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2018年考研英语(一)真题第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.

美国邮政署(USPS)继续深陷赤字。
It reported a net loss of $5.6 billion for fiscal 2016, the 10th straight year its expenses have exceeded revenue.
USPS的报告显示,2016年的净亏损高达56亿美元,财政状况已经连续10年入不敷出。
Meanwhile, it has more than $120 billion in unfunded liabilities, mostly for employee health and retirement costs.
同时,USPS还背负了1200多亿美元的无资金准备负债,大部分负债为员工医保和退休金。
There are many bankruptcies.
许多机构都破产了。
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.
但从本质上看,USPS正处于具有历史意义的技术革新与监管结构的双重压迫之下:一方面,技术不断调整升级,致使其拳头产品一级邮件的需求持续走低;另一方面,监管结构拒绝灵活的管理,无法与时俱进。
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.
邮政工会、贺卡制造商等各方利益集团都处于自身考虑,向USPS的最高监管机构——国会施加压力,坚称无论邮政总署怎样调整,他们目前赖以生存的条件必须得到保护。
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.
这也解释了为什么近年来邮政署屡次试图改革立法,却都以失败而告终,使邮政署到了不延迟至关重要的现代化进程就无法支付账单的地步。
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.
现在又有消息称,民主党、共和党、邮政署、邮政工会和该系统重度用户等相关各方最终就修复系统的计划达成了一致意见。
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.
众议院正审议一个相关法案,如能通过,估计将帮助USPS在5年内节省286亿美元,有望帮助邮政署购置新车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.
这些资金大部分来自固定邮费率的增长以及将退休邮政员工的企业医保转为国家医保。
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.
后者将极大地抵销每年预付医保的财政负担,从而解决了USPS和其工会的长期抱怨。
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.
如能经众议院通过,该法案将提交参议院审核。那里势必会有人指出它不过是能让邮政服务维持生计的最低必要改变,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的集体谈判不会发生变动,而员工开销占总开销的80%,这实属重大纰漏。
Also missing is any discussion of eliminating Saturday letter delivery.
而另一处疏漏在于,该法案并未讨论是否取消星期六的邮件配送服务。
That common-sense change enjoys wide public support and would save the USPS $2 billion per year.
此项变动符合生活常理、广受公众支持,并且每年可为USPS节省20亿美元开支。
But postal special-interest groups seem to have killed it, at least in the House.
但邮政的特殊利益群体似乎否决了此项提案,至少在众议院讨论时是这样。
The emerging consensus around the bill is a sign that legislators are getting frightened about a politically embarrassing short-term collapse at the USPS.
就该项法案达成的共识表明,立法者害怕USPS短期崩塌会导致尴尬的政治局面。
It is not, however, a sign that they're getting serious about transforming the postal system for the 21st century.
他们并非要决心改变邮政系统以适应21世纪的变革。

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flexibility [.fleksə'biliti]

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n. 灵活性,柔韧性,适应性

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measure ['meʒə]

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n. 措施,办法,量度,尺寸
v. 测量,量

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consensus [kən'sensəs]

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n. 共识,一致,合意
n. [生理]交感

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vital ['vaitl]

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adj. 至关重要的,生死攸关的,有活力的,致命的

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frightened ['fraitnd]

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adj. 受惊的,受恐吓的

 
reform [ri'fɔ:m]

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v. 改革,改造,革新
n. 改革,改良

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permanent ['pə:mənənt]

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adj. 永久的,持久的
n. 烫发

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squeeze [skwi:z]

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v. 压榨,挤压,塞进
n. 压榨,勒索,榨取

 
ultimate ['ʌltimit]

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n. 终极,根本,精华
adj. 终极的,根本

 
survival [sə'vaivəl]

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n. 生存,幸存者

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