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  • October 2009 was the worst month of the worst year of the Great Recession.

    2009 年十月是經濟大衰退中最可怕的一個月。

  • One out of every ten Americans was out of work.

    每十個美國人就有一個失業。

  • It was bad.

    狀況很慘。

  • But not as bad as the worst year of the Great Depression, when the unemployment rate was one in four.

    但沒有比經濟大蕭條最糟的那一年還慘,當時失業率來到了 25%。

  • Few Americans alive today have ever seen that many people out of work.

    現在的美國人,幾乎沒有看過那麼多人失業。

  • Until now.

    直到現在。

  • Coronavirus outbreaks at meatpacking plants, forcing many to close.

    疫情在肉類工廠爆發,導致許多工廠關閉。

  • Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler, all temporarily closing U.S. plants because of the coronavirus.

    福特、通用汽車與飛雅特克萊斯勒汽車都因疫情暫時關閉美國工廠。

  • Parking lots, bare.

    停車場空無一人。

  • Retail stores, corporate offices all closed.

    零售商店、企業辦公處都關閉。

  • By the end of April 2020, 30 million Americans had filed unemployment claims.

    到了 2020 年四月底,3 千萬名美國人申請了失業救助。

  • Economists estimated that the U.S. unemployment rate was about 13 percent.

    經濟學家估計美國失業率為 13%。

  • The highest since the Great Depression.

    自經濟大蕭條以來最高的。

  • But in some other countries, like the U.K., for instance, it's a totally different story.

    但在別的國家,像是英國,就不ㄧ樣了。

  • Factories, restaurants... all that stuff is closed.

    工廠、餐廳之類的地方都關了。

  • But this?

    但急升的失業率?

  • This isn't happening.

    就沒有發生在英國了。

  • In the U.S., lawmakers have assumed that all these closed factories, shops, and restaurants have one inevitable outcomemass unemployment.

    在美國,立法人已經假定所有關閉的工廠、商店與餐廳,都無可避免地會帶來龐大的失業人口。

  • But what if that's wrong?

    但如果那是錯的怎麼辦?

  • What if millions of people didn't have to lose their jobs?

    如果那幾百萬人其實是不用失業的又如何?

  • What if it didn't have to be this way?

    如果事情可以不用這樣發展呢?

  • For most of U.S. history, if you were laid off, you didn't have a lot of options.

    從美國歷史來看,當時如果被炒魷魚了,你並沒什麼選擇。

  • Churches and charities did what they could, but for the most part, you were on your own.

    教堂與慈善機構會盡力幫忙,但基本上你還是只能靠自己。

  • That changed during the Great Depression.

    那在經濟大衰退發生了改變。

  • With help from the federal government, states began to hold back a share of every worker's paycheck.

    在聯邦政府的幫忙之下,各州開始在每個人的工資裡扣除一份錢。

  • That money went into a fund that workers could tap into if they got laid off.

    這些錢會到一個基金中,當有人失業時就可以使用。

  • Workers in every state of the union are now protected if they are temporarily laid off or lose their jobs.

    在聯邦內的每個被暫時解僱或失業的居民現在已受到保護。

  • The system worked pretty well, as long as too many people didn't lose their job all at once.

    這個系統運行得很好,前提是沒有太多人一次失業。

  • Our unemployment insurance system is well-suited towards a very mild recession, where there's not a lot of stress put on the system.

    我們的失業保險系統對於輕微的經濟不景氣相當好,尤其是在系統沒有承受太多壓力的時候。

  • But that is definitely not what happened during the coronavirus lockdowns.

    但在這個新冠肺炎封鎖的階段,絕對不是輕微的不景氣。

  • You can think of the economy as a web of connections.

    可以把經濟想成一張彼此連結的大網。

  • During normal times, every day, billions of dollars change hands across these connections, between different companies and industries.

    在一般的時候,每天都會有數十億的金錢在這些公司與企業中流通。

  • Airlines pay oil companies for jet fuel.

    航空公司會付錢給石油公司來換取燃油。

  • Those oil companies pay computer engineers to make software that helps them find new reserves.

    石油公司則付錢給電腦工程師們,製作軟體來尋找更多有蘊含石油的地方。

  • And those software companies pay ad agencies to make commercials for them.

    而這些軟體公司則付錢給廣告公司來幫他們打廣告。

  • Then they pay to put those ads in front of things you like to watch.

    然後廣告公司在付錢將廣告放在你會看到的地方。

  • And a tiny portion of that money helps pay for us to make videos.

    其中的一小部分錢會幫助我們製作影片。

  • We spend some of that money on, say, plane tickets for reporting trips, and the whole cycle repeats.

    我們則會花當中一部分的錢來買,假設出公差的機票,然後整個循環不斷重複。

  • During normal times, these connections are what allow businesses to pay their employees.

    一般時期,這些連結就是企業付薪水給員工的來源。

  • If some connections break, and a business lays off workers, unemployment insurance is there to help them get by until those connections reform and businesses are ready to hire again.

    如果某些連結斷了,有員工被解僱了,失業保險就會幫助他們度過難關,直到連結再度修復,他們再度找到工作。

  • But when the lockdowns started and businesses closed down, lots of those connections broke away entirely.

    但,當封鎖開始,企業關閉,許多連結都完全斷開了。

  • Businesses laid off millions of workers in just a few weeks, faster than at any time in U.S. history.

    許多企業在短短數週內解僱了數百萬個員工,是美國歷史上最快的一次。

  • In response, congress has passed several bills, aimed at helping states get unemployment benefits to more people, more quickly.

    作為應對,議會通過了許多法條,要來幫助各州更快地得到更多資源來幫助這些失業人口。

  • But even if that helps in the short term, it might not be enough down the road.

    但,這在短期而言或許有幫助,在將來可能就不一定了。

  • Because once the lockdowns are over, many of those businesses simply won't be there anymore.

    因為當封城結束後,許多企業早已完全倒閉。

  • The businesses that I think will be particularly hard-hit will be small and medium-sized businesses who just don't have enough in reserve.

    我認為打擊最大的企業,將會是沒有足夠儲備金的小型與中小型企業。

  • Even if they lay off employees, businesses still have to pay rent.

    就算企業開除員工,他們還是得付租金。

  • Plus insurance, utilities, and other business costs.

    還有保險、水電費與其他花費。

  • But there's no money coming in.

    但卻沒有收入。

  • Without relief, those businesses are gonna have no choice but to shutter.

    如果沒有救助金,這些企業沒有選擇,只能倒閉。

  • Once the lockdown is lifted, and it's safe to work again, a lot of businesses will be gone.

    當城市解封,大家可以再度工作時,許多公司早已消失。

  • And there will be way fewer jobs to come back to.

    剩下的工作將少之又少。

  • Lots of unemployed people will likely stay unemployed.

    許多失業人口,將會繼續失業。

  • Which will draw the economic crisis out even further.

    而這將會導致更大的經濟危機。

  • But things don't have to turn out that way.

    但事情並不一定得這樣發展。

  • Just like in the U.S., most of the U.K. is on lockdown.

    就如果美國,英國大部分的地區也都在封城中。

  • Many of those connections between businesses have fallen off.

    許多企業之間的連結都斷了。

  • But instead of waiting for workers to get laid off, the government in the U.K. is doing something different.

    但與其是坐等員工失業,英國政府嘗試做了不同的事。

  • The way that they're going about it is saying to companies, "We will pay you to pay your employees."

    政府向企業們說:「我們會給錢,讓你們可以付給員工薪水。」

  • Workers get paid 80 percent of their previous salary and businesses get help covering rent and other costs.

    員工可以得到八成的薪水,而政府幫忙企業負擔租金與其他花費。

  • Denmark and the Netherlands have put similar systems in place.

    丹麥與荷蘭也有類似的措施。

  • In all of these countries, government support has put the economy on pause to keep it from falling apart later.

    在這些國家裡,政府的扶助讓經濟暫停,一避免未來的分崩離析。

  • Everything is still there; everything is connected, people still have those jobs.

    東西都還在,都還連接著,人們都還有工作。

  • In the U.S., congress did set aside a chunk of money for grants and loans to small businesses in the hopes that they would keep their workers on payroll.

    在美國,議會的確有撥出一大筆錢給小企業,希望他們可以繼續付給員工薪水。

  • But to get that money, business owners had to apply through commercial banks like Chase and Bank of America.

    但要拿到那筆錢,企業主得透過商業銀行來申請,像是大通銀行或美國銀行。

  • That extra step, combined with the onslaught of applications, resulted in massive delays.

    這額外的步驟,加上突然湧入的申請數,導致了嚴重的延遲。

  • By the time many small businesses got approval, the fund was already empty.

    當小企業終於通過申請時,該基金早已乾涸。

  • We missed a big wave, we've already done a lot of damage, but if we got something in place tomorrow, that could avert more layoffs.

    我們做錯了,已經造成許多傷害,但如果在明天可以作出改善,仍可以挽救更多人失去工作。

  • When the U.S. first set up unemployment insurance during the Great Depression, that idea didn't come out of thin air.

    當美國第一次在經濟大蕭條時設立失業保險,這點子可不是憑空想出來的。

  • Policymakers studied similar systems in England and Germany, and then adapted them.

    立政策者研究了英國與德國類似的系統,並套用他們。

  • This pandemic transcends national borders.

    這次的疫情跨越了國界。

  • The solutions should, too.

    而解方,也應該各國共享。

October 2009 was the worst month of the worst year of the Great Recession.

2009 年十月是經濟大衰退中最可怕的一個月。

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