The people potentially in the best position to help shore up Greek’s tattered finances are keeping a low profile.
They are among the wealthiest Greeks—whether shipping magnates, whose tax-free status is enshrined in the constitution, or the so-called oligarchs, who have accumulated vast wealth in core areas like oil, gas, media, banking and even cement.
Astute investors, they have been reluctant to lend a hand to the Greek treasury through the risky proposition of buying government bonds. But they have also been slow to dispense funds to philanthropies, trying to combat mounting social ills. Mainly, though, they have done what Greeks have traditionally done: pay as little as they can in taxes.
Many economists say the oligarchs are a big part of Greece’s economic problem, because they have capitalized on the insular, quasi-monopolistic approach to business that is one reason their nation has long lagged the far more competitive economies of many other euro zone nations. Assessing the ultimate value of Greek private sector wealth is a nearly impossible task, because much of the money exists offshore, secreted away in Swiss bank accounts or invested in real estate in London and Monaco. Now, with the country’s top vote-getter, the leftist firebrand Alexis Tsipras, talking about nationalizing companies and, in the words of his top economic adviser, “taxing the rich,” there is even more incentive for the oligarchs to lie low. 【題組】49. What is the best title for this passage?
(A) Magnates and Oligarchs Lie Low in Greek Crisis
(B) The Left Wins Greek Election
(C) Magnates and Oligarchs Go Bankrupt in Greece
(D) “Taxing the Rich”—A Successful Policy
四、 閱讀測驗 每題2分，共18分
(A) In some countries where food abounds, obesity has become a problem for a great number of people. With more and more people getting fatter and fatter, they may easily suffer from heart disease, which is often caused by taking in plenty of fat. Under such circumstances, some dietary experts have proposed adding tax to fatty food. They believe that if value added tax is put on fatty food, people will reduce their consumption of fat. They will cut down on such food as full fat milk, cheese, butter, biscuits, buns, cakes, pastries, puddings, and ice cream. If these things become higher-priced because of the added fat tax, the public will be more likely to buy cheaper, lower fat alternatives.
However, some doctors do not believe in fat tax. They argue that the proposal above fails to take into account genetic factors that make some people more likely to get heart disease than others. They also point out that when people switch to lower fat alternatives, they tend to eat more, so they end up taking in the same levels of fat. With such divided opinions about the practicability of fat tax, an article in The Atlantic even ironically suggests taxing not fattening foods or fattening companies, but fat people. The author argues that it is they, after all, who drive up the government's health-care costs, so it is they, fat people, who should pay. The author, apparently a slim person, even proposes taxing people by the pound !
【題組】41. What does the article in The Atlantic ironically suggest?
(A) Imprisoning fat people. (B) Fining fattening food. (C) Taxing fat people. (D) Increase health-care costs.