My exam is on tuesday and this is my first essay. Can somebody please evaluate this and let me know your comments.
-Thanks in Advance
The following appeared in a newspaper editorial during the holiday shopping season:
"Americans spend far too much of their time buying and consuming non-essential goods. Studies show that, on average Americans spend over a quarter of their leisure time shopping. As such, it is no secret why America is losing its competitive edge relative to other countries. Instead of spending their time productively, Americans are wasting time through frivolous consumption. In order to counteract this trend, Americans should spend more time focused on personal and communal development--by, for example, pursuing educational advancement or participating in volunteer opportunities."
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.
The argument states that Americans spend considerable amount of time in shopping non essential goods. It also mentions that America is losing its competitive edge because of people who spend a considerable amount of their leisure time in shopping non essential commodities. The author also provides a solution by asking americans to spend their leisure time in productive tasks such as education and personal development. Stated in this way, the argument fails to mention certain key factors on which it could be evaluated. The conclusion relies heavily on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. As a result, the argument is rather weak, unconvincing and has several flaws.
First, the statement Americans spend too much time in shopping non essential goods is a stretch for which there is no evidence. The author does not mention any study or research findings to support this argument. Also, the argument does not provide any statistical facts that mentions the average time spent by americans on shopping. In addition to this, the argument also states that americans spend a quarter of their leisure time io shopping. This statement tends to weaken the argument rather than to support it. For example, an working american citizen has a total of 20 non working holidays in a year and a quarter of this total is 5 days. hence spending 5 days of time in leisure shopping does not weaken the competitiveness of America as a whole. Hence, this statement weakens the argument slightly instead of supporting it.
Second, the argument states that too much of time is wasted on consumption which can be used productively. This statement is an assumption for which there is no clear support. Also, an economy of a country to an extent is based on the consumption and consuming power of its citizens. If the consumers spend more, this in turn benefits the country's economy indirectly. For Example, consuming more increases the production which in turn increases the revenues of the producer or company, thereby generating more employment opportunities for the citizens. As a result, this claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than a premise with substantial evidence. hence, this statement lacks support to stand on.
Finally, the author proposes a solution to this trend by suggesting americans to improve their education and focus on personal development. By this suggestion, the author fails to consider the fact that, every individual needs to spend some quality time with their family in order to strike a balance between their professional and personal life. This personal time spent on leisure activities acts as potential break to their regular monotonuos work and makes them re-focus on their job. Therefore, this suggestion by the author is unwarranted.
Insummary, the argument is flawed an unconvincing. It could be considerablt strengthened, if the author provides certain relevant facts supporting his claim. in order to assess this claim, it is necessary to provide the full knowledge of all the supporting facts.
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