: Reading Comprehension
(1-12): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given
below it. Certain words have been printed in bold to help you locate them while
answering some of the questions.
wealth came into existence, a moral structure was made around money. The
Puritan legacy inhibited luxury and self-indulgence. Thoughtful people spread a
practical gospel that emphasized hard work, temperance and frugality and the
result was quite remarkable.
world has been affluent since its founding. But it was, by and large, not
corrupted by wealth. For centuries, it remained industrious, ambitious and
frugal. Over the past 30 years, much of that has been shredded. The social
norms and institutions that encouraged frugality and spending what you earn
have been undermined. The institutions that encourage debt and living for the
moment have been strengthened. The moral guardians are forever looking for
decadence out of movies and reality shows. But the most rampant decadence today
is financial decadence, the trampling of decent norms about how to use and
deterioration of financial traditions has meant two things. First, it has meant
an explosion of debt that
inhibits social mobility and ruins lives. Second, the transformation has led to
a stark financial polarization. On one hand, there is what is called an
investor class. It has tax-deferred savings plans, as well as an army of
financial advisers. On the other hand, there is the lottery class, people with
little access to financial planning but plenty of access to payday lenders,
credit cards and lottery agents. The loosening of financial inhibition has
meant more options for the well-educated but more temptation and chaos for the
most vulnerable. Social norms, the invisible threads that guide behavior, have
deteriorated. Over the past years, people have been more socially conscious
about protecting the environment and inhaling tobacco. They have become less
socially conscious about money and debt.
agents of destruction are many and State governments have also played a role.
They hawk their lottery products with aggression, which
some people call a tax on stupidity. Twenty per cent of the world’s population
consists of frequent players, spending about $60 billion a year. Aside from the
financial toll, the moral toll is comprehensive.
Here is the government, the guardian of order, telling people that they don’t
have to work to build for the future. They can strike it rich for nothing. Payday lenders have played a
role. They seductively offer fast cash-at absurd interest
rates –to 15 million people every month. Credit card companies have played a
role. Instead of targeting the financially astute, who pay off their debts,
they have found that they can make money off the young and vulnerable.
Fifty-six percent of students in their final year of college carry four or more
credit cards. The nation’s leaders have played a role as they have always had
an incentive to shove costs for current promises onto the backs of future
generations. It has only now become respectable to do so. The market itself has
played a role. Software stalwarts built socially useful products to make their
fortune. But what message do the salary packages that their top, managers get
send across the country when they ignore millions of fellow countrymen who
suffer from poverty, malnutrition or hunger? Austerity has become a thing
of the past. The list could go on. But there could be some recommendations.
First, raise public consciousness about debt the way the anti-smoking activists
did with their campaign. Second, create institutions that encourage thrift. Foundations and religious
institutions could issue short-term loans to cut into the payday lenders’
business. Colleges could reduce credit card advertising on campus. The tax code
should tax consumption not income. But the most important thing is to shift
values. The ‘wise’ made it prestigious to embrace certain middle class virtues.
Now it’s socially acceptable to undermine those virtues. It is considered
normal to play the debt game and imagine that decisions made today will have no
consequences in the future.
What does the author mean by the phrase ‘the transformation has led to a stark
financial polarization’ as used in the passage?
The deterioration of social norms has benefited only the wealthy and the
knowledgeable while the vulnerable class of people has fallen into a debt trap
Since moral inhibitions no longer exist, the debt agents provide loans only to
the affluent class thus widening the gap between the rich and the poor
The debt culture is being utilized as a measure to draw money from the wealthy
class by credit card companies
Both (1) and (2)
None of these
Which of the following is true in context of the passage?
Ever since its existence, money has ruined lives owing to lack of awareness
among people regarding its unrestricted usage
Government has taken many initiatives to control the rampant money lending
business to protect vulnerable sections of the society.
Governments throughout the world have been putting tax on amount of consumption
of an individual rather than his/her income
Credit card companies are discreet enough to provide credit cards to only those
people who guarantee repaying money in the future.
None is true
Which of the following can be the most appropriate title for the given passage?
The debt culture and government initiatives to curtail it
Breaking social barriers –taking the route of financial indulgence
Accumulation of debt- a lesson for the future generations
Effect of ‘consumerism’ on the world market
Lack of perseverance for saving money in India
Which of the following according to the author, has/have been responsible for
the encouragement of culture of debt in the society lately?
The changing lifestyle which makes it impossible for, a common man to sustain
himself without debts and loans.
Breaking down of moral institutions which supported economic prudence.
Provision for easy availability of loans to every section of the society
regardless of their ability to repay these.
Both A and C
Both B and C
None of these
The author of the given passage seems to be definitely-
Suggesting that the agents of debts be banned from the society.
Unaware of the benefits associated with the easy availability of loans these
In favour of bringing back the financial restrictions once imposed by the
not supportive of campaigns related to anti-tobacco and saving the environment
None of these
Why does the author of the given passage seem to be displeased with the
They make fortune out of the products which are barely social useful
They have been drawing colossal salaries and turn a blind eye towards the needs
of fellow countrymen
They are directly responsible for the hunger, malnutrition and poverty among
their fellow countrymen
They have promoted the culture of debt among various sections of society
None of these
(7-9): Choose the word /group of words which is most similar in meaning to the
word/phrase printed in bold as used in the passage.
(10-12): Choose the word/phrase which is most opposite in meaning to the word
printed in bold as used in the passage.
Reading Comprehension Reviewed by sambasivan srinivasan on 6:10:00 PM Rating: