Everyone knows that taxation is necessary in a modern state: without it, it (31) not be possible to pay the soldiers and policemen who protect us; (32) the workers in government offices who (33) our health, our food, our water, and all the other things that we cannot do for ourselves. (34) taxation, we pay for things that we need just (35) we need somewhere to live and something to eat. But (36) everyone knows that taxation is necessary, different people have different ideas about (37) taxation should be arranged. In most countries, a direct tax on (38) , which is called income tax, (39) . It is arranged in such (40) that the poorest people pay nothing, and the percentage of tax grows (41) as the taxpayer’s income grows. In some countries, for example, the tax on the richest people (42) as high as ninety-five per cent! (43) countries with taxation nearly (44) have indirect taxation too. Many things imported into the country have to pay taxes or “duties.” Of course, it is the men and women who buy these imported things in the shops (45) really have to pay the duties, in the (46) of higher prices. In some countries, (47) , there is a tax on things sold in the shops. If the most necessary things are taxed, a lot of money is (48) but the poor people suffer most. If unnecessary things (49) jewels and fur coats are taxed, less money is obtained but the tax is (50) as the rich pay it.
The art of public speaking began in ancient Greece over 2,000 years ago. Now, twitter, instant messaging, e-mail, blogs and chat forums offer rival approaches to communication — but none can replace the role of a great speech. The spoken word can handle various vital functions: persuading or inspiring, informing, paying tribute, entertaining, or simply introducing someone or something or accepting something. Over the past year, the human voice has helped guide us over the ups and downs of what was certainly a stormy time. Persuasion is used in dealing with or reconciling different points of view. When the leaders met in Copenhagen in December 2009, persuasive words from activists encouraged them to commit themselves to firmer action. Inspirational speeches confront the emotions. They focus on topics and matters that are close to people’s hearts. During wars, generals used inspiring speeches to prepare the troops for battle. A speech that conveys knowledge and enhances understanding can inform us. The information must be clear, accurate, and expressed in a meaningful and interesting way. When the H1N1 pandemic (流行病) was announced, the idea of “swine flu” (猪流感) scared many people. Informative speeches from World Health Organization officials helped people to keep their panic under control so they could take sensible precautions. Sad events are never easy to deal with but a speech that pays tribute to the loss of a loved one and gives praise for their contribution can be comforting. Madonna’s speech about Michael Jackson, after his death, highlighted the fact that he will continue to live on through his music. It’s not only in world forums where public speaking plays an important role. It can also be surprisingly helpful in the course of our own lives. If you’re taking part in a debate you need to persuade the listeners of the soundness of your argument. In sports, athletes know the importance of a pep talk (鼓舞士气的讲话) before a match to inspire teammates. You yourself may be asked to do a presentation at college or work to inform the others about an area of vital importance. On a more personal level, a friend may be upset and need comforting. Or you might be asked to introduce a speaker at a family event or to speak at a wedding, where your language will be needed to move people or make them laugh. Great speaking ability is not something we’re born with. Even Barack Obama works hard to perfect every speech. For a brilliant speech, there are rules that you can put to good use. To learn those rules you have to practice and learn from some outstanding speeches in the past.
In the 19th century, there used to be a model of how to be a good person. There are all these torrents of passion flowing through you. Your job, as captain of your soul, is to erect dams to keep these passions in check. Your job is to just say no to laziness, lust, greed, drug use and the other sins. These days that model is out of fashion. You usually can’t change your behaviour by simply resolving to do something. Knowing what to do is not the same as being able to do it. Your willpower is not like a dam that can block the torrent of self-indulgence. It’s more like a muscle, which tires easily. Moreover, you’re a social being. If everybody around you is overeating, you’ll probably do so, too. The 19th-century character model was based on an understanding of free will. Today, we know that free will is bounded. People can change their lives, but ordering change is not simple because many things, even within ourselves, are beyond our direct control. Much of our behaviour, for example, is guided by unconscious habits. Researchers at Duke University calculated that more than 40 percent of the actions we take are governed by habit, not actual decisions. Researchers have also come to understand the structure of habits — cue, routine, reward. You can change your own personal habits. If you leave running shorts on the floor at night, that’ll be a cue to go running in the morning. Don’t try to ignore your afternoon snack craving. Every time you feel the cue for a snack, insert another routine. Take a walk. Their research thus implies a different character model, which is supposed to manipulate the neural (神经系统的) networks inside. To be an effective person, under this model, you are supposed to coolly examine your own unconscious habits, and the habits of those under your care. You are supposed to devise strategies to alter the cues and routines. Every relationship becomes slightly manipulative, including your relationship with yourself. You’re trying to arouse certain responses by implanting certain cues. This is a bit disturbing, because the important habitual neural networks are not formed by mere routine, nor can they be reversed by clever cues. They are burned in by emotion and strengthened by strong yearnings, like the yearnings for admiration and righteousness. If you think you can change your life in a clever way, the way an advertiser can get you to buy an air freshener, you’re probably wrong. As the Victorians understood, if you want to change your life, don’t just look for a clever cue. Commit to some larger global belief.
Most of us, as students, are careful with our money in daily life: we collect all kinds of coupons; we look for group-buy deals if we eat out or travel; we don't buy clothes unless in a sale. However, some people think that all this may not make us smart consumers. What is your opinion?
Write a composition of about 200 words. You are to write in three parts. In the first part, state specifically what your opinion is. In the second part, provide one or two reasons or your experience(s) to support your opinion. In the last part, bring what you have written to a natural conclusion or make a summary. You should supply an appropriate title for your composition. Marks will be awarded for content, organization, language and appropriateness.