莊福元(耐住性子，等待機會。) 國三下 (2015/12/19 15:48) Many definitions use the 5th percentile as a cutoff
In manyways, today’s businessenvironment has changedqualitativelysince the late 1980s. The end of the Cold War radicallyaltered the verynature of the world’s politics and economics. In just a few shortyears, globalization has started a variety of trendswithprofoundconsequences: the opening of markets, trueglobalcompetition, widespreadderegulation (解除政府对……的控制) of industry, and an abundance of accessiblecapital. We haveexperiencedboth the benefits and risks of a trulyglobaleconomy, withbothWallStreet and MainStreet (平民百姓) feeling the pains of economicdisorderhalf a worldaway.
At the sametime, we havefullyentered the Information Age, Startingbreakthroughs in informationtechnologyhaveirreversiblyaltered the ability to conductbusinessunconstrained by the traditionallimitations of time or space. Today, it’s almostimpossible to imagine a worldwithoutintranets, e-mail, and portablecomputers. Withstunningspeed, the Internet is profoundlychanging the way we work, shop, do business, and communicate.
As a consequence, we havetrulyentered the Post-Industrialeconomy. We are rapidlyshiftingfrom an economybased on manufacturing and commodities to one thatplaces the greatestvalue on information, services, support, and distribution. Thatshift, in turn, place an unprecedentedpremium on “knowledgeworkers,” a new class of wealthy, educated, and mobilepeople who viewthemselves as freeagents in a seller’s market.
Beyond the realm of informationtechnology, the acceleratedpace of technologicalchange in virtuallyeveryindustry has createdentirely new business, wiped out others, and produced a Pervasive( 广泛的) demand for continuousinnovation. New product, process ,and distributiontechnologiesprovidepowerfullevers for creatingcompetitivevalue. Morecompanies are learning the importance of destructivetechnologies-----innovationsthathold the potential to make a productline, or even an entirebusinesssegment, virtuallyoutdated.
Anothermajortrend has been the fragmentation of consumer and businessmarkets. There’s a growingappreciationthatsuperficiallysimilargroups of customers may haveverydifferentpreferences in terms of whattheywant to buy and how theywant to buy it. Now, new technologymakes it easier, faster ,and cheaper to identify and servetargetedmicro-markets in waysthatwerephysicallyimpossible or prohibitivelyexpensive in the past. Moreover, the trendfeeds on itself, a business’s ability to serve sub-marketsfuelscustomers’ appetites for more and morespecializedofferings. 【題組】38. If a businesswants to thrive in the Post-Industrialeconomy,__________
(A) it has to investmorecapital in the training of freeagents to operate in a seller’s market (B) it should try its best to satisfy the increasingdemands of mobileknowledgeablepeople (C) it should not overlook the importance of information, services, support, and distribution (D) it has to provideeach of its employeeswith the latestinformationabout the changingmarket
Early in the age of affluence (富裕) thatfollowedWorld War II, an AmericanretailinganalystnamedVictorLebowproclaimed, “Our enormouslyproductiveeconomy ... demandsthat we makeconsumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goodsintorituals, that we seek our spiritualsatisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption. ... We needthingsconsumed, burned up, worn out, replaced and discarded at an everincreasingrate.”
Americanshaveresponded to Lebow’s call, and much of the world has followed.
Consumption has become a centralpillar of life in industriallands and is evenembedded in socialvalues. Opinionsurveys in the world’s two largesteconomies—Japan and the UnitedSates—showconsumeristdefinitions of successbecomingevermoreprevalent.
Overconsumption by the world’s fortunate is an environmentalproblemunmatched in severity by anything but perhapspopulationgrowth. Theirsurgingexploitation of resourcesthreatens to exhaust or unalterablyspoilforests, soils, water, air and climate.
Ironically, highconsumption may be a mixedblessing in humanterms, too. The time-honoredvalues of integrity of character, goodwork, friendship, family and communityhaveoftenbeensacrificed in the rush to riches.
Thusmany in the industriallandshave a sensethattheirworld of plenty is somehowhollow—that, misled by a consumeristculture, theyhavebeenfruitlesslyattempting to satisfywhat are essentiallysocial, psychological and spiritualneedswithmaterialthings.
Of course, the opposite of overconsumption—poverty—is no solution to eitherenvironmental or humanproblems. It is infinitelyworse for people and bad for the naturalworld too. Dispossessed (被剥夺得一无所有的) peasantsslash-and-burntheir way into the rainforests of LatinAmerica, and hungrynomads (游牧民族) turntheirherds out ontofragileAfricangrassland, reducing it to desert.
If environmentaldestructionresultswhenpeoplehaveeither too little or too much, we are left to wonder how much is enough. Whatlevel of consumption can the earthsupport? Whendoeshavingmorecease to add noticeably to humansatisfaction?
【題組】39. According to the passage, consumeristculture ________.
(A) cannotthrive on a fragileeconomy (B) will not aggravateenvironmentalproblems (C) cannotsatisfyhumanspiritualneeds (D) will not alleviatepoverty in wealthycountries
Directions: There are 2 passages in thissection. Eachpassage is followed by somequestions or unfinishedstatements. For each of themthere are fourchoicesmarked (A), (B), (C) and (D). You shoulddecide on the bestchoice and mark the correspondingletter on AnswerSheet 2 with a singlelinethrough the centre.
Questions 52 to 56 are based on the followingpassage.
At the heart of the debateoverillegalimmigrationlies one key question: are immigrantsgood or bad for the economy? The Americanpublicoverwhelminglythinksthey're bad. Yet the consensusamongmosteconomists is thatimmigration, bothlegal and illegal, provides a small net boost to the economy. Immigrantsprovidecheaplabor, lower the prices of everythingfromfarmproduce to new homes, and leaveconsumerswith a littlemoremoney in theirpockets. So why is theresuch a discrepancybetween the perception of immigrants' impact on the economy and the reality?
There are a number of familiartheories. Somearguethatpeople are anxious and feelthreatened by an inflow of new workers. Othershighlight the strainthatundocumentedimmigrantsplace on publicservices, likeschools, hospitals, and jails. Stillothersemphasize the role of race, arguingthatforeigners add to the nation's fears and insecurities. There's sometruth to all theseexplanations, but theyaren't quitesufficient.
To get a betterunderstanding of what's going on, consider the way immigration's impact is felt. Though its overalleffect may be positive, its costs and benefits are distributedunevenly. DavidCard, an economist at UC Berkeley, notesthat the ones who profitmostdirectlyfromimmigrants' low-costlabor are businesses and employers – meatpackingplants in Nebraska, for instance, or agriculturalbusinesses in California. Granted, theseproducers' savingsprobablytranslateintolowerprices at the grocerystore, but how manyconsumersmakethatmentalconnection at the checkoutcounter? As for the drawbacks of illegalimmigration, these, too, are concentrated. Native low-skilledworkerssuffermostfrom the competition of foreignlabor. According to a study by GeorgeBorjas, a Harvardeconomist, immigrationreduced the wages of Americanhigh-schooldropouts by 9% between 1980-2000.
Amonghigh-skilled, better-educatedemployees, however, opposition was strongest in stateswithbothhighnumbers of immigrants and relativelygeneroussocialservices. Whatworriedthemmost, in otherwords, was the fiscal (财政的)burden of immigration. Thatconclusion was reinforced by anotherfinding: thattheiroppositionappeared to softenwhenthatfiscalburdendecreased, as occurredwithwelfarereform in the 1990s, whichcurbedimmigrants' access to certainbenefits.
The irony is that for all the overexciteddebate, the net effect of immigration is minimal. Even for thosemostacutelyaffected – say, low-skilledworkers, or Californiaresidents – the impact isn't all thatdramatic. "The unpleasantvoiceshavetended to dominate our perceptions," saysDanielTichenor, a politicalscienceprofessor at the University of Oregon. "But when all thosefactors are put together and the economistscalculate the numbers, it ends up being a net positive, but a small one." Too bad mostpeople don't realize it.
What can we learnfrom the firstparagraph?
(A) Whetherimmigrants are good or bad for the economy has beenpuzzlingeconomists.
(B) The Americaneconomyused to thrive on immigration but now it's a differentstory.
(C) The consensusamongeconomists is thatimmigrationshould not be encouraged.
(D) The generalpublicthinksdifferentlyfrommosteconomists on the impact of immigration.