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GMAT tomorrow. My first AWA attempt is here. [#permalink]
13 Feb 2013, 08:14
ESSAY QUESTION: The following appeared in the editorial section of a local newspaper:
“The inflow of immigrant workers into our community has put a downward pressure on wages. In fact, the average compensation of unskilled labor in our city has declined by nearly 10% over the past 5 years. Therefore, to protect our local economy, it is essential to impose a moratorium on further immigration.”
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 author states that inflow of immigrant workers into their local community has caused a downward pressure on wages. This is supported by the the 10% decline in average compensation of unskilled labor over the past 5 years. To protect the local economy, the author has suggested that further immigration be suspended or kept in abeyance. This argument is flawed in two major ways.
Firstly, it is assumed that inflow of immigrant workers is the sole factor for the decline in wages. No other causes have led to the 10% downward leap of average compensation of unskilled labor over the past 5 years. This is a flawed assumption mainly because other factors such as the overall economic situation of the society, overall decline in quality of workers, performance of workers are not taken into account. It maybe possible that the workers in the local community are not as skilled as the immigrants and hence their requirement and pay has decreased over time. The downward pressure is not only because of increase in supply when there was increase in demand, but also the quality of workers and their easy availability and replacement.
Secondly, the development of the community has been taken into account. It is a possibility that the number of plants or factories requiring unskilled labor has increased over last 5 years, which has caused an undeniable inflow of immigrants. If this inflow had not occurred, the businesses requiring such labor would not flourish in the community causing an overall loss in the economic condition and development of the area.
In addition, author states that it is essential to impose a moratorium on further immigration, but does not acknowledge the negative impact it may have on the flourishing industries in the community. This argument assumes that there are enough number of unskilled labors which can be employed instead. But no such data is mentioned which would strengthen author's suggestion.
To summarize, I would say, the argument is not reasonable mainly because of the underlying assumptions. Further, certain facts such as the number of unemployed unskilled labor in the community who can take place of the growing need of labor would enhance the author's position.
Critic - comment - rating. Any response will be appreciated. Thanks.