For most of the 20th century, Asia asked itself what it could learn from the modern, innovating West. Now the question must be reversed. What can the West’s overly indebted and sluggish(经济滞涨的) nations learn from a flourishing Asia?
Just a few decades ago, Asia’s two giants were stagnating(停滞不前) under faulty economic ideologies. However, once China began embracing free-market reforms in the 1980s, followed by India in the 1990s, both countries achieved rapid growth. Crucially, as they opened up their markets, they balanced market economy with sensible government direction. As the Indian economist Amartya Sen has wisely said, “The invisible hand of the market has often relied heavily on the visible hand of government.”
Contrast this middle path with America and Europe, which have each gone ideologically over-board in their own ways. Since the 1980s, America has been increasingly clinging to the ideology of uncontrolled free markets and dismissing the role of government---following Ronald Regan’s idea that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. “of course, when the markets came crashing down in 2007, it was decisive government intervention that saved the day. Despite this fact, many Americans are still strongly opposed to “big government.”
If Americans could only free themselves from their antigovernment doctrine, they would begin to see that the U.S.’s problems are not insoluble. A few sensible federal measures could put the country back on the right path. A simple consumption tax of, say, 5 percent would make a significant dent in the country’s huge government deficit without damaging productivity. A small gasoline tax would help wean America from its dependence on oil imports and create incentives for green energy development. In the same way, a significant reduction of wasteful agricultural subsidies and other earmarks could also lower the deficit. But in order to capitalize on these common-sense solutions, Americans will have to put aside their own attachment to the rhetoric of smaller government and less regulation. American politicians will have to develop the courage to follow what is taught in all American public-policy schools: that there are good taxes and bad taxes. Asian countries have embraced this wisdom, and have built sound long-term fiscal policies as a result.
Meanwhile, Europe has fallen prey to a different ideological trap: the belief that European governments would always have infinite resources and could continue borrowing as if there were no tomorrow. Unlike the Americans, who felt that the markets knew best, the Europeans failed to anticipate how the markets would react to their incessant borrowing. Today, the EU is in firefighting mode to stave off sovereign collapse. In concert with the IMF, it has created a $580 billion fund to bail out Europe’s troubled economies. This will buy the EU time, but it will not solve the bloc’s larger problem.
57. What has contributed to the rapid economic growth in China and India?
A) Copying western-style economic behavior
B) Heavy reliance on the hand of government
C) Timely reform of government at all levels
D) Free market plus government intervention
58. What does Ronald Reagan mean by saying “government is the problem”(line4,para.3)
A) many social evils are caused by wrong government policies
B)many social problems arise from government’s inefficiency.
C)government action is key to solving economic problems
D)government regulation hinders economic development
59. What stopped the American economy from collapsing in 2007?
A) self-regulatory repair mechanisms of the free market
B) Cooperation between the government and businesses
C) Abandonment of big government by the public
D) Effective measures adopted by the government
60. What is the author’s suggestion to the American public in face of the public government deficit?
A) They urge the government to revise its existing public policies
B) They develop green energy to avoid dependence on oil import
C) They give up the idea of smaller government and less regulation
D) They put up with the inevitable sharp increase of different taxes
61. What’s the problem with the European Union?
A) Conservative ideology
B) Shrinking market
C) Lack of resources