The Reader’s digest investigation asked Americans which was the biggest threat to the nation’s future—big business, big labor or big government. A whopping 67 percent replied “ big government”
  Opinion researchers rarely see such a vast change in public attitude. When put in historical perspective, from the time of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal to the present, the fallen status of government as a protector and benefactor is extraordinary. We’ve returned to the instinctive American wariness of Washington so common before the Great Depression.
  In our poll, taken before the November elections, the overwhelming majority of our respondents wanted to stop or roll back the impact of government. In answer to another question posed by The Digest, 79 percent said they wanted either no more than the current level of government services and taxes, or less government and lower taxes.
  “It seems to me that we in the middle class bear most of the burden,” says Jone Nell Norman, 61, a nurse in Dyersburg, Tenn., who often wonders about the government’s judgement in spending her money.
  Of Americans in our sample, 62 percent believe that politician’s ethics and honesty have fallen. And what about Congress? Is it doing a good job? Or do members “ spend more time thinking about their political futures than passing good legislation?” Across generations, a thumping 89 percent thought the latter. “Congress always seems to be screwing up,” says one young Xer.
  However, Americans are satisfied with their own lives and jobs. Four of five respondents were “completely “ or “ somewhat “ satisfied. The figures held up across all ages – including Xer, whom many pundits have claimed are pessimistic about their future.
  Looking deeper at jobs, we found 70 percent of Americans believe they are about where they should be, given their talents and effort. This is an issue where age always makes a difference, since older people, who are more established in their jobs tend to be more satisfied, while younger workers are still trying to find the right niche. Sure enough, Xers scored 65 percent, about five points below average.



  1.”Xers” is repeated several times to refer to
  A. accusers B. younger respondents
  C. college students D. blue-collar workers

  2. The U. S. government status in the public mind before the Great Depression ____.
  A. was regarded as quite normal
  B. used to be very low
  C. remained a difficult problem for the federal government
  D. reminded people of the principles laid down by Washington

  3. The 61-years-old nurse Norman is mentioned in the article to show that ____.
  A. the government has cheated her out of her money
  B. it is hard for her to earn a living
  C. even a retired nurse has lost faith in the government
  D. the more the government does the greater stake tax – payers’ money will be put at

  4.”Screwing up “ in paragraph 5 may be paraphrased as ____.
  A. indecisive in making decisions B. benefiting the nation in earnest
  C. making a mess of everything D. debating hotly

  5.”Political future “ in paragraph 5 may be paraphrased as ____.
  A. the future of the whole nation B. people’s well – being in the future
  C. a position of higher rank D. awareness of consistency in policies

【答案见下页】
  Racket, din clamor, noise, whatever you want to call it, unwanted sound is America’s most widespread nuisance. But noise is more than just a nuisance. It constitutes a real and present danger to people’s health. Day and night, at home, at work, and at play, noise can produce serious physical and psychological stress. No one is immune to this stress. Though we seem to adjust to noise by ignoring it, the ear, in fact, never closes and the body still responds—sometimes with extreme tension, as to a strange sound in the night.

  The annoyance we feel when faced with noise is the most common outward symptom of the stress building up inside us. Indeed, because irritability is so apparent, legislators have made public annoyance the basis of many noise abatement programs. The more subtle and more serious health hazards associated with stress caused by noise traditionally have been given much less attention. Nevertheless, when we are annoyed or made irritable by noise, we should consider these symptoms fair warning that other thing may be happening to us, some of which may be damaging to our health.

  Of many health hazards to noise, hearing loss is the most clearly observable and measurable by health professionals. The other hazards are harder to pin down. For many of us, there may be a risk that exposure to the stress of noise increases susceptibility to disease and infection. The more susceptible among us may experience noise as a complicating factor in heart problems and other diseases. Noise that causes annoyance and irritability in health persons may have serious consequences for these already ill in mind or body.

  Noise affects us throughout our lives. For example, there are indications of effects on the unborn child when mothers are exposed to industrial and environmental noise. During infancy and childhood, youngsters exposed to high noise levels may have trouble falling asleep and obtaining necessary amounts of rest.
  Why, then, is there not greater alarm about these dangers? Perhaps it is because the link between noise and many disabilities or diseases has not yet been conclusively demonstrated. Perhaps it is because we tend to dismiss annoyance as a price to pay for living in the modern world. It may also be because we still think of hearing loss as only an occupational hazard.


  1. The author’s attitude toward noise would best be described as ___.
  A. unrealistic
  B. traditional
  C. concerned
  D. hysterical
  2. In Paragraph 1, the phrase “immune to” are used to mean ___.
  A. unaffected by
  B. hurt by
  C. unlikely to be seen by
  D. unknown by
  3. Which of the following best states the main idea of the passage?
  A. Noise is a major problem; most people recognize its importance.
  B. Although noise can be annoying, it is not a major problem.
  C. Noise is a major problem and has not yet been recognized as such.
  D. Noise is a major problem about which nothing can be done.
  4. The author condemns noise essentially because it ___.
  A. is against the law
  B. can make some people irritable
  C. is a nuisance
  D. in a ganger to people’s health
  5. The author would probably consider research about the effects noise has on people to be ___.
  A. unimportant
  B. impossible.
  C. a waste of money
  D. essential
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