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by ronnie1985 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:54 am
The following appeared as part of a campaign statement for Velazquez, who is seeking election as alderman in the town of Barchester:

"Under Police Commissioner Draco, the city of Spartanburg began jailing people for committing petty crimes such as littering, shoplifting, and spraying graffiti. Criminals in Spartanburg must have understood that lawlessness would no longer be tolerated, because the following year Spartanburg saw a 20% drop in violent crimes such as homicide. Our town should learn from Commissioner Draco's success, and begin a large-scale crackdown on petty crime."

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.

The essay:-

In his election campaign, Mr Velazquez mentioned that large-scale crackdown on petty crime, as did by Mr Draco in Spatanburg, will reduce violent crime in the city of Barchester. Mr Velazquez, in his argument, did not take into account the differences between the two cities - in terms of crime and did also made an unwarranted causal relationship between crackdown on criminals committing petty crimes and reduction in violent crimes. I elaborate my assertion in the following paragraphs:-

The cities of Spatanburg and Barchester differ markedly in terms of crime. Whereas Spatanburg is a commercial centre of its country, Barchester is a small town runnig on small agri-businesses and shops. Hence it is natural that crimes of Barchester are not very violent. People of Barchester are very peaceful in themselves and do not indulge in violent activities. The crimes in our city are limited to stealing a small portion of produce from one's farm by the small children. This act is more of childlike than a crime. The villagers themselves take care of such petty events. If the police comes in between, it may lead to mass agitation by the peaceful villagers. Hence such action is not recommended.

Moreover, reduction in crime after crackdown on petty crimes does not warrant a causal relationship between the two. The speaker completely ignored the fact that the convicts of the petty crimes are not punished at all. They are free on the same day they are arrested. Moreover, due to emergence of Tolifornia as a faster developing commercial city has shifted the crime base of the country to Tolifornia.

The speaker should have considered the facts presented in the last two paragraphs before drawing any conclusion. The speaker should have benchmarked the nearby village Texico, where the crime is not reported at all and is similar to B in terms of economy and nature of crime.
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