[00:11.14]A history of long and effortless success
[00:14.27]can be a dreadful handicap,
[00:16.59]but, if properly handled, it may become a driving force.
[00:22.35]When the United States entered just such a glowing period
[00:25.77]after the end of the Second World War,
[00:28.80]it had a market eight times larger than any competitor,
[00:33.03]giving its industries unparalleled economies of scale.
[00:37.96]Its scientists were the world's best,
[00:41.43]its workers the most skilled.
[00:44.45]America and Americans were prosperous
[00:47.88]beyond the dreams of the Europeans
[00:49.99]and Asians whose economies the war had destroyed.
[00:55.04]It was inevitable that this primacy
[00:57.65]should have narrowed as other countries grew richer.
[01:01.49]Just as inevitably, the retreat
[01:03.91]from predominance proved painful.
[01:07.15]By the mid-1980s Americans had found themselves
[01:11.08]at a loss over their fading industrial competitiveness.
[01:15.98]Some huge American industries,
[01:18.61]such as consumer electronics,
[01:20.83]had shrunk or vanished
[01:22.64]in the face of foreign competition.
[01:25.67]By 1987 there was only one American television
[01:30.10]maker left, Zenith.
[01:32.73](Now there is none: Zenith was bought by
[01:36.75]South Korea's LG Electronics in July.)
[01:41.20]Foreign-made cars and textiles were sweeping into
[01:44.64]the domestic market.
[01:46.56]America's machine-tool industry was on the ropes.
[01:50.76]For a while it looked as though
[01:53.58]the making of semiconductors,
[01:55.29]which America had invented
[01:57.21]and which sat at the heart of the new computer age,
[02:00.34]was going to be the next casualty.
[02:03.77]All of this caused a crisis of confidence.
[02:07.90]Americans stopped taking prosperity for granted.
[02:12.13]They began to believe
[02:13.63]that their way of doing business was failing,
[02:16.85]and that their incomes
[02:18.32]would therefore shortly begin to fall as well.
[02:22.24]The mid-1980s brought one inquiry after another into
[02:26.79]the causes of America's industrial decline.
[02:30.73]Their sometimes sensational findings
[02:33.45]were filled with warnings
[02:34.87]about the growing competition from overseas.
[02:38.80]How things have changed!
[02:41.32]In 1995 the United States
[02:44.35]can look back on five years of solid growth
[02:47.77]while Japan has been struggling.
[02:50.80]Few Americans attribute this solely to such obvious causes
[02:55.23]as a devalued dollar or the turning of the business cycle.
[02:59.77]Self-doubt has yielded to blind pride.
[03:03.43]"American industry has changed its structure,
[03:06.45]has gone on a diet,
[03:08.16]has learnt to be more quick-witted,"
[03:10.48]according to Richard Cavanagh,
[03:12.50]executive dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
[03:16.53]"It makes me proud to be an American just to see
[03:20.16]how our businesses are improving their productivity,"
[03:23.59]says Stephen Moore of the Cato Institute,
[03:26.21]a think-tank in Washington, DC.
[03:28.93]And William Sahlman of
[03:31.46]the Harvard Business School believes
[03:33.59]that people will look back on this period as
[03:36.61]"a golden age of business management in the United States."内容来自 听力课堂网：http://www.tingclass.net/show-8686-250978-1.html