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Essay review requested

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columbus Just gettin' started! Default Avatar
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Essay review requested Post Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:16 am
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    I would highly appreciate if someone could review my essays and provide feedback. Thanks very much.


    ESSAY QUESTION:
    The following appeared in a proposal for a high school's annual fundraising event:

    "In order to earn the most money for supplemental school programs, we will have larger and more thrilling rides at this year's School Fair, including a ferris wheel that is twice as tall as last year's ferris wheel. In addition, the game vendors will award more expensive prizes and the food stalls will showcase a variety of upscale international dishes. As a result, we will be able to charge a higher entrance fee and the dollar amount we earn via our commission on the vendors' revenues will be higher than it was last year."

    Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Point out flaws in the argument's logic and analyze the argument's underlying assumptions. In addition, evaluate how supporting evidence is used and what evidence might counter the argument's conclusion. You may also discuss what additional evidence could be used to strengthen the argument or what changes would make the argument more logically sound.

    YOUR RESPONSE:
    The proposal cites some ideas to increase revenues at an upcoming high school fundraising event for some supplemental school programs. It provides examples of some of the changes that are planned to the rides, the prizes at the game stalls and the dishes served in food stalls. The expectation is that such changes will boost revenues. However the proposal is not convincing due to several reasons.

    First, the proposal argues that the introduction of larger and more thrilling rides will generate interest among the participating families as they would like to experience the rides. However the proposal does not highlight how the safety issues surrounding the thrill rides would be addressed. Such rides significantly increase the risk of injury or death specially when the crowd consists of young children running around at the event.

    Secondly, the proposal hints that the increased entrance fees will help generate higher revenue for the supplemental school programs. However the proposal does not take into consideration the affordability of the entrace fee and other expenses associated with the annual event for the majority of the families who plan to attend. It is likely that the increased entrance fees may prevent some families for planning to attend the fundraising event. In such case, there is a possibility that the fundraising event may experience a loss or struggle to recover the increased upfront costs in setting up the larger thrill rides, stocking on the expensive prizes and preparing the international dishes. The event may turn out to be a financial disaster.

    Thirdly, the proposal indicates that the expensive prizes and the variety of upscale international dishes will serve as an attraction and generate income from the vendors at the fundraising event. The proposal claims that the commision on the vendors' revenue will contribute towards the increased revenue for the high school. However the proposal does not evaluate whether the increase in the prices for the game tickets or the food tickets will make these attractions unaffordable for the crowd participating in the fundraising event.

    While the proposal does bring up interesting avenues for improving the revenues from the fundraising event, the lack of enough research and some flawed assumptions cause some of the conclusions to seem like wishful thinking at best. Unless issues such as the affordability of the entrance tickets and lack of safety precautions are addressed it is likely that the fundraising event may spell a financial disaster and may even prove to be fatal for some. It just may not be worth it.


    ESSAY QUESTION:
    "Some people claim that the measure of a successful government is in how well it directly supports the poorer members of society. Others claim that if the government focuses on lifting the wealthier members, the benefits will reverberate throughout the social structure and the standard of living will rise for everyone."

    In your view, to what extent should government be responsible for supporting those members of society who struggle to support themselves? Explain, giving relevant reasons and/or examples to support your position.


    YOUR RESPONSE:
    In my opinion, the government should be responsible to a very large degree for the support of those members of society who struggle to support themselves.

    Let me start by quoting an old saying; It is very difficult to convert $1 into $100, however it is very easy to convert $100 into $200. This implies that it is very difficult to start off without any significant capital resources and build a fortune. However if you have a fortune, doubling it is relatively easier task. Any support from the government provided to the poor of the country goes a long way in uplifting their standard of life and helping them survive and flourish than it does if provided to the wealthier class.

    The argument for supporting the wealthier members of the population hinges on the assumption that the benefits will eventually find their way to the poor or the needy in the form of new jobs, cheaper products and so on. However, there are several reasons why it may not be a good idea for the government to provide majority of their support to the wealthier class of the population. First, there is no way to ensure that the wealthier masses will use the government benefits to invest in local business and markets. It is likely that the benefits may find their way - directly or indirectly, into foreign hands and may not reach those who need it the most. What can be more unfortunate?

    Second, there is no way to ensure that benefits provided to the wealthier members will be evenly distributed among the poor and the needy members. For example, if the market demands more products that require skilled labor in manufacturing it, more benefits are likely to find their way to the skilled masses in the poor members of the population. The unskilled labor force among the poorer members of the society will be left without enough to survive. What policy would consider this fair?

    Third, even though the wealthier class are able to distribute the benefits to the poorer members of the society, there are external factors that may cause the wealthier members to modify their investments, re-distributing them among the different markets in an unhealthy ratio. Some examples of such events are: war erupting with another country, sudden increase in export demands for certain products, creation of new markets in the local economy and so on. Essentially the eventual distribution of government benefits among the poorer members is in the hands of factors beyond the control of the government - not a very convincing position to be in.

    While it is true that supporting the wealthier member of the society may prove to be helpful for the poorer members of the society, unless additional restrictions are imposed on how the wealthier members use the benefits and unless monitoring agencies are deployed to keep an eye on the fluctuations in the distribution of the government benefits by wealthier members, it may prove to be a wasteful approach at best and a disaster for the poorer members of the society at worst.

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    VP_Jim GMAT Instructor Default Avatar
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    Post Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:25 am
    Here are my thoughts on the first essay (analysis of an argument):

    Great job overall! You approached the essay exactly right, by addressing the author's faulty assumptions. Next time just make sure you discuss how the author could have strengthened the argument - for example, "the author could have included safety information proving that the risks associated with a more thrilling ride are outweighed by the benefits". Nothing too major or long, but you should address how to strengthen the argument in one sentence per paragraph.

    I'll give you a 5 on this one.

    _________________
    Jim S. | GMAT Instructor | Veritas Prep

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