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历年考研英语阅读理解2007年03

所属教程:历年考研英语阅读理解

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[00:00:02]2007黑暗版历年阅读真题解析第三篇

[00:00.81]During the past generation,

[00:02.52]the American middle-class family that once could count on hard work

[00:07.18]and fair play to keep itself financially secure

[00:11.09]has been transformed by economic risk and new realities.

[00:15.32]Now a pink slip, a bad diagnosis,

[00:18.01]or a disappearing spouse can reduce a family from solidly middle class

[00:23.31]to newly poor in a few months.

[00:26.25]In just one generation, millions of mothers have gone to work,

[00:30.89]transforming basic family economics.

[00:33.95]Scholars, policymakers,

[00:36.39]and critics of all stripes have debated the social implications of these changes,

[00:42.15]but few have looked at the side effect:

[00:45.50]family risk has risen as well.

[00:48.22]Today’s families have budgeted to the limits

[00:51.59]of their new two-paycheck status.

[00:54.05]As a result, they have lost the parachute they once had in times of financial setback—

[01:00.36]a back-up earner (usually Mom) who could go into the workforce if the primary earner

[01:06.45]got laid off on fell sick.

[01:09.35]This “added-worker effect” could support the safety net offered by unemployment insurance

[01:15.42]or disability insurance to help families weather bad times.

[01:20.16]But today, a disruption to family fortunes can no longer be made up

[01:25.53]with extra income from an otherwise-stay-at-home partner.

[01:30.40]During the same period,

[01:33.04]families have been asked to absorb much more risk in their retirement income.

[01:39.47]Steelworkers,

[01:41.02]airline employees,

[01:42.50]and now those it the auto industry are joining millions of families

[01:47.37]who must worry about interest rates,

[01:50.04]stock market fluctuation,

[01:52.05]and the harsh reality that they may outlive their retirement money.

[01:56.71]For much of the past year,

[01:58.73]President Bush campaigned to move Social Security to a savings-account model,

[02:04.39]with retirees trading much or all of their guaranteed payments

[02:09.66]for payments depending on investment returns.

[02:13.30]For younger families,

[02:14.87]the picture is not any better.

[02:17.00]Both the absolute cost of healthcare and share of it borne

[02:21.78]by families have risen—

[02:23.80]and newly fashionable health-savings plans are spreading

[02:27.42]from legislative halls to Wal-Mart workers,

[02:31.09]with much higher deductibles and a large new dose of investment risk

[02:36.58]for families’ future healthcare.

[02:39.50]Even demographics are working against the middle class family,

[02:43.52]as the odds of having a weak elderly parent—

[02:46.86]and all the attendant need for physical and financial assistance—

[02:51.23]have jumped eightfold in just one generation.

[02:54.75]From the middle-class family perspective, much of this,

[02:58.74]understandably, looks far less like an opportunity to exercise more financial responsibility,

[03:05.75]and a good deal more like a frightening acceleration

[03:09.72]of the wholesale shift of financial risk onto their already overburdened shoulders.

[03:15.92]The financial fallout has begun, and the political fallout may not be far behind.

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