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Please rate my 1st essay...tried for 2 months...Analyze argu [#permalink]
17 Apr 2011, 15:38
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.
The argument is not well reasoned due to the following four reasons:
Firstly, the argument fails to highlight the details about the immigrant workers. All immigrant workers have to go through legal immigration evaluation process whereby the immigrant is allowed to immigrate only if the country has a need for a labor in a specific field. Not every laborer can work in any field. Majority of times, the immigrants are allowed to enter the country to fill the labor gap in a specialized field as for e.g. computer software. No specific details have been mentioned about the type of unskilled labor and why are immigrants the cause of decline in compensation. In fact, there was one study conducted by Harvard business school which stated that immigrants improve the economy in a long term, in turn, raising the average compensation of the local workers. Also, no specifics have been mentioned in the argument from demand/supply standpoint e.g. immigrant population increased from 10% to 50% in five years. The demand remained same and the supply of resources increased, leading to decline in average compensation for local laborers.
Secondly, there could be other factors that could have contributed to the decline in average compensation e.g. declining economy of the city or country. Secondly, it may be possible that the local workers might be moving to some other city for better job opportunities and wages. In 2008, many people from Florida moved to West coast and East coast for finding better jobs. The move didn't happen because of immigrants but because of declining economy.
Thirdly, from statistics point of view, no details have been mentioned about the current wages of the laborers. 5% decline of $100/hour is not significant as 5% decline of $10/hour. Secondly, the argument fails to mention demographics of the laborers. It doesn't mention anything about the sample size and the location of the city. The hourly wages could vary among women and youth. It is a known fact that after Great depression, many women starting working alongside men in a specific field like handicrafts, leading to improved overall financial status of the family.
Lastly, even if we assume that the specifics mentioned in the argument are correct, the argument fails to justify how will an imposition of moratorium on further immigration protect local economy. The argument neither specifies the duration for which the moratorium will be imposed nor the underlying analysis of imposing the restriction. If the long term goal is to improve the average compensation of the labor, a better idea would be do a research about the availability of natural resources and then establish industries so that more people can find jobs. Another idea would be to educate people and convert them from unskilled laborers to skilled laborers, increasing the average compensation.
Hence, the argument is completely flawed.