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# Americans spend far too much of their time- Review Please

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Intern
Joined: 02 Mar 2012
Posts: 2
GMAT 1: 720 Q50 V38

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10 May 2012, 23:34
1
This is my second attempt at GMAT, I got a 4.0 in AWA section the first time . Please review my essay below, Thanks in Advance

Question:
"Americans spend far too much of their time buying and consuming non-essential goods. Studies show that, on average Americans spend over a quarter of their leisure time shopping. As such, it is no secret why America is losing its competitive edge relative to other countries. Instead of spending their time productively, Americans are wasting time through frivolous consumption. In order to counteract this trend, Americans should spend more time focused on personal and communal development--by, for example, pursuing educational advancement or participating in volunteer opportunities."

Discuss how logically persuasive you find the above argument. In presenting your point of view, analyze the sort of reasoning used and supporting evidence. In addition, state what further evidence, if any, would make the argument more sound and convincing or would make you better able to evaluate its conclusion.

The argument above states that America is losing its competitive edge to other countries because certain studies show that on average Americans spend one fourth of their leisure time shopping. The argument is flawed because of the following reasons.

First of all, the author fails to define non-essential goods; different people view various goods in a different way, what one may consider to be essential might be considered non-essential by another. Moreover, the author has not included any data that shows the breakdown of the time spent on shopping by American into shopping for essential goods and non-essential goods, for example: time spent on grocery shopping versus time spent on buying shoes(considered non essential).

Secondly, the author seems to have assumed that the Americans spend more time shopping than does citizens of other countries; data on time management trends of other countries is needed to draw appropriate comparisons.

Lastly, the author has not presented any empirical data that suggests that USA is actually losing its competitive edge to other countries. In addition, no other possible reasons are examined for the supposed downfall of United States, such as government incompetency, unfavorable economic environment and depletion of natural resources, and time wastage is the only reason believed to hold true.

In Sum, this is a week argument. To strengthen the conclusion that America is losing its competitive edge because of time being wasted on shopping, the author should include the following. Define non-essential goods, provide information on breakdown of time spent on shopping for essential and non-essential goods, provide comparative data of time management trends of the citizens of other countries and provide empirical data to prove that USA is losing its competitive edge.

Intern
Joined: 22 May 2012
Posts: 7

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23 May 2012, 08:27
hi dhruv,

first of all, i let you know that i am not a connoisseur( expert in judgement) in reviewing and rating the essay.
but still, i find lots of fallacies(errors)

mainly there are copious (abundant) typos,

1)week for weak
2) see usa is not losing competitive edge to other countries.
---actually it is losing comp.edge in comparison to other countries
3) u have not mentioned anything about last point of the argument -- in order to counteract the trend, spending time on personal & communal development.

4) try to spend more time in analyzing the argument, read 2,3 times- then organize,plan & start writing the essay.
5) try to increase the content.

u can achieve a score of 4-4.5 out of 6.

hey guys, as usual any critiques or plaudits are welcome.
Intern
Joined: 30 Jan 2016
Posts: 1
Re: Americans spend far too much of their time- Review Please  [#permalink]

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16 May 2016, 03:52
Kindly review my essay as well.

The author's argument that Americans should spend their time more on personal and communal development rather than on shopping to get its competitive edge relative to other countries omits some important concern that must be addressed to substantiate the argument because author's claim that spending more than quarter of leisure time on shopping is not productive certainly does not provide support or proof of the main argument.

Most conspicuously, the author states that Americans spend a quarter of their leisure time on shopping and consumption of non-essential goods. Spending leisure time in shopping does not harm an individual's development. Leisure time should be spent the way individual feel like to get relax so that one can give his 100 percent in his work. If an individual is spending its work or education time in frivolous consumption, that can be considered as wasting of quality time and reducing their productivity.

Furthermore, going for shopping might give individual new ideas about the availability or need that one can later convert into a productive proposition. In the past, there are various such examples of Americans coming up with the innovative ideas. Education is important for advancement but going out in the market and finding out the latest trends is also equally important for coming up with creative proposals.

Lastly, America might be losing its competitive edge over other countries because of various other reasons and not only because people are spending more time in shopping and frivolous consumption. Author has not ruled out other possibilities and so comes out as a weak argument.

In sum, the author's conclusion is a hasty generalization based on the unsupported premise and unsubstantiated assumptions. If the author truly hopes to change readers' minds and convince them to spend their time productively on education and volunteer activities, he would have to address issues such as ruling out other factors that might lead to lose a competitive edge, percentage of time spent on wasteful activities and its impact on overall individual's development.
Current Student
Joined: 26 Aug 2016
Posts: 552
Location: India
GMAT 1: 690 Q50 V33
GMAT 2: 700 Q50 V33
GMAT 3: 730 Q51 V38
GPA: 4
WE: Information Technology (Consulting)

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18 Mar 2017, 02:37
Please review this essay as well. Thank you.

The article states that America is losing its competitive edge relative to other countries because some studies show that on average Americans spend over a quarter of their leisure time shopping. I find this logically in-convincing in several aspects.

First of all America losing its competitive edge relative to other countries is based on questionable assumption that This is happening only through shopping which uses only quarter of leisure time of Americans. Suppose there are other Causes of the America losing its competitive edge relative to other countries such as Economy growth of other countries are higher than the America due to their increase in production and growth in technology. This leads to some other cause rather than the spending time on shopping which is causing America to lose its competitive edge. Hence, This argument is not justified.

Secondly Author uses casual flaw, Where two incidents happen together, the author mistakes for one is the cause of other. Americans, Here, spend over a quarter of their leisure time shopping, and America losing its competitive edge relative to other countries, these two events are happening. The argument assumes that Americans spending on shopping is causing the America to loose its competitive edge over other nationalities. There by making the argument flaw.

Finally, The author conveys himself that shopping is not a productive activity.By stating that Americans spend quarter of their time shopping, instead of spending their time productively.Here, shopping in some cases can be a productive activity such as shopping of personal development materials, books, and more. Thereby, Leading to the fall of conclusion. Therefore the argument is defective.

In conclusion, The argument is flawed and defective, and the argument is not a strong argument.Because depending on the studies which show that Americans spend quarter of their leisure time on shopping and Americans are wasting time through frivolous consumption does not support the conclusion that Spending time on shopping is causing the America to lose its competitive edge relative to other countries. To strengthen the argument the author must, at very least , provide the assumption stated above and correct the flaws mentioned above.
Intern
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Location: India
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V41
GPA: 4
Re: Americans spend far too much of their time- Review Please  [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2020, 09:00
The argument claims that American businesses are performing poorly because Americans are spending a quarter of their leisure time in shopping. According to the argument, American businesses can reverse this loss in global competitive advantage by pursuing personal or communal development activities rather than shopping for non-essential goods. Stated in this way, the argument is weak because it lacks compelling evidence on the basis of which it can be evaluated. The argument draws a strong negative correlation between competitiveness in the global market and shopping for non essential goods by Americans.

Firstly, the argument claims that by diverting a portion of leisure time to personal development will counteract the trend of falling business competitiveness. While it may be true that improving personal skills and developing the community can eventually increase business capabilities in international territories, the lack of poor evidence to back the argument makes it questionable. For instance, it could be possible that Americans are spending significantly less of their leisure time to shop for non-essential goods as compared to earlier yet American businesses are continuing to perform poorly. The argument is weak and unconvincing because it does not take into account other factors that could lead to the drop in performance.

Secondly, some sectors of the population may have caused the average time spent to rise. For instance, retired people and other such outliers spend too much of their time shopping for goods. A decrease in time spent by them may not have the effect the author intends to have. It is probable that other countries that are more competitive that America are improving their production capabilities or are receiving government subsidies that make their products cheaper in the international market. A reduction in the time spent by Americans shopping may not make their products cheaper or competitive. The argument is poorly reasoned because it attributes correlation to causation.

In conclusion, the argument is flawed for the aforementioned reasons. Agreed that spending time to develop yourself and the community is beneficial, however, entertainment and recreation are important to improve productivity. The argument is negligent to several factors, such as political, legal, and environmental factors, that are not controlled by internal factors, for instance, a pandemic. It could be significantly strengthened if the author mentioned the current global environment and the history of American businesses
Re: Americans spend far too much of their time- Review Please   [#permalink] 08 Mar 2020, 09:00