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Class Supplement (早稲田国際AO入試 Extra Questions -partly rewritten-)

2011年10月8日

1. Scientists are not monsters but decent people. However, science is not free from serious accidents, crimes, and scandals. Why do you think science sometimes go wrong?

2. For most people on earth, democracy is better than other systems. However, democracy does not always bring about good results. What do you think prevents it from working properly?

3. What might be related to the decline of the society in the United States?

☆Answer Key for Extra Questions
1. Scientists are not monsters but decent people. However, science is not free from serious accidents, crimes, and scandals. Why do you think science sometimes go wrong?
1) Like other things in this world, science follows the money, and funds are not always properly allocated because of lobbying.
2) When decision makers are ignorant or negligent, misjudge will occur, and often pressure from big corporations or the government prevent truth from coming out.
3) Technology develops too quickly to be controlled by laws and regulations.
4) Scientists are human beings, too. Desire for fame and money, urges to win contests, reluctance to admit mistakes, or sympathy for the patient will sometimes drive scientists to lapses or bad decisions.

2. For most people on earth, democracy is better than other systems. However, democracy does not always bring about good results. What do you think prevents it from working properly?
1) The consensus of the majority is not always right. (e.g. Hitler, the old Japanese military government, Iraq War) 
2) It is lobbyists, who persuade politicians to vote for or repeal registrations, that actually pass the bills, and most of the time lobbyists are interest groups and enthusiastic activists who do not always represent the majority opinion. (e.g. pharmaceutical lobby)
3) Media propaganda controls public opinion. (e. g. Fox News, Main Media not reporting significant information)

3. What might be related to the decline of the society in the United States?
1) Too much government spending on military and war (Iraq and Afghanistan, War on Terror)
2) Huge national debt (100 % of GDP))
3) Slow to start tackling environment and energy issues (the Kyoto Protocol, the fall of GM)
4) The extremely wide gap between the rich and the poor (The top 20 % earning almost 50% of the income generated in the U.S. / A leaked Citibank memo says the top 1% of households account for more than the bottom 95% of households put together; the decline of the middle class because of offshoring; loss of pension and houses because of financial crimes; lack of regulations on the financial, insurance, credit, and pharmaceutical companies)
5) Insufficient safety net (the healthcare system that serves the insurance companies)
6) Broken education (Although the Obama administration is restoring environment for real education, decades of neglect has had American children falling way behind in every category except for confidence; 4o million Americans cannot read and write over the 4th grade level, and 40 million can read but cannot comprehend what is written; decline of creativity)
7) Media propaganda (sponsored by large corporations; fear mongering, less serious issues than rather irrelevant issues; too much focus on fashion, celebrities, and entertainment)
8) Unfettered capitalism (corporations: profit-pursuing machines for shareholders, trying to make money from anything/anyone; competition: making people see each other as their opponents/enemies, not as their fellows, and dismiss those left behind)
9) Losing soft power: attack without based on a lie, civilian casualties, torture (Afghanistan & Iraq wars)

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