Joined: 19 Mar 2012
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The following appeared in the editorial- Rate Please [#permalink]
19 May 2012, 13:35
This is my first post regarding the AWA. I kind of would like to gauge where I am with this section, as I haven't given it much attention during my practice. Would love feedback and pointers, etc.
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 author of the argument states that a decline in compensation for unskilled labor over the past five years can be directly associated to an increase of immigrant workers looking for work within the community. While on the surface this may be perceived as a reasonable explanation, much more information is necessary to make a final determination on the subject. The author fails to site exact statistics, such as sampling demographics and the rate of decline of compensation, and how these correlate to an increase of the immigrant population. Additionally, the author fails to acknowledge the negative ramifications that may result from enacting the moratorium, and how doing so might affect the the wages of unskilled laborers.
In his argument, the author assumes that there is a direct correlation between an influx of immigrants and a drop in unskilled labor compensation. He or she could have bolstered his or her argument by providing the reader with hard facts and figures. For example, if the immigrant group to which the author is referring has largely migrated from Mexico, he or she could have then referenced the substantial presence Mexicans holds in the unskilled labor community. Additionally, the author may have noted that these workers upon arrival are often willing to be compensated at, or far less, a minimum wage. By doing so, the author would have strengthened his or her position. However, by failing to site exact examples, the author leaves the reason for the decline open to speculation; there could be a multitude of reasons as to why compensation has fallen in the last five years. It certainly could be possible that compensation on a large scale, not simply that relating to unskilled labor, has fallen dramatically in the last five years.
Additionally, the author fails to recognize the possible ramifications of enforcing regulations disallowing immigration. Would this have any affect on the downward pressure? Would prohibiting immigration potentially increase the downward trend? The author makes the assumption that by alleviating the over-supply of unskilled laborers, the demand will increase, thereby driving up compensation. However, the author fails to illustrate any evidence to back up such an assumption. Also, he or she also fails to comment upon the potentially harmful results that fall outside of the scope of the workforce, and how these results may impact the economy of the community. These laborers may make up a substantial portion of the community, and to lose their contributions to the community may have a wide-felt impact. To discourage immigrant participation in the work force, may have a great psychological and physical effect upon the community.
In conclusion, while the author may have a reasonable point, he or she does not clearly tie the pieces together. The author fails to draw a correlation between cause and effect, and irresponsibly fails to recognize the potential for side effects when he or she suggests a moratorium on further immigration be imposed immediately.