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          2018年考研英語(一)真題第4篇 The Postal Service Needs More than a Band-Aid

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          The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) continues to bleed red ink.

          美國郵政署(USPS)繼續深陷赤字。
          It reported a net loss of $5.6 billion for fiscal 2016, the 10th straight year its expenses have exceeded revenue.
          USPS的報告顯示,2016年的凈虧損高達56億美元,財政狀況已經連續10年入不敷出。
          Meanwhile, it has more than $120 billion in unfunded liabilities, mostly for employee health and retirement costs.
          同時,USPS還背負了1200多億美元的無資金準備負債,大部分負債為員工醫保和退休金。
          There are many bankruptcies.
          許多機構都破產了。
          Fundamentally, the USPS is in a historic squeeze between technological change that has permanently decreased demand for its bread-and-butter product, first-class mail, and a regulatory structure that denies management the flexibility to adjust its operations to the new reality.
          但從本質上看,USPS正處于具有歷史意義的技術革新與監管結構的雙重壓迫之下:一方面,技術不斷調整升級,致使其拳頭產品一級郵件的需求持續走低;另一方面,監管結構拒絕靈活的管理,無法與時俱進。
          And interest groups ranging from postal unions to greeting-card makers exert self-interested pressure on the USPS's ultimate overseer - Congress, insisting that whatever else happens to the Postal Service, aspects of the status quo they depend on get protected.
          郵政工會、賀卡制造商等各方利益集團都處于自身考慮,向USPS的最高監管機構——國會施加壓力,堅稱無論郵政總署怎樣調整,他們目前賴以生存的條件必須得到保護。
          This is why repeated attempts at reform legislation have failed in recent years, leaving the Postal Service unable to pay its bills except by deferring vital modernization.
          這也解釋了為什么近年來郵政署屢次試圖改革立法,卻都以失敗而告終,使郵政署到了不延遲至關重要的現代化進程就無法支付賬單的地步。
          Now comes word that everyone involved - Democrats, Republicans, the Postal Service, the unions and the system's heaviest users - has finally agreed on a plan to fix the system.
          現在又有消息稱,民主黨、共和黨、郵政署、郵政工會和該系統重度用戶等相關各方最終就修復系統的計劃達成了一致意見。
          Legislation is moving through the House that would save USPS an estimated $28.6 billion over five years, which could help pay for new vehicles, among other survival measures.
          眾議院正審議一個相關法案,如能通過,估計將幫助USPS在5年內節省286億美元,有望幫助郵政署購置新車及其他生存所需物品。
          Most of the money would come from a penny-per-letter permanent rate increase and from shifting postal retirees into Medicare.
          這些資金大部分來自固定郵費率的增長以及將退休郵政員工的企業醫保轉為國家醫保。
          The latter step would largely offset the financial burden of annually pre-funding retiree health care, thus addressing a long-standing complaint by the USPS and its union.
          后者將極大地抵銷每年預付醫保的財政負擔,從而解決了USPS和其工會的長期抱怨。
          If it clears the House, this measure would still have to get through the Senate – where someone is bound to point out that it amounts to the bare, bare minimum necessary to keep the Postal Service afloat, not comprehensive reform.
          如能經眾議院通過,該法案將提交參議院審核。那里勢必會有人指出它不過是能讓郵政服務維持生計的最低必要改變,而不是全面的改革。
          There's no change to collective bargaining at the USPS, a major omission considering that personnel accounts for 80 percent of the agency's costs.
          USPS的集體談判不會發生變動,而員工開銷占總開銷的80%,這實屬重大紕漏。
          Also missing is any discussion of eliminating Saturday letter delivery.
          而另一處疏漏在于,該法案并未討論是否取消星期六的郵件配送服務。
          That common-sense change enjoys wide public support and would save the USPS $2 billion per year.
          此項變動符合生活常理、廣受公眾支持,并且每年可為USPS節省20億美元開支。
          But postal special-interest groups seem to have killed it, at least in the House.
          但郵政的特殊利益群體似乎否決了此項提案,至少在眾議院討論時是這樣。
          The emerging consensus around the bill is a sign that legislators are getting frightened about a politically embarrassing short-term collapse at the USPS.
          就該項法案達成的共識表明,立法者害怕USPS短期崩塌會導致尷尬的政治局面。
          It is not, however, a sign that they're getting serious about transforming the postal system for the 21st century.
          他們并非要決心改變郵政系統以適應21世紀的變革。

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