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更新時間:2019/5/2 11:01:51 來源:紐約時報中文網 作者:佚名

The Rich Kid Revolutionaries
為何這些年輕富人選擇做“叛徒”

This country is rigged in favor of making the very wealthy even wealthier. That’s what Democrats keep saying on the 2020 campaign trail. And it’s what some of the people who have reaped the rewards of this rigged system think too. Abigail Disney, granddaughter of Roy Disney, is one recent high-profile example. On Tuesday, she called out the “naked indecency” of the $65 million in compensation that goes to Disney’s chief executive, Bob Iger. That figure, she noted, is “1,424 times the median pay of a Disney worker.”

這個國家受到操縱,以便讓非常富有的人更加富有。這是民主黨人在2020年大選中一直在說的話。這也是一些從這個被操縱的體系中獲益者的想法。羅伊•迪士尼(Roy Disney)的孫女艾比蓋爾•迪士尼(Abigail Disney)就是最近一個備受矚目的例子。周二,她指責迪士尼首席執行官鮑勃•艾格(Bob Iger) 6500萬美元的薪酬是“赤裸裸的無禮之舉”。她指出,這個數字是“迪士尼員工工資中值的1424倍”。

A growing number of privileged young people, a generation younger than Ms. Disney, are also questioning the morality of their advantages and the social arrangements that produce them. Many are involved with Resource Generation, an organization for people under 35 who are in the top 10 percent through their own or their family’s income and wealth.

越來越多享有特權的年輕人,也就是比艾比蓋爾•迪士尼年輕一代的人,也在質疑自己的優勢地位以及產生這些優勢的社會安排是否有違道德。許多人參與了資源一代(Resource Generation)組織,這是一個面向35歲以下者的組織,這些人通過自己或家庭的收入和財富躋身前10%。

These “class traitors” reject the “lie of meritocracy,” as Yahya Alazrak, a staff member of the organization, called it, adding that they are “fundamentally challenging this very core belief that our culture in the United States is built on, that people deserve all of the money that they have,” whether it comes from their work or that of their family members. Instead, these beneficiaries of the system want to change it.

如該組織工作人員葉海亞•阿拉茲拉克(Yahya Alazrak)所言,這些“階級叛徒”拒絕“精英領導體制的謊言”,並稱他們“從根本上挑戰了作為美國文化建立基石的一個非︰誦牡男拍,即人們擁有的錢都是他們應得的”,無論是來自他們的工作,還是家庭。相反,這些體系的受益者想要改變它。

In the past few months, I have talked in depth with 20 young people engaged in this work. They tend to come from families whose parents or ancestors accumulated wealth, and they have inherited or stand to inherit millions. Some have tech or other skills that bring them salaries they feel are disproportionately high. Most are white; some are children of South and East Asian immigrants. They have all studied at prestigious universities. Some are in college or graduate school, while those with jobs work in education, tech, the arts or organizing.

在過去的幾個月里,我與進行這項挑戰的20名年輕人進行了深入的交談。他們大多來自父母或祖先積累起財富的家庭,繼承或即將繼承的財產以百萬美元計。也有些人擁有一技之長,他們覺得這些技能帶來的薪水高得與他人不相稱。他們大多數是白人,也有東南亞和東亞移民的後代。他們都曾經就讀名校。有些人正在上大學或研究生院,而那些已經工作的人從事的是澳门美高梅官方开户、科技、藝術或組織方面的工作。

Rather than repeat family myths about the individual effort and smarts of their forebears, those from wealthy backgrounds tell “money stories” that highlight the more complicated origins of their families’ assets. If their fortunes came from the direct dispossession of indigenous peoples, enslavement of African-Americans, production of fossil fuels or obvious exploitation of workers, they often express especially acute guilt. As a woman in her early 20s told me of the wealth generated by her family’s global business: “It’s not just that I get money without working. It’s that other people work to make me money and don’t get nearly as much themselves. I find it to be morally repugnant.”

那些來自富裕家境的人講述的“財富故事”,突出了其家族資產更為復雜的來源,而不是重復有關祖先個人努力和聰明才智的家族神話。如果他們的財富來自對原住民的直接剝奪、對非裔美國人的奴役、從事化石燃料的生產,或者對工人的明顯剝削,他們往往表現出特別強烈的罪惡感。一個20歲出頭的女子告訴我,她家族的財富來自在世界各地的業務︰“這不僅僅是我不工作就能賺錢。而是其他人工作是為了給我賺錢,而他們自己卻沒有那麼多的錢。我發現這在道德上令人反感。”

Even those I have talked with whose family wealth was accumulated through less transparently exploitative means, such as tech or finance, or who have high-paying jobs themselves, question what they really deserve. They see that their access to such jobs, through elite schools and social networks, comes from their class (and usually race) advantages.

甚至在那些與我交談過的人當中,家庭財富通過不那麼顯而易見的剝削手段積累的,比如科技和金融,或者是因為他們自己擁有高薪工作,他們也會質疑得到的東西是否應該。他們看到自己之所以得到這樣的工作,是因為念了精英學校或者擁有各種社會關系,也就是來自他們的階級(通常還有人種)優勢。

They also know that many others work just as hard but reap fewer rewards. One 27-year-old white woman, who stands to inherit several million dollars, told me: “My dad has always been a C.E.O., and it was clear to me that he spent a lot of time at work, but it has never been clear to me that he worked a lot harder than a domestic worker, for example. I will never believe that.” She and others challenge the description of wealth garnered through work as “earned.” In an effort to break the link between money and moral value, they refer to rich people as “high net wealth” rather than “high net worth.”

他們也知道其他很多人工作同樣努力,但回報少。一名有望繼承數百萬美元的27歲白人女性告訴我︰“我爸爸一直都是個CEO,我很清楚他花很多時間在工作上,但我從來都不覺得他比,比方說家政工人工作更辛苦。我絕不信這個。”她和其他人對工作所得財富是“掙得的”說法發起了挑戰。在打破金錢與道德價值鏈條的行動中,他們用“高淨值財富”而非“高淨值”來指代富人。

Immigrants who “make it” are often seen to exemplify the American dream of upward mobility. The children of immigrants I spoke with, though, don’t want their families’ “success stories” to legitimate an unfair system. Andrea Pien, 32, is a Resource Generation member and a daughter of Taiwanese immigrants who accumulated significant wealth in the United States. She spoke of refusing to be “the token that then affirms the capitalist meritocracy myth, the idea that ‘Oh, if Andrea’s family made it, we don’t need affirmative action, or we don’t need reparations.’”

移民“成功”的人士常被視為實現向上流動的美國夢的典範。但和我交談過的移民子女卻不希望他們家人的“成功故事”使不公平的制度合理化。32歲的安德莉亞•邊(Andrea Pien)是資源一代成員,在美國積累起巨額財富的台灣移民之女。她談到拒絕充當“轉而肯定資本主義精英政治神話的標志,或這樣一種想法的寄托,即‘哦,既然安德莉亞家可以成功,我們就不需要平權法案了,或我們就不需要賠償了。’”

In general, these young people don’t believe they are entitled to so much when others have so little. Many describe feeling guilt or shame about their privilege, which often leads them to hide it. One college student, a woman of color, told me that she worried what other campus activists might think of her. “What a fraud, right?” she said. “To be in those spaces and be acting like these are my struggles, when they’re not.” A white woman who lives on her inheritance of more than $15 million spoke of “deflecting” questions about her occupation, so that others would not know she did not do work for pay.

總體上,這些年輕人不認為他們擁有過多而他人擁有過少是理應如此。許多人形容對自己的特權感到愧疚或羞恥,于是常常把它隱藏起來。一名有色人種女大學生告訴我,她擔心其他校園活動人士可能會怎麼看她。“根本就是個騙子,對吧?”她說。“身在那樣的空間里,假裝這是我的掙扎,但其實不是。”一名以她所繼承的1500多萬美元財富為生的白人女性表示,談論她的職業時,她會問一些“轉移話題”的問題,這樣別人就不會知道她沒有靠自己工作掙錢。

These progressive children of privilege told me they study the history of racial capitalism in the United States and discuss the ways traditional philanthropy tends to keep powerful people at the top. They also spend a fair amount of time talking about their money. Should they give it all away? Should they get a job, even if they don’t need the income? How much is it ethical to spend on themselves or others? How does money shape friendships and relationships? Resource Generation and its members facilitate these conversations, including one local chapter’s “feelings caucus.”

這些進步派特權人士子女告訴我,他們研究美國的種族資本主義史,探討傳統慈善如何傾向于將有權勢的人留在上層社會。他們還花大量時間談論他們的錢。他們是否應當全部捐出?他們是否應找份工作,即便他們不需要工作收入?把多少錢花在自己身上或他人身上是道德的?金錢如何影響友誼與戀愛關系?資源一代及其成員幫助促進這些談話,一個本地分會還設有“情感核心會議”。

If you’re thinking, “Cry me a river,” you’re not alone. I have faced skepticism from other sociologists when discussing this research. One colleague asserted that rich young people struggling with their privilege do not have a “legitimate problem.” Others ask: How much do they really give, and what do they really give up? Aren’t these simply self-absorbed millennials taking another opportunity to talk endlessly about themselves?

如果你的想法是,“搞得好像多慘似的,”那麼有不少人跟你一樣。在探討這項研究時,我曾遇到其他社會學家的質疑。一名同事堅稱,年輕富人與特權作斗爭並不是個“正經的問題”。還有人則問︰他們真正給予了多少,又真正放棄了多少?這些難道不過是自戀的千禧一代又逮著機會無休止地談論自己?

I understand this view. There is certainly a risk — of which many of them are aware — that all this conversation will just devolve into navel-gazing, an expression of privilege rather than a challenge to it. It is hard for individual action to make a dent in an ironclad social structure. And it is impossible, as they know, to shed the class privilege rooted in education and family socialization, even if they give away every penny.

我理解這種觀點。確實存在一種風險——我們中很多人也意識到了——即所有這些談話難免會退化為一場空談,淪為對特權的表達而非對它發起挑戰。要對鐵一般堅硬的社會結構作出一點改變,憑借個體的行動很難辦到。而他們也知道,即便捐出手里的每一分錢,要完全擺脫植根于澳门美高梅官方开户和家庭社會關系的階級特權,是不可能的。

But like Abigail Disney, these young people are challenging fundamental cultural understandings of who deserves what. And they are breaking the social taboo against talking about money — a taboo that allows radical inequality to fade into the background. This work is critical at a moment when the top 1 percent of families in the United States owns 40 percent of the country’s wealth, and Jeff Bezos takes home more money per minute than the median American worker makes in a year.

但就像艾比蓋爾•迪士尼一樣,這些年輕人正在從根本上挑戰文化層面對于誰值得擁有什麼的理解。他們也正在打破不許談錢的社會禁忌——這項禁忌使得極端不平等狀況被淡化。在美國百分之一的家庭擁有全國四成財富,杰夫•貝佐斯(Jeff Bezos)每分鐘的入賬超過美國工薪階層平均年收入的當下,這項工作至關重要。

As Holly Fetter, a Resource Generation member and Harvard Business School student, told me, “It’s essential that those of us who have access to wealth and want to use it to support progressive social movements speak up, to challenge the narrative that the 1 percent are only interested in accumulation, and invite others to join us.”

資源一代成員、哈佛商學院的學生霍莉•菲特(Holly Fetter)告訴我,“我們這些可以獲得財富的人想用它來支持激進的社會運動,重要的是,我們要為此發聲,挑戰那種1%的富人只對斂財感興趣的說法,並且邀請其他人加入我們。”

Wealthy people are more likely to convince other wealthy people that the system is unfair. And they are the only ones who can describe intimately the ways that wealth may be emotionally corrosive, producing fear, shame and isolation.

富人更有可能讓其他富人相信,這個體系是不公平的。只有他們能夠詳細描述財富如何侵蝕情感,制造恐懼、羞恥和孤立。

Class privilege is like white privilege, in that its beneficiaries receive advantages that are, in fact, unearned. So for them to conclude that their own wealth is undeserved, and therefore immoral, constitutes a powerful critique of the idea of meritocracy.

階級特權與白人特權相似,其受益者得到的好處實際上並不是努力贏得的。因此,他們認為自己的財富是他們不應得的,因此是不道德的,這構成了對精英政治理念的有力批判。

The fact that the system is immoral, of course, does not make individuals immoral. One person I spoke with, a white 30-year-old who inherited money, said: “It’s not that we’re bad people. It’s just, nobody needs that much money.” But judgments of systems are often taken as judgments of individuals, which leads white people to deny racism and rich people to deny class privilege.

當然,制度的不道德並不會使個人變得不道德。我采訪的一位繼承遺產的30歲白人說︰“這不意味著我們是壞人。只是,沒人需要那麼多錢。”但針對制度的評判往往被視為針對個人的評判,這導致白人不承認種族主義,富人不承認階級特權。

So even the less-public work of talking through emotions, needs and relationships, which can seem self-indulgent, is meaningful. As Ms. Pien put it, “Our feelings are related to the bigger structure.”

因此,即使是對情感、需求和人際關系不那麼公開的討論,看起來像是一種自我陶醉,也是有意義的。正如安德莉亞•邊所說,“我們的感覺與整體的組織是相關的。”

One huge cultural support of that structure is secrecy around money, which even rich people don’t talk about.

對金錢的遮掩是這種體制背後的巨大文化支持,即使富人也不會談論這個話題。

Wealthy parents fear that if they tell their kids how much they will inherit, the kids won’t develop a strong work ethic. Yahya Alazrak, of Resource Generation, has heard people say, “My dad won’t tell me how much money we have because he’s worried that I’ll become lazy.” One man in his early 30s recounted that his parents had always told him they would pay for his education, but not support him afterward until they revealed that he had a trust worth over $10 million. Parents also have a “scarcity mentality,” Resource Generation members said, which leads them to “hoard” assets to protect against calamity.

富有的父母擔心,如果告訴孩子他們將繼承多少遺產,孩子們就不會養成良好的職業道德。資源一代的葉海亞•阿拉茲拉克曾听人們說,“我爸爸不會告訴我,我們有多少錢,因為他擔心我會變得懶惰。”一名30歲出頭的男子回憶說,父母一直告訴他,他們會支付他的學費,但等他畢業後就不會給他出錢了,但後來他們透露,他擁有一個價值超過1000萬美元的信托基金。資源一代的成員們表示,父母們還有一種“匱乏心態”,導致他們“囤積”資產,以便抵御災難。

Secrecy also often goes hand in hand with limited financial literacy. Women, especially, may not learn about money management growing up, thanks to gendered ideas about financial planning and male control of family assets. Some people I met who will inherit significant amounts of money didn’t know the difference between a stock and a bond.

這種遮掩往往伴隨著財務知識的局限。尤其是對于女性來說,由于理財觀念的性別化和男性對家庭資產的控制,她們可能無法在成長過程中學會理財。我認識的一些將要繼承大筆遺產的人連股票和債券的區別都不知道。

When wealthy parents do talk about money, they tend to put forth conventional ideas about merit: They or their ancestors worked hard for what they have, scrimped and saved to keep and increase it, and gave some of it away. When their children reject these metrics, parents’ sense of being “good people” is challenged.

當富有的父母談論金錢時,他們往往會談起傳統價值觀念︰他們或他們的長輩為自己擁有的東西努力工作、精打細算,用存錢來保持和增加財富,並且捐一些錢。當孩子拒絕接受這些標準的時候,父母身為“好人”的感覺就會受到挑戰。

When one woman told her immigrant parents she wanted to give their millions away, it was like “a slap in the face” for them, she said, because they felt they had “sacrificed a lot for this money.”

一個女人告訴她的移民父母,自己打算把他們的數百萬美元捐出去,她說,感覺就像是“扇了他們一記耳光”,因為他們覺得自己“為這筆錢犧牲了很多”。

Parents — and the financial professionals who manage family wealth — also tend to follow conventional wisdom about money: Never give away principal. Charitable donations should be offset by tax breaks. And the goal of investing is always to make as much money as possible. As one 33-year-old inheritor said, “No financial adviser ever says, ‘I made less money for the client, but I got them to build affordable housing.’”

父母——以及管理家庭財富的金融專業人士——也傾向于遵循關于金錢的傳統智慧︰永遠不要放棄本金。慈善捐款應該用減稅來補償。而投資的目標總是盡可能多地賺錢。正如一位33歲的繼承人所說,“沒有哪個理財顧問會說,‘我為客戶賺的錢減少了,但我成功地讓他們去建造了美高梅官方开户適用房。’”

Talking about how it feels to be rich can help build affordable housing, though. Once the feeling of being a “bad person” is replaced by “good person in a bad structure,” these young people move into redistributive action. Many talked about asserting control over their money, pursuing socially responsible investments (sometimes for much lower returns) and increasing their own or their families’ giving, especially to social-justice organizations. And eventually — like the people I have quoted by name here — they take a public stand.

不過,談論身為富人的感覺確實有助于廉價住房的建造。一旦身為“壞人”的感覺被身為“不良體制中的好人”所取代,這些年輕人就會將再分配付諸行動。許多人談到要控制自己的金錢,追求有社會責任感的投資(有時回報要低得多),增加自己或家人的捐款,尤其是對社會公正組織的捐款。最終——就像在本文中透露姓名的人們一樣——他們采取了公開立場。

Finally, they imagine an alternative future, based on a different idea of what people deserve. Ms. Pien, for example, wants to be “invested in collective good, so we can all have the basics that we need and a little more.” In her vision, this “actually makes everyone more secure and fulfilled and joyful, rather than us hiding behind our mountains of money.”

最後,基于對人們應該得到什麼的不同看法,他們設想了另一種未來。例如,安德莉亞•邊希望“投資在集體福祉上,這樣我們都能擁有我們所需要的最基本的東西,然後再有一點點盈余。”在她看來,這樣“其實會讓所有人都能更安全、更充實、更快樂,而不是躲在我們的金山後面。”

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