THE INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY
Most introductory textbooks on Economics begin by posing the question, ‘What is Economics about?’ Although Economics is a vast subject and precise definitions are usually very complex, it is not a difficult matter to give a simple and sensible answer to the basic question. Economics is essentially a study of the ways in which people apply their knowledge, skills, and efforts to the gifts of nature in order to satisfy their material wants.
Economics limits itself to the study of the material aspects of life, and while it is true that man cannot live by bread alone, it is equally true that he cannot live without it. An underlying problem in economics is that of survival and we must examine how people have solved or are trying to solve this problem. In the more advanced countries this may seem a very remote problem - few people, if any, are conscious of a life or death struggle for existence. In many other countries, however, the continuity of human existence is by no means assured - starvation is a very real prospect for millions of human beings.
Even in the prosperous, economically advanced countries there is an aspect of survival which attracts little or no attention from those of us fortunate enough to live in these areas. This is our relative helplessness as 'economic' individuals. The Indian peasants have an extremely low standard of living, yet, left completely to their own devices, they can survive. Such people have the abilities to sustain life without outside assistance. A large percentage of the human race still lives in very small self-sufficient peasant communities. These people experience great poverty, but they can provide on an individual basis, for their own survival. They have a degree of economic independence.
If we now turn to the inhabitants of New York, London, or any other great metropolitan area we must observe the opposite situation — a high standard of living together with an extreme economic dependence. The inhabitants of cities are totally incapable of providing for themselves, directly, the means of their survival. They could not feed themselves, or build their own houses. Such people depend, each and every day of their lives, on the efforts and cooperation of many thousands of specialist workers. In industrialised societies a high standard of living is possible only if the organized cooperation of large numbers of people can be guaranteed. In the economically developed countries we are rich, not as individuals, but only as members of a complex economic organisation.
4. Преобразуйте предложение в Past и Future Simple:
1. It is not a difficult matter to give a simple answer to the basic question.
2. People apply their knowledge and efforts to the gifts of nature in order to satisfy their material wants.
3. Even in the prosperous countries there is an aspect of survival.
4. This problem attracts little attention.
5. Such people have the abilities to sustain life without outside assistance.
6. They experience great poverty.
7. They depend on the efforts and cooperation of many thousands of specialist workers
5. Заполните пропуски, используя следующие слова:
inhabitants, precise, prospect, vast, standard, percentage, means, human
1. Economics is a ... subject and ... definitions are very complex.
2. Starvation is a very real... for millions of... beings.
3. The Indian peasants have an extremely low... of living.
4. A large ... of the human race still lives in small self-sufficient peasant communities.
5. The ... of cities are totally incapable of providing for themselves the ... of their survival.
6. Найдите синонимы среди следующих слов:
study, precise, complex, subject, essentially, use, exact, matter, basically, mainly, apply, developed, examine, advanced, completely, help, community, totally, assistance, society, build, gift, construct, present.
7. Найдите антонимы среди следующих слов:
begin, difficult, high, poor, inside, wealth, finish, easy, low, prosperous, outside, poverty, capable, dependence, incapable, directly, large, independence, indirectly, small.
8. Переведите следующиесочетания слов с русского языка на английский:
точное определение, простой ответ, основной вопрос, изучение материальных сторон жизни, развитые страны, борьба за существование, уровень жизни, относительная беспомощность, без посторонней помощи, испытывать крайнюю бедность, степень экономической независимости, наблюдать противоположную ситуацию, жители городов, члены сложной экономической организации
9. Составьте предложения, используя следующие слова:
1. limits, of, economics, to, study, the, of, aspects, the, material, itself, life.
2. problem, an, is, underlying, economics, in, that, survival, of.
3. seem, may, a problem, very, this, remote, very.
4. very, starvation, a, prospect, millions, for, real, human, beings, is, of.
5. peasants, an, Indian, have, living, of, the, low, extremely, standard.
6. people, great, experience, poverty, these.
7. degree, they, a, have, economic, of, independence.
10. Поставьте вопросы к выделенным словам:
1. Precise definitions are usually very complex.
2. Economics limits itself to the study of the material life.
3. The Indian peasants have an extremely low standard of living.
4. A large percentage of the human race still lives in very small peasant communities.
5. These people experience great poverty.
6. The inhabitants of big cities depend on the efforts of specialized workers.
11. Заполните пропуски, используя глаголы, данные в скобках:
1. Although Economics... a vast subject and precise definitions ... usually very complex, it... not a difficult matter to give a simple answer to the basic question (to be).
2. Economics ... itself to the study of the material aspects of life (to limit).
3. We must examine how people have solved or ... to solve this problem (to try).
4. It... little attention from those of us fortunate enough to live in these areas (to attract).
5. A large percentage of human race still... in small self-sufficient communities (to live).
12. Ответьте на следующие вопросы:
1. What do most introductory books on Economics begin by?
2. What does Economics study?
3. What does it limit itself to?
4. What is an underlying problem of Economics?
5. What categories of people can survive without outside assistance?
6. Why do they have a very low standard of living?
7. Why aren't the inhabitants of big cities economically independent?
8. Why is a high standard of living impossible without a cooperation of large numbers of people?
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