Joined: 20 May 2013
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Request a review of the argument below. Thanks in advance.
The following appeared in the opinion section of a national newsmagazine:
“To reverse the deterioration of the postal service, the government should raise the price of postage stamps. This solution will no doubt prove effective, since the price increase will generate larger revenues and will also reduce the volume of mail, thereby eliminating the strain on the existing system and contributing to improved morale.”
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 argument, that increasing the price of postage stamps to generate larger revenue and thereby eliminating strain on the existing system and improving morale, omits some important concerns that must be addressed inorder to substantiate it. The statement does present a case in which larger revenues could be generated to improve the existing constraints; however, this alone does not constitute a logical argument and certainly does not provide support or proof of the main argument.
Most conspicuously, the argument does not determine the exact cause of the deterioration of postal services. The drooping morale and the strain on the existing system could be because of orthodox methodologies used to implement postal services. Reducing the volume of mail by increasing price of postage stamps is not a permanent solution. First, the argument assumes that it is the volume of the mail that is the cause of the strain on the services. However, the reason could be inefficient manpower or obsolete techniques in providing services. Second, the argument does not address the drawbacks of increasing the price of the postage stamps. Doing so, could keep people away from using Governemnt postal services all together. A number of alternatives are available to the people like e-mails, fax or private courier services which are far more time efficient than the postal services. With the advancement in technology, computers with e-mails are highly accessible to the people and it is a matter of time when the web technology would make postal services redundant. Finally, the morale could be low as a consequence of poor pay or a demotivating working environment. Increasing wages of the postal services staff with improved working conditions like air-conditioned offices could reverse the deterioration. Surveying the staff, to ascertain what plagues their morale, could give a concrete solution to the problem.
Because the argument leaves out several key issues, it is not sound or persuasive. If it included the items discussed above instead of solely proposing an increase in the price of postage stamps, the argument would have been more thorough and convincing.