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城镇码头的遗憾  

2009-08-20 13:56:40|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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                                                                      The Town Pier

                                                                          城镇码头

 

Yesterday, I chartered a sailboat so my family and I could spend a couple of hours out on the waters off Nantucket. The captain of the boat met us at the town pier, loaded us onto a small skiff, and then took us to a mooring out in the harbor, where the boat was waiting.

 昨天,我租了一条帆船,这样,我和我的家人就可以离开楠塔基特岛,出海玩几个小时了。船长在城镇码头把我们载上一条小艇,然后把我们带到海港外的一个候船停泊处。

 He explained to us that he would prefer to keep his sailboat at the pier, which would make loading and unloading passengers much easier, but he could not get a space there. Every year, he told us, the town has a lottery to allocate the right to rent one of the scare docking slots. For quite a few years, the captain has been putting his name into the lottery, but he has never won. "There are just not enough spaces," he said.

 他跟我们解释说,他想把他的帆船停靠在码头,好让装货和卸货的乘客更方便一些,但他拿不到码头泊位。他告诉我们,每年,镇上有一个彩票活动,中彩的人能享有出租一个稀缺泊位的权利。多年以来,船长一直去投彩,但他从来没有中过。 “就是没有足够的泊位,”他跟我们说。

 Ever the economist, I replied, "It seems to me that the price isn't high enough."

  我以一位经济学家的身份,回答说:“我看,价格不算高啊。”

 "Well, actually," the captain said, "if you want to pay more, you can go down there." He pointed to the next dock over.

 “嗯,实际上,”船长说,“如果你愿意多付钱,你就能得到那边的泊位。”他指着对面邻近的码头。

 Apparently, next to the town pier is another pier that is privately owned and operated. The price for a docking space there is about five times as high as it is at the town pier. But there is never any significant shortage. Anyone can sign up for a slot, as long as you are willing and able to pay.

 显然,城镇码头旁边是另一个私人经营的码头。如果在那里靠岸,价格大约是城镇码头的五倍。但是,那里从来没有什么大的泊位短缺现象。只要你愿意去付钱,任何人都可以得到一个泊位。

 What a wonderful illustration of basic economic principles! In one way or another, scarce resources need to be allocated among competing uses. Free markets typically use the price system. Governments, often in the name of "fairness," seem to prefer other mechanisms, which don't always direct resources to their highest value use.

 这真是一个奇妙的带有经济学原理的例子!究竟采取哪种方式,让稀缺资源必须在相互竞争中,得到很好地利用。那么,自由市场通常使用的是价格体系。虽然,各国政府,往往打着“公平”的旗号,但似乎更青睐于其他机制,那些并不总是把资源的本身价值最大化的使用机制。

 The sailboat ride was a bit of a bust, by the way. The day was warm and sunny, and the captain was a delightful storyteller, but the wind was not nearly sufficient for a good sail. Sadly, there are some shortages even the price system is not able to correct.

 顺便提一嘴,我们乘坐的帆船有点破。船长是一个讨人喜欢爱说话的家伙,这一天温暖而阳光明媚,只是风不够大,扬不起帆。令人遗憾的是,还有一些甚至连价格体系都无法纠正的缺陷。

 Question for Ec 10 students: If the town raised the rental price of a docking slot at the town pier, what would happen to the price at the private pier?

 给学经济学导论的同学出个问题:如果城镇提高了在城镇码头租赁泊位的价格,私人码头的价格又会发生什么变化呢?(请大家也讨论一下这个问题

 

 

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