Part Ⅳ Short Answer Questions
Directions: In this section, there is a short passage with 5 questions or incomplete statements. Read the passage carefully. Then answer the questions or complete statements in the fewest possible words. Please write your answers on Answer Sheet 2.
Questions 47 to 51 are based on the following passage.
America is a country that now sits atop the cherished myth that work provides rewards, that working people can support their families. It's a myth that has become so divorced from reality that it might as well begin with the words "Once upon a time." Today 1.6 million New Yorkers suffer from "food insecurity," which is a fancy way of saying they don't have enough to eat. Some are the people who come in at night and clean the skyscrapers that glitter along the river. Some pour coffee and take care of the aged parents of the people who live in those buildings. The American Dream for the well-to-do grows from the bowed backs of the working poor, who too often have to choose between groceries and rent.
In a new book called "The Betrayal of Work", Beth Shulman says that even in the booming 1990s one out of every four American workers made less than $8.70 an hour, an income equal to the government's poverty level for a family of four. Many, if not most, of these workers had no health care, sick pay or retirement provisions.
We ease our consciences, Shulman writes, by describing these people as "low skilled," as though they're not important or intelligent enough to deserve more. But low-skilled workers today are better educated than ever before, and they constitute the linchpin (关键) of American industry. When politicians crow (得意洋洋地说) that happy days are here again because jobs are on the rise, it's these jobs they're really talking about. Five of the 10 occupations expected to grow big in the next decade are in the lowest-paying job groups. And before we sit back and decide that's just the way it is, it's instructive to consider the rest of the world. While the bottom 10 percent of American workers earn just 37 percent of our average wage, their counterparts in other industrialized countries earn upwards of 60 percent. And those are countries that provide health care and child care, which eases the economic pinch considerably.