When You're Flush, But You’re Acting Flat Broke
When You're Flush, But You’re Acting Flat Broke
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사람들은 부자인데도, 거덜난 것처럼 행동한다

Washington Post, Thursday, April 16, 2009

When You're Flush, But You’re Acting Flat Broke

사람들은 부자인데도, 거덜난 것처럼 행동한다

Social Cues Can Drive a Downturn

사회적인 단서들이 경기하락을 몰고 올 수 있다

* flush
Adjective [형용사로 쓰이고 있음]

1 a: of a ruddy healthy color b: full of life and vigor : lusty
2 a: filled to overflowing b: affluent [풍성한, 부요한]
3: readily available: abundant
4 a: having or forming a continuous plane or unbroken surface <flush paneling> b: directly abutting or immediately adjacent: as (1): set even with an edge of a type page or column: having no indention (2): arranged edge to edge so as to fit snugly

*to be acting flat broke =to be acting like flat broke
[거덜난 것처럼 행동하다]

*broke = penniless [무일푼의, 파산한]
*dead[flat, stone, stony] broke = 피천 한 닢 없는

Denise Kimberlin and her husband, Craig, of Woodbridge are government contractors who make nice livings. They recently got raises. They don't fear losing their jobs.

Woodbridge에 사는 Denise Kimberlin과 그의 남편 Craig씨는 괜찮은 생활을 하고 있는 정부의 계약업자들이다. 그들은 최근에 주급이 올랐다. 그들은 그들의 직업을 잃어버릴까봐서 두려워하지 않는다.

*to make nice livings = 꽤나 괜찮은 생활을 꾸려나가다.
*to get raises = 주급이 오르다

Yet, something is driving them to change their spending habits. They have cut back by at least $250 a week on clothes, dinners out and other discretionary spending.

그러나, 무엇인가가 그들의 소비습관을 변화하도록 몰아 가고 있다. 그들은 의류와 외식 드리고 다른 재량 소비(지출)를 적어도 일주일에 250달러로 줄여오고 있다.

*to have cut back = 삭감하다. 줄이다.
*discretionary spending [내마음대로 쓸 수 있는 것, 자유/재량에 의한 지출/소비]
*discretionary
*discretion

Pronunciation:
dis-kre-shən
Function:
noun
1: the quality of being discreet : circumspection ; especially : cautious reserve in speech
2: ability to make responsible decisions [책임질 수 있는 의사결정 능력]
3 a: individual choice or judgment discretion>
   b: power of free decision or latitude of choice within certain legal bounds discretion>
4: the result of separating or distinguishing

So, too, has Bob Scanlon, a Brookeville executive with the Transportation Security Administration. He feels his job is secure. But recently he decided to lop $50 a month off his family's cable bill. When they dine at their favorite restaurant, they go on half-price Tuesdays.

운송보안 행정부서에서 행정관으로 일하고 있는 Brookeville(지명)의 Bob Scanlon씨도 역시 그렇게 해 오고 있다. 그는 그의 직업이 안전하다고 느낀다. 그러나 최근 그는 그의 집의 케이블 청구서를 한달에 50 달러로 잘라내기로 결정했다. 그들(가족)이 좋아하는 식당에 가서 저녁식사를 할 때도 지난 화요일 절반값 정도로 지출하기로 했다. [보통때의 절반 정도의 음식주문]

*to decide to lop … off = …만큼 잘라내기로 결정하다. 삭감하다.
*$50 a month = $50 per month = 매월 50 달러씩
*dine
intransitive verb : to take dinner —often used with on<dine on pasta>
transitive verb : to give a dinner to dined her>

dine forth [식사하러 나가다]
dine in [집에서 식사하다]
dine on […을 식사로 들다]
dine out [외식하다]
dine at their favorite restaurant [그들이 좋아하는 식당에서 외식하다]
dine with Duke Humphrey [영국 고어, 끼니를 거르다]

The frugality of the Kimberlins and Scanlons and millions of other Americans who still have their good jobs feed back on the economy, holding down growth and encouraging other worried workers to trim their spending -- causing the whole vicious cycle to run another lap.

아직도 괜찮은 일자리를 가지고 있으면서도 Kimberlins와 Scanlons 그리고 수백 만명의 다른 미국인들의 검약한 생활은  (미국의) 경기에 휘드백(되돌아 먹임)된다. 즉, (경기의) 성장을 둔화시키고 다른 걱정하고 있는 노동자들의 소비를 위축시키도록 조장하며—전체적인 (경기의) 악순화의 또 다른 고리를 만드는 원인이 된다.

*frugal
adjective
: characterized by or reflecting economy in the use of resources
synonyms see sparing
fru•gal•i•ty  frü-ga-lə-tē noun [검약]
fru•gal•ly  frü-gə-lē adverb

*vicious cycle [악순환]
*feed back [심리학에서의 정의는 ‘결과를 아는 것’]

"It really can become and does become a self-fulfilling prophecy," Denise Kimberlin said.

“이것은 자기-예언 충족의 (원리)가 될 수 있으며 그렇게 되고 있다”고 Kimberlin씨는 말한다.

* self-fulfilling prophecy
[해설: ‘자기 예언 충족의 원리’란, 자신이 예측한 방향으로 행동해 나가서 그 결과가 예측한대로 이뤄지는 것, 심리학의 한 원리임. 악몽을 꾸고 난 후 사고를 당하는 경우; 길몽을 꾸고 난 후 좋은 일이 생기는 경우. 이때 사람들은 그 결과를 향해서 행동해 나갔다는 것이다. 사실상, 악몽/길몽이 원인-결과(인과)관계가 없지만…그래서 자기 예언이 맞아 떨어졌다는 결론을 얻게 된다.]

Economists say many still-flush consumers are handcuffed by psychological traps that cause them to tighten their purse strings even though economic hardship is not their reality. Underscoring the crucial role that consumer psychology will play in turning around the economy, President Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke have both been on the hustings this week sounding notes of optimism.

경제학자들은 말하기를 많은 아직도 부유한 소비자들이 경제적인 곤궁이 그들의 현실이 아닌데도 그들의 돈쌈지끈을 졸라매도록 하는 원인인 심리적 덫에 의해서 수갑이 채워진 것과 같다고 한다. 소비자의 심리가 경제를 회복하는데 결정적인 역할을 한다는 것을 강조하는 동안 오바마 대통령과 연방 준비은행장 벤 버넹크씨 모두는 낙관론조의 말을 이 번 주 선거 (찬조)연설에서 했다.

*hustings
|noun ( pl. same)a meeting at which candidates in an election address potential
voters.• the campaigning associated with an election : a formidable political
operator at his best
on the hustings.
[선거와 관련된 운동/유세]

"sounding notes"  means "speaking"

*notes [복수로 쓰이고 있음에 주의할 것. 논조, 운조, 음조]
*sounding notes of optimism [낙관론조로 말하다]

"Traditional economics assumes that we are all rational, that we approach these things very rationally, take in all the information, and then weight it and make a decision," said Thomas Gilovich, a Cornell psychologist and co-director of the university's Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision Research. "To a behavioral economist that seems clearly untrue."

“전통적인 경제학자들은 우리는 모두 이성적이며, 우리는 이런 일들을 아주 이성적으로 접근하며, 모든 정보들을 받아들여서, 그것을 저울질하고 어떤 결정을 내린다고 가정한다”고 코넬대 심리학자이며 행동주의 경제학과 의사결정 연구 센터의 부소장인 Thomas Gilovich씨는 말했다. (그러나) “행동주의 경제학자에게 (이런 일련의 행동과정들은) 분명히 사실이 아니다.”

*to make a decision [결정을 내리다]
*behavioral economist
[스키너의 행동주의 심리학(특히, 강화의 원리)에 영향을 받은 경제학자를 말함]

Denise Kimberlin said she began cutting back after the holidays, when at family gatherings and work parties she heard stories of people losing their jobs and people saving money around the edges. The stories made her wonder, "What if?"

Kimberlin은 말하기를 그는 가족 모임과 직장 파티석상에서 사람들이 실직되고 사람들이 한푼이라도 저축한다는 이야기들을 들었을 때인 (지난) 연말 공휴일들[성탄절, New Year Eve들을 말함] 이후 부터 씀씀이를 줄이기 시작했다고 하였다. 이런 이야기들은 그로 하여금 “어찌 될 것인고?”를 걱정하도록 했다.

*saving money around the edges [돈을 한푼이라도 저축하기]
*what if? […라면(하면) 어떻게 될까?]

These perceptions are reinforced by the blare of the news media. When network news anchors Brian Williams and Charlie Gibson lead their broadcasts with bleak news about the economy and consumers clamming up, people who don't necessarily need to cut back decide to anyway.

이러한 지각들은 뉴스 미디어의 큰소리로 떠드는 것들에 의해서 강화된다. 네트웍 뉴스 엥커들인 Brian Williams와 Charlie Gibson같은 이들이 그들의 방송을 경제와 소비자들의 지갑을 꼭닫는 것(clamming up)들에 관한 절망적인 뉴스로 이끌어 갈 때,  씀씀이를 삭감하지 않아도 될 사람들도 어떤 식으로든지 삭감하는 결정을 내린다.

*reinforce
transitive verb
1: to strengthen by additional assistance, material, or support : make stronger or more pronounced <reinforce levees> <reinforce the elbows of a jacket> <reinforce ideas>
2: to strengthen or increase by fresh additions <reinforce our troops> reinforcing their pitching staff>
3: to stimulate (as an experimental animal or a student) with a reinforcer ; also: to encourage (a response) with a reinforcer
[강화물(보상)을 가지고 (실험동물이나 학생을) 자극하다]

intransitive verb: to seek or get reinforcements
[참고: 강화의 이론은 어떤 행동의 뒤에 따라 오는 것(보상)이 그 행동을 강화시킨다. 즉 그 행동이 다시 일어날 확률이 높아진다는 이론]

*blare
noun
1: a loud strident noise [귀에 거슬리는 큰소리, 삐걱거리는 큰소리]
2: dazzling often garish brilliance
3: flamboyance

*bleak
1: exposed and barren and often windswept
2: cold, raw <a bleak November evening>
3 a: lacking in warmth, life, or kindliness : grim
   b: not hopeful or encouraging : depressing <a bleak outlook>
   [희망이 없는, 절망적인, 전망이 없는]
   c: severely simple or austere
   synonyms see DISMAL
*clamming up <- clam up [조개처럼 입을 꽉 다물다, 묵비권을 행사하다]

In August, the three major TV network newscasts spent a total of 85 minutes covering economic news, according to the Tyndall Report, which monitors newscast content. In September, when the banking crisis began and layoffs spiked, the coverage totaled 403 minutes. In the same month, Gallup's polling shows upper-income consumers dropped their total daily spending to about $160, from a high of $185 in May.

By last month, after what must feel like an eternity of stories about creative ways strapped people are saving money, they had cut back further -- to $101 day.

In 2006, as the economy roared, almost 80 percent of all discretionary income was controlled by households earning more than $100,000, according to the Conference Board. But Gallup recently released polling data showing that since September, per day spending by people making more than $90,000 has fallen by nearly 40 percent. The confidence of wealthy individuals, who considered themselves savvy investors, has been shattered by the meltdown of safe investments. They have seen once-reputable figures like Bernard L. Madoff turn out to be shams and consistently strong bank stocks collapse.

"We have a lack of spending right now in the economy, but it's the pronounced lack of spending by upper-income consumers that has had a major overall impact on what's taken place," Gallup Chief Economist Dennis Jacobe said.

Even the super-rich follow right along. Rapper Ice-T, the star of hit TV show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, told New York magazine recently at a party to celebrate the launch of a new Louis Vuitton product: "This year we're like, let's spend a little less, not splurge."

Psychologists explain that people fall prey to what is known as social proof. The most famous study pointing at the effect was done in the 1960s by psychologist Stanley Milgram. He had one or two people stand on a busy city block in New York and stare up at a sixth-floor building window. Most pedestrians ignored them. But when he had 15 people stand and stare at the window, nearly everyone walking down the street looked up at it, too.

The phenomenon is at work now, said Robert Cialdini, an Arizona State University psychologist and expert on persuasion. "When people are uncertain, a funny thing happens: they don't look inside for answers anymore because all they see is confusion," he said. "They look to see what other people in this situation are doing. That's a way to reduce my uncertainty about what I should be doing."

Something else is holding back those who could still spend. Many of these consumers saw investments in their homes or stock portfolios shoot up in boom times without much effort. Their personal balance sheets ballooned by double-digit percentages. This made it easier to spend. But when home value falls and stock holdings tank, "people just curl up into a ball," said Richard Thaler, the University of Chicago economist who first identified what is known as the house money effect.

Under the theory, it's easier to gamble, or spend, money when it is earned without having to do much work.

"It's not the absolute money that you have, but the whole history of how you got it," said George Loewenstein, a professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University.

The could-spend-if-they-want-to consumers now find themselves caught in a negative feedback loop. In a recent Gallup report on consumer moods, the organization found that a year ago upper-income Americans were more optimistic than lower-income earners, but the positions have switched. But how -- and when -- will these consumers break free?

"What eventually happens is that these feedback loops drive prices below fundamentals," said Loewenstein, implying that the bargains become just too good to resist. "All of the sudden there will be these amazing values out there -- real estate values, stock values." But in this environment of falling values, it is increasingly difficult to determine what is a bargain-basement price and when the declines will stop.

Cialdini, the Arizona State psychologist, said consumers experiencing the look-up-at-the-window phenomenon often look to what experts say they should do. So if, for instance, the majority of experts say the economy is turning a corner and it's okay to spend, "that can break the cycle," he said.

But Denise Kimberlin, the government contractor, doesn't think she will be looking at what the experts say. She is looking for signals from the same people whose experiences caused her to fasten her pocketbook to begin with. "When someone I know actually finds a new job," she said. "I haven't seen that. I haven't seen that in months. That would be a good sign."

<제주의소리>

<이도영 편집위원 / 저작권자ⓒ제주의소리. 무단전재_재배포 금지>

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