双语:坚持在发展中保障和改善民生

摘要

Full Text: Ensuring and Improving Living Standards Through Development

坚持在发展中保障和改善民生

Ensuring and Improving Living Standards Through Development

 

李培林

Li Peilin

 

今年是我国改革开放40周年。40年来,我国从一个农业大国发展成一个制造业大国,从一个难以解决温饱问题的低收入国家跃升为一个生活宽裕的上中等收入国家,人民生活发生了历史性巨变,7亿多人摆脱了贫困,3亿多人发展成中等收入群体,一个充满活力和自信决胜全面建成小康社会、走向现代化的东方大国,正在靠近世界舞台的中心,令国人振奋,令全球瞩目。总结这40年来我国的发展经验,重要的一条就是坚持在发展中保障和改善民生。这是习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想在实践层面提出的“14个坚持”之一,是我国在今后长期发展中要贯彻落实的基本方略。

 

The year 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up in China. Over the past four decades, China has gone from being a large agrarian country to become a major manufacturing country, and from being a low-income country that found it difficult to meet the basic needs of the people to become an upper middle-income country with a comfortable standard of living. With this, the people’s lives have undergone tremendous changes as over 700 million people have escaped poverty and over 300 million people have become established in the middle-income group. China, a nation in the East which is full of vitality and confidence, is moving closer to the world center stage. In summing up the past 40 years of development, one of the major feats has been ensuring and improving living standards through development.

 

一、增进民生福祉是发展的根本目的

I. The wellbeing of the people is the fundamental goal of development.

 

中国共产党是全心全意为人民服务的执政党,中国政府是代表最广大人民群众利益的政府,习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想贯穿着以人民为中心的发展思想。增进民生福祉,不仅是我国一切工作的出发点和落脚点,也是我国发展的根本目的。历史唯物主义的基本原理告诉我们,人们首先必须吃、喝、住、穿,就是说首先必须劳动,然后才能从事政治、科学、艺术、宗教等活动,物质生活的生产方式决定社会生活、政治生活和精神生活的一般过程。也就是说,人们组织共同生活,制定生活规则和社会秩序,建立国家和国家机器,形成一整套的政治组织、经济组织和社会组织等,都是为了让人民过上好日子,实现对美好生活的追求。这种看似常识性的基本原理,在实践中始终坚持却并不容易。战争、内乱、折腾、经济衰退、金融危机、不平等和贫困等,始终伴随着人类生活。改革开放40年的发展成就表明,国家综合实力的快速增长和人民生活的不断改善,是决定道路和制度成败的关键。世界上有200多个国家和经济体,大家都在走自己的发展道路,实行不同的社会制度,但制度和道路比拼结果的根本标志,归根结底还是要看保障和改善民生的情况。中国特色社会主义道路是中国共产党的选择,也是历史的选择、人民的选择,是被实践证明符合中国国情、发展阶段和人民利益的选择。正如习近平总书记所说:“当代中国的伟大社会变革,不是简单延续我国历史文化的母版,不是简单套用马克思主义经典作家设想的模板,不是其他国家社会主义实践的再版,也不是国外现代化发展的翻版。”这条中国特色社会主义道路的鲜明特色和基本宗旨,就是习近平总书记概括的一句话,“人民对美好生活的向往,就是我们的奋斗目标”。

 

The Communist Party of China (CPC) is a ruling party dedicated to wholeheartedly serving the people, Chinese government is one that represents the interests of the broadest majority of the people, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is underpinned by a people-centered notion of development. Bettering the lives of the people is not only a goal for every one of China’s initiatives, but also the fundamental purpose of development. The achievements made in the past 40 years of reform and opening-up show that rapid growth in composite national strength and continuous improvements in the lives of the people have been instrumental in deciding the success or failure of our path and system. There are more than 200 countries and economies in the world, and each follows its own path of development and puts into effect a different social system. However, the fundamental indicator when measuring the success of competing systems and paths in the end depends on their performance in ensuring and improving living standards. The path of Chinese socialism is the choice of the CPC, history, and the people; as has been proven through practice in China, it lines up with our national conditions, stage of development, and people’s interests. The defining feature and basic aim of this path can be summarized in Xi Jinping’s statement, “The people yearn for a better life, and our goal is to help them achieve it.”

 

二、不断满足人民日益增长的美好生活需要

II. How we have been keeping up with people’s ever-growing needs for a better life?

 

40年来我国在人民生活领域发生的巨变是广泛而深刻的。一是从收入和消费看,改革开放初期我国处于短缺经济状态,多数基本生活消费品都要凭票证供给,大多数人连温饱问题都很难解决,从上世纪80年代开始,我国几乎每10年上一个大台阶:80年代满足了温饱,90年代电视、冰箱、洗衣机、空调等家用电器开始普及,21世纪第一个10年住房、汽车开始作为家庭消费品进入千家万户,2010年以来通讯、旅游、休闲、娱乐、健身、异地养老等一系列新兴消费爆发式成长。二是从受教育水平看,改革开放初期的1982年,我国的文盲率仍高达24%,到2016年我国6岁及以上年龄段人口受教育率已达到94.3%,教育普及程度超过中高收入国家平均水平,人均受教育年限达到约9.5年,新增劳动力平均受教育年限达到13年,特别是高等教育毛入学率增长较快,已经达到约40%。三是从就业结构和就业状况看,改革开放初期的1978年,我国9.6亿人口中有7.9亿农民占82%,在4亿多从业人员中有农民2.8亿人占70%,是典型的农业大国。经过改革开放近40年的发展,到2017年,我国57%以上的居民生活在城镇,73%的从业人员在工业和服务业岗位工作,在世界经济增长乏力、各国都为失业率攀升焦虑的今天,我国把城镇失业率控制在5%左右,基本实现“劳有所得”。四是从社会保障覆盖水平看,改革开放初期我国只有20%多的就业人口享有社会保障,现在以基本养老制度、基本医疗制度和最低生活保障制度为支柱的覆盖全民的多层次社会保障体系已经基本建成,结束了数千年来农民没有社会保障的历史。五是从全民健康看,人民健康和医疗卫生水平大幅度提高,人均预期寿命从1981年的67.8岁增加到2016年的76.5岁。

 

In China, over the past four decades, changes that have taken place in people’s lives have been widespread and profound. First, tremendous changes have occurred regarding incomes and consumption. China was a shortage economy in the early years of reform and opening-up, most basic consumer goods were only supplied upon presenting coupons, and most people had difficulty meeting even their basic needs. Starting in the 1980s, people’s incomes and consumption took a great step upward around every 10 years: in the 1980s, people’s basic needs were met; in the 1990s, ownership of household appliances such as TV sets, refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners became widespread; in the first decade of the 21st century, families owning housing and automobiles became commonplace; and since 2010, there has been explosive growth in consumption in a range of emerging areas such as telecommunications, tourism, leisure, entertainment, fitness, and retirement communities. Second, tremendous changes have occurred regarding education levels. In 1982, during the early years of reform and opening-up, illiteracy was as high as 24%. However, by 2016, the proportion of people aged 6 and over that had received or were receiving an education reached 94.3%, the extent of universal access to education exceeded that of upper-middle income countries, and average years of schooling reached 9.5 years. Further, the average length of schooling of new members of the labor force amounted to 13 years, and of particular note is that the gross enrollment rate for higher education increased rather rapidly, reaching 40%. Third, tremendous changes have occurred regarding employment and the employment structure. In 1978, during the early years of reform and opening-up, people living in rural areas accounted for 82% of the total population, or 790 million out of 960 million, and 70% of all people in employment, or 280 million out of 400 million; these statistics are typical of a large agrarian country. In 2017, after almost 40 years of development via reform and opening-up, more than 57% of people resided in urban areas and 73% of all people in employment worked in the industrial and service sectors. In today’s world where world economic growth is sluggish and most countries worry about climbing unemployment, China keeps its urban unemployment rate at around 5%. Fourth, tremendous changes have occurred regarding social security coverage. During the early years of reform and opening-up, only 20% of people in employment enjoyed social security. Currently, a multi-tiered social security system with universal coverage featuring a basic pension, basic medical care, and a subsistence allowance is nearing completion, which will bring to an end the thousand-year history during which China’s rural dwellers did not have social security. Fifth, tremendous changes have occurred regarding public health. Public health, medical services, and hygiene have improved markedly, and life expectancy has increased from 67.8 years in 1981 to 76.5 years in 2016.

 

人民生活的这些变化,也提出了新的挑战和新的发展要求。比如人们更加注重健康,特别是食品安全和环境安全,过去是吃饱、吃好,现在要吃的有机、吃的安全;再比如人们越来越要求消费产品的个性化、多样化、高品质,简单的廉价、仿制、批量生产已难以满足人们的消费需求;还比如人们越来越重视生活的主观感受,要求有获得感、幸福感、安全感、公平感、满意感,等等。这些生活需求侧的新要求,都需要生产供给侧的结构性改革和调整。

 

These changes in people’s lives have also posed new challenges as well as new requirements on development. For example, people are more concerned about health, food, and environmental security. Whereas in the past people were only concerned with eating their fill and eating well, at present they want to eat organic and safe food. For another example, people are increasingly in favor of individualized, diverse, and high-quality consumer goods, and ordinary goods that are cheap, knockoffs, or mass produced cannot sufficiently satisfy consumer demand. For yet another example, people increasingly value their feelings about their lives, and want to enjoy senses of fulfillment, happiness, security, fairness, and satisfaction. All these new demand-side requirements necessitate structural reform and adjustment on the supply-side.

 

三、经济发展是保障和改善民生的基础

III. Economic development is the foundation that ensures and improves living standards.

 

发展是解决我国一切问题的基础和关键,是执政兴国的第一要务,发展依然是硬道理。离开经济发展的基础,保障和改善民生就成为无源之水、空中楼阁。但我们今天所要的发展,是科学的发展,是要以创新、协调、绿色、开放、共享的新发展理念统领的发展,要防止走粗放式发展的老路,更要防止跌入“有增长而无发展”的陷阱。

 

Development is both the basis for and the key to solving every problem that China faces; it is the primary task in governing and rejuvenating the country and remains the absolute principle. However, the development needed in China today is well-balanced development which is guided by the new development philosophy based on innovation, coordination, sustainability, openness, and sharing. As such, while we need to avoid the extensive growth model of days past, we need to avoid falling into the “growth without development” trap even more.

 

所以说,千道理、万道理,经济发展是保障和改善民生的基础是大道理。从当前的发展阶段看,这个大道理有四个要点:第一个要点是,要从高速度增长阶段转向高质量发展阶段,坚持质量第一、效益优先,坚持以供给侧结构性改革为主线,推动经济发展的质量变革、效率变革;第二个要点是,要围绕人们生活消费的新变化调整生产、发展经济,努力满足人们美好生活的新需求,为人民群众提供全方位、多层次、多样化的消费产品,特别是注意适应中等收入群体和老年群体消费的快速增长;第三个要点是,要解决好在买方市场和商品充裕条件下新的结构性短缺,这些新的结构性短缺往往集中在公共产品和公共服务供给领域,难以单纯依赖市场满足供给,必须辅之以社会政策,比如蓝天白云、清洁的空气、干净的水,比如低收入者的住房,等等;第四个要点是,改善民生要与经济发展相适应,要尽力而为、量力而行,不能不切实际地给老百姓画饼,要防止福利民粹主义绑架民意,要倡导艰苦奋斗,倡导共建共治共享。

 

In light of the need to ensure and improve living standards, development in today’s China needs to focus on four areas. First, development must be geared toward a transition from high-speed to high-quality growth. This means a dedication to putting quality first, giving priority to performance, and having supply-side structural reform as a focus. This will drive economic growth that is of better quality and higher efficiency. Second, development must be geared toward new changes in daily consumption patterns via restructuring production and growing the economy. This means devoting energy to meeting the people’s new needs for a better life, providing them with consumer goods which are comprehensive, diverse, and that satisfy multiple levels of demand, and above all adapting to the rapid growth in consumption of middle-income and elderly consumers. Third, development must be geared toward resolving new structural shortages in a buyer’s market with abundant goods. These new structural shortages frequently occur in the provision of public goods and services. As it is hard to solely rely on the market to make up for these shortages, we need supporting social policies for the provision of blue skies, clean air and water, and housing for the low-income group. Fourth, improvements in living standards must be proportionate to our level of economic development. We must do our best according to our capabilities, and not give the people false hopes. We need to prevent welfare populism manipulating public opinion, call for hard work and plain living, and pursue public contribution, joint participation, and common interests.

 

四、保障和改善民生要把保基本和补短板结合起来

IV. Ensuring and improving living standards requires both providing basic guarantees and making up for shortcomings.

 

党的十九大报告指出,“我国社会主要矛盾的变化,没有改变我们对我国社会主义所处历史阶段的判断,我国仍处于并将长期处于社会主义初级阶段的基本国情没有变,我国是世界最大发展中国家的国际地位没有变”。因此,在当前发展阶段,我国解决民生问题要以保基本为主,并与补短板结合起来,突出解决一些焦点问题、热点问题、难点问题,更多要做的还不是锦上添花,而是雪中送炭。

 

China is still in the primary stage of socialism. In this stage of development, resolving problems related to public wellbeing requires both providing basic guarantees and making up for shortcomings, with priority given to the former. In resolving these problems, we need to focus on key issues, problems of general concern, and major difficulties, with an emphasis on helping those in need rather than making unnecessary improvements.

 

保基本主要涉及的是六大民生领域:在收入和消费方面,要推动实现居民收入的增长与经济增长同步,劳动报酬增长与劳动生产率提高同步,努力实现收入分配的公平正义;在教育方面,必须把教育事业放在优先位置,加快教育现代化,特别是要推动城乡义务教育一体化发展,大力提高农村青年一代的受教育水平,促进形成新的人口红利,要适应科技创新和就业市场的变化,进行教育体制的改革,提高专业教育和职业教育质量,进一步提高高等教育的毛入学率;在就业方面,要坚持就业优先战略和积极就业政策,实现更高质量和更充分就业,破除妨碍劳动力、人才社会性流动的体制机制弊端,特别是解决好以大学毕业生为主的青年就业、农村劳动力的转移就业和去产能企业的职工安置问题,调控好城镇调查失业率;在社会保障方面,要全面建成覆盖全民、城乡统筹、权责清晰、保障适度、可持续的多层次社会保障体系,全面实施全民参保计划,特别是适应老龄化的快速发展,尽快实现养老保险全国统筹,完善统一的城乡居民基本医疗保险制度和大病保险制度,加快建立多主体供给、多渠道保障、租购并举的住房制度;在人民健康方面,要完善国民健康政策,深化医药卫生体制改革,健全现代医院管理制度,全面取消以药养医,为人民提供更加有效、更加便捷的医疗健康服务;在社会安全方面,要打造共建共治共享的社会治理格局,提高社会治理社会化、法治化、智能化、专业化水平,加强预防和化解社会矛盾机制建设,实现政府治理和社会调节、居民自治良性互动,建设平安中国。

 

Providing basic guarantees mainly touches upon the following six key areas of people’s lives.

 

First, regarding incomes and consumption, we need to ensure people’s incomes rise in step with the growth of the economy, work remuneration increases in step with progress in labor productivity, and strive to realize fair and just income distribution.

 

Second, regarding education, we must give it priority and speed up its modernization. In particular, we need to promote the coordinated development of compulsory education in urban and rural areas and make great efforts to improve the educational level of youth in rural areas, thus spurring the formation of a new demographic dividend. We also need to reform the education system in a way that is suited to changes that arise from scientific and technological innovations and the job market, improve professional and vocational education, and further increase the gross enrollment rate of higher education.

 

Third, regarding employment, we need to give high priority to employment and pursue a proactive employment policy, strive to achieve fuller employment and create better quality jobs, and remove institutional barriers that block the social mobility of labor and talent. In particular, we need to resolve issues such as finding employment for young people made up mostly by university graduates, for rural laborers entering cities, and resettling workers laid-off due to the scaling-down of enterprises.

 

Fourth, regarding social security, we need to establish a sustainable multi-tiered system that covers the entire population in both urban and rural areas, and has clearly defined rights and responsibilities and support that hits the right level. We will work to see that everyone has access to social security. In response to rapid population aging in particular, we need to bring pension schemes under national unified management as soon as possible, and improve the unified systems of basic medical insurance and serious disease insurance for rural and non-working urban residents. We will step up our efforts to put in place a housing system that ensures supply through multiple sources, provides housing support through multiple channels, and encourages housing for both purchase and rental.

 

Fifth, regarding people’s health, we will improve the national health policy, further reform of the medicine and healthcare system, and develop a sound modern hospital management system, thus providing more effective and convenient medical and health services to the public.

 

Sixth, regarding public security, we will establish a social governance model based on public contribution, joint participation, and common interests. We will strengthen public participation and rule of law in social governance, and make such governance smarter and more specialized. We will improve mechanisms for preventing and defusing social tensions and see that the government’s governance efforts on the one hand and society’s self-regulation and residents’ self-governance on the other reinforce each other.

 

民生领域的补短板,要突出解决好“减贫”“还蓝天”“控房价”等需要攻坚的民生问题和群众反映比较强烈的民生问题。一是补齐贫困问题的短板,贫困问题是全面建成小康社会的最大短板,要坚决打好精准脱贫攻坚战,确保到2020年现行标准下农村贫困人口实现脱贫,贫困县全部摘帽,完成深度贫困地区脱贫任务。要注重贫困人口自我脱贫能力的培育,注重解决好返贫问题,坚决杜绝数字减贫、口号减贫。二是补齐生态环境治理的短板,当前我国生态环境治理的决心之大、力度之大、成效之大前所未有,要坚定推进绿色发展,着力解决突出环境问题,打好防治污染攻坚战,打赢蓝天保卫战,争取尽早实现生态环境恶化趋势的根本扭转。三是补齐中等收入群体比例较小的短板,我国收入差距依然过大,促进社会公平正义任务艰巨,培养和扩大中等收入群体具有重要的政治、经济、社会意义,有利于实现中国特色社会主义的本质要求,有利于促进新常态下经济的持续增长,有利于保持社会的和谐稳定。四是补齐群众反映比较强烈的住房问题的短板,要坚持房子是用来住的、不是用来炒的定位,逐步挤出房地产价格中的泡沫,慎重和稳妥地解决好房价问题和住有所居问题,建立长期有效的住房供给机制。

 

Making up for shortcomings entails resolving prominent issues which people have in their lives and which require a dedicated campaign to resolve or which the public has voiced strong concern over. These issues include poverty, air pollution, and housing prices.

 

First, we must address shortcomings in issues related to poverty. In our efforts to become a moderately prosperous society, poverty is the biggest shortcoming. We must make a successful effort in targeted poverty alleviation so as to ensure that by the year 2020, all rural residents living below the current poverty line will have been lifted out of poverty.

 

Second, we must address shortcomings related to environmental governance. Today, China has demonstrated unprecedented determination, commitment, and outcomes in environmental governance. We need to be steadfast in promoting green development, work hard to address outstanding environmental problems, take tough steps in our campaign to prevent and control pollution, succeed in making our skies blue again, and strive to fundamentally reverse the trend of environmental degradation as early as possible.

 

Third, we must address the shortcoming that our middle-income group is relatively small. The income gap in China is still too large, and the task of promoting social fairness and justice is formidable. Fostering and expanding the middle-income group will help us meet the essential requirements of Chinese socialism, promote sustained growth under the new economic normal, and maintain social harmony and stability.

 

Fourth, we must address the shortcoming in housing affordability which the public has voiced strong concern over. We must not forget that housing is for living in, not for speculation. We need to gradually deflate the real estate bubble, cautiously and prudently address the issues of housing prices and housing access, and establish a long-term and effective mechanism for housing supply.

 

(作者:中国社会科学院副院长)

 

(Li Peilin is Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.)

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