THIS IS A PAGE DEVOTED TO BUSINESS SUBJECTS. I WILL TRY TO EMBED VIDEOS, ARTICLES, AND PRONUNCIATION EXERCISES TO HELP STUDENTS ACQUIRE LINGUISTIC SKILLS SO THAT THEY CAN DO THEIR JOBS BETTER AND NOT BE LEFT ON THE SIDELINES OR IN THE DUGOUT. GOOD LUCK!!
Watch the following video of Ben Stein, an American legal analyst and commentator on political and economic issues, talking about the issue of raising taxes on the rich during a recession. Before starting the video, look at the vocabulary to help with your comprehension and read the article from CBS news. Finally discuss the questions with your teacher.
A. Vocabulary Check: Make sure you understand these words before you watch the video.
Confession time = a period when a person needs to confess to a crime / Upper-income tax payer = someone who pays a higher percentage of income tax based on their wealth / not even remotely close to = far from (remote = far) / financial bigshots (fam) = important financial leaders / above the level = under the level / severe recession = serious / have my taxes raised = to submit to a raise in taxes / a dime = a US coin equaling ten cents (a nickel = 5 cents; a quarter = 25 cents in American currency) / to inherit = to receive money at the death of someone / a bailout = government assistance in the form of financial aid / traffic jams = traffic slowdowns; bumper to bumper traffic / to earn money = to make money by working for it / real estate = houses and property / property tax = based on the value of your real estate / not asking for any tears = not asking for pity / cats all rescued = adopted cats (probably from local humane societies) / What I don’t get is this…(fam.) = What I don’t understand is the following… / In the midst of ≈ in the middle of / To recover (economy) ≈ to get better (a recovery = an economic period of stability after a recession)) / It does no good ≈ it doesn’t improve anything / To be punished for something = to suffer from the decisions of others / Parttime/fulltime workers = people who receive a wage (pay per hour) / To write out a check = to make out a check to someone (for charity here) / To gamble = to play for money at a casino / To do wrong ≠ to do right = how one acts in society / To get angry at something or someone = to become irritated at someone about something / To turn out = to finish by becoming (a crime here) / To make sense = to be logical or understandable / To figure out the reasons for an action = to understand
C. Discussion Questions:
[Try to use some of the following expressions in your answers to sound more convincing: Agree/Disagree ]
1. Do you think that taxes on the rich or upper-income people can help get a country out of a recession?
2. What do you think of income taxes in general?
3. Do you think that indirect taxes are better than direct taxes?
4. Do you think the United States should tax the rich more?
5. What do you think of tax shelters? Do you think people who live in countries like Monaco should be able to pay less in taxes?
6. How do you think a government should finance itself?
7. Do you think the tax system is fair in your country? Why or why not?