1. The Birth Rate And Death Rate For The Year 2006 Have Been Estimated As—





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MCQ-> Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/phrases have been printed in bold tohelp you locate them while answering some of the questions. During the last few years, a lot of hype has been heaped on the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). With their large populations and rapid growth, these countries, so the argument goes, will soon become some of the largest economies in the world and, in the case of China, the largest of all by as early as 2020. But the BRICS, as well as many other emerging-market economieshave recently experienced a sharp economic slowdown. So, is the honeymoon over? Brazil’s GDP grew by only 1% last year, and may not grow by more than 2% this year, with its potential growth barely above 3%. Russia’s economy may grow by barely 2% this year, with potential growth also at around 3%, despite oil prices being around $100 a barrel. India had a couple of years of strong growth recently (11.2% in 2010 and 7.7% in 2011) but slowed to 4% in 2012. China’s economy grew by 10% a year for the last three decades, but slowed to 7.8% last year and risks a hard landing. And South Africa grew by only 2.5% last year and may not grow faster than 2% this year. Many other previously fast-growing emerging-market economies – for example, Turkey, Argentina, Poland, Hungary, and many in Central and Eastern Europe are experiencing a similar slowdown. So, what is ailing the BRICS and other emerging markets? First, most emerging-market economies were overheating in 2010-2011, with growth above potential and inflation rising and exceeding targets. Many of them thus tightened monetary policy in 2011, with consequences for growth in 2012 that have carried over into this year. Second, the idea that emerging-market economies could fully decouple from economic weakness in advanced economies was farfetched : recession in the eurozone, near-recession in the United Kingdom and Japan in 2011-2012, and slow economic growth in the United States were always likely to affect emerging market performance negatively – via trade, financial links, and investor confidence. For example, the ongoing euro zone downturn has hurt Turkey and emergingmarket economies in Central and Eastern Europe, owing to trade links. Third, most BRICS and a few other emerging markets have moved toward a variant of state capitalism. This implies a slowdown in reforms that increase the private sector’s productivity and economic share, together with a greater economic role for state-owned enterprises (and for state-owned banks in the allocation of credit and savings), as well as resource nationalism, trade protectionism, import substitution industrialization policies, and imposition of capital controls. This approach may have worked at earlier stages of development and when the global financial crisis caused private spending to fall; but it is now distorting economic activity and depressing potential growth. Indeed, China’s slowdown reflects an economic model that is, as former Premier Wen Jiabao put it, “unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated, and unsustainable,” and that now is adversely affecting growth in emerging Asia and in commodity-exporting emerging markets from Asia to Latin America and Africa. The risk that China will experience a hard landing in the next two years may further hurt many emerging economies. Fourth, the commodity super-cycle that helped Brazil, Russia, South Africa, and many other commodity-exporting emerging markets may be over. Indeed, a boom would be difficult to sustain, given China’s slowdown, higher investment in energysaving technologies, less emphasis on capital-and resource-oriented growth models around the world, and the delayed increase in supply that high prices induced. The fifth, and most recent, factor is the US Federal Reserve’s signals that it might end its policy of quantitative easing earlier than expected, and its hints of an even tual exit from zero interest rates. both of which have caused turbulence in emerging economies’ financial markets. Even before the Fed’s signals, emergingmarket equities and commodities had underperformed this year, owing to China’s slowdown. Since then, emerging-market currencies and fixed-income securities (government and corporate bonds) have taken a hit. The era of cheap or zerointerest money that led to a wall of liquidity chasing high yields and assets equities, bonds, currencies, and commodities – in emerging markets is drawing to a close. Finally, while many emerging-market economies tend to run current-account surpluses, a growing number of them – including Turkey, South Africa, Brazil, and India – are running deficits. And these deficits are now being financed in riskier ways: more debt than equity; more short-term debt than longterm debt; more foreign-currency debt than local-currency debt; and more financing from fickle cross-border interbank flows. These countries share other weaknesses as well: excessive fiscal deficits, abovetarget inflation, and stability risk (reflected not only in the recent political turmoil in Brazil and Turkey, but also in South Africa’s labour strife and India’s political and electoral uncertainties). The need to finance the external deficit and to avoid excessive depreciation (and even higher inflation) calls for raising policy rates or keeping them on hold at high levels. But monetary tightening would weaken already-slow growth. Thus, emerging economies with large twin deficits and other macroeconomic fragilities may experience further downward pressure on their financial markets and growth rates. These factors explain why growth in most BRICS and many other emerging markets has slowed sharply. Some factors are cyclical, but others – state capitalism, the risk of a hard landing in China, the end of the commodity supercycle -are more structural. Thus, many emerging markets’ growth rates in the next decade may be lower than in the last – as may the outsize returns that investors realised from these economies’ financial assets (currencies, equities. bonds, and commodities). Of course, some of the better-managed emerging-market economies will continue to experitnce rapid growth and asset outperformance. But many of the BRICS, along with some other emerging economies, may hit a thick wall, with growth and financial markets taking a serious beating.Which of the following statement(s) is/are true as per the given information in the passage ? A. Brazil’s GDP grew by only 1% last year, and is expected to grow by approximately 2% this year. B. China’s economy grew by 10% a year for the last three decades but slowed to 7.8% last year. C. BRICS is a group of nations — Barzil, Russia, India China and South Africa.....
MCQ-> There are a seemingly endless variety of laws, restrictions, customs and traditions that affect the practice of abortion around the world. Globally, abortion is probably the single most controversial issue in the whole area of women’s rights and family matters. It is an issue that inflames women’s right groups, religious institutions, and the self-proclaimed ‘guardians’ of public morality. The growing worldwide belief is that the right to control one’s fertility is a basic human right. This has resulted in a worldwide trend towards liberalization of abortion laws. Forty per cent of the world’s population live in countries where induced abortion is permitted on request. An additional 25 per cent live in countries where it is allowed if the women’s life would be endangered if she went to full term with her pregancy. The estimate is that between 26 and 31 million legal abortions were performed in that year. However, there were also between 10 and 22 million illegal abortions performed in that year.Feminists have viewed the patriarchal control of women’s bodies as one of the prime issues facing the contemporary women’s movement. They abserve that the defintion and control of women’s reproductive freedom have always been the province of men. Patriarchal religion, as manifest in Islamic fundamentalism,traditionalist Hindu practice, orthodox Judaism, and Roman Catholicism, has been an important historical contributory factor for this and continues to be an important presence in contemporary societies. In recent times, govenments, usually controlled by men, have ‘given’ women the right to contraceptive use and abortion access when their countries were perceived to have an overpopulation problem. When these countries are perceived to be underpopulated, that right had been absent. Until the 19th century, a woman’s rights to an abortion followed English common law; it could only be legally challenged if there was a ‘quickening’, when the first movements of the fetus could be felt. In 1800, drugs to induce abrotions were widely advertised in local newpapers. By 1900, abortion was banned in every state except to save the life of the mother. The change was strongly influenced by medical profession, which focussed its campaign ostensibly on health and safety issues for pregnant women and the sancity of life. Its position was also a means of control of non-licensed medical practitioners such as midwives and women healers who practiced abortion.The anti-abortion campaign was also influenced by political considerations. The large influx of eastern and southern European immigrants with their large families was seen as a threat to the population balance of the future United States. Middle and upper-classes Protestants were advocates of abortion as a form of birth control. By supporting abortion prohibitions the hope was that these Americans would have more children and thus prevent the tide of immigrant babies from overwhelming the demographic characteristics of Protestant America.The anti-abortion legislative position remained in effect in the United States through the first 65 years of the 20th century. In the early 1960s, even when it was widely known that the drug thalidomide taken during pregnancy to alleviate anxiety was shown to contribute to the formation of deformed ‘flipper-like’ hands or legs of children, abortion was illegal in the United States. A second health tragedy was the severe outbreak of rubella during the same time period, which also resulted in major birth defects. These tragedies combined with a change of attitude towards a woman’s right to privacy led a number of states to pass abortion permitting legislation.On one side of the controversy are those who call themselves ‘pro-life’. They view the foetus as a human life rather than as an unformed complex of cells; therefore, they hold to the belief that abortion is essentially murder of an unborn child. These groups cite both legal and religious reasons for their opposition to abortion. Pro lifers point to the rise in legalised abortion figures and see this as morally intolerable. On the other side of the issue are those who call themselves ‘pro-choice’. They believe that women, not legislators or judges, should have the right to decide whether and under what circumstances they will bear children. Pro-choicers are of the opinion that laws will not prevent women from having abortions and cite the horror stories of the past when many women died at the hands of ‘backroom’ abortionists and in desperate attempts to self-abort. They also observe that legalized abortion is especially important for rape victims and incest victims who became pregnant. They stress physical and mental health reasons why women should not have unwanted children.To get a better understanding of the current abortion controversy, let us examine a very important work by Kristin Luker titled Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood. Luker argues that female pro-choice and prolife activists hold different world views regarding gender, sex, and the meaning of parenthood. Moral positions on abortions are seen to be tied intimately to views on sexual bahaviour, the care of children, family life, technology, and the importance of the individual. Luker identified ‘pro-choice’ women as educated, affluent, and liberal. Their contrasting counterparts, ‘pro-life’ women, support traditional concepts of women as wives and mothers. It would be instructive to sketch out the differences in the world views of these two sets of women. Luker examines California, with its liberalized abortion law, as a case history. Public documents and newspaper accounts over a 26-year period were analysed and over 200 interviews were held withheld with both pro-life and pro-choice activists.Luker found that pro-life and pro-choice activists have intrinsically different views with respect to gender. Pro-life women have a notion of public and private life. The proper place for men is in the public sphere of work; for women, it is the private sphere of the home. Men benefit through the nurturance of women; women benefit through the protection of men. Children are seen to be the ultimate beneficiaries of this arrangement of having the mother as a full-time loving parent and by having clear role models. Pro-choice advocates reject the view of separate spheres. They object to the notion of the home being the ‘women’s sphere’. Women’s reproductive and family roles are seen as potential barriers to full equality. Motherhood is seen as a voluntary, not a mandatory or ‘natural’ role. In summarizing her findings, Luker believes that women become activists in either of the two movements as the end result of lives that centre around different conceptualizations of motherhood. Their beliefs and values are rooted to the concrete circumstances of their lives, their educations, incomes, occupations, and the different marital and family choices that they have made. They represent two different world views of women’s roles in contemporary society and as such the abortion issues represent the battleground for the justification of their respective views.According to your understanding of the author’s arguments, which countries are more likely to allowabortion?
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MCQ-> Read carefully the four passages that follow and answer the questions given at the end of each passage:PASSAGE I The most important task is revitalizing the institution of independent directors. The independent directors of a company should be faithful fiduciaries protecting, the long-term interests of shareholders while ensuring fairness to employees, investor, customer, regulators, the government of the land and society. Unfortunately, very often, directors are chosen based of friendship and, sadly, pliability. Today, unfortunately, in the majority of cases, independence is only true on paper.The need of the hour is to strengthen the independence of the board. We have to put in place stringent standards for the independence of directors. The board should adopt global standards for director-independence, and should disclose how each independent director meets these standards. It is desirable to have a comprehensive report showing the names of the company employees of fellow board members who are related to each director on the board. This report should accompany the annual report of all listed companies. Another important step is to regularly assess the board members for performance. The assessment should focus on issues like competence, preparation, participation and contribution. Ideally, this evaluation should be performed by a third party. Underperforming directors should be allowed to leave at the end of their term in a gentle manner so that they do not lose face. Rather than being the rubber stamp of a company’s management policies, the board should become a true active partner of the management. For this, independent directors should be trained in their in their in roles and responsibilities. Independent directors should be trained on the business model and risk model of the company, on the governance practices, and the responsibilities of various committees of the board of the company. The board members should interact frequently with executives to understand operational issues. As part of the board meeting agenda, the independent directors should have a meeting among themselves without the management being present. The independent board members should periodically review the performance of the company’s CEO, the internal directors and the senior management. This has to be based on clearly defined objective criteria, and these criteria should be known to the CEO and other executive directors well before the start of the evolution period. Moreover, there should be a clearly laid down procedure for communicating the board’s review to the CEO and his/her team of executive directors. Managerial remuneration should be based on such reviews. Additionally, senior management compensation should be determined by the board in a manner that is fair to all stakeholders. We have to look at three important criteria in deciding managerial remuneration-fairness accountability and transparency. Fairness of compensation is determined by how employees and investors react to the compensation of the CEO. Accountability is enhanced by splitting the total compensation into a small fixed component and a large variable component. In other words, the CEO, other executive directors and the senior management should rise or fall with the fortunes of the company. The variable component should be linked to achieving the long-term objectives of the firm. Senior management compensation should be reviewed by the compensation committee of the board consisting of only the independent directors. This should be approved by the shareholders. It is important that no member of the internal management has a say in the compensation of the CEO, the internal board members or the senior management. The SEBI regulations and the CII code of conduct have been very helpful in enhancing the level of accountability of independent directors. The independent directors should decide voluntarily how they want to contribute to the company. Their performance should decide voluntarily how they want to contribute to the company. Their performance should be appraised through a peer evaluation process. Ideally, the compensation committee should decide on the compensation of each independent director based on such a performance appraisal. Auditing is another major area that needs reforms for effective corporate governance. An audit is the Independent examination of financial transactions of any entity to provide assurance to shareholder and other stakeholders that the financial statements are free of material misstatement. Auditors are qualified professionals appointed by the shareholders to report on the reliability of financial statements prepared by the management. Financial markets look to the auditor’s report for an independent opinion on the financial and risk situation of a company. We have to separate such auditing form other services. For a truly independent opinion, the auditing firm should not provide services that are perceived to be materially in conflict with the role of the auditor. These include investigations, consulting advice, sub contraction of operational activities normally undertaken by the management, due diligence on potential acquisitions or investments, advice on deal structuring, designing/implementing IT systems, bookkeeping, valuations and executive recruitment. Any departure from this practice should be approved by the audit committee in advance. Further, information on any such exceptions must be disclosed in the company’s quarterly and annual reports. To ensure the integrity of the audit team, it is desirable to rotate auditor partners. The lead audit partner and the audit partner responsible for reviewing a company’s audit must be rotated at least once every three to five years. This eliminates the possibility of the lead auditor and the company management getting into the kind of close, cozy relationship that results in lower objectivity in audit opinions. Further, a registered auditor should not audit a chief accounting office was associated with the auditing firm. It is best that members of the audit teams are prohibited from taking up employment in the audited corporations for at least a year after they have stopped being members of the audit team.A competent audit committee is essential to effectively oversee the financial accounting and reporting process. Hence, each member of the audit committee must be ‘financially literate’, further, at least one member of the audit committee, preferably the chairman, should be a financial expert-a person who has an understanding of financial statements and accounting rules, and has experience in auditing. The audit committee should establish procedures for the treatment of complaints received through anonymous submission by employees and whistleblowers. These complaints may be regarding questionable accounting or auditing issues, any harassment to an employee or any unethical practice in the company. The whistleblowers must be protected. Any related-party transaction should require prior approval by the audit committee, the full board and the shareholders if it is material. Related parties are those that are able to control or exercise significant influence. These include; parent- subsidiary relationships; entities under common control; individuals who, through ownership, have significant influence over the enterprise and close members of their families; and dey management personnel.Accounting standards provide a framework for preparation and presentation of financial statements and assist auditors in forming an opinion on the financial statements. However, today, accounting standards are issued by bodies comprising primarily of accountants. Therefore, accounting standards do not always keep pace with changes in the business environment. Hence, the accounting standards-setting body should include members drawn from the industry, the profession and regulatory bodies. This body should be independently funded. Currently, an independent oversight of the accounting profession does not exist. Hence, an independent body should be constituted to oversee the functioning of auditors for Independence, the quality of audit and professional competence. This body should comprise a "majority of non- practicing accountants to ensure independent oversight. To avoid any bias, the chairman of this body should not have practiced as an accountant during the preceding five years. Auditors of all public companies must register with this body. It should enforce compliance with the laws by auditors and should mandate that auditors must maintain audit working papers for at least seven years.To ensure the materiality of information, the CEO and CFO of the company should certify annual and quarterly reports. They should certify that the information in the reports fairly presents the financial condition and results of operations of the company, and that all material facts have been disclosed. Further, CEOs and CFOs should certify that they have established internal controls to ensure that all information relating to the operations of the company is freely available to the auditors and the audit committee. They should also certify that they have evaluated the effectiveness of these controls within ninety days prior to the report. False certifications by the CEO and CFO should be subject to significant criminal penalties (fines and imprisonment, if willful and knowing). If a company is required to restate its reports due to material non-compliance with the laws, the CEO and CFO must face severe punishment including loss of job and forfeiting bonuses or equity-based compensation received during the twelve months following the filing.The problem with the independent directors has been that: I. Their selection has been based upon their compatibility with the company management II. There has been lack of proper training and development to improve their skill set III. Their independent views have often come in conflict with the views of company management. This has hindered the company’s decision-making process IV. Stringent standards for independent directors have been lacking....
MCQ-> The story begins as the European pioneers crossed the Alleghenies and started to settle in the Midwest. The land they found was covered with forests. With incredible efforts they felled the trees, pulled the stumps and planted their crops in the rich, loamy soil. When they finally reached the western edge of the place we now call Indiana, the forest stopped and ahead lay a thousand miles of the great grass prairie. The Europeans were puzzled by this new environment. Some even called it the “Great Desert”. It seemed untillable. The earth was often very wet and it was covered with centuries of tangled and matted grasses. With their cast iron plows, the settlers found that the prairie sod could not be cut and the wet earth stuck to their plowshares. Even a team of the best oxen bogged down after a few years of tugging. The iron plow was a useless tool to farm the prairie soil. The pioneers were stymied for nearly two decades. Their western march was hefted and they filled in the eastern regions of the Midwest.In 1837, a blacksmith in the town of Grand Detour, Illinois, invented a new tool. His name was John Deere and the tool was a plow made of steel. It was sharp enough to cut through matted grasses and smooth enough to cast off the mud. It was a simple too, the “sod buster” that opened the great prairies to agricultural development.Sauk Country, Wisconsin is the part of that prairie where I have a home. It is named after the Sauk Indians. In i673 Father Marquette was the first European to lay his eyes upon their land. He found a village laid out in regular patterns on a plain beside the Wisconsin River. He called the place Prairie du Sac) The village was surrounded by fields that had provided maize, beans and squash for the Sauk people for generations reaching back into the unrecorded time.When the European settlers arrived at the Sauk prairie in 1837, the government forced the native Sank people west of the Mississippi River. The settlers came with John Deere’s new invention and used the tool to open the area to a new kind of agriculture. They ignored the traditional ways of the Sank Indians and used their sod-busting tool for planting wheat. Initially, the soil was generous and the nurturing thrived. However each year the soil lost more of its nurturing power. It was only thirty years after the Europeans arrived with their new technology that the land was depleted, Wheat farming became uneconomic and tens of thousands of farmers left Wisconsin seeking new land with sod to bust.It took the Europeans and their new technology just one generation to make their homeland into a desert. The Sank Indians who knew how to sustain themselves on the Sauk prairie land were banished to another kind of desert called a reservation. And they even forgot about the techniques and tools that had sustained them on the prairie for generations unrecorded. And that is how it was that three deserts were created — Wisconsin, the reservation and the memories of a people. A century later, the land of the Sauks is now populated by the children of a second wave of European tanners who learned to replenish the soil through the regenerative powers of dairying, ground cover crops and animal manures. These third and fourth generation farmers and townspeople do not realise, however, that a new settler is coming soon with an invention as powerful as John Deere’s plow.The new technology is called ‘bereavement counselling’. It is a tool forged at the great state university, an innovative technique to meet the needs of those experiencing the death of a loved one, tool that an “process” the grief of the people who now live on the Prairie of the Sauk. As one can imagine the final days of the village of the Sauk Indians before the arrival of the settlers with John Deere’s plow, one can also imagine these final days before the arrival of the first bereavement counsellor at Prairie du Sac) In these final days, the farmers arid the townspeople mourn at the death of a mother, brother, son or friend. The bereaved is joined by neighbours and kin. They meet grief together in lamentation, prayer and song. They call upon the words of the clergy and surround themselves in community.It is in these ways that they grieve and then go on with life. Through their mourning they are assured of the bonds between them and renewed in the knowledge that this death is a part of the Prairie of the Sauk. Their grief is common property, an anguish from which the community draws strength and gives the bereaved the courage to move ahead.It is into this prairie community that the bereavement counsellor arrives with the new grief technology. The counsellor calls the invention a service and assures the prairie folk of its effectiveness and superiority by invoking the name of the great university while displaying a diploma and certificate. At first, we can imagine that the local people will be puzzled by the bereavement counsellor’s claim, However, the counsellor will tell a few of them that the new technique is merely o assist the bereaved’s community at the time of death. To some other prairie folk who are isolated or forgotten, the counsellor will approach the Country Board and advocate the right to treatment for these unfortunate souls. This right will be guaranteed by the Board’s decision to reimburse those too poor tc pay for counselling services. There will be others, schooled to believe in the innovative new tools certified by universities and medical centres, who will seek out the bereavement counsellor by force of habit. And one of these people will tell a bereaved neighbour who is unschooled that unless his grief is processed by a counsellor, he will probably have major psychological problems in later life. Several people will begin to use the bereavement counsellor because, since the Country Board now taxes them to insure access to the technology, they will feel that to fail to be counselled is to waste their money, and to be denied a benefit, or even a right.Finally, one day, the aged father of a Sauk woman will die. And the next door neighbour will not drop by because he doesn’t want to interrupt the bereavement counsellor. The woman’s kin will stay home because they will have learned that only the bereavement counsellor knows how to process grief the proper way. The local clergy will seek technical assistance from the bereavement counsellor to learn the connect form of service to deal with guilt and grief. And the grieving daughter will know that it is the bereavement counsellor who really cares for her because only the bereavement counsellor comes when death visits this family on the Prairie of the Sauk.It will be only one generation between the bereavement counsellor arrives and the community of mourners disappears. The counsellor’s new tool will cut through the social fabric, throwing aside kinship, care, neighbourly obligations and communality ways cc coming together and going on. Like John Deere’s plow, the tools of bereavement counselling will create a desert we a community once flourished, And finally, even the bereavement counsellor will see the impossibility of restoring hope in clients once they are genuinely alone with nothing but a service for consolation. In the inevitable failure of the service, the bereavement counsellor will find the deserts even in herself.Which one of the following best describes the approach of the author?
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MCQ-> I want to stress this personal helplessness we are all stricken with in the face of a system that has passed beyond our knowledge and control. To bring it nearer home, I propose that we switch off from the big things like empires and their wars to more familiar little things. Take pins for example! I do not know why it is that I so seldom use a pin when my wife cannot get on without boxes of them at hand; but it is so; and I will therefore take pins as being for some reason specially important to women.There was a time when pinmakers would buy the material; shape it; make the head and the point; ornament it; and take it to the market, and sell it and the making required skill in several operations. They not only knew how the thing was done from beginning to end, but could do it all by themselves. But they could not afford to sell you a paper of pins for the farthing. Pins cost so much that a woman's dress allowance was calling pin money.By the end of the 18th century Adam Smith boasted that it took 18 men to make a pin, each man doing a little bit of the job and passing the pin on to the next, and none of them being able to make a whole pin or to buy the materials or to sell it when it was made. The most you could say for them was that at least they had some idea of how it was made, though they could not make it. Now as this meant that they were clearly less capable and knowledgeable men than the old pin-makers, you may ask why Adam Smith boasted of it as a triumph of civilisation when its effect had so clearly a degrading effect. The reason was that by setting each man to do just one little bit of the work and nothing but that, over and over again, he became very quick at it. The men, it is said, could turn out nearly 5000 pins a day each; and thus pins became plentiful and cheap. The country was supposed to be richer because it had more pins, though it had turned capable men into mere machines doing their work without intelligence and being fed by the spare food of the capitalist just as an engine is fed with coals and oil. That was why the poet Goldsmith, who was a farsighted economist as well as a poet, complained that 'wealth accumulates, and men decay'.Nowadays Adam Smith's 18 men are as extinct as the diplodocus. The 18 flesh-and-blood men have been replaced by machines of steel which spout out pins by the hundred million. Even sticking them into pink papers is done by machinery. The result is that with the exception of a few people who design the machines, nobody knows how to make a pin or how a pin is made: that is to say, the modern worker in pin manufacture need not be one-tenth so intelligent, skilful and accomplished as the old pinmaker; and the only compensation we have for this deterioration is that pins are so cheap that a single pin has no expressible value at all. Even with a big profit stuck on to the cost-price you can buy dozens for a farthing; and pins are so recklessly thrown away and wasted that verses have to be written to persuade children (without success) that it is a sin to steal, if even it’s a pin.Many serious thinkers, like John Ruskin and William Morris, have been greatly troubled by this, just as Goldsmith was, and have asked whether we really believe that it is an advance in wealth to lose our skill and degrade our workers for the sake of being able to waste pins by the ton. We shall see later on, when we come to consider the Distribution of Leisure, that the cure for this is not to go back to the old free for higher work than pin-making or the like. But in the meantime the fact remains that the workers are now not able to make anything themselves even in little bits. They are ignorant and helpless, and cannot lift their finger to begin their day's work until it has all been arranged for them by their employer's who themselves do not understand the machines they buy, and simply pay other people to set them going by carrying out the machine maker's directions.The same is true for clothes. Earlier the whole work of making clothes, from the shearing of the sheep to the turning out of the finished and washed garment ready to put on, had to be done in the country by the men and women of the household, especially the women; so that to this day an unmarried woman is called a spinster. Nowadays nothing is left of all this but the sheep shearing; and even that, like the milking of cows, is being done by machinery, as the sewing is. Give a woman a sheep today and ask her to produce a woollen dress for you; and not only will she be quite unable to do it, but you are likely to find that she is not even aware of any connection between sheep and clothes. When she gets her clothes, which she does by buying them at the shop, she knows that there is a difference between wool and cotton and silk, between flannel and merino, perhaps even between stockinet and other wefts; but as to how they are made, or what they are made of, or how they came to be in the shop ready for her to buy, she knows hardly anything. And the shop assistant from whom she buys is no wiser. The people engaged in the making of them know even less; for many of them are too poor to have much choice of materials when they buy their own clothes.Thus the capitalist system has produced an almost universal ignorance of how things are made and done, whilst at the same time it has caused them to be made and done on a gigantic scale. We have to buy books and encyclopaedias to find out what it is we are doing all day; and as the books are written by people who are not doing it, and who get their information from other books, what they tell us is twenty to fifty years out of date knowledge and almost impractical today. And of course most of us are too tired of our work when we come home to want to read about it; what we need is cinema to take our minds off it and feel our imagination.It is a funny place, this word of capitalism, with its astonishing spread of education and enlightenment. There stand the thousands of property owners and the millions of wage workers, none of them able to make anything, none of them knowing what to do until somebody tells them, none of them having the least notion of how it is made that they find people paying them money, and things in the shops to buy with it. And when they travel they are surprised to find that savages and Esquimaux and villagers who have to make everything for themselves are more intelligent and resourceful! The wonder would be if they were anything else. We should die of idiocy through disuse of our mental faculties if we did not fill our heads with romantic nonsense out of illustrated newspapers and novels and plays and films. Such stuff keeps us alive, but it falsifies everything for us so absurdly that it leaves us more or less dangerous lunatics in the real world.Excuse my going on like this; but as I am a writer of books and plays myself, I know the folly and peril of it better than you do. And when I see that this moment of our utmost ignorance and helplessness, delusion and folly, has been stumbled on by the blind forces of capitalism as the moment for giving votes to everybody, so that the few wise women are hopelessly overruled by the thousands whose political minds, as far as they can be said to have any political minds at all, have been formed in the cinema, I realise that I had better stop writing plays for a while to discuss political and social realities in this book with those who are intelligent enough to listen to me.A suitable title to the passage would be
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