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GRE Issue Essay: Government Officials Should Rely On Their Own Judgment - With A Free Essay Review

Prompt: "Government officials should rely on their own judgment rather than unquestioningly carry out the will of the people they serve. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position."

I agree that government officials should rely on their own judgement rather than unquestioningly carry out the will of the people they serve because there are many circumstances that the will of one group may conflict with the will of another group and it is hard for government officials to fulfil all wills of various people, especially in the condition of “unquestioningly”.

First of all, I agree that governments should rely on their own judgement rather than unquestioningly carry out the will of the people they serve, because a country is composed of different classes of people. There are those who are poor, wealthy, and middle classes. It is very likely they all have various needs, and different wills. People working in different industries may have different wills, too. It is rare these wills are unanimous. At a circumstance, the group of people who work in the field of public transportation such as buses and subways, and the group of people who work in the field of automobile industry. Their benefits may conflict with each other. If governments implementing a new policy that ecnourages people using public transportation such as increasing tax on gasoline in the favor of one group, then, this would be against the will of people who work in automobile industry. Whereas, if government official offer financial subsidies for buying new cars or building new highways, then, this could potentially be harmful to the public transportation industry. Therefore, if governments try to carry out wills of all people, then, they would run into a dilemma when wills of two groups conflict with each other. In case, it is better for governments to use their own judgement to weigh pros and cons, instead of unquestioningly carry out people's wills.

Moreover, I think it is inappropriate for government officials to unquestioningly carry the will of people when it is against the benefits of the society in long run. For instance, tobacco farmers and business are losing money over years because of restrictions of smoking among teenagers. If these restrictions can be annulled, then, the consumption of tobacco can increase significantly, and it will be beneficial to those tobacco farmers and businessmen. Should governments unquestioningly carry the will of these people? No, because this can potentially encourage teenager smoking, and this can threaten the health of young people, and possibly increase the number of lung cancers. Therefore, when the will of a group is against the well-being of the majority or does not benefit the society in long run, governments officials should use their judgement to make the decision considering benefits of various groups, and the benefits of the society in long term.

Of course, I’m not arguing that governments should not carry out the will of the people they serve, because one goal of governments is to try to satisfy the demand of people. However, governments should not do this unquestioningly, I think governments should use their judgements to carry out wills of people to optimize the satisfactory of the majority.


Essay Review

Generally when we speak of the "will of the people" we mean the will of the people as a whole, or what the people as a whole will or want; or else we mean what the majority of the people will or want. That doesn't mean that it is inappropriate to consider the fact that different people have different desires, but such a consideration ought to be secondary. The real issue is whether a government ought to respect what its people want done in every circumstance or whether there are circumstances in which it should decide what is best for the country even when that goes against the will of the people as a whole. To say the latter is, of course, to assume that what is best for the country is indeed what a government would decide if it were free to ignore the will of the people, whereas one could presumably think of a number of examples where governments acting of their own accord do not act for the benefit of the country as a whole. You avoid that issue when you look only at examples of groups who have particular interests, but again if you are going to look at that issue you might need to think about whether typically governments already represent or protect the interests of particular groups or classes.

Your concluding paragraph seems incongruent with the rest of the essay, and the meaning of the last sentence is unclear. I recommend that you take another bash at this essay. I'll try to get to your question below in the context of an essay where it better applies.

Best, EJ

P.S. We don't normally use the word "will" the way you use it in the second paragraph; "desire" would be better (e.g., different people have different desires).
Submitted by: uofr6460


Dear EJ, I 'm not sure how to address" explain how these considerations shape your position." can you please show me an example? Thanks! I like examples, because sometimes I know what they ask, but I dont know I to answer appropriately.
June,27 2012

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