What's hot for 2007 among the very rich? A $7.3 million diamond ring. A trip to Tanzania to hunt wild animals. Oh, and income inequality.
Sure, some leftish billionaires like George Soros have been railing against income inequality for years. But increasingly, centrist and right-wing billionaires are starting to worry about income inequality and the fate of the middle class.
In December, Mortimer Zuckerman wrote a column in U.S. News & World Report, which he owns. "Our nation's core bargain with the middle class is disintegrating," lamented (哀叹) the 117th-richest man in America."Most of our economic gains have gone to people at the very top of the income ladder. Average income for a household of people of working age, by contrast, has fallen five years in a row." He noted that "Tens of millions of Americans live in fear that a major health problem can reduce them to bankruptcy."
Wilbur Ross Jr. has echoed Zuckerman's anger over the bitter struggles faced by middle-class Americans. "It's an outrage that any American's life expectancy should be shortened simply because the company they worked for went bankrupt and ended health-care coverage," said the former chairman of the International Steel Group.
What's happening? The very rich are just as trendy as you and I, and can be so when it comes to politics and policy. Given the recent change of control in Congress, the popularity of measures like increasing the minimum wage, and efforts by California's governor to offer universal health care, these guys don't need their own personal weathermen to know which way the wind blows.
It's possible that plutocrats (有钱有势的人) are expressing solidarity with the struggling middle class as part of an effort to insulate themselves from confiscatory (没收性的) tax policies. But the prospect that income inequality will lead to higher taxes on the wealthy doesn't keep plutocrats up at night. They can live with that.
No, what they fear was that the political challenges of sustaining support for global economic integration will be more difficult in the United States because of what has happened to the distribution of income and economic insecurity.
In other words, if middle-class Americans continue to struggle financially as the ultrawealthy grow ever wealthier, it will be increasingly difficult to maintain political support for the free flow of goods, services, and capital across borders. And when the United States places obstacles in the way of foreign investors and foreign goods, it's likely to encourage reciprocal action abroad. For people who buy and sell companies, or who allocate capital to markets all around the world, that's the real nightmare.
1、What is the current topic of common interest among the very rich in America?
A.The fate of the ultrawealthy people.
B.The disintegration of the middle class.
C.The inequality in the distribution of wealth.
D.The conflict between the left and the right wing.
2、What do we learn from Mortimer Zuckerman's lamentation?
A.Many middle-income families have failed to make a bargain for better welfare.
B.The American economic system has caused many companies to go bankrupt.
C.The American nation is becoming more and more divided despite its wealth.
D.The majority of Americans benefit little from the nation's growing wealth.
3、From the fifth paragraph we can learn that _________.
A.the very rich are fashion-conscious
B.the very rich are politically sensitive
C.universal health care is to be implemented throughout America
D.Congress has gained popularity by increasing the minimum wage
4、What is the real reason for plutocrats to express solidarity with the middle class?
A.They want to protect themselves from confiscatory taxation.
B.They know that the middle class contributes most to society.
C.They want to gain support for global economic integration.
D.They feel increasingly threatened by economic insecurity.
5、What may happen if the United States places obstacles in the way of foreign investors and foreign goods?
A.The prices of imported goods will inevitably soar beyond control.
B.The investors will have to make great efforts to reallocate capital.
C.The wealthy will attempt to buy foreign companies across borders.
D.Foreign countries will place the same economic barriers in return.
答案：1.C 2.C 3.B 4.C 5.D