that make the polluters pay, we all pay with the loss of clean air and water, of increased asthma and cancer.



By the time we’ve handed out all these subsidies, there isn't even enough money to pay our bills, forget about building the better future.


jessiyear在 整理的生词:
spreadsheet: n. a document that contains rows and columns of numbers that can be used to calculate something.  数据表

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on sandyhli

So where is all that money going?

 

Well, first the military takes the biggest chunk, 726 billion dollars in 2011. Wow! We could build a lot of better future with that kind of money. Spending billions on fighter planes we don't need or wars with no end and then saying we're broke just isn't honest. It's like calling your kid from your billion-dollar yacht to tell you can't afford her school lunch money.

 

Then hundreds of billions more go to propping up the dinosaur economy. You know, the obsolete system we talked about in The Story of Stuff, the one that produces more pollution, greenhouse gases and garbage than any other on earth, and doesn't even make us happy. In so many ways, it's just not working. But we're keeping it on life support instead of building something better. A lot of that life support comes in the form of subsidies.

 

A subsidy is a giveaway that gives some companies a lift over others. That's not necessarily a bad thing. We should help companies that are building a better future. The problem is our government keeps lifting up companies that are actually dragging us down. Everywhere you look along the dinosaur economy, you'll find these subsidies.

 

There’re spending subsidies: where the government just gives our money away like payments that benefit big agribusiness while helping drive family farms off a cliff, or the less obvious version where the government foots the bill for things corporations should pay for themselves like cleaning up toxic chemical spills or giant livestock manure ponds, or building roads that only go to one place like a new Walmart, or paying for polluting and wasteful garbage incinerators that would never make financial sense to build on their own.

 

Then there’re tax subsidies which excuse big corporations from contributing their fair share, like the enormous tax breaks granted to oil and gas companies even in times of record profits. These subsidies amount to billions we should be collecting and putting to good use.

 

And then there're risk transfer subsidies where our government acts as an investment bank or an insurance company for corporations doing risky things, like building nuclear reactors. If anything goes wrong, we have to cover for them.

 

There’re freebie subsidies, where our government gives stuff that belongs to all of us to corporations for cheap or even free. That's billions more that we should be collecting but never see. Like permits to mine public lands granted at prices set in the Mining Law of 1872. Really? 1872! President Grant signed this law to encourage settlement of the West. News flash, it's settled. And all this doesn't even count externalized costs. They don't show up on any spreadsheet and could amount to trillions of dollars including all of the damage to the environment, public health and the climate that this dinosaur economy causes. Without laws that make the polluters pay, we all pay with the loss of clean air and water, of increased asthma and cancer.

 

By the time we’ve handed out all these subsidies, there isn't even enough money to pay our bills, forget about building the better future.




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