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14 Oct 2013, 00:53
The following appeared in a letter from a homeowner to a friend.
"Of the two leading real estate firms in our town—Adams Realty and Fitch Realty—Adams Realty is clearly superior. Adams has 40 real estate agents; in contrast, Fitch has 25, many of whom work only part-time. Moreover, Adams' revenue last year was twice as high as that of Fitch and included home sales that averaged $168,000, compared to Fitch's$144,000. Homes listed with Adams sell faster as well: ten years ago I listed my home with Fitch, and it took more than four months to sell; last year, when I sold another home, I listed it with Adams, and it took only one month. Thus, if you want to sell your home quickly and at a good price, you should use Adams Realty."
Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.

Each home is different and each year the housing market is bound to be different than the year before. Assuming Adams Realty sells faster than Fitch Realty based on the selling rate of 2 different homes in 2 different decades is like comparing apples to oranges. One house may have been in brand new condition, while the other house may have been is dismal condition. The housing market ten years ago may have been in a decline, as compared to last year’s. There are far too many internal and external variables to make such an assumption valid.

We now know that selling a house quickly has to do with the current housing market. Selling a house at a good price has to do predominately with the quality of the house, rather than the quality of the realtor. Quoting the starting prices of each company’s houses does not provide us with a clear picture, as we cannot assess the quality of the houses sold.

Additionally, assuming company superiority by comparing two companies’ number of employees and their respective revenue is again a comparison of apples and oranges. Although Adams may have more full-time realtors, no consideration for the employees’ experience is taken into account. Furthermore, it is widely known that one cannot attribute a company’s success based on the number of its employees. Many of the world’s most renowned Fortune 500 companies started with just 1 or 2 individuals- take for example Steve Jobs at Apple or Jeff Bezos at Amazon.

Furthermore, one cannot accurately compare revenue without having a full understanding of the companies’ respective balance sheets. Revenue is calculated by the amount of money a company receives in exchange for its goods and services. You cannot properly compare revenues without having an understanding of each company’s pricing structure.

And finally, having the ability to assess a company’s superiority in selling houses fast and for the best price has to be done by a qualified professional. An unqualified person making such a grandiose assumption based on his or her wildly varying past experiences is like comparing apples to oranges.

Some people believe that government funding of the arts is necessary to ensure that the arts can flourish and be available to all people. Others believe that government funding of the arts threatens the integrity of the arts.
Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.
In a world tempted by withdrawal, art has to be shared. Art-past, present and future is an important part of history and culture and thus, like great literary novels in a library, should be accessible to all. If government funding is deemed the most efficient and effective way to make art available to all, then I would tend to agree that government funding, if available, is necessary to ensure that the arts can flourish.

However, it must be noted that government funding should only be utilized for the arts, if available and if deemed the most effective way to provide art to all. If after comprehensive analysis, it is apparent that art is best funded privately, then I would recommend that private investment be utilized in lieu of government funding. Furthermore, I do not believe that the arts should receive funding if other, more important aspects of public benefits are not being met. These more highly prioritized benefits include health care, general safety (policemen and firemen) and basic education for all. Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchy states that all inherent needs, such health and safety must be met before any other human needs, such as culture can be addressed.

In regards to the notion that providing art to all will threaten the integrity of the arts, I believe this statement to be flawed. If art were not meant to be shared with all, regardless of social class, then public art would not exist. Imagine a world without the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty? To correlate art’s integrity with exclusivity to go against how art has been presented for decades.

The art’s integrity will always remain intact, regardless of how it is presented, as art’s mission is to educate and inspire. Expensive art should be on showcase to all and if an affluent person so chooses to buy it, then they have that right, as well.
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