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历年考研英语阅读理解2000年01

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http://online2.tingclass.net/lesson/shi0529/0008/8686/A_2000_1.mp3
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[00:03.48]2000 Passage1

[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."

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