The following appeared as part of an article in a magazine devoted to regional life:
“Corporations should look to the city of Helios when seeking new business opportunities or a new location. Even in the recent recession, Helios’s unemployment rate was lower than the regional average. It is the industrial center of the region, and historically it has provided more than its share of the region’s manufacturing jobs. In addition, Helios is attempting to expand its economic base by attracting companies that focus on research and development of innovative technologies.”
Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.
The argument claims that corporations should look to the city of Helios when seeking new business opportunities or a new location because the city’s unemployment rate was lower than regional average in the recent recession, it has provided more than its share of the region’s manufacturing jobs, and is attempting to expand its economic base by attracting companies that focus on research and development of innovative technologies. Stated in this way the argument fails to discuss several important issues on the basis of which it could be evaluated. The argument is rather unconvincing and contains several flaws.
First, the argument states that Helios’s unemployment rate was lower than the regional average even in the recent recession. However, the argument fails to explain any correlation between past unemployment rate and current business opportunities. The author does not mention what is the current economic scenario in the city and whether enough business opportunities were available for the companies to expand their base in the city. Just on the basis of the past unemployment rate no company would take a decision to expand or start a business in the city. The claim could have been strengthened if the author had specifically stated what opportunities for business are available. For example, information that the government is providing tax holidays to companies who will set up manufacturing plants in the city would have substantiated the argument.
Second, the author states that Helios is the industrial center of the region and historically it has provided more than its share of the region’s manufacturing jobs. This statement does not support the author’s claim in anyway. Past performance is not an assurance of future performance. Even if the city has provided a lot of jobs in the past it cannot be expected that the trend will continue in the future. Moreover, the argument does not state any correlation between past jobs and future business opportunities.
Third, the argument states that Helios is attempting to expand its economic base by attracting companies that focus on research and development of innovative technologies. The author assumes that the city’s economic base will expand and it will be successful in attracting companies. Also, the statement does not discuss how the city will attract the companies. This statement is a stretch as the author has not provided any evidence in support of the claim. What if the city is not able to attract the targeted companies? Will it be still able to expand its current base and able to provide business opportunities? In absence of answers to these questions the claim is more of a wishful thinking than substantive evidence.
In summary, the argument is flawed and seriously weakened. It could have been strengthened if the author clearly mentioned all the relevant facts. In order to assess the merits of a situation, it is essential to have full knowledge of the contributing factors.
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