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考研英语阅读理解文章20-'We have to sacrifice'

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发表于 2017-3-24 07:00:03 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
'WE HAVE TO SACRIFICE'
States offer to pick up the tab for unpaid leave

When Gina Garro and Brian Duplisea adopted 4-month-old Andres from Colombia last month, they were determined to take time off from work to care for him. Six years ago, after their daughter, Melina, was born, the family scraped by on Duplisea's $36,000 salary as a construction worker so Garro, a special-education teacher, could stay home. Now, since Garro's job furnishes the family health insurance, she'll head back to work this fall while Duplisea juggles diapers and baby bottles. His boss agreed to the time off--but he will have to forgo his $18-an-hour pay. It won't be easy. Though Garro's $40,000 salary will cover their mortgage, the couple will have to freeze their retirement accounts, scale back on Melina's after-school activities--and pray that nothing goes wrong with the car. "It takes away from your cushion and your security," says Garro. "Things will be tight."

The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act was supposed to help families like Garro's, offering a safety net to employees who want to take time off to nurture newborns, tend to their own major illnesses or care for sick relatives. But while the law guarantees that workers won't lose their jobs, it doesn't cover their paychecks. One survey last year showed that while 24 million Americans had taken leaves since 1999, 2.7 million more wanted to, but couldn't afford it. That may change soon. In response to increasing demands from voters, at least 25 states are now exploring new ways to offer paid leave. One possibility: tapping state disability funds. A handful of states--New York, New Jersey, California, Rhode Island and Hawaii--already dip into disability money to offer partial pay for women on maternity leave. But that doesn't help dads or people caring for elderly parents. New Jersey and New York may soon expand disability programs to cover leave for fathers and other caretakers. Thirteen states, including Arizona, Illinois and Florida, have proposed using unemployment funds to pay for leave.

Massachusetts has been especially creative. When the state's acting governor, Jane Swift, gave birth to twin daughters in May, she drew attention to the issue with her own "working maternity leave": she telecommuted part-time but earned her usual full-time salary. Even before Swift returned to work last week, the state Senate unanimously passed a pilot plan that would use surplus funds from a health-insurance program for the unemployed to give new parents 12 weeks off at half pay. Another plan, proposed in the House, would require employers to kick in $20 per worker to set up a "New Families Trust Fund." Businesses would get tax credits in return. This week Swift is expected to announce her own paid-leave plan for lower-income mothers and fathers. Polls show widespread public support--another reason Swift and other politicians across the country have embraced the issue.

Still, not everyone's wild about the idea. People without children question why new parents--the first group to get paid leave under many of the proposed plans--should get more government perks than they do. Business groups are resistant to proposals that would raid unemployment funds; several have already filed suit to block them. As the economy slows, many companies say they can't afford to contribute to proposed new benefit funds either. Business lobbyists say too many employees already abuse existing federal family-leave laws by taking time off for dubious reasons or in tiny time increments. The proposed laws, they say, would only make matters worse.

For Garro and Duplisea, though, the new laws could make all the difference. As Melina fixes a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, Duplisea hugs a snoozing Andres against his T shirt. "We're trying to do the right thing by two kids, and we have to sacrifice," Duplisea says. In Massachusetts and plenty of other states, help may be on the way.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Newsweek; 8/27/2001, Vol. 138 Issue 9, p46, 1p, 1c
注(1) 本文选自Newsweek;8/27/2001, Vol. 138 Issue 9, p46, 1p, 1c
注(2) 本文习题命题模仿对象是1997年真题text 1(1,2,3,5题),第4题模仿1997年真题text 3 的第2题。

1.From the first paragraph, we learn that __________________.
[A] Garro and Duplisea used to live a comfortable and easy life.
[B] Duplisea’s boss is so considerate as to allow him to keep his job
[C] Garro can earn more money so she should go back to work.
[D] The couple have made a lot of sacrifices to take care of their children.

2.When Garro says “It takes away from your cushion and your security”, she means _____________________.
[A] it exhausts her family savings
[B] it plunges her family into financial trouble
[C] it deprives her children of health insurance
[D] it makes her feel insecure

3.If Garro lives in Massachusetts, she will ___________________.
[A] have 12 weeks off at half pay
[B] telecommute part-time but earn full-time salary
[C] leave her job without pay to take care of her kids
[D] get $20 from her employer for her leave

4.The word “perk” (Line 2, Para. 4) most probably means _______________.
[A] grant
[B] policy
[C] encouragement
[D] reward

5.The author’s attitude towards paid leave seems to be that of _________________.
[A] opposition
[B] suspicion
[C] approval
[D] indifference

篇章剖析
本文为说明文,主要介绍带薪请假政策的起因,制定和实施情况,以及所面临的问题和反对意见。文章首先以加罗一家的经历说明停薪请假的人所面临的经济困难。然后在第二,第三段介绍了一下各州针对这一问题的解决方案。第四段介绍了反对者的态度和看法,最后一段再次以加罗一家的情况来说明带薪请假政策可能带来的积极变化,并且呼应了文章开头部分,以此作为结尾,使得全文层次分明,结构完整。

词汇注释
scrape v. (常与along, by, through连用)勉强维持生计;勉强通过
furnish v. 供应, 提供
juggle v. 耍,弄
diaper n. 尿布
forgo v. 抛弃;放弃
cushion n. 缓冲,减轻或缓和不利后果的东西:
tap v. 开发;利用
maternity adj. 母性的,初为人母的孕妇的;适合于孕妇的,生小孩或成为母亲的第一个月的
telecommute v. (在家里通过使用与工作单位连接的计算机终端)远距离工作
pilot plan 试点方案
kick in 参与提供资金和其他帮助的活动中去
tax credit 税金免除
perk n. 额外津贴 (亦作: perquisite)
raid v. 侵吞
lobbyist n. 院外活动集团成员;说客
increment n. 增加, 增量

难句突破:
1.The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act was supposed to help families like Garro's, offering a safety net to employees who want to take time off to nurture newborns, tend to their own major illnesses or care for sick relatives.
主体句式:The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act was supposed to help…
结构分析:本句是一个复杂句,既包括从句,也包括分词结构。be supposed to do something 表示“应该做某事”,通常强调“义务,责任”等。safety net 原义是防止坠落受伤的“安全网”,在此引申为“安全保障”。
句子译文:1993年颁布的《家庭医疗休假法》本来应该帮助像加罗这样的家庭,为那些请假照顾新生儿,治疗重病或者照顾患病亲人的员工提供一个安全保障。

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发表于 2017-8-23 23:15:45 | 显示全部楼层
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