“That economic expansion leads to greater well-being is a central tenet of modern thought. And yet, that is not what is happening in America today”
By: Jonathan F. P. Rose
Published: Sep 13 2016, The Atlantic, http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/09/unhappy-growth/499052/
Level of Difficulty: ***
BEFORE YOU READ
Watch the following videos and think about them. They focus on the main points of the text to follow and will help you tackle the reading task.
· Dr Edward Skidelsky - Happiness and Economic Growth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCEXbksbHao
· Economic Growth - measuring happiness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D57fgvtg6E
1. The fact that US ended up near the bottom in the UNICEF report involving probably came as a surprise because…………………………(Use your own words)
2. Which of the concluding statements below can be placed at the end of paragraph two?
· In short, the conventional view has been proved wrong
· In short, cities are not happy places despite the high standard of living
· In short, happiness doesn’t necessarily follow from prosperity
· In short, growth and productivity are not linked to happiness
3. What major change in social structure paved the way towards social unrest? The fact that……………………………….
4. We understand from the same paragraph that the lower/the greater the gap between the rich and the poor, the less/ the greater the collective sense of we-ness and the less / the greater probability of social unrest
5. Look at paragraph beginning “People moving”. And answer the following questions:
· How would you join the first and the second sentence?
· What kind of a sentence would you place before the sentence beginning “Some aspects of poverty”? Use your own words.
· Decide which of the concluding statements listed below could go at the end of the paragraph?
- In short, increasing household incomes goes part of the way towards providing well-being in society
- In short, increasing household income has nothing to do with providing well-being
- In short, increasing household income will provide increased well-being in society
6. Where, in the paragraph beginning “Urbanization” would you place the following: and this can have some devastating consequences?
7. We understand from the same paragraph that
· Urban centers should have the necessary social structures to be able to provide well-being for newcomers
· Urban centers should be prepared to receive more citizens in order to alleviate poverty and provide well-being for new comers
· Urban centers should have the necessary infrastructure to be able alleviate poverty and provide well- being for new comers
· Urban centers should have the necessary background to be able to alleviate poverty and provide well-being for newcomers.
8. The reason why people don’t seem to be happier despite economic growth seems to be…………………………………….
9. Read the last sentence of the paragraph beginning “Following” . Could we erase it? Why or why not?
10. What is the Easterlin principle?
· Increased wealth doesn’t necessarily lead to increased happiness
· Increased wealth sometimes leads to increased happiness
· Increased wealth never leads to increased happiness
· Increased wealth leads to increased happiness up to certain level
11. What is surprising about the fact that 75.000 dollars seems to be a cutoff point beyond which further happiness is not witnessed?
12. Read the paragraph beginning “But there is…” Where would you place the following phrases:
· Communication, the exchange of ideas and sharing of feelings are deeply gratifying
· After all, chores, which people have to deal with on a daily basis, are mind-numbingly boring.
· Activities that set the mind free are like a breath of fresh air.
13. We understand from the paragraph beginning “This survey” that …(Mark as many as fit)
· The nature of the work people do is also important
· Gainful employment is the single most important determinant of well-being
· Gainful employment on its own can make people miserable
· Work needs to be mentally satisfying as well as bringing in a living wage
· Gainful employment can pose a serious health risks in spite of providing an income
14. The paragraph beginning “In the past” is composed of seven sentences. Two of these sentences can logically be moved and placed somewhere else in the paragraph. Which sentence? Where could it be placed?
Use all you have learnt to write an essay concerning the factors that lead to happiness in modern urban centers:
· Having gainful employment
· Mentally and emotionally satisfying work
· Meaningful leisure activities (Walking, exercise, playing, reading, making love)
· Stream-lining chores
WHEN ECONOMIC GROWTH DOESN’T MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This text is a very topical one and should lead to a good writing task. The questions this time are slightly different focusing more on how a teacher would handle such a text in class. The questions should help with the writing too.
1. Possible answer: The US is one of the most advanced / developed countries in the world; The Us is a rich country / a welfare state and the like
2. The third (The fourth goes too far, two is just a paraphrase of four and one is not true; it is not wrong it is incomplete)
3. Cities became more hierarchical
4. The greater, the less, the greater
5. * People move to cities because they seek opportunity, hoping to improve their lives, not to stay mired in a life of poverty, which is extraordinarily debilitating, and whose persistence…
· Possible answer: The negative impacts of poverty can be far-reaching
· The first
6. At the end of the sentence beginning “But for…”
7. The second (the word prepared covers everything)
8. The complexities and uncertainties of the modern world
9. No we couldn’t because it provides transition to the next paragraph (it tells us what the rest of the text is going to be about)
11. The figure is the same expensive cities and lower cost cities
12. After “That is when people are happiest”; Before “How many people really enjoy…”; Before “Walking…”
13. One and four
14. Six and seven can be placed after sentence three