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.
Citing Americans spend far too much of their time buying and consuming non-essential good the author concludes here that America is losing its competitive edge relative to other countries. However the argument relies on a series of unproven assumption and is therefore unconvincing as it stands
To begin with, the argument assumes that buying and consuming non-essential goods is not productive. But this non essential goods can act as a trigger for americans to be productive. for instance after spending a hectic day in office such activity can recharge them for their next day. the author need to give substantive data in percentage or relative to total time person spends productively before he can conclude. For instance the people who are doing such shopping might be doing during a public holiday or for a special function
Second statement the author makes in his favour his that america losing its competitive edge relative to other countries. the reason he give his that amercians spend quarter of their leisure time shopping. But what about the other three-forth time. A person cannot work for 24 hours continuously. forget abt producitvity but his output will also not be cent percent. Competitive edge is not defined by how much time you sit infront of work but by a thought process which needs freedom. For instance world top preferred employer gives it's emloyees lot of freedom. Has it lost its competitive edge?
Finally author recommends that American should pursue "pursuing educational advancement or participating in volunteer opportunities" to spend their time productively. But is this something new to america. America institutes offer the best education and lot of people from the around the world get educated here. For most of the catastrophic around the world america is a leading donor. So Dear author we are already doing what you are saying
Critics might say that we are not doing enough to be productive. Guys then do a lean six sigma project or do some base homework before making suggestion. If other countries are increasing productivity then we need to find the relative parameters, societal obligations, goverment regulations before making a final call. For instance today china and india are sending the biggest chunk of engineers because each family final aim is to make their kids engineer
Thus the argument is not completely sound. The evidence in support of conclusion given by the author is not strong to support his position. Ultimately the argument might have been strengthened by giving the parameters such as which country we are comparing, what are the present flaws backed with statistical data so that America can improve its productivity