America is the richest civilization in history. Why, then, are some living standards so low compared to those of other wealthy democracies?




Link to the original The Atlantic video: https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/567739/universal-basic-income/



  • assembly line – a series of workers and machines in a factory by which a succession of identical items is progressively assembled.
  • wealthy – having a great deal of money, resources, or assets; rich
  • infant mortality – the death of children under the age of one year
  • poverty – the state of being extremely poor
  • incarceration – the state of being confined in prison; imprisonment
  • impoverished – made (a person or area) poor
  • no strings attached – used to show that an offer or opportunity carries no special conditions or restrictions
  • social security – (in the US) a federal insurance scheme providing benefits for pensioners and those who are unemployed or disabled
  • abusive – engaging in or characterized by habitual violence and cruelty
  • elderly – (of a person) old or ageing
  • cohesive – sticking together; causing or characterized by cohesion
  • downside – the negative aspect of something otherwise regarded as good or desirable
  • to grate against – to cause irritation or annoyance
  • abundance – a very large quantity of something
  • inheritance the acquisition of a possession, condition, or trait from past generations
  • deprivation – the damaging lack of material benefits considered to be basic necessities in a society

Watch and listen

Answer the questions below.

  • What are the 5 richest countries on earth? (00:05)
  • What is the US infant mortality rate? (00:30)
  • Who has the highest incarceration rate in the world? (00:43)
  • What is Universal Basic Income? (01:05)
  • Would many people stop working? (01:45)
  • What are the downsides of UBI? (02:05)
  • Is the idea of UBI new? (02:35)


Practice Makes Perfect


Use the word given in capitals at the end of the line to form a a word that fits in the space in the same line.


“There’s a big idea out there that could help 1._____ this,”                                                                (SOLUTION)

says The Atlantic writer Annie Lowrey. “It’s called a 2._________ basic income.”                             (UNIVERSE)

In a new animated video, Lowrey 3.______ that UBI                                                                          (ARGUMENT)

—a concept that has 4._______ for more than 500 years                                                                  (EXISTENCE)

—would help close the income 5.__________ gap,                                                                            (EQUAL)

eliminating poverty and increasing 6.________ and opportunity for all American citizens.                 (MOVE)



1. solve  2. universal  3. argues  4. existed  5. inequality  6. mobility


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