Written in ink or engraved by stylus, more than 2,000 letters and documents on wooden tablets excavated at the site of the old roman fort at vindolanda in northern England are yielding a historical account of the military garrison in the first and second centuries that are so vivid in their details about personal life as they are from Pompeii.
A. are so vivid in their details about personal life as they ate
B. are as vivid in their details of personal life as those gathered
C. is as vivid in their detail about personal life as that gathered
D. is as vivid in its details of personal life as that gathered
E. is so vivid in its details of personal life as is that
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures the dollar value of finished goods and services produced by an economy during a given period, serves as the chief indicator of the economic well-being of the United States. The GDP assumes that the economic significance of goods and services lies solely in their price, and that these goods and services add to the national well-being, not because of any intrinsic value they may possess, but simply because they were produced and bought. Additionally, only those goods and services involved in monetary transactions are included in the GDP. Thus, the GDP ignores the economic utility of such things as a clean environment and cohesive families and communities. It is therefore not merely coincidental, since national policies in capitalist and non-capitalist countries alike are dependent on indicators such as the GDP, that both the environment and the social structure have been eroded in recent decades. Not only does the GDP mask this erosion, it can actually portray it as an economic gain: an oil spill off a coastal region “adds” to the GDP because it generates commercial activity. In short, the nation’s central measure of economic well-being works like a calculating machine that adds but cannot subtract.
Which of the following best describes the function of the second sentence of the passage (highlight text) in the context of the passage as a whole?
A. It describes an assumption about the GDP that is defended in the course of the passage.
B. It contributes to a discussion of the origins of the GDP.
C. It clarifies a common misconception about the use of the GDP.
D. It identifies a major flaw in the GDP
E. It suggests a revision to the method of calculating the GDP.
The primary purpose of the passage is to
A. identify ways in which the GDP could be modified so that it would serve as a more accurate indicator of the economic well being of the United States.
B. suggest that the GDP, in spite of certain shortcomings, is still the most reliable indicator of the economic well-being of the United States
C. examine crucial shortcomings of the GDP as an indicator of the economic well being of the United States
D. argue that the growth of the United States economy in recent decades has diminished the effectiveness of the GDP as an indicator of the nation’s economic well-being.
E. discuss how the GDP came to be used as the primary indicator of the economic well being of the United States
The passage implies that national policies that rely heavily on economic indicators such as the GDP tend to
A. become increasingly capitalistic in nature
B. disregard the economic importance of environmental and social factors that do not involve monetary transactions
C. overestimate the amount of commercial activity generated by environmental disasters
D. overestimate the economic significance of cohesive families and communities
E. assume that the economic significance of goods and services does not lie solely in the price of those goods and services