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Joined: 09 Sep 2010
Posts: 76
Schools: Haas-Columbia, Wharton, UCLA, Kellog, Booth
WE 1: 10 yrs in Healthcare IT
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18 Sep 2010, 19:29

Group #1: Analysis of Issue

The desire of corporations to maximize profits creates conflict with the general welfare of the nation at large.

Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations or reading.

Some people think that the desire of corporations to maximize profits creates conflicts to general welfare of nation. Other people think that the profitable corporations lead to economic growth and promote national welfare. This issue is a controversial one. But a closer examination reveals that profitable corporations indeed lead to better economic growth for any nation.

One reason is that profitable corporations help to increase a country's productivity by promoting economic growth. A company can only achieve profits by improving production and operational processes and by innovating new products. This leads to much larger export to the global world and an increase in nation's GDP. For example, US companies such as Microsoft, Google etc have innovated many products that only helped US to be a world leader in technology. For instance, Google revolutionized the internet world by coming up with innovative products such as youtube, orkut etc. These products are used globally all over the world and helped US economy to improve.

Another reason is that Corporations that are profitable contribute money to economy in several ways. For example, Corporations that are profitable hire more employees to create new products or services which results in increased tax revenues for Federal and state governments. Also these taxes help to build infrastructure for the country in the form of better public schools, library, roads, transportation etc. Furthermore, Most of the profitable corporations make significant contributions to non-profit organizations such as cancer research institutes, hospitals etc. This in turn helps to improve people's welfare. For example, In Singapore, profitable banks attract talent around the world and make them stay in the country to promote national growth. The country's economy has tripled over the last 2 decades.

Perhaps the best reason is thprofitable companies help a nation to become a global leader and increase citizens pride for their nation. . For instance, In USA, Dell, IBM and HP have revolutionized computer and laptop manufacturing in the last decade or so and made USA global leader in computers export. All the countries around the world including UK, Russia use the computers that are innovated by these companies. Profitable corporations definitely help to improve a nation's image as a world leader and result in greater pride and satisfaction of their citizens.

In summary, while there are merits and demerits to have corporations interested in improving their profits, for the benefits of a country's welfare, having profitable corporations definitely outweigh that of having corporations that does not focus on profit. Hence it is important for a nation's welfare to have profitable and innovative corporations.

Group #1: Analysis of Argument

The following was used as part of an internet advertising company's appeal to businesses: Furniture Depot employed our internet advertising company to help. Since then its sales increased by 10% over last year's totals. Furniture Depot's success demonstrates how using our internet services can increase your profitability.

Describe how well reasoned you find this argument. In the discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the argument's conclusion. You may also address possible changes in the argument that would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.

The argument claims that Furniture depot's profit increase is because of employing internet companies advertisement. Stated in this way the argument fails to consider several key factors that are important in evaluating the argument. The argument makes assumptions for which there is no clear evidence supported in the argument. Hence the argument is rather weak and unconvincing.

First, the argument assumes that 10% increase in sales is because of it's advertising services to the furniture company. There statement is a stretch and very weak. There is no clear evidence provided to support this assumption. There is no data provided on whether the furniture company used any other advertising options such as newspaper or advertising through local communities such as handouts etc or any other referral mechanisms. Also furniture sales tend to increase during holiday season, so it is important to understand the duration for which the sales has increased. Furthermore, it is not clear whether the 10% sales increase is compared to the prior year or prior month. There is no data provided on internet sales accounted for how many of the new sales as compared to other advertising mechanisms. If the argument provided all the required evidences, then it would have been a lot clearer.

Second, the argument claims that the increase in sale of 10% will lead to increase in profit for any company. This statement again is very weak as the argument does not show any correlation between sales increase to increase in profitability of furniture company. If there was some statistical data provided on how sales increases contributed to increase in profitability, then it would be much more substantial. For instance, an increase in sale will not always lead to higher profits. What is there was an huge discounts of more than 50% of sale price offered by the furniture sale company that lead to the increase in the sales, then in this case, the profit will actually be less. if the argument provided all the corresponding statistics, then it would have sounded a bit more convincing.

Finally, the argument concludes that success of Furniture deport demonstrates how using their internet services increase profitability for any company. The argument does not show any evidence for what type of advertisements internet is a good vehicle and how it's services helped the advertising company improve their profits. For example, the profit could have increased due to several reasons due to change in management etc. Also for convenience products like groceries etc, internet will not be much more effective, as customers want to buy all their products in one place and wont do much research online. Without convincing answers to all these questions, one is left with an impression that this argument is more of a wishful thinking rather than a substantial claim.

In conclusion, based on the above mentioned reasons the argument is weak and flawed. If the argument provided all the evidences that are missing then it would have been much more stronger. In order to consider merits and demerits of a situation one has consider all contributing factors that are important to make a logical conclusion. Hence the argument is flawed and open to debate.
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