“The US Congressman Who Studied Deng Xiaoping”

I occasionally translate articles from Chinese to English for personal practice. This one appeared on the South China Morning Post’s Weibo account as part of their 观点 (guāndiǎn), or “My Take” series. Here it is for those also learning Chinese, and for anyone interested in Hong Kong Chinese language coverage of 2016 US presidential candidates. (Although, it’s written in simplified characters which means it’s for a mainland audience.)

This one’s about Rand Paul – 兰德保罗Lándé Bǎoluó (orchid virtue, protect the net). By Lu Gang (卢纲). First the whole thing in both languages, then broken down sentence by sentence.

太意想不到了!邓小平的天才理念已经传播到美国. 有望竞逐美国总统的共和党参议员兰德保罗最近发表了一份长达50页的蓝图就振兴美国经济提出建议, 其核心理念听起来, 与港澳两个中国特别行政区, 以及深圳与珠海等经济特区的模式极为相似.

当然, 保罗称其建议为 “经济自由区” (economic freedom zones) 即全国部分地区, 城市和大县将不受政府控制, 或至少不受大政府影响不必遵守种种严酷的法例. 税率则划一为5%, 企业, 雇主, 雇员部一视同仁. 在 “经济自由区” 内, 资本收益无须征税, 至于用来支援社会保障的工资税, 税率上限定为4%. 慈善捐款扣税安排也将更进一步, 成为等额的减税优惠, 例如若向慈善团体捐款1000美元, 就可以少缴1000美元的税款.

用者自付的环保法例将取消, 同时将尺量将学校私有化. 美国专家大多认为此方案 “疯狂,” “骇人.” 我可不这么看. 保罗似乎希望美国比中国的特别行政区和经济特区更进一步. 外界形容他的方案是推崇超级资本主义, 可能令国家崩坏. 让自由企业制度主宰一切吧. 美国传统基金会将以此为荣.

今时今日, 大多数美国人和加拿大人一出生就知道有资本利得税这回事. 他们或许认为缴纳此税天经地义的. 身在香港的我们当然知道并非如此. 香港的富豪门定会相当自在. 毕竟, 这些人红利收入过十亿, 却毋须为此付半分税.

不然你以为他们哪来的钱捐给慈善机构, 让公用大楼和大学教学以他们命名?

美国哪处地方可以划作保罗建议的自由经济区? 起步点可以是底特律等破产的城市,或濒临破产的穷乡僻壤. 但最后, 任何追求真正经济自由的地方, 都会成为经济自由区.

兰德保罗永远不会成为总统, 美国也不会被划分成无数个自由经济区. 但这并不保罗是疯子. 你爱怎么说就怎么说, 我们早就生活在这样的区域里了– 无论这是好事还是坏事.

Who would’ve thought! Deng Xiaoping’s genius idea has spread to America. US Presidential hopeful Senator Rand Paul recently released a 50-page blueprint making recommendations for revitalizing the American economy. The core idea sounds very similar to the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions (SAR) and the Shenzhen and Zhuhai Special Economic Zones (SEZ).

Naturally, Paul called for “economic freedom zones” in his proposal, where parts of the country, cities and counties would not be under government control, or at least that they wouldn’t have to comply with overly burdensome government influence and legislation. There would be a uniform tax rate of 5% for corporations, employers and employees alike. In the “economic freedom zones” there would be no capital gains tax. As for payroll taxes used to support social security, the tax rate would be limited to 4%. Charitable donations will be matched with tax breaks, for instance if you make a $1,000 donation to charity, you’ll get a $1,000 tax break.

User pays” legislation would be cancelled, and schools would be privatized as much as possible. Experts/specialists in the US find this program “crazy” or “appalling.” I don’t see it that way. Paul seems to want to go even further with these zones in the US than the SEZs have in China. The outside world describes his program as revering super-capitalism too highly, which may lead to national collapse. Let the free enterprise system dominate everything. Make the Heritage Foundation proud.

Today, most Americans and Canadians know this thing called the capital gains tax. They might even think that it is a universal law/right and proper to pay this tax. (天经地义tiānjīngdìyì means “heaven’s law and earth’s principle.” Meaning it’s the way things are and should be, it’s a universal law, etc.) Those of us in Hong Kong of course know this is not true. The home of a Hong Kong tycoon will certainly be found to be quite comfortable. After all, these people have already taken in billions in dividends/bonus income, but are required to pay even a little bit in taxes.

But where do you think they get the money to donate to charity, and to have public buildings and universities that teach in their names?

Which parts of the US could be designated for Paul’s suggested economic freedom zones? Bankrupt Detroit or other cities on the verge of bankruptcy could be a starting point, or other neglected back-country areas on the brink of bankruptcy. But in the end, any place that pursues genuine economic freedom, will have to become entirely an economic freedom zone.

Rand Paul will never become president, and the United States will also not be divided up into numerous economic zones. But this does not at all mean that Paul is crazy. But hey, say or think whatever you want, we have long lived in a place like that — whether it was a good or bad thing.

那个学邓小​​平的美国议员. 
Nàgè xué dèng xiǎo​​píng de měiguó yìyuán.

The US Congressman who studied Deng Xiaoping.

太意想不到了!邓小平的天才理念已经传播到美国.
Tài yì xiǎngbùdàole! Dèngxiǎopíng de tiāncái lǐniàn yǐjīng zhuànbō dào měiguó.

Who would’ve thought! Deng Xiaoping’s genius idea has spread to America.

有望竞逐美国总统的共和党参议员兰德保罗最近发表了一份长达50页的蓝图就振兴美国经济提出建议,
Yǒuwàng jìngzhú měiguó zǒngtǒng de gònghédǎng cānyìyuán lándé bǎoluó zuìjìn fābiǎole yī fèn zhǎngdá 50 yè de lántú jiù zhènxīng měiguó jīngjì tíchū jiànyì,

US Presidential hopeful Senator Rand Paul recently released a 50-page blueprint making recommendations for revitalizing the American economy,

其核心理念听起来, 与港澳两个中国特别行政区, 以及深圳与珠海等经济特区的模式极为相似.
qí héxīn lǐniàn tīng qǐlái, yǔ gǎng’ào liǎng gè zhōngguó tèbié xíngzhèngqū, yǐjí shēnzhèn yǔ zhūhǎi děng jīngjì tèqū de móshì jíwéi xiāngsì.

The core idea sounds very similar to the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions (SAR) and the Shenzhen and Zhuhai Special Economic Zones (SEZ).

当然, 保罗称其建议为 “经济自由区” (economic freedom zones) 即全国部分地区, 城市和大县将不受政府控制, 或至少不受大政府影响不必遵守种种严酷的法例.
Dāngrán, bǎoluó chēng qí jiànyì wèi “jīngjì zìyóu qū” (economic freedom zones) jí quánguó bùfèn dìqū, chéngshì hé dàxiàn jiāng bù shòu zhèngfǔ kòngzhì, huòzhì shào bù shòu dà zhèngfǔ yǐngxiǎng bù bì zūnshǒu zhǒngzhǒng yánkù de fǎlì.

Naturally, Paul called for “economic freedom zones” in his proposal, where parts of the country, cities and counties would not be under government control, or at least that they wouldn’t have to comply with overly burdensome government influence and legislation.

税率则划一为5%, 企业, 雇主, 雇员部一视同仁.
Shuìlǜ zéhuà yī wéi 5%, qǐyè, gùzhǔ, gùyuán bù yīshìtóngrén.

There would be a uniform tax rate of 5% for corporations, employers and employees alike.

在 “经济自由区” 内, 资本收益无须征税, 至于用来支援社会保障的工资税, 税率上限定为4%.
Zài jīngjì zìyóu qū nèi, zīběn shōuyì wúxū zhēngshuì, zhìyú yòng lái zhīyuán shèhuì bǎozhàng de gōngzīshuì, shuìlǜ shàng xiàn dìng wèi 4%.

In the “economic freedom zones” there would be no capital gains tax. As for payroll taxes used to support social security, the tax rate would be limited to 4%.

慈善捐款扣税安排也将更进一步, 成为等额的减税优惠, 例如若向慈善团体捐款1000美元, 就可以少缴1000美元的税款.
Císhàn juānkuǎn kòu shuì ānpái yě jiāng gèng jìnyībù, chéngwéi děng’é de jiǎn shuì yōuhuì, lìrú ruò xiàng císhàn tuántǐ juānkuǎn 1000 měiyuán, jiù kěyǐ shǎo jiǎo 1000 měiyuán de shuì kuǎn.

Charitable donations will be matched with tax breaks, for instance if you make a $1,000 donation to charity, you’ll get a $1,000 tax break.

用者自付的环保法例将取消, 同时将尽量将学校私有化.
Yòngzhě zìfù de huánbǎo fǎlì jiāng qǔxiāo, tóngshí jiāng jǐnliàng jiāng xuéxiào sīyǒuhuà.

User pays” legislation would be cancelled, and schools would be privatized as much as possible.

美国专家大多认为此方案 “疯狂,” “骇人.” 我可不这么看.
Měiguó zhuānjiā dàduō rènwéi cǐ fāng’àn “fēngkuáng”, “hàirén.” Wǒ kě bù zhème kàn.

Experts/specialists in the US find this program “crazy” or “appalling.” I don’t see it that way.

保罗似乎希望美国比中国的特别行政区和经济特区更进一步.
Bǎoluó sìhū xīwàng měiguó bǐ zhōngguó de tèbié xíngzhèngqū hé jīngjì tèqū gèng jìnyībù.

Paul seems to want to go even further with these zones in the US than the SEZs have in China.

外界形容他的方案是推崇超级资本主义, 可能令国家崩坏.
Wàijiè xíngróng tā de fāng’àn shì tuīchóng chāojí zīběn zhǔyì, kěnéng lìng guójiā bēng huài.

The outside world describes his program as revering super-capitalism too highly, which may lead to national collapse.

让自由企业制度主宰一切吧.
Ràng zìyóu qǐyè zhìdù zhǔzǎi yīqiè ba.

Let the free enterprise system dominate everything.

美国传统基金会将以此为荣.
Měiguó chuántǒng jījīn huì jiāng yǐ cǐ wéi róng.

Make the Heritage Foundation proud.

今时今日, 大多数美国人和加拿大人一出生就知道有资本利得税这回事.
Jīn shí jīn rì, dàduōshù měiguórén hé jiānádàrén yī chūshēng jiù zhīdào yǒu zīběn lìdé shuì zhè huí shì.

Today, most Americans and Canadians know this thing called the capital gains tax.

他们或许认为缴纳此税天经地义的.
Tāmen huòxǔ rènwéi jiǎonà cǐ shuì tiānjīngdìyì de.

They might even think that it is a universal law/right and proper to pay this tax.

身在香港的我们当然知道并非如此.
Shēn zài xiānggǎng de wǒmen dāngrán zhīdào bìngfēi rúcǐ.

Those of us in Hong Kong of course know this is not true.

香港的富豪门定会相当自在.
Xiānggǎng de fùháo mén dìng huì xiāngdāng zìzài.

The home of a Hong Kong tycoon will certainly be found to be quite comfortable.

毕竟, 这些人红利收入过十亿, 却毋须为此付半分税.
Bìjìng, zhèxiē rén hónglì shōurùguò shí yì, què wúxū wèi cǐ fù bànfēn shuì.

After all, these people have already taken in billions in dividends/bonus income, but are required to pay even a little bit in taxes.

不然你以为他们哪来的钱捐给慈善机构, 让公用大楼和大学教学以他们命名?
Bùrán nǐ yǐwéi tāmen nǎ lái de qián juān gěi císhàn jīgòu, ràng gōngyòng dàlóu hé dàxué jiàoxué yǐ tāmen mìngmíng?

But where do you think they get the money to donate to charity, and to have public buildings and universities that teach in their names?

美国哪处地方可以划作保罗建议的自由经济区?
Měiguó nǎ chǔ dìfāng kěyǐ huà zuò bǎoluó jiànyì de zìyóu jīngjìqū?

Which parts of the US could be designated for Paul’s suggested economic freedom zones?

起步点可以是底特律等破产的城市,或濒临破产的穷乡僻壤.
Qǐbù diǎn kěyǐ shì dǐtèlǜ děng pòchǎn de chéngshì, huò bīnlín pòchǎn de qióngxiāngpìrǎng.

Bankrupt Detroit or other cities on the verge of bankruptcy could be a starting point, or other neglected back-country areas on the brink of bankruptcy.

但最后, 任何追求真正经济自由的地方, 都会成为经济自由区.
Dàn zuìhòu, rènhé zhuīqiú zhēnzhèng jīngjì zìyóu de dìfāng, doū huì chéngwéi jīngjì zìyóuqū.

But in the end, any place that pursues genuine economic freedom, will have to become entirely an economic freedom zone.

兰德保罗永远不会成为总统, 美国也不会被划分成无数个自由经济区.
Lándé Bǎoluó yǒngyuǎn bù huì chéngwéi zǒngtǒng, měiguó yě bù huì bèi huà fēn chéng wúshù gè zìyóu jīngjì qū.

Rand Paul will never become president, and the United States will also not be divided up into numerous economic zones.

但这并不保罗是疯子.
Dàn zhè bìng bù Bǎoluó shì fēngzi.

But this does not at all mean that Paul is crazy.

你爱怎么说就怎么说, 我们早就生活在这样的区域里了– 无论这是好事还是坏事.
Nǐ ài zěnme shuō jiù zěnme shuō, wǒmen zǎo jiù shēnghuó zài zhèyàng de qūyù lǐle–wúlùn zhè shì hǎoshì háishì huàishì.

But hey, say or think whatever you want, we have long lived in a place like that — whether it was a good or bad thing.

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