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ウォール街デモ―「99%」を政治の力に

2011/10/11
--The Asahi Shimbun, Oct. 9
EDITORIAL: Wall Street demonstrations manifest resilience of U.S. society.
ウォール街デモ―「99%」を政治の力に

Demonstrations against corporate greed that have targeted Wall Street, the pinnacle of financial capitalism, in recent weeks are gaining widespread momentum.
 金融資本主義の総本山であるニューヨーク・ウォール街でのデモが勢いを増している。

"The rich are the 1 percent. We are the 99 percent." "Tax the rich, feed the poor." These are among slogans that are gaining currency.
 「金持ちは1%/われわれは99%」「富める者に税金を/貧しい者に食べものを」――

The protesters are mainly unemployed people, small business owners battling to survive because banks are reluctant to provide loans and students who are unable to pay back their student loans.
People, whose lives nosedived in the post-Lehman Brothers crash recession, are raising their voices nationwide. 失業者、銀行の貸し渋りで経営難の中小事業者、学資のローンが返せない学生など、リーマン・ショック後の不況で生活が暗転したままの人々が声をあげた。

The demonstrations have spread to the capital, Washington D.C. And now, major labor unions have also decided to take part.
首都ワシントンにも波及し、主要労組も参加に踏み切った。

The bubble economy crashes and the ensuing pressures of excessive debt pushes the entire economy into stagnant growth.
 バブル崩壊後の過重な債務の圧力で経済全体が低成長を強いられ、国民の間で格差が広がっている。

The result is a widening disparity in income levels. The pattern is the same in Japan and in Europe.
日本や欧州にも共通する構図だ。

President Barack Obama, who took office after the Lehman crash, immediately implemented a major stimulus package.
 リーマン・ショック後に登場したオバマ大統領は就任するやすぐに大型の景気対策に踏み切ったが、

Even so, he suffered a defeat in last year's mid-term elections.
昨年の中間選挙に敗れ、

Thus, the path of supporting the poor by raising taxes on the rich has been blocked.
富裕層への増税で貧困層を支える道は阻まれた。

A huge amount of capital was injected into the Wall Street megabanks to avoid a financial crisis.
 金融危機を避けるためウォール街の大銀行には巨額の資本が注入された。

But the banks, disliking government control, secured their profits by cutting back on their lending, and returned the public funds quickly enough.
しかし、各銀行は政府の管理を嫌って貸し渋りなどで利益を確保し、早々に公的資金を返済した。

This was followed by a recurrence of enormous bonuses for the bank executives.
再び巨額ボーナスを懐にする幹部が相次ぐ。

The quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve Board, aimed at bolstering the economy, pushed up stock values for a while and was hailed by Wall Street.
 景気浮揚を狙った米連邦準備制度理事会による金融の量的緩和政策は、株価を一時的に浮揚させてウォール街から歓迎されたものの、

But it just ended up raising gas prices among other things.
結局はガソリンなどの値上がりを招き、

There has been no improvement in the housing market, the major source of malaise in the American economy.
米国経済の最大の病根である住宅市場には改善効果が見られない。

Unemployment now exceeds 9 percent, and the percentage of impoverished households is also increasing.
 失業率は9%を超え、貧困世帯の割合も上がる一方。

People in disadvantaged positions have, in effect, been left to fall by the wayside.
弱い立場の人々は放置され、

This is in stark contrast with the tea party movement, with its base consisting of a relatively well-off conservative middle class.
The movement is against higher taxes, and its demands are sending Washington politics into a tailspin.
相対的に余裕のある保守中間層を基盤とした増税反対の「茶会」運動がワシントンの政治を振り回しているのとは対照的だ。

However, a backlash is spreading against the radical argument pushed by the tea party based on the theory of the "survival of the fittest."
 ただ、優勝劣敗を旨とする茶会の極端な主張には疑問も広がる。

That reaction is evident in billionaire Warren Buffet's call for raising taxes on the rich, when he said, "Stop coddling the super-rich."
それは、大富豪のウォーレン・バフェット氏が「金持ちを甘やかすのはやめよう」と富裕層への増税を求めたことにも表れている。

The Wall Street demonstrations can also probably be seen as a manifestation of the resilience of American society to regain its balance.
ウォール街のデモも、米国社会が持つバランスの復元力を具現化しているとみることができよう。

The demonstrators are now at the stage where they are desperate for politicians to hear the voices of the 99 percent.
 デモはいま、政治に「99%の人々の肉声を聞いてほしい」と切望している段階だろう。

The demonstrators are nearly at the point of despair. The crucial question is how the politicians will respond.
これが失望に変わる前に、政治がどうこたえていくのか。

Obama said the demonstrations reflected deep frustrations felt by the American people.
 オバマ大統領はデモを「不満の表れ」と評したが、

But surely he should see this as an opportunity to restore his leadership.
He ought to seize on these frustrations and incorporate them into his policies, which are aimed at achieving improved employment and better fiscal health in the mid- to long-term.
当面の雇用対策と中長期の財政健全化を両にらみしている自らの政策にこの「不満」をすくい上げ、求心力の再生につなげる好機を見るべきではないか。

We cannot afford to let the United States falter when the world economy is under duress from Europe's debt crisis.
 欧州の債務危機で世界経済が動揺する折、米国までぐらついては困る。

We hope Washington will respond quickly so that things will emerge better and stronger from this state of confusion.
機敏な対応で「雨降って地固まる」としてほしい。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-10-12 08:08 | 英字新聞

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