Im going to be writing the GMAT next week and I just spent 2 hours learning how to do the AWA sections. If you could please critique my responses and comment on my readiness to tackle this section on the exam I would greatly appreciate it!
Analysis of an Issue – AWA
“As government bureaucracy increases, citizens become more and more separated from their government.”
Essentially, the issue at hand in this statement is that of bureaucracy within a government increasing the separation between citizens and a government. There are clearly two sides to this issue, people may argue that bureaucracy does increase this separation while others may argue that bureaucracy does not impact or limits this separation. I believe that in essence as bureaucracy increases citizens do in fact become more separated from their government.
One reason why it can be seen that bureaucracy does increase the separation between a government and its citizens is due to the common communication barrier that arises due to the hierarchical nature of bureaucracy. For example, in many early tribes or communities with a flat political structure often times regular citizens or tribe members could easily communicate with the government and its leaders. As the nature or government became more and more bureaucratic this communication essentially had to go through many layers of government to reach these leaders which essentially created a gap between the government and its citizens. Clearly, as a government begins to further remove itself from the citizens it governs over separation between these two groups increases.
Another reason why it can be seen that bureaucracy increases the separation between government and citizens is due to the often tedious and time consuming rules and procedures that are put in place to facilitate communication between government and citizens. As the communication network between these two groups increases and the medium used by these groups to communicate with each other gets larger separation increases. To illustrate this imagine the lengths one would have to go to in order to speak and raise issue directly with the leader of a nation. Many citizens realize that there is this large separation and thus are dissuaded from attempting this communication which can cause the separation mentioned in this issue.
A final reason why bureaucracy can be seen as increasing the separation between a government and its citizens is due to the internal workings and political nature of bureaucratic structures. As bureaucracy increases within a government and internal figures focus as much on appeasing other internal actors as on appeasing citizens, a large disconnect can arise. To illustrate this point imagine the many internal stakeholders that government and government actors have to appease on top of citizens. As bureaucracy increases and the internal workings of a government become more convoluted this separation between a government and its citizens can become larger. Undoubtedly, this nature of bureaucracy increases the separation between citizens and a government.
In conclusion, while many people may argue either for or against the point that bureaucracy increases separation between government and citizens for the aforementioned reasons it is clear that bureaucracy does increase separation between a government and its citizens. Clearly, due to the communication barrier, hierarchical structure, communication barrier, and internal politics of bureaucracy the separation between a government and its citizens increases as bureaucracy increases.
Analysis of an Argument
"The desire of corporations to maximize profits creates conflict with the general welfare of the nation at large."
Essentially, this argument is one that seems to present a cynical view as to the benefit of corporations to a nation. To break down the argument further, we can see that essentially it questions the alignment of corporate profit maximizing incentives with national welfare. The argument goes further to point out a conflicting state of affairs that arises in corporate profit maximizing behaviour. I think this view fails to address some key issues related to defining the argument and laying the foundation for logical assessment as will be presented below and thus the argument leaves much to be desired.
First, this view does not consider the implications and benefits that profit seeking behaviour has on a nation. The market incentive to create profit is the foundation for the current Capitalist system. Essentially, when firms have the desire to maximize profits an efficient market is created and many benefits come from this market. For example, profit seeking corporations create jobs that benefit society, pay taxes that benefit society, and create a level of efficiency that benefits society. In not considering the capitalist foundation of the modern economic system this opinion is questionable.
Second, if corporations were to seriously neglect the general welfare of society there would be considerable backlash. Society has various measures in place to keep corporations in line with acceptable profit seeking behaviour. For example, through regulation and government policy many possible issues such as monopolistic behaviour and collusion are limited. Also, through methods such as boycotts society is able to place pressure on corporations to act favourably.
Finally, in appealing to the general welfare of a nation the issue does not address the core definition of general welfare; is it income level, average age, overall happiness, or gross domestic product. Depending on how welfare is defined this issue could be interpreted many different ways. For example, an economist
might define welfare as GDP or per-capita income whereas a doctor might define welfare as average population age.
In conclusion, the statement presented above fails to address some critical aspects of a logical and persuasive argument. In failing to provide a better definition of welfare and the evils of profit maximizing behaviour this argument is made weak. If the argument were to address some of these flaws it could be made stronger. However, in its current state it leaves room for much disagreement.
Thanks so much for your help
I'll report back with my score and debrief as soon as I'm done writing.