Lesson 12.The target skills: explaining economical terms, providing English-Russian equivalents and providing arguments to substantiate your viewpoint.
1. Reproduce the text and enlarge upon it, clarifying those points that, in your opinion, require explication:
To most people a good tax is a low tax. But in addition to imposing taxes at a rate as low as possible, governments should tax high enough to generate enough revenue. Each level of government – state, local, and federal - uses a variety of different taxes. There are some specific criteria for judging a good tax: it should be (1) adequate, (2) easy toadminister; (3) easy to understand, (4) flexible, (5 neutral, and (6) fair. By … we mean …
*** provide enough money to pay for the services it must finance; vary with economic conditions; economic activity: booming or slow – adjust to increase or lessen the tax burden; interfere as little as possible with the production of income and wealth; pose an equal hardship on all taxpayers; inexpensive to collect
2. There are two basic, but very different, principles for judging how fair a tax is. One is called the benefits received principle, the other is called the ability to pay principle. Proponents of the former argue that an individual’s taxes should bear a close relationship to the benefits or services he or she receives. A good example of this principle is the gasoline tax. Motorists, when they purchase gas (in the USA), usually pay both a federal and state tax. The revenues from this are used to build and repair streets and highways. People who buy more gas – either because they drive more or drive bigger cars that consume more road space – pay a higher tax.
The ability to pay principle is based on the idea that the higher people’s incomes, the more taxes they should pay. Most taxes, particularly personal and corporate income taxes, are based largely on the ability principle. On the face of it, both principles seem sound, to a point.
Give your arguments in favour of one or the other.
3. Taxes are classified as progressive, regressive, or proportional. A progressive tax is one that imposes a higher rate of taxation on people with higher incomes. In contrast, a regressivetax imposes a higher tax rate on lower income groups. With a proportional tax the rate of taxation is the same for everyone. The best example of a progressive tax is the personal income tax. In 1977, a person who earned $2,200 per year, the lowest income level subject to taxes, paid a tax of 14% of his/her taxable income. At the other extreme, anyone with a taxable income above $102,200 paid a tax of 52% on the first $102,200, then 70% on all income above this amount.
In practice, the income tax is much less progressive than it appears to be. Taxpayers are permitted to take exemptions and deductions from their payable income for expenses such as interest payments or charitable contributions.
A good example of a regressive tax is the sales tax that most people in USA pay on most goods. It appears to be proportional. However, higher-income people generally spend a smaller proportion of their incomes on taxable goods and services, and they are able to save or invest more money.
a) Is the progressive income tax fair or unfair? Give your reasons.
b) Compare the American percentage of taxation with the one we now have in Russia and with the
one you would like to be introduced. Give your reasons.
4. Draw a circle and divide it into sections. The circle will represent an 8-hour working day and, correspondingly, the money earned. In the USA, one third of the daily income (2 hr. 40 min.) is to be spent on for the state and federal taxes. Is this taxation fair? Would you increase or decrease the total percentage of taxes? How would you divide the remaining two thirds of the circle into segments? That is, what segment of the daily income, in terms of the hours and minutes, would you allocate for housing, food, clothing, transportation, medical care, recreation? What other costs are not envisaged in this list?
Compare your diagrams and discuss your decisions.
5. (a) Translate the following terms into Russian:
illegal action taken to reduce the amount of tax paid. (She was arrested for tax evasion)
the amount of money one is permitted to earn without paying tax on it.
free from having to pay tax (Schools are tax exempt); goods or income free of tax.
(of an expense) allowed to be subtracted from profit or income before tax is
calculated. (Special work clothing is a tax deductible expense). reduction in the amount of tax paid for a particular reason, e.g. on an amount paid
for. (We are entitled to tax relief on our mortgage. The government introduced tax relief for large gifts made to charity.)
a statement of one’s income for the past year, including any claims for tax relief.
a reduction in the amount of tax paid so as to encourage business or investment
b) Give the English for the following terms:
*** налогоплательщик, декларация о доходах, подоходный налог, облагать кого-то налогами, предусмотренные затраты, налогооблагаемые товары и услуги, уплата процентов, благотворительность, налоговые льготы, не облагаемый налогом товар, вкладывать во что-то крупные суммы.
6. Pracrise fluent translation into Russian (to be done at home and handed in!!!)
a) Talk with the tax dodgers and tax agents across the country and you find workers moonlighting at off-the record jobs. Homeowners report maids and repair people who want only cash payments. Homemakers and retirees bring in free-and-clear cash by doing informal chores for others. Small-business owners frequently keep two sets of books. All are part of a vast and growing underground economy where income goes untaxed and much business activity is unmeasured.
b) Workers’ wages or salaries are subject to withholding and they don’t have much opportunity to hide their pay. But there is no such barrier for people who are self-employed, do casual jobs or earn income on which withholding is not mandatory.
c) Some people say they are forced into being accomplices in tax evasion. For instance, a married couple pays their once-a-week maid $60 in cash because she is on welfare, and recording her wages or paying Social Security would destroy her eligibility.
d) Many investors in securities, real estate, artwork or livestock routinely conceal their profits. One of the attractions of investing in stamps or coins is the easy with which they can be sold without the tax collector’s knowing about it.
7. Make up a convincing monologue on behalf of one of these characters:
¨ A retiree who insists on an immediate and considerable increase of pensions.
¨ A tax collector bitter about tax dodgers.
¨ An otherwise law-abiding citizen who doesn’t see why he shouldn’t keep his extra income off the record.
¨ An expert in economics who is trying to explain how to make our taxation system work.
¨ A populist politician speaking to the voters during a pre-election campaign.
THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
lesson 14. The aim of the lesson is to teach you to compare management methods in different parts of the world. We shall also discuss the input of international monetary organizations into the global economy.
1. ORGANIZING OUR THOUGHTS:
What are the advantages and disadvantages of economic growth?
2. Read the article “Economic Growth in Industrial Economies” and answer the following questions:
a) What happened to the U.S. producers’ share of the domestic market for electronics between 1970 and 1987?
b) What are the reasons the Japanese economy has been growing at a faster rate than the U.S. economy? (Incorporate the ideas from the lecture “Japanese and American Management Methods” into your answers.)
c) How can Japanese growth be explained by their emphasis on “process innovation”?
3. AUDING: Listen to the text and explain for what purposes the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were established. What is the World Bank today? (Make use of the tape).
4. Study the article “The IMF and the LDC’s: Friend or Foe?” and do the following tasks:
a) Explain the statement, “The source of the debt crisis of the 1980s was the oil crisis of the 1970s.”
b) Those who favor the IMF rescue of the private banks say that it is necessary to prevent a collapse of the American economy. Those who oppose it argue that banks that made unwise loans should suffer the consequences. Which view do you support?
c) What are the present-day relationships between the IMF and our country?
5. Is there any difference between ‘international trade’ and ‘global trade’? What do you understand by the term ‘Global Economy’?