The productivity of Americans employed in private businesses has declined. The productivity of workers in countries such as Japan and Germany is increasing. American machine tools, on average, are old, relatively inefficient, and rapidly becoming obsolete, whereas those of our competitors overseas, in comparison, are newer and more efficient. We are no longer the most productive workers in the world. We are no longer the leaders in industrial innovation (革新). We are an immensely

  wealthy nation of educated men and women who seem to have lost sight of the fact that everything—from the simplest necessities to the finest luxuries—must be produced through our own collective hard work. We have come to expect automatic increases in our collective standard of living, but we seem to have forgotten that these increases are possible only when our productivity continues to grow.

  One thing that must change is the rate at which we substitute capital equipment for human labor. Simply put, our labor force has increased at a far greater rate than has our stock of capital investment. We seem to have forgotten that our past productivity gains, to a large extent, were realized from substitutions of capital for human labor. Today, 3 times as many robots are listed as capital assets by Japanese firms as by United States firms.

  There is no doubt that robots will become a common sight in American factories. Representing a new generation of technology, robots will replace factory labor much as the farm tractor replaced the horse. Robot technology has much to offer. It offers higher levels of productivity and quality at lower costs; in promises to free men and women from the dull, repetitious toil of the factory, it is likely to have an impact on society comparable to that made by the growth of computer technology.

  1. The word "obsolete"(Para. 1) most probably means_______.
  A. weak B. old
  C. new D. out of date
  2. The author is anxious about_______.
  A. his people no longer taking the lead in industrial innovation
  B. his country no longer being a wealthy nation
  C. his people forgetting to raise their productivity
  D. his country falling behind other industrial nations
  3. According to the author, in his country_______..
  A. the proportion of labor force to capital investment is quite low
  B. the growth rate of labor force should be greater than that of capital investment
  C. the productivity increases should be achieved by the increases of labor force
  D. capital investment should have increased more rapidly than labor force
  4. So far as the influence on society is concerned, _______.
  A. robot technology seems to be much more promising than computer technology
  B. computer technology has less to offer than robot technology
  C. robot technology can be compared with computer technology
  D. robot technology cannot be compared with computer technology
  5. The purpose of the author in writing this passage is to show that_______.
  A. robots will help increase labor productivity
  B. robots will rule American factories
  C. robots are cheaper than human laborers
  D. robots will finally replace humans in factories

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