READING SELECTION A Does Economic Growth (development) Improve Human Morale? By David G. Myers [1] During the mid-1980s my family and I spent a sabbatical year in the historic town of St. Andrews, Scotland. Comparing life there with life in America, we were impressed by a seeming disconnection between national wealth and well-being (happiness). To most Americans, Scottish life would have seemed Spartan. Incomes were about half that (income) in the U. S. Among families in the Kingdom of Fife surrounding (around) St. Andrews, 44 percent did not own a car, and we never met a family that owned two. Central heating in this place not far south of Iceland was, at that time, still a luxury. [2] In hundreds of conversations during our year there and during three half-summer stays since (since then), we repeatedly noticed that, despite (=in spite of) their simpler living, the Scots appeared no less joyful (happy) than Americans. We heard complaints about Margaret Thatcher, but never about being underpaid or unable to afford (pay for) wants (necessities). With less money there was no less satisfaction with living, no less warmth of spirit, no less pleasure (happiness) in one another's company. Are rich American is happier? [accompany sb. to somewhere] [3] Within any country, such as our own, are rich people happier? In poor countries, such as Bangladesh and India, being relatively well off (rich) does make for (cause/ bring about) somewhat (a little) greater well being (happiness). Psychologically as well as (=and) materially, it is much better to be high caste than low caste. We humans need food, rest, warmth, and social contact. [4] But in affluent (rich) countries, where nearly everyone can afford life's necessities, increasing affluence matters (vi.) surprisingly little. In the USA, Canada, and Europe, the correlation between income and happiness is, as University of Michigan researcher Ronald Ingle-hart noted in 1980s 16-nation study, "surprisingly weak [indeed, virtually (actually) negligible]". Happiness is lower among the very poor. But once (they are) comfortable, more money provides diminishing returns. The second piece of pie, or the second $ 50, 000, never tastes as good as the first. So (As) far as happiness is concerned, it hardly matters (vi.) whether one drives a BMW or, like so many of the Scots, walks or rides a bus. [5] Even very rich people -- the Forbes' 100 wealthiest (richest) Americans surveyed by University of Illinois psychologist Ed Diener -- are only slightly happier than average (the ordinary people). With net (<->gross) worth all exceeding (surpassing) $ 100 million, providing ample (enough) money to buy things they don't need and hardly care about, 4 in 5 of the 49 people responding to the survey agreed that "Money can increase OR decrease happiness, depending on how it is used." And some (people) were indeed unhappy. One fabulously (extremely) wealthy man said he could never remember being happy. One woman reported that money could not undo (correct) misery caused by her children's problems. Does economic growth improve human morale? (net weight<->gross weight) [6] We have scrutinized (examined) the American dream of achieved wealth and well-being (happiness) by comparing rich and unrich countries, and rich and unrich people. That (analysis) leaves the final question: Over time (in the long run), does happiness rise (increase) with affluence (wealth)? [7] Typically (Absolutely) not. Lottery winners appear (seem) to gain (get) but (only) a
temporary jolt of joy (happiness) from (because of) their winnings. Looking back, they feel delighted (happy) to have won. Yet the euphoria doesn't last (vi.). In fact, previously enjoyed activities such as reading may become less pleasurable (pleasant). Compared to the high (high spirit) of winning a million dollars, ordinary pleasures (become) pale. [8] On a smaller scale, a jump in our income can boost (promote/ increase) our morale, for a while (a short time). "But in the long run," notes Inglehart, "neither an ice cream cone nor a new car nor becoming rich and famous produces(bring about) the same feelings of delight that it initially did. Happiness is not the result of being rich, but a temporary consequence (result) of having recently become richer." Ed Diener's research confirms that those whose incomes have increased over a 10-year period are not happier than those whose income has not increased. Wealth, it therefore seems, is like health: Although its utter (complete) absence can breed (produce/ lead to) misery, having it does not guarantee happiness. Happiness is less a matter of getting what we want than of wanting (enjoy) what we have. Are we happier today? [9] We can also ask whether, over time, our collective (total/ comprehensive) happiness has floated upward (increase) with the rising economic tide. Are we happier today than in 1940, when two out of five homes (families) lacked a shower or bathtub, heat often meant feeding a furnace wood or coal, and 35 percent of homes had no toilet? Or consider 1957, when economist John Galbraith was about to describe the United States as The Affluent Society. Americans' per person income, expressed in today's dollars, was less than $ 8,0
  00. Today it is more than $ 16, 000, thanks to increased real wages into the 1970s, increased nonwage income, and the doubling of married women's employment. Compared to 1957, we are therefore "the doubly affluent society"?with double what money buys including twice as many cars per person, not to mention microwave ovens, big screen color TVs, home computers, and $ 200 billion a year spent in restaurants and bars -- two and a half times our 1960 inflation-adjusted restaurant spending per person. From 1960 to 1990, the percentage of us with dishwashers zoomed from 7 to 45 percent, (zoom in=enlarge<->zoom out) clothes dryers rose from 20 to 69 percent, air conditioners soared from 15 to 70 percent. Not best of times (for) the human spirit (morale) [10] So, believing that a little more money would make us a little happier, and having seen our affluence ratchet upward little by little over nearly four decades, are we now happier? [11] We are not (happy at all). Since 1957, the number telling the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center that they are "very happy" has declined from 35 to 30 percent. Twice as rich, and a little less happy. In fact, between 1956 and 1988, the percentage of Americans saying they were "pretty (very) well satisfied with your present financial situation" dropped from 42 to 30 percent. [liver/ lead a miserable life] [12] We are also more often downright (completely) miserable. Among Americans born since World War II, depression has increased dramatically ? tenfold (ten times), reports University of Pennsylvania clinical researcher Martin Seligman. Today's 25-year-olds are much more likely (possible) to recall a time in their life when they were despondent (depressed) and despairing than are their 75-year-old grandparents, despite the grandparents having had many more years to suffer
all kinds of disorder, from broken legs to the anguish of depression. Researchers debate the actual extent (degree) of rising depression... but no matter how we define depression, the findings (discoveries) persist. Today's youth and young adults have grown up with much more affluence, slightly less overall happiness, and much greater risk of depression, not to mention tripled teen suicide and all the other social pathologies we have considered. Never has a culture (nation) experienced such physical comfort combined with such psychological misery. Never have we felt so free, or had our prisons so overstuffed. Never have we been so sophisticated (complicated) about pleasure, or so likely to suffer broken relationships. [13] These are the best of times materially, "a time of elephantine (great) vanity and greed" observes Garrison Keillor, but they are not the best times for the human spirit. William Bennett, no critic of free market economies, is among those who recognize (find) the futility (uselessness) of economics without ethics and money without a mission (goal/ purpose): "If we have full employment and greater economic growth -- if we have cities of gold and alabaster -- but our children have not learned how to walk in goodness, justice, and mercy, then the American experiment, not matter how gilded (beautiful), will have failed." (1, 208 words) ABOUT THE AUTHOR David Myers is a social psychologist and a communicator (writer) of psychological science to college students and the general public. EXERCISES Answer the following questions or complete the following statements.
  1. What struck the author during his stay in St. Andrews, Scotland? A. The historic town of St. Andrews, Scotland. B. Obvious disconnection between national wealth and well-being. C. The natural beauty of St. Andrews, Scotland. D. The unwealthy yet peaceful life in St. Andrews, Scotland.
  2. What did the Scots think about their simple life? A. They were unsatisfied with the simple life and complained a lot. B. They blamed Margaret Thatcher for the poor living standard. C. They never complained, though they were unable co afford wants. D. They were happy and satisfied with their simple life.
  3. What's the difference that affluence makes between poor countries and rich ones? A. In poor countries, affluence matters surprisingly little while in rich countries affluence matters a great deal. B. In poor countries, affluence doesn't matter while in rich countries affluence matters a great deal. C. Increasing affluence means the same for people both in rich countries and in poor ones. D. Affluence makes great difference in poor countries while it matters surprisingly little in rich ones.
  4. What does the author imply by "The second piece of pie never tastes as good as the first."? A. You will never have the same feeling if you are full. B. Driving a BMW is the same as walking or riding a bike once you have enough to eat. C. Once people have enough income for comfortable life, then more income provides diminishing
returns. D. For the poor people they will not refuse to have something more.
  5. What is the attitude of the wealthiest Americans towards money and happiness? A. Money could either increase or decrease happiness, depending on how it is used. B. Money could increase or decrease happiness, depending on how much money one owns. C. Money could not bring happiness but troubles. D. Money could bring neither happiness nor troubles.
  6. According to the author, what is the consequence of becoming rich? A. Troubles. B. A high spirit. C. Miseries. D. Temporary happiness.
  7. Why does the author say that wealth is like health? A. Health and wealth are both blessings, yet having both does not ensure happiness. B. The more wealth one has, the happier one is. C. One will never be happy if he is rich, but in poor health. D. Both money and health are essential to happiness.
  8. What are the causes of the rising income of Americans? A. Increased real wages and decreased nonwage income. B. Decreased nonwage income and working women. C. Increased nonwage income and more married working women. D. Increased real wages but decreased married women's employment.
  9. What is culturally typical of today's American society? A. More affluent and more comfortable. B. Physical comfort combined with psychological misery. C. More affluent yet less comfortable. D. More affluent and less psychologically depressed.
  10. What's the main idea of the passage? A. Wealth can't ensure the improvement of human morale. B. People in poor countries enjoy life more than those do in poor countries. C. Human beings need both health and wealth in order to have a happy life. D. It is the best time for human wealth as well as happiness. II. Vocabulary A. Choose the best word from the tour choices to complete each of the following sentences.
  1. In 1977, I took my first ever year and spent a couple of months at the Australian National University in Canberra. A. underpaid B. sabbatical C. prosperous D. affluent
  2. He has had opportunity to exercise leadership, which he almost invariably directs along positive channels, and has improved in the various skills. A. ample B. utter (complete/ thorough) C. messy D. greedy
  3. Presumably (perhaps) they are paid their salaries to spot (look for) errors such as these. A. despairing B. fabulous (unbelievable) C. depressing D. sympathetic
  4. It still depends on flow-patterns, even when the air is so thin as to be almost . A. diminishing B. tripled C. negligible D. perceivable (=comprehensive)

  5. This would carry with it a responsibility on their part to help devise (design) the tests, or at least to their content. A. boost (increase/ promote) B. bread C. guarantee D. scrutinize (examine)
  6. But he was already affected (influenced) by a(n) which induced courage and recklessness. A. euphoria B. mission (task) C. ideology D. bewilderment (confusion)
  7. Not only was there physical weakness but also intense loneliness and sometimes mental due to (because of) lack of occupation (job) in the "workhouse" (workshop/ factory/ company) and the chronic sick wards. A. morale B. enthusiasm C. starvation (=hanger) D. anguish(extreme pain)
  8. Worst of all is the sense (feeling) of utter (thorough) because it is far too late to change anything. A. luxury B. possession C. futility D. dominanc
 

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