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The annual labour of every nation is the fund which originally supplie

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The annual labour of every nation is the fund which originally supplie  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 08 May 2020, 10:08
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Passage # 76, Date: 08-May-2020
This post is a part of Project RC Butler 2020. Click here for Details


The annual labour of every nation is the fund which originally supplies it with all the necessaries and conveniences of life which it annually consumes, and which consist always either in the immediate produce of that labour, or in what is purchased with that produce from other nations. Accordingly, therefore, as this produce, or what is purchased with it, bears a greater or smaller proportion to the number of those who are to consume it, the nation will be better or worse supplied with all the necessaries and conveniences for which it has occasion.

But this proportion must in every nation be regulated by two different circumstances: first, by the skill, dexterity, and judgment with which its labour is generally applied; and, second, by the proportion of the number of people who are employed in useful labour to that of those who are not so employed. Whatever be the soil, climate, or extent of territory of any particular nation, the abundance or scantiness of its annual supply must, in that particular situation, depend upon these two circumstances.

Moreover, the abundance or scantiness of this supply seems to depend more upon the former of those two circumstances than upon the latter. Among the savage nations of hunters and fishers, every individual who is able to work is more or less employed in useful labour, and endeavours to provide, as well as he can, the necessities and conveniences of life, for himself, and such of his family or tribe as are either too old, or too young, or too infirm to go hunting and fishing. Such nations, however, are so miserably poor, that, from mere want, they are frequently reduced, or at least think themselves reduced, to the necessity sometimes of directly destroying, and sometimes of abandoning their infants, their old people, and those afflicted with lingering diseases, to perish with hunger, or to be devoured by wild beasts. Among civilized and thriving nations, on the contrary, though a great number of people do not labour at all, many of whom consume the produce of ten times, frequently of a hundred times, more labour than the greater part of those who work; yet the produce of the whole labour of the society is so great, that all are often abundantly supplied and a workman, even of the lowest and poorest order, if he is frugal and industrious, may enjoy a greater share of the necessities and conveniences of life than is possible for any savage to acquire.


Q1) What is the connotation of the term ‗savage nations‘ in context of the passage?

A. Countries which are for the most part covered with forests
B. Countries which are primarily uncivilised
C. Countries having a large number of old, young, or infirm people
D. Countries in which hunting and fishing are the main occupations
E. Countries which are full of wild beasts



Q2) According to the information in the passage, under which of these hypothetical situations will a country be most prosperous?

A. When the country has a high annual labour produce and high population
B. When the country has a low annual labour produce and low population
C. When the country has a low annual labour produce and high population
D. When the country has a high annual labour produce and low population
E. When the country has many highly skilled workers



Q3) According to the information in the passage, each of the following could be a characteristic of a savage nation EXCEPT:

A. Some part of the population is involved in hunting and fishing
B. Almost everyone who is capable of working is employed
C. Poverty is prevalent across the nation
D. The unemployed consume several times more labour than the employed
E. At times people end up dead for want of food



Q4) Which of the following can most reasonably be inferred from the information in the passage?

A. The best way for a poor nation to become prosperous is by drastically reducing its population of unemployed people
B. The nature of work that a majority of people in a country are involved with largely determines the prosperity of that country
C. Between two nations, the nation with a higher annual labour will always be more prosperous
D. In uncivilised countries, people take extra care of their infants and elders
E. Prosperous nations are characterised by an unequal distribution of wealth with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer


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Originally posted by GmatWizard on 01 Nov 2018, 11:19.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 08 May 2020, 10:08, edited 2 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (1104).
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Re: The annual labour of every nation is the fund which originally supplie  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2018, 10:54

Topic and Scope


The passage discusses how the prosperity or poverty of a nation directly depends on two factors related to the break-up of its population and argues that one of these factors is more important than the other

Passage map


Para 1 defines annual labour of a nation and states that the prosperity or poverty of a nation depends on the proportion of the produce to the consumers of that produce
Para 2 states that this proportion depends on two factors – the skill in applying this labour and the proportion of employed to unemployed
Para 3 argues that of the above two factors, the first is more important and explains the same by comparing the situation in uncivilised and civilised nations.
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New post 02 Nov 2018, 10:55

Official Answers and Explanations


Q1) What is the connotation of the term ‗savage nations‘ in context of the passage?
A. Countries which are for the most part covered with forests
B. Countries which are primarily uncivilised
C. Countries having a large number of old, young, or infirm people
D. Countries in which hunting and fishing are the main occupations
E. Countries which are full of wild beasts
The 3rd para contrasts savage nations with ‗civilized and thriving nations‘, implying that savage should mean the opposite of this i.e. uncivilised. Hence (B) is the best answer.
A – The passage never states this of savage countries
C – The passage never states that savage nations have a large number of such people
D – The passage does not state that these are the ‗main‘ occupations
E – The passage never states this

Q2) According to the information in the passage, under which of these hypothetical situations will a country be most prosperous?
A. When the country has a high annual labour produce and high population
B. When the country has a low annual labour produce and low population
C. When the country has a low annual labour produce and high population
D. When the country has a high annual labour produce and low population
E. When the country has many highly skilled workersThe opening paragraph of the passage states that the prosperity of a nation depends on the proportion of its produce to the number of consumers for this produce i.e. its population. Obviously this proportion will be the highest when the produce is very high and the number of consumers is very low making every consumer very prosperous.
Hence (D) is the best answer.

Q3) According to the information in the passage, each of the following could be a characteristic of a savage nation EXCEPT:
A. Some part of the population is involved in hunting and fishing
B. Almost everyone who is capable of working is employed
C. Poverty is prevalent across the nation
D. The unemployed consume several times more labour than the employed
E. At times people end up dead for want of food
The passage states that in a civilised (and not uncivilised) nation the unemployed at times consume several times more labour than the employed. Thus (D) cannot be inferred about savage or uncivilised nations and is the correct answer.
A, B, C, and E are clearly implied by the last paragraph of the passage.

Q4) Which of the following can most reasonably be inferred from the information in the passage?
A. The best way for a poor nation to become prosperous is by drastically reducing its population of unemployed
B. The nature of work that a majority of people in a country are involved with largely determines the prosperity of that country
C. Between two nations, the nation with a higher annual labour will always be more prosperous
D. In uncivilised countries, people take extra care of their infants and elders
E. Prosperous nations are characterised by an unequal distribution of wealth with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer
According to the 2nd paragraph, the two factors that determine the prosperity of a country are the intelligence with which people apply their skills and the proportion of the employed to unemployed. The passage subsequently goes on to show that the first of these reasons is more important. Thus (B) should be the correct answer.
A – This is the second best way for a nation to become prosperous. The best way is by showing more intelligence in the application of its skillsC – This may not necessarily be true. If the nation with the higher annual labour has a very high population than it may actually be poorer than the nation with a lower annual labour but lower population as well
D – Opposite. The passage actually states that at times people in savage or uncivilised countries leave their infants and elderly to die
E – The passage never mentions the distribution of wealth

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Re: The annual labour of every nation is the fund which originally supplie  [#permalink]

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Re: The annual labour of every nation is the fund which originally supplie  [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2020, 04:48
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It took me 11 minutes to solve the passage with 3/4 correct.
The summary of the passage is as fellows:

Para 1: Annual fund is the fund that supplies nation with the necessaries of life. In line with that, the nation will be more or less supplied as per the produce.

Para 2: BUT proportion to be regulated by a) skill....... & b)proportion of no. of working people to no. of non working.

Para 3:
MOREOVER, the supply depends more on (a) than (b). An example to this, in Savage nations (b ) is more than in civilized nations. & In civilized nations (a) is more than in Savage nations ( uncivilized nations).


THAT'S IT , The para is unneccesarily long.



Q1) What is the connotation of the term ‗savage nations‘ in context of the passage?

A. Countries which are for the most part covered with forests
B. Countries which are primarily uncivilised ( Correct)
C. Countries having a large number of old, young, or infirm people
D. Countries in which hunting and fishing are the main occupations . I choose this one by mistake , but later realised that the usage of " only " is extreme in GMAT. Option B is better choice.
E. Countries which are full of wild beasts


Q2) According to the information in the passage, under which of these hypothetical situations will a country be most prosperous?


"Accordingly, therefore, as this produce, or what is purchased with it, bears a greater or smaller proportion to the number of those who are to consume it, the nation will be better or worse supplied with all the necessaries and conveniences for which it has occasion. "

More the produce , more are the facilities for the people of the nation. In option D the produce will always exceed its consumpion, hnce more the prosperity.

A. When the country has a high annual labour produce and high population
B. When the country has a low annual labour produce and low population
C. When the country has a low annual labour produce and high population
D. When the country has a high annual labour produce and low population (correct)
E. When the country has many highly skilled workers







Q3) According to the information in the passage, each of the following could be a characteristic of a savage nation EXCEPT:

There is a list of characteristics of the savage nations as given in para 3.

A. Some part of the population is involved in hunting and fishing
B. Almost everyone who is capable of working is employed ( as give in passage everyone except old age and infants are working in savage nations.)
C. Poverty is prevalent across the nation.
D. The unemployed consume several times more labour than the employed. Not true for the savage nations( correct)
E. At times people end up dead for want of food

Q4) Which of the following can most reasonably be inferred from the information in the passage?

It can be infered that the prosperity of a nation depends more on skils ... than the proportion.... SO the answer choice B is in line with our pre thinking.
A. The best way for a poor nation to become prosperous is by drastically reducing its population of unemployed people
B. The nature of work that a majority of people in a country are involved with largely determines the prosperity of that country. (Correct)
C. Between two nations, the nation with a higher annual labour will always be more prosperous
D. In uncivilised countries, people take extra care of their infants and elders
E. Prosperous nations are characterised by an unequal distribution of wealth with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer
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Re: The annual labour of every nation is the fund which originally supplie   [#permalink] 10 May 2020, 04:48

The annual labour of every nation is the fund which originally supplie

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