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GRE Argument Essay: The Following Appeared As A Letter To The Editor Of A National Newspaper. - With A Free Essay Review
Prompt: ‘The following appeared as a letter to the editor of a national newspaper. "Your recent article on corporate downsizing* in Elthyria maintains that the majority of competent workers who have lost jobs as a result of downsizing face serious economic hardship, often for years, before finding other suitable employment. But this claim is undermined by a recent report on the Elthyrian economy, which found that since 1999 far more jobs have been created than have been eliminated, bringing the unemployment rate in Elthyria to its lowest level in decades. Moreover, two-thirds of these newly created jobs have been in industries that tend to pay above-average wages, and the vast majority of these jobs are full-time." *Downsizing is the process whereby corporations deliberately make themselves smaller, reducing the number of their employees. Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.
First of all, the author suggests that the editor’s claim is undermined since a recent report on the Elthyrian economy shows that since 1999 far more jobs have been created than have been eliminated and, thus, it might not be true that it is hard for the majority of competent workers to find suitable jobs. In order to evaluate this claim, we need evidence to show whether jobs that have been created are similar kinds of jobs compared to those that have been cut. For instance, if a evidence shows that most newly created jobs are the same kind of jobs compared to those that have been cut, then it is conceivable that these competent workers should have many choices; thus, the author’s argument would be strengthened. However, if there is reliable study that shows that the jobs that have been created are different kinds of jobs compared to those that have been cut and, say, corporate downsizing results in cutting many positions such as secretaries, while new jobs that have been created are positions like technicians , or skillful workers, then, these competent secretaries would still have a hard time to find suitable jobs, because companies offer different positions. For this reason, the author’s claim would be weakened.
Moreover, the author implies that the majority of competent workers should not face economic problems since two-third of these newly created jobs tend to pay above-average wages and are full-time. In order to test the veracity, we need evidence about if the wages for these new jobs are comparable to these competent workers’ previous salaries. For instance, if evidence shows that a competent worker used to make 5000 dollars a month on average, and most new positions only offer 3000 dollars on average, then even if 3000 dollars is an above-average salary, it would still be considerably less than what this worker used to be paid; this competent worker might not consider this job is suitable, and he still would keep searching more jobs that offer a better salary. In this case, the author’s argument is weakened.
To sum up, in order to evaluate the author’s argument, we need evidence about if these newly created jobs are comparable to the ones that have been cut, how salaries for new jobs compared to salaries these competent workers used to be paid.
Your first argument is complete. The second argument starts out by examining the claim that the fired workers would not face economic problems. The evidence that you ask for here (to answer your question in the comment below), as in the previous paragraph, is appropriate. Your conclusion, however, deals with an issue that is distinct from the issue of economic hardship. Your conclusion ought to be something like "If a fired worker cannot find a job that matches his previous salary, then he may face economic hardship despite being paid an above-average salary." (You could explain further why such hardship might occur, if you wish; e.g., people tend to buy houses and cars and assume other debt burdens on the basis of what their current salary allows them to afford).
Finally, your essay doesn't address the claim about the decline in unemployment in Elthyria. This claim would be important in the event that the other evidence you've sought shows that newly created jobs are actually similar in kind and in terms of salary to the lost jobs. You still need to know whether there are enough such jobs to go around. The fact that the employment rate has fallen to its lowest level in decades doesn't guarantee that there are enough jobs available. The "lowest level" could still be high enough to create significant competition for jobs.