A hundred years ago it was assumed and scientifically “proved” by economists that the laws of society made it necessary to have a vast army of poor and jobless people in order to keep the economy going. Today, hardly anybody would dare to voice this principle. It is generally accepted that nobody should be excluded from the wealth Western industrialized countries, a system of insurance has been introduced which guarantees everyone a minimum of subsistence (生活维持费) in case of unemployment, sickness and old age. I would go one step further and argue that, even if these conditions are not present, everyone has the right to receive the means to subsist (维持生活), in other words, he can claim this subsistence minimum without having to have any “reason”. I would suggest, however, that it should be limited to a definite period of time, let’s say two years, so as to avoid the encouraging of an abnormal attitude which refused any kind of social obligation.
This may sound like a fantastic proposal, but so, I think, our insurance system would have sounded to people a hundred years ago. The main objection to such a scheme would be that if each person were entitled to receive minimum support, people would not work. This assumption rests on the fallacy of the inherent laziness in human nature, actually, aside from abnormally lazy people, there would be very few who would not want to earn more than the minimum, and who would prefer to do nothing rather than work.
However, the suspicions against a system of guaranteed subsistence minimum are not groundless, from the standpoint of those who want to use ownership of capital for the purpose of forcing others to accept the work conditions they offer. If nobody were forced to accept work in order not to starve, work would have to be sufficiently interesting and attractive to induce one to accept it. Freedom of contract is possible only if both parties are free to accept and reject it; in the present capitalist system this is not the case.
But such a system would not only be the beginning of real freedom of contract between employers and employees, its principal advantage would be the improvement of freedom in inter-personal relationships in every sphere of daily life.
26.People used to think that poverty and unemployment were due to ________.
A) the slow development of the economy
B) the poor and jobless people’s own faults
C) the lack of responsibility on the part of society
D) the large number of people who were not well-educated
27.Now it is widely accepted that ________.
A) the present system of social insurance should be improved
B) everybody should be granted a minimum of subsistence without any “reason”
C) everybody has the right to share in the wealth of the country
D) people have to change their attitude towards the poor
28.The writer argues that a system of social insurance should ________.
A) provide benefits for the sick, old and unemployed
B) encourage people to take on more social obligations
C) guarantee everyone the right to be employed
D) provide everyone with the right to a minimum subsistence for a certain period
29.The word “fallacy” (Para. 2. L. 6) means ________.
C) strong argument
D) wrong belief
30.According to the writer, a system of guaranteed subsistence minimum ________.
A) demands too much from society
B) makes freedom of contract impossible
C) helps people take interest in their work
D) helps bring about changes in the relationship among people