As you all know, the United States is a country on wheels. Nearly eight million new cars are made each year; four households out of five own at least one ear, and more than a quarter have two each. Yet you’ll be surprised to learn that some of the car-owners even suffer from malnutrition(营养不良).
  In 1968, a nation-wide survey of malnutrition was made for the first time. It found that 10 million people are suffering in health through inadequate feeding; the causes of their plight(困境)were varied. Unemployment over a long period should be considered as the main factor. And unemployment, strange to say, nine times out of ten results from automation, both in industrial and agricultural areas. For example, in the rural South when a cotton plantation suddenly cuts its force from 100 people to three, the problem to help the displaced arises. So is the case with industrial automation. In fact, probably 2 million jobs are made unnecessary each year in the whole country as a result of the automation process, thus making unemployment a chief social concern. According to government statistics, the number of people unemployed was over 5 percent for the period from 1958 to 1963. In July 1981, it rose to 7.8 percent. As a matter of fact, it has long been known that even during the most prosperous periods there have been people without enough to eat. So I think that’s why President Kennedy said in his inauguration speech in 1961, if the government did not help the poor, it could not save the rich.
  In 1966, the Social Security Administration calculated that a family of four needed an income of $3,355 a year to be above the line of poverty. And in 1977, the average poverty line of the country was slightly more than $6,200 annual income for a non-farm family of four. According to the Social Security Act, families of that size below poverty line are eligible to receive benefits from the special welfare program. The average weekly payment of benefits now is equivalent to 36 percent of the worker’s normal wage. And the number of people who receive government benefits is increasing. In 1973, social insurance payments by governments, mainly to old age pensioners and people who had lost their jobs or were off work through illness, amounted to $86,000 million. Those not fully qualified for insurance payments received $29,000 million in public aid.
  But problems still exist. Many people are not reached by the anti-poverty program, because local authorities and agencies do not want to play their part or do not gave the resources to do so. Some poor people will not accept help for various reasons. Of course, there are some more important factors which lie in the structure of the society, but I don’t consider it necessary to dig into them here. Yet we will perhaps agree that social welfare programs have solved to some extent the problems of feeding, clothing and housing those below the poverty line. On the whole, it perhaps might be said that American people are living a better life than people in most other countries.
  (536 words)

  1. The United States is called a country on wheels because______.
  A. about one-fourth Americans own two cars
  B. a bit over one out of four households are the owners of two cars
  C. nearly 8 million new cars drive in the country every year
  D. 80% Americans have at least one car
  2. According to a 1968 survey, ten million Americans found themselves in a difficult health situation chiefly due to _______.
  A. inadequate feeding
  B. malnutrition
  C. unemployment
  D. automation
  3. The author use ”the displaced”(Line 9, Para. 2) to refer to those who are _______.
  A. unemployed
  B. disabled
  C. sick
  D. poor
  4. The word “eligible”(Line 6, Para.3) is synonymous with “_______”
  A. necessary
  B. urgent
  C. needed
  D. worthy
  5. Americans are living a better life than those in most of other countries because, to some degree, _____.
  A. many Americans receive benefits from the special welfare program
  B. some poor people can receive help for some reason or other
  C. there is the anti-poverty program in the U.S.
  D. social welfare programs have some measure settled the problems of those below the poverty line.
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