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08 Apr 2012, 14:29
This is the 1st attempt on AWA. Please rate.
Issue Question -
"Although the redevelopment proposal for the blighted inner-city neighborhood has prompted criticism from senior citizens, advocates of low and middle income housing, and community residents fearful of inconvenience or even displacements, it promises to cerate not only a number of upscale apartment buildings but also a numerous construction jobs as well."
According to the author, it is required to create number of upscale apartments as part of redevelopment of a city. Author also mentions that this endeavor is likely to create a number of employment opportunities for a particular sector. Author, however, undermines the concern of existing residents and favors the idea of redevelopment. The idea is noble but the methodology is not.
Firstly, the redevelopment proposal can only be considered as beneficial for the city in long term if and only if it is based on proper planning. Numerous instances are present is modern cities across the world where due to insufficient planning and futuristic outlook government plan of redevelopment have not turned out to be as fruitful as it was thought during the proposal and design phases. The basic infrastructure of the inner-city neighborhood where this redevelopment will take place should be adequately strengthened by building new roads, over bridge, proper water supply, drainage system etc. so that when new inhabitants will live in the upscale apartments that do not disrupt or burden the existing city infrastructure.
Apart from that, the author has also favored redevelopment of the city because this would create employment opportunity mostly in construction sector. However, it has been found that, when upscale apartments and high rises come up in a city inhabited by low and middle-income group citizens, some other changes are inevitable. For example, when people belong to high income group tend to live more in the city, overall lifestyle will be more costly. More Shopping malls and departmental stores are bound to come up to meet the need of that upper class. This might tell upon the existing small shops and business that exist in the city currently and surviving without much issue. These businesses might not be able to cope with bigger brands and some loss of employment or job might take place. Along with the prospect of creating new job in construction sector, government also need to consider the possibility of job loss in some other sector such as retail after the redevelopment.
Finally, I do not consider that redevelopment means creating a number of upscale apartments to fulfill the housing needs of upper class. On the contrary, in a society proper development of all classes and all income groups are required to overall welfare of a city. However, based on the passage it is as evident as daylight that the author considers that redevelopment by mostly building upscale apartments for a certain class of residents.
Therefore, as indicated in the above paragraphs, I do not agree with the issue presented before us. Although I agree with the author that redevelopment of a city is essential but the logic or methodology put forward by the author contain considerable number of defects.
Argument Question -
"A recent nationwide study of high schools reveals that the percentage of students who graduate on time is higher for private schools than for public schools. For this reason, Bedford Falls parents who want their children to graduate from high school on time should send their children to private school."
The author of this paragraph has mentioned that the national average of percentage of students who graduate from private schools on time is higher than that of public schools. Based on this assumption, he has suggested all parents who want their children to complete high school on time to opt for private schools over public schools. As a whole, the authors argument is faulty and based on some rosy assumptions. Some of the flaws that are most blatant are discussed below.
Above all, the author’s argument is based on a study done nationwide. There is no proper evidence that the study showed similar result across the country. It is also not clear what percentage of students fail complete high school on time in compare to that of private schools. The argument will be weakened if it is proved that the trend is not uniform across country. Also, the claim would be refuted if it is found that difference in percentage of students who complete high school on time is not significantly higher in
private schools than in public schools.
Secondly, the performance of a high school student not only depends on the school, but also depends on the individual capability. Specifically, the chance of completing high school on time depends also on the capability of Bedford Falls irrespective of private or public schools. The study does not provide any detail if it measured students of equal capability before reaching any conclusion.
At last, it is highly probable that a public school at a particular city out performs private schools of that city. The national study is not a great indicative of these statistics for a specific state or city. Hence, the parents should be more concerned about the statistics of the local schools than the national study.
The argument in its current form contains a considerable number of defects that have been discussed in the aforementioned paragraphs. Therefore, the argument is not convincing with its persuasive ability. Only if the above mentioned issues are addressed, the legitimacy of the argument will be enhanced to such an extend that it would be difficult to refute.