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「基本工資」的英文是?提高基本工資是好是壞?帶你讀經濟學人看看專家說法

Minjane Ho 2020 年 09 月 07 日

  最近政府已拍板定案要將基本工資微調,
雖是史上最小幅度調漲,大家還是樂觀其成,
但是調漲基本工資真的是好事嗎?
一起來看看這篇英文文章看看經濟學家怎麼說吧!

今天小編要帶大家來看的是 The Economist 的這篇有關基本工資的文章:What harm do minimum wages do?

首先文章提到經濟學家認為提高基本工資並不是件好事:

For a long time economists considered minimum wages to be harmful. A survey of  the American Economic Association (AEA) members in 1992 found that 79% of respondents agreed that a minimum wage increases unemployment among young and low-skilled workers. Although many economists recognised that low pay can indeed be a real problem, they argued that no pay was worse.
(長期以來,經濟學家認為訂定基本工資是不好的。一項在 1992 年對美國經濟協會(AEA)成員的調查發現,有 79% 的受訪者認同基本工資會增加年輕人和低技術工人的失業率,儘管許多經濟學家認為低薪確實是一個真正的問題,但他們認為沒有薪水會更糟。)

minimum 

minimum 動詞與形容詞同形,作名詞使用時為「最小值;最少量」的意思,作形容詞使用時為「最低的,最小的」意思。

The minimum wage in Taiwan was increased recently.
台灣最近的基本工資有了調漲。

unemployment

unemployment 為名詞,意思是「失業人數;失業率」。

Unemployment has reached record highs in the U.S. this year.
今年美國的失業率達到新高。

美國因疫情大量裁員!但為何英國沒有? (Why We’re Seeing Mass Layoffs in the US But Not the UK)

接下來提到經濟學家認為提高最低工資的壞處:

The concern that minimum wages destroy jobs comes from the most basic of economic models: supply and demand. If labour is made more expensive, employers will probably want less of it. In the absence of a minimum wage, a worker is paid his “marginal product of labour”, which means the value of what he produces. There is no room to deviate from this wage in either direction. If an employer tries to pay a worker less, a rival firm will poach him. If the government imposes a minimum wage that is higher than a worker’s marginal product, the firm loses money by employing him. He is left jobless instead.
(基本工資會破壞工作結構的擔憂來自最基本的經濟模式:供需法則,如果勞動力變得更昂貴,雇主可能會希望減少它。在沒有基本工資的情況下,工人是依「勞動邊際報酬」來給薪,這意味著他的薪水是根據他的生產價值所決定,他的工資沒有辦法改變,如果雇主試圖少付給員工工資,那麼競爭對手的公司就會將他挖角,如果政府規定的最低工資高於員工的邊際產量,則該公司會因僱用該員工而蒙受損失,因此他反而會失業。)

deviate 

deviate 為動詞,意思是「出格,違背規則」,常用片語為 deviate from sth. (違背…)。

She was fired because she deviated from the company’s hiring policy.
她因為違背公司雇用政策被開除。

rival

rival 為名詞,意思是「競爭對手;敵手」。

Our rivals were champions last year. I think we will lose for sure.
我們的對手是去年的冠軍,我覺得我們一定會輸。

為什麼活在當下這麼困難? (Why It Is So Hard to Live in the Present)

這段裡提到,雖然提高基本工資可能反而造成失業,不過基本工資的目的是幫助員工避免被公司打壓而訂定的:

There is no single wage at which a worker has his pick of employers. As a result, firms probably pay workers less than their marginal revenue product. How much less depends on negotiations and who does best there depends on bargaining power. In this framework, the goal of the minimum wage is not to defy market logic but to stop firms in a strong negotiating position from squeezing their workers.
(沒有一個員工可以決定雇主提供的工資,因此,企業支付給員工的工資可能少於其邊際收益產品,而究竟會少多少錢就取決於談判,取決於誰有最好的議價能力,在這種框架下,基本工資的目的不是要違抗市場運作,而是要阻止在談判地位佔上風的公司打壓員工。)

negotiation

negotiation 為名詞,意思是「談判,磋商」。

There is no point holding negotiations with them. Their demands are totally unreasonable.
和他們談判是沒用的,他們完全不講理。

defy

defy 為動詞,意思是「對抗;違抗」。

I’ve been grounded for a week because I defied my parents and hung out with my friends.
我被罰一個星期不能出門,因為我違抗我爸媽跟朋友出去玩。 

薪資應該透明公開嗎?

但是接下來這個在 1990 年代的研究推翻了經濟學家長久以來對基本工資的論點:

The empirical study which revitalised the debate on minimum wages in the 1990s was by David Card and Alan Krueger, both then at Princeton University. In 1992 New Jersey increased its hourly wage floor from $4.25 to $5.05. Neighbouring Pennsylvania kept its own at $4.25. The two economists gathered information of employment at fast-food restaurants in both states before the April increase and again several months later. The increase in the wage floor did not lead to jobs being lost in New Jersey; employment in the restaurants they looked at went up. Nor did the authors find any indication that the opening of future restaurants would be affected. Looking at the growth in the number of McDonald’s restaurants across America, they saw no tendency for fewer to open where minimum wages were higher.
(普林斯頓大學的 David Card 和 Alan Krueger 在當時實際的研究振興了 1990 年代有關基本工資的辯論。在 1992 年,新澤西州將其最低時薪從 4.25 美元提高到 5.05 美元,鄰近的賓夕法尼亞州則維持在 4.25 美元,他們收集了兩個州的兩家速食餐廳從四月份加薪之前到往後幾個月後的就業率後發現,基本工資的上修並未導致新澤西州失業,餐廳的就業人數上升了,作者也沒有發現任何跡象表明餐廳在未來的開業會受到影響,縱觀麥當勞在整個美國增長的數量,就算在基本工資較高的情況下,他們也沒有看到減少拓展分店的趨勢。)

revitalise

revitalise 為動詞,意思是「使獲得新生;使復興」。

The mayor successfully won reelection after he revitalised the city’s economy.
這個市長得以連任是因為他成功讓這個城市經濟復甦了。

tendency

tendency 為名詞,意思是「傾向;趨勢」。

I have a tendency to distrust what he says given that he has lied to me many times.
因為他對我撒謊過很多次,所以我傾向不相信他說的話。

他們在 1995 年出版的書籍改變了大眾的認知,到了 2000 年,只剩下 46% 的 AEA 成員還認為基本工資會增加年輕人與低技術工人的失業率。接著來看另一個研究:

Consider an example from Seattle. A paper by Ekaterina Jardim and others at the University of Washington, published in 2017, found that minimum-wage increases in the city in 2015 and 2016 led to employers reducing hours in low-paid sectors. The average low-paid worker earned more per hour but, because they worked fewer hours, their monthly earnings dropped by $74—the equivalent of five hours’ pay.
(看看西雅圖的一個例子,華盛頓大學的 Ekaterina Jardim 等人於 2017 年發表的一篇論文發現,2015 年和 2016 年該市基本工資的上漲導致雇主減少了低薪行業的工作時間,低薪工人的平均時薪更高,但由於工作時間減少,每月收入下降了 74 美元,相當於五個小時的工資。)

low-paid 

low-paid 為形容詞,意思是「低薪的」。

If you don’t have any skills, you will probably only be able to get a low-paid job.
如果你沒有任何技能,你就可能只能做低薪的工作。

sector

sector 為名詞,意思是「部門,領域,行業」。

Salaries in the private sector tend to be better than those in the public sector.
在私營企業工作的薪水比為政府部門工作高。

In a paper published in 2018, the same authors used administrative data to track individual workers rather than looking at averages. This time they found that low-paid workers saw their weekly earnings increase by $8-12 a week. The majority of that gain, though, was taken by low earners with above-median experience levels and some of it from workers making up lost hours worked in Seattle with additional hours elsewhere in Washington state.
(同樣的作者在 2018 年發表的一篇論文中,使用管理數據來追蹤單個工人,而不是只看平均值,這次他們發現低薪工人的每週收入增加了 8 到 12 美元,不過大部分是較有經驗的低收者,其中一些是為了彌補在西雅圖的工作時間減少而在華盛頓州的其他地方工作來增加收入。)

individual 

individual 形容詞、名詞同形,意思分別是「個體的,個人的」與「個體」。

Every human being is a unique individual. There’s no need to compare yourself to others.
每個人都是獨特的個體,沒有必要去跟別人比較。

additional 

additional 為形容詞,意思是「附加的;額外的」。

Why didn’t you tell us that there would be additional costs for this trip?
你為什麼沒有告訴我們這次旅行會有額外的費用?

Economists no longer think higher minimum wages are always bad. But that is not the same as saying they are always good. In 2018 a paper by Isaac Sorkin and others cautioned policymakers to take a longer-term view, rather than worry about short-term unemployment. Its authors found that if firms perceived a higher wage floor to be permanent and unlikely to be eroded by inflation, it could encourage them to automate more and decrease employment growth in the future. The idea that a minimum wage can sometimes lead to higher rather than lower employment does not mean it always will. When pushing up the floor, policymakers need to ensure they do not hit the ceiling.
(經濟學家不再認為更高的基本工資一定不好,但這不代表調漲基本工資一定是好事。Isaac Sorkin 等人在 2018 年發表的一篇論文警告決策者應該看得長遠,而不要只擔心短期的失業率,其作者發現,如果企業認為較高的工資底線是長久之計,且不太可能受到通貨膨脹的影響,那麼有可能會鼓勵他們發展自動化,並降低未來的就業成長。基本工資有時可以帶來更高而不是更低的就業機會的想法並不意味著它總是會這樣。決策者調漲工資的時候必需要確保他們不會做過頭了。)

perceive 

perceive 為動詞,意思是「認為;看待」。

Many countries perceive North Korea as a potential threat.
許多國家認為北韓是個淺在的危險。

inflation

inflation 為名詞,意思是「通貨膨脹」。

The biggest concern for the new government is tackling inflation.
新的政府最大的擔憂是處理通貨膨脹的問題。 

調漲基本工資有利有弊,但是最重要的還是政府要幫助勞資雙方進行好的協調,才能維持市場的平衡,不知道大家怎麼想呢?

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文/ Minjane
審/ Eunice Lin
圖/ Shutterstock
作者簡介/ VoiceTube 看影片學英語
參考資料/ https://www.economist.com/schools-brief/2020/08/15/what-harm-do-minimum-wages-do

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