English Test for SBI PO Prelims Exam Set – 09

Directions: Read the following passage and answer the questions that follows.

Woodrow Wilson was referring to the liberal idea of the economic market when he said that the free enterprise system is the most efficient economic system. Maximum freedom means maximum productiveness; our ―openness is to be the measure of our stability. Fascination with this ideal has made Americans defy the ―Old World categories of settled possessiveness versus unsettling deprivation, the cupidity of retention versus the cupidity of seizure, a ―status quo‖ defended or attacked. The United States, it was believed, had no status quo ante. Our only ―station was the turning of a stationary wheel, spinning faster and faster. We did not base our system on property but opportunity—which meant we based it not on stability but on mobility. The more things changed, that is, the more rapidly the wheel turned, the steadier we would be. The conventional picture of class politics is composed of the Haves, who want a stability to keep what they have, and the Have-Nots, who want a touch of instability and change in which to scramble for the things they have not. But Americans imagined a condition in which speculators, self-makers, runners are always using the new opportunities given by our land. These economic leaders (front-runners) would thus be mainly agents of change. The nonstarters were considered the ones who wanted stability, a strong referee to give them some position in the race, a regulative hand to calm manic speculation; an authority that can call things to a halt, begin things again from compensatorily staggered ―starting lines. ―Reform in America has been sterile because it can imagine no change except through the extension of this metaphor of a race, wider inclusion of competitors, ―a piece of the action as it were, for the disenfranchised. There is no attempt to call off the race. Since our only stability is change, America seems not to honor the quiet work that achieves social interdependence and stability. There is, in our legends, no heroism of the office clerk, no stable industrial work force of the people who actually make the system work. There is no pride in being an employee (Wilson asked for a return to the time when everyone was an employer). There has been no boasting about our social workers—they are merely signs of the system‘s failure, of opportunity denied or not taken, of things to be eliminated. We have no pride in our growing interdependence, in the fact that our system can serve others, that we are able to help those in need; empty boasts from the past make us ashamed of our present achievements, make us try to forget or deny them, move away from them. There is no honor but in the Wonderland race we must all run, all trying to win, none winning in the end (for there is no end).

  1. The primary purpose of the passage is to:
    criticize the inflexibility of American economic mythology
    contrast “Old World” and “New World” economic ideologies
    challenge the integrity of traditional political leaders
    champion those Americans whom the author deems to be neglected
    suggest a substitute for the traditional metaphor of a race
    Option A

     

  2. According to the passage, “Old World” values were based on:
    ability
    property
    family connections
    guild hierarchies
    education
    Option B

     

  3. In the context of the author‟s discussion of regulating change, which of the following could be most probably regarded as a “strong referee” in the United States?
    A school principal
    A political theorist
    A federal court judge
    A social worker
    A government inspector
    Option C

     

  4. The author sets off the word “Reform” with quotation marks in order to:
    emphasize its departure from the concept of settled possessiveness
    show his support for a systematic program of change
    underscore the flexibility and even amorphousness of United States society
    indicate that the term was one of Wilson‟s favorites
    assert that reform in the United States has not been fundamental
    Option E

     

  5. It can be inferred from the passage that the author most probably thinks that giving the disenfranchised “a piece of the action” is :
    a compassionate, if misdirected, legislative measure
    an example of Americans‟ resistance to profound social change
    an innovative program for genuine social reform
    a monument to the efforts of industrial reformers
    a surprisingly “Old World” remedy for social ills
    Option B

     

  6. Which of the following metaphors could the author most appropriately use to summarize his own assessment of the American economic system ?
    A windmill
    A waterfall
    A treadmill
    A gyroscope
    A bellows
    Option C

     

  7. It can be inferred from the passage that Woodrow Wilson‟s ideas about the economic market :
    encouraged those who “make the system work”
    perpetuated traditional legends about America
    revealed the prejudices of a man born wealthy
    foreshadowed the stock market crash of 1929
    began a tradition of presidential proclamations on economics
    Option B

     

  8. The passage contains information that would answer which of the following questions? I. What techniques have industrialists used to manipulate a free market? II. In what ways are “New World” and “Old World” economic policies similar? III. Has economic policy in the United States tended to reward independent action?
    I only
    II only
    III only
    I and II only
    II and III only
    Option C

     

  9. Which of the following best expresses the author‟s main point?
    Americans‟ pride in their jobs continues to give them stamina today.
    The absence of a status quo ante has undermined United States economic structure.
    The free enterprise system has been only a useless concept in the United States.
    The myth of the American free enterprise system is seriously flawed.
    Fascination with the ideal of “openness” has made Americans a progressive people.
    Option D

     

  10. What is the most appropriate synonym of “scramble”:
    coast
    classify
    struggle
    coast
    dally
    Option C

     

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