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BBC六分钟英语听力精选:Giving away your fortune散尽家财,慷慨解囊

Cherie207 于2016-03-26发布 l 已有人浏览
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大家好,欢迎收听BBC六分钟英语听力精选,我们将会给你带来各种各样的消息新闻,今天要说的是慈善的话题。
    小E英语欢迎您,请点击播放按钮开始播放……

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Giving away your fortune

散尽家财,慷慨解囊

脸书创始人马克•扎克伯格宣称将会捐出他的大部分财产。在今天的6分钟英语里,Neil和Sophie将会说说在强盗富翁,美国工业化,以及是什么原因使这些强盗富翁成为今天的慈善家。

本周问题:

2014年美国最慷慨的慈善家是谁?是:

a)比尔盖茨

b)马克扎克伯格

c)沃伦巴菲特

大家可以在节目的最后找到正确答案。

听力内容:

Note: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Neil: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Neil…

Sophie: And I'm Sophie…

Neil: Sophie, I can't get out of my head what Mark Zuckerberg, you know, the guy who created Facebook, said recently.

Sophie: Oh, I know, he pledged – or made a serious promise – to give away 99% of his shares in Facebook over the course of his lifetime. The shares are currently worth around $45bn.

Neil: Why, oh why did he decide to give his fortune away? It's puzzling to me.

Sophie: It's an act of philanthropy – which means helping others, especially by giving large amounts of money to good causes.

Neil: And philanthropy is the subject of this show.

Sophie: But don't worry about Zuckerberg, it's probably fair to say that he will remain extremely well off – or wealthy – even after giving away his fortune.

Neil: Well, that's true. Let me ask you then today's quiz question: Who was the most generous philanthropist in the US last year? Was it…

a) Bill Gates

b) Mark Zuckerberg

Or c) Warren Buffett

Sophie: I'm going to say… c) Warren Buffett.

Neil: Well, we'll find out if you were right or not later on in the show. Now, Zuckerberg was inspired to give away his fortune by the birth of his daughter Max. In a letter to Max – posted on Facebook. In his post, he talks about using the money to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation. Equality – in other words, with the same rights and opportunities.

Sophie: Zuckerberg is the latest in a long line of billionaire entrepreneurs to turn philanthropist and use his money for good causes. Did you know that some of the earliest American philanthropists were robber barons?

Neil: Robber barons? What's … ? Hang on, what're robber barons?

Sophie: They're business people who use unethical - or morally wrong - business tactics to gain large personal fortunes. Nineteenth-century entrepreneurs like Rockefeller, Carnegie and Ford were robber barons. They built up huge empires in industry – oil, steel, railways, and cars – and were largely responsible for transforming the United States from an agricultural nation into an industrial one.

Neil: Henry Ford – he's the one who said you can have any colour you want as long as it's black. I like that kind of thing.

Sophie: Focus, Neil!

Neil: OK. OK.

Sophie: But as the barons got older, they decided they wanted to give back to society, and turned to philanthropy. Andrew Carnegie believed that wealth should be spent to make the world a better place.

Neil: That sounds too warm and fuzzy for a ruthless – or cruel - robber baron.

Sophie: People change, Neil! When he died, Carnegie had given away a total of $350m to the state to spend on public works. That's around $8bn in today's money.

Neil: Well, let's listen to Hugh Cunningham, a Professor of History at the University of Kent here, in the UK. He talks about what the average Joe – that's you and me, folks – thinks about big business and philanthropy today.

INSERT

Hugh Cunningham, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Kent

The very word philanthropy does not necessarily have 100% positive connotations for the public at large given where we are in terms of the public's attitude towards business or the banks and that kind of stuff. So I think it's in everyone's interests to try and broaden out the concept of philanthropy into a wider notion of giving, making a contribution, making a difference.

Neil: Yes, banks and big businesses can easily afford to give away millions of dollars for the public good if they choose to. It is not so easy when you're an individual struggling to pay the rent.

Sophie: That's right, Neil. But a lot of people in the UK are super-rich compared to those in the developing world. And we can make a big difference by donating – or giving – smaller amounts of money to help improve their lives.

Neil: And that's what Professor Cunningham means when he says we should broaden out the notion – or idea – of philanthropy. It's not only robber barons who can afford to be philanthropic. Let's listen to Toby Ord, a graduate student from Oxford University talking about how he makes a difference.

INSERT

Toby Ord, moral philosopher, Oxford University

I worked out that over my life I'd be able to earn about £1.5m and that I could maintain my current standard of living as a graduate student and still donate about £1m of that.

Sophie: So Toby actually gives away any money that he earns above £18,000 a year. He feels that he doesn't need more than this amount to maintain his standard of living.

Neil: I'm impressed by Toby's pledge but I don't think I could live like a student my whole life!

Sophie: I thought that would suit you extremely well, Neil! Now why don't you give us the answer to today's quiz question?

Neil: I asked: Who was the most generous philanthropist in the US last year? Was it… a) Bill Gates? b) Mark Zuckerberg? Or c) Warren Buffett?

Sophie: I said Warren Buffett.

Neil: Good guess, Sophie! Well done! Buffett, who made his $73bn fortune from investments, donated $2.8bn to charity in 2014 bringing his lifetime total to almost $23bn, according to Forbes. That's a tidy sum – and that means a large number! OK let's hear those words again, Sophie.

Sophie: Here they are:

pledged

philanthropy

well off

human potential

equality

unethical

ruthless

average Joe

donating

a tidy sum

Neil: Well, that's the end of today's 6 Minute English. Please join us again soon!

Both: Bye.

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