Topic 7: Some people argue that the government should spend money on public services and facilities, but not on the arts. Do you agree or disagree?
一般来说，私人企业(private sector)不会对公共设施感兴趣，因此公共设施只能依靠政府投资。而艺术作为人们的爱好和文化传统(cultural traditions),会代代相传(passed on from one generation to another),因此不需要政府投资。
艺木对现代生活是至关重要的(essential to modern life),对于一个文明社会有着非常重要的作用(central to a civilized society),艺术品传播的是语言所不能传播的东西(Works of art convey the ineffable.)，是人们文化生活的主要部分(an integral part of cultural life); 艺术给人们提供了排解情绪的渠道(provide positive outlets),比如看电影和听音乐; 艺术是一种民族文化，保护艺术有助于保护一种文化(preserve a culture);艺术可以吸引外国游客观光(attract foreign tourists for sightseeing),产生旅游收入(produce tourism revenue);
一些艺术作品(art objects),譬如说雕塑和建筑(sculpture and architecture),使人们享受城市或者郊区风景的美丽(enjoy the beauty of urban or rural landscape),赏心悦目(pleasing to the eye)，为生活增添情趣。
The role of arts in modern life is unique, providing people with entertainment and yielding various psychological rewards, such as relief from stress. Despite these benefits, the arts have been taken as luxury goods in many cases. It is suggested that public money of a city should be concentrated in projects like public facilities, which arc more likely to bring immediate benefits to the public, rather than the arts. There are a number of facts indicating that this position is right.
Public facilities, widely accepted as one of the main precursors to a city's development, should be one of the highest priorities. Those underdeveloped cities in particular, should direct sufficient funding toward public facilities. While municipal office buildings, courthouses and post offices are essential components of public services, libraries, hospitals, parks, playing fields, gymnasiums and swimming pools are available to the public for social, educational, athletic and cultural activities. By boosting spending on public facilities, cities are more capable to satisfy the needs of citizens and improve their standard of living.
In addition to social benefits, there are economic merits that public facilities can offer to communities. An integrated transport network (maritime, land and inland waterways transport and civil aviation), for example, promises the smooth and speedy movement of goods and people in a city. Industrial products, as well as agricultural produce of a city, can be delivered to other cities in exchange for steady income. Of equal importance are public Internet facilities. Providing access to information by improving Internet and other telecommunications facilities has relevance to the ease with which businesses in a city receive, process, utilize and send information. It is no exaggeration to say that entrepreneurs, either from home or abroad, will first examine the infrastructure of a city before deciding whether to pursue business opportunities there.
The arts, by comparison, although enabling people to see the world and the human condition differently and to see a truth one might ignore before, do not merit government spending. The first reason is that the arts--- referring to music, film and literature altogether--- are more likely to attract the investment of the private sector than public facilities. Business people continue to invest in the arts in the expectation of earning lump sum income and the arts in return, continue to flourish without the government spending. Meanwhile, the arts are a key component of a culture and naturally passed down from one generation to another. Unlike public facilities, they require no money to survive.
It is therefore clear that construction of public facilities should be given the foremost consideration. The concern about the well-being of individual citizens and that of a city is more acute than the apprehension about the survival and prospects of the arts, something that businesses have a stake in.
5. merit =deserve=earn:值得
8. stake=involvement= concern=interest=share:兴趣，参与