Class and money has always strongly affected how people do in life in Britain, with well-heeled family breeding affluent children just as the offspring of the desperately poor tend to be poor. All that supposed to have ceased by the end of the Second World War, with the birth of welfare state designed to meet basic needs and promote social mobility. But despite devoting much thought and more money to improve the lot of the poor, governments have failed to boost those at the bottom of the pile as much as those on top of the pile have boosted themselves. Although the study found that some of the widest gaps between social groups have diminished over time (between men and women on pay, for example and between various ethnic minorities), deep-seated differences between haves and have-nots, persists blighting the life chances of less fortunate. Looking at earnings, income, education, employment or wealth, a similar pattern emerges. By the age of three, a poor child is outperformed in verbal ability and behavior by a rich one. Much of the difference is explained by ethnicity: unsurprisingly, poor children who did not speak English at home know fewer words in what is their second or third language. A child‘s ethnicity becomes less important as he grows: by the age of 16, but Chinese and Indian students are performing extremely very well at school. But throughout his classroom career how well a child does is dominated by how highly educated his parents are and how much money they bring home. Politicians of all stripes talk about equality of opportunity, arguing that it makes for a fairer and more mobile society and a more prosperous one. The difficulty arises in putting these notions into practice, through severe tax increases for the middle-class and wealthy, or expanding government interventions.
I) Which of these can be inferred from the passage as one of the key solutions to reduce the gap between various social groups?
(a)Encouraging ethnic social groups to converse in English even at home so as to develop their verbal ability
(b)Implementing higher tax rates for the middle class and wealthy so that the gap between rich and poor can be reduced
(c)By not disclosing the child's ethnicity and background of parents at school so as to remove bias from coming in
(d)Making the affluent people responsible for the poorer people, since they have been better at generating wealth than the government
II) What is the pattern noticed while studying social groups?
(a)The gap will only continue to grow since implementing policies is difficult
(b)The ethnicity of a child becomes less important as he grows
(c)The gap is somewhat narrowing, but there is still a long way to go
(d)A poor person always remains poor
III) In the context of the passage, what is the meaning of the term 'blighting'?
(a)Ruining (b)Improving (c)Illuminating (d)Imbalancing