Among the annoying challenges facing the middle class is one that will
probably go unmentioned in the next presidential campaign: What happens when the
robots come for their jobs?
Don’t dismiss that possibility entirely. About half of U.S. jobs are at
high risk of being automated, according to a University of Oxford study, with
the middle class disproportionately squeezed. Lower-income jobs like gardening
or day care don’t appeal to robots. But many middle-class occupations-trucking,
financial advice, software engineering — have aroused their interest, or soon
will. The rich own the robots, so they will be fine.
This isn’t to be alarmist. Optimists point out that technological upheaval
has benefited workers in the past. The Industrial Revolution didn’t go so well
for Luddites whose jobs were displaced by mechanized looms, but it eventually
raised living standards and created more jobs than it destroyed. Likewise,
automation should eventually boost productivity, stimulate demand by driving
down prices, and free workers from hard, boring work. But in the medium term,
middle-class workers may need a lot of help adjusting.
The first step, as Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee argue in The Second
Machine Age, should be rethinking education and job training. Curriculums —from
grammar school to college- should evolve to focus less on memorizing facts and
more on creativity and complex communication. Vocational schools should do a
better job of fostering problem-solving skills and helping students work
alongside robots. Online education can supplement the traditional kind. It could
make extra training and instruction affordable. Professionals trying to acquire
new skills will be able to do so without going into debt.
The challenge of coping with automation underlines the need for the U.S. to
revive its fading business dynamism: Starting new companies must be made easier.
In previous eras of drastic technological change, entrepreneurs smoothed the
transition by dreaming up ways to combine labor and machines. The best uses of
3D printers and virtual reality haven’t been invented yet. The U.S. needs the
new companies that will invent them.
Finally, because automation threatens to widen the gap between capital
income and labor income, taxes and the safety net will have to be rethought.
Taxes on low-wage labor need to be cut, and wage subsidies such as the earned
income tax credit should be expanded: This would boost incomes, encourage work,
reward companies for job creation, and reduce inequality.
Technology will improve society in ways big and small over the next few
years, yet this will be little comfort to those who find their lives and careers
upended by automation. Destroying the machines that are coming for our jobs
would be nuts. But policies to help workers adapt will be indispensable.
21.Who will be most threatened by automation?
[A] Leading politicians.
22 .Which of the following best represent the author’s view?
[A] Worries about automation are in fact groundless.
[B]Optimists’ opinions on new tech find little support.
[C]Issues arising from automation need to be tackled
[D]Negative consequences of new tech can be avoided
23.Education in the age of automation should put more emphasis on
[A] creative potential.
24.The author suggests that tax policies be aimed at
[A] encouraging the development of automation.
[B]increasing the return on capital investment.
[C]easing the hostility between rich and poor.
[D]preventing the income gap from widening.
25.In this text, the author presents a problem with
[A] opposing views on it.
[B]possible solutions to it.
[C]its alarming impacts.
[D]its major variations.
King Juan Carlos of Spain once insisted”kings don’t abdicate, they die in
their sleep.” But embarrassing scandals and the popularity of the republicans
left in the recent Euro-elections have forced him to eat his words and stand
down. So, does the Spanish crisis suggest that monarchy is seeing its last days?
Does that mean the writing is on the wall for all European royals, with their
magnificent uniforms and majestic lifestyles?
The Spanish case provides arguments both for and against monarchy. When
public opinion is particularly polarized, as it was following the end of the
France regime, monarchs can rise above “mere” polities and “embody” a spirit of
It is this apparent transcendence of polities that explains monarchy’s
continuing popularity as heads of state. And so, the Middle East expected,
Europe is the most monarch-infested region in the world, with 10 kingdoms (not
counting Vatican City and Andorra). But unlike their absolutist counterparts in
the Gulf and Asia, most royal families have survived because they allow voters
to avoid the difficult search for a non-controversial but respected public
Even so, kings and queens undoubtedly have a downside. Symbolic of national
unity as they claim to be, their very history-and sometimes the way they behave
today-embodies outdated and indefensible privileges and inequalities. At a time
when Thomas Piketty and other economists are warming of rising inequality and
the increasing power of inherited wealth, it is bizarre that wealthy
aristocratic families should still be the symbolic heart of modern democratic
The most successful monarchies strive to abandon or hide their old
aristocratic ways. Princes and princesses have day-jobs and ride bicycles, not
horses (or helicopters). Even so, these are wealthy families who party with the
international 1%, and media intrusiveness makes it increasingly difficult to
maintain the right image.
While Europe’s monarchies will no doubt be smart enough to survive for some
time to come, it is the British royals who have most to fear from the Spanish
It is only the Queen who has preserved the monarchy’s reputation with her
rather ordinary (if well-heeled) granny style. The danger will come with
Charles, who has both an expensive taste of lifestyle and a pretty hierarchical
view of the world. He has failed to understand that monarchies have largely
survived because they provide a service-as non-controversial and non-political
heads of state. Charles ought to know that as English history shows, it is
kings, not republicans, who are the monarchy’s worst enemies.
21. According to the first two paragraphs, King Juan Carlos of Spain
[A]eased his relationship with his rivals.
[B]used to enjoy high public support.
[C]was unpopular among European royals.
[D]ended his reign in embarrassment.
22. Monarchs are kept as head of state in Europe mostly
[A]to give voters more public figures to look up to.
[B]to achieve a balance between tradition and reality.
[C]owing to their undoubted and respectable status.
[D]due to their everlasting political embodiment.
23. Which of the following is shown to be odd, according to Paragraph
[A] The role of the nobility in modern democracies.
[B] Aristocrats’ excessive reliance on inherited wealth.
[C] The simple lifestyle of the aristocratic families.
[D] The nobility’s adherence to their privileges.
24. The British royals “have most to fear” because Charles
[A]takes a tough line on political issues.
[B]fails to change his lifestyle as advised.
[C]takes republicans as his potential allies.
[D]fails to adapt himself to his future role.
25. Which of the following is the best title of the text?
[A]Carlos, Glory and Disgrace Combined
[B]Charles, Anxious to Succeed to the Throne
[C]Charles, Slow to React to the Coming Threats
[D]Carlos, a Lesson for All European Monarchs
The decision of the New York Philharmonic to hire Alan Gilbert as its next
music director has been the talk of the classical-music world ever since the
sudden announcement of his appointment in 2009. For the most part， the response
has been favorable， to say the least. “Hooray! At last!” wrote Anthony
Tommasini， a sober-sided classical-music critic.
One of the reasons why the appointment came as such a surprise， however， is
that Gilbert is comparatively little known. Even Tommasini， who had advocated
Gilbert‘s appointment in the Times， calls him “an unpretentious musician with no
air of the formidable conductor about him.” As a description of the next music
director of an orchestra that has hitherto been led by musicians like Gustav
Mahler and Pierre Boulez， that seems likely to have struck at least some Times
readers as faint praise.
For my part， I have no idea whether Gilbert is a great conductor or even a
good one. To be sure， he performs an impressive variety of interesting
compositions， but it is not necessary for me to visit Avery Fisher Hall， or
anywhere else， to hear interesting orchestral music. All I have to do is to go
to my CD shelf， or boot up my computer and download still more recorded music
Devoted concertgoers who reply that recordings are no substitute for live
performance are missing the point. For the time， attention， and money of the
art-loving public， classical instrumentalists must compete not only with opera
houses， dance troupes， theater companies， and museums， but also with the
recorded performances of the great classical musicians of the 20th century.
There recordings are cheap， available everywhere， and very often much higher in
artistic quality than today‘s live performances; moreover， they can be
“consumed” at a time and place of the listener’s choosing. The widespread
availability of such recordings has thus brought about a crisis in the
institution of the traditional classical concert.
One possible response is for classical performers to program attractive new
music that is not yet available on record. Gilbert‘s own interest in new music
has been widely noted： Alex Ross， a classical-music critic， has described him as
a man who is capable of turning the Philharmonic into “a markedly different，
more vibrant organization.” But what will be the nature of that difference?
Merely expanding the orchestra’s repertoire will not be enough. If Gilbert and
the Philharmonic are to succeed， they must first change the relationship between
America‘s oldest orchestra and the new audience it hops to attract.
21. We learn from Para.1 that Gilbert‘s appointment has
22. Tommasini regards Gilbert as an artist who is
23. The author believes that the devoted concertgoers
[A]ignore the expenses of live performances.
[B]reject most kinds of recorded performances.
[C]exaggerate the variety of live performances.
[D]overestimate the value of live performances.
24. According to the text， which of the following is true of
[A]They are often inferior to live concerts in quality.
[B]They are easily accessible to the general public.
[C]They help improve the quality of music.
[D]They have only covered masterpieces.
25. Regarding Gilbert‘s role in revitalizing the Philharmonic， the author
In the 2006 film version of The Devil Wears Prada ,Miranda Priestly, played
by Meryl Streep, scolds her unattractive assistant for imagining that high
fashion doesn’t affect her, Priestly explains how the deep blue color of the
assistant’s sweater descended over the years from fashion shows to departments
stores and to the bargain bin in which the poor girl doubtless found her
This top-down conception of the fashion business couldn’t be more out of
date or at odds with the feverish would described in Overdressed, Eliazabeth
Cline’s three-year indictment of “fast fashion”. In the last decade or so
,advances in technology have allowed mass-market labels such as Zara ,H&M,
and Uniqlo to react to trends more quickly and anticipate demand more precisely.
Quicker turnarounds mean less wasted inventory, more frequent release, and more
profit. These labels encourage style-conscious consumers to see clothes as
disposable-meant to last only a wash or two, although they don’t advertise that
–and to renew their wardrobe every few weeks. By offering on-trend items at
dirt-cheap prices, Cline argues, these brands have hijacked fashion cycles,
shaking an industry long accustomed to a seasonal pace.
The victims of this revolution , of course ,are not limited to designers.
For H&M to offer a $5.95 knit miniskirt in all its 2,300-pius stores around
the world, it must rely on low-wage overseas labor, order in volumes that strain
natural resources, and use massive amounts of harmful chemicals.
Overdressed is the fashion world’s answer to consumer-activist bestsellers
like Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. “Mass-produced clothing ,like fast
food, fills a hunger and need, yet is non-durable and wasteful,” Cline argues.
Americans, she finds, buy roughly 20 billion garments a year – about 64 items
per person – and no matter how much they give away, this excess leads to
Towards the end of Overdressed, Cline introduced her ideal, a Brooklyn
woman named Sarah Kate Beaumont, who since 2008 has made all of her own clothes
– and beautifully. But as Cline is the first to note, it took Beaumont decades
to perfect her craft; her example can’t be knocked off.
Though several fast-fashion companies have made efforts to curb their
impact on labor and the environment – including H&M, with its green
Conscious Collection line –Cline believes lasting change can only be effected by
the customer. She exhibits the idealism common to many advocates of
sustainability, be it in food or in energy. Vanity is a constant; people will
only start shopping more sustainably when they can’t afford not to.
21. Priestly criticizes her assistant for her
[A] poor bargaining skill.
[B] insensitivity to fashion.
[C] obsession with high fashion.
[D] lack of imagination.
22. According to Cline, mass-maket labels urge consumers to
[A] combat unnecessary waste.
[B] shut out the feverish fashion world.
[C] resist the influence of advertisements.
[D] shop for their garments more frequently.
23. The word “indictment” (Line 3, Para.2) is closest in meaning to
24. Which of the following can be inferred from the lase paragraph?
[A] Vanity has more often been found in idealists.
[B] The fast-fashion industry ignores sustainability.
[C] People are more interested in unaffordable garments.
[D] Pricing is vital to environment-friendly purchasing.
25. What is the subject of the text?
[A] Satire on an extravagant lifestyle.
[B] Challenge to a high-fashion myth.
[C] Criticism of the fast-fashion industry.
[D] Exposure of a mass-market secret.