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GRE-argument 3- Skateboarding And Business - Flagged
The following appeared as a letter to the editor from a Central Plaza store owner.
"Over the past two years, the number of shoppers in Central Plaza has been steadily decreasing while the popularity of skateboarding has increased dramatically. Many Central Plaza store owners believe that the decrease in their business is due to the number of skateboard users in the plaza. There has also been a dramatic increase in the amount of litter and vandalism throughout the plaza. Thus, we recommend that the city prohibit skateboarding in Central Plaza. If skateboarding is prohibited here, we predict that business in Central Plaza will return to its previously high levels."
Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.
The owner of a Central Plaza store recommends that the prohibition of skateboarding in the plaza because store owners believe that the decline of their business is due to the increased number of skateboard users. Besides, the author of the letter implies that the increased litter and vandalism around the plaza is also caused by skateboarders. To better assess this recommendation, there are still some questions need to be answered on this issue.
First of all, is there any evidence that linking between the growth of littering and vandalism around and the declined business the author claimed? It is entirely possible that the appearance of the plaza does not affect the business trend of shops. If this is the case, then we should ask the following questions: what are the reasons for the fact that the number of shoppers in Central Plaza falls over the past 2 years? Is it because some rival shopping mall opens recently in the neighborhood or the purchasing power in the area is declining in these 2 years? However, in this case, whatever the answers are, the recommendation about prohibition of skateboarding mentioned in the letter seems unreasonable and needs to be reconsidered.
Even if the amount of litter and vandalism has impact on the business appearance in the plaza, should skateboarders be responsible for that? If the answer is no (for instance, the damage and pollution maybe caused by other activities), perhaps there is no ground for shop owners to blame skateboarders, let alone that their suggestion of banning this activity would have the predicted result.
Admittedly, however, there is possibility that skateboarding does lead to the increase of litter and vandalism, consequently causing the declined business in Central Plaza. If so, is the solution of skateboarding ban able to help the business back to its previous level? Perhaps the prohibition would to some extent promote the business. However it is possible that the prohibition hurts the feeling of skateboarders and affects the sales of sport stores inside the plaza. Without the answer to the question, it is difficult to decide whether the solution in the recommendation is effective as predicted.
Finally, we should ask that whether there is other solutions better than the author's one in the aspect of feasibility and efficiency? For example, maybe adjusting the price level of goods in Central Plaza is more attractive to consumers than the non-skateboarding environment and more pragmatic. With a complete comparison among these and the author’s solution, we could make a more reasonable decision.
In summary, the argument is not well supported that rend it unconvincing as it stands. The author fails to provide more credible evidence that establish a bridge between the sales decrease and the popularity of skateboarding. To bolster the recommendation, the author must provide more information—perhaps by a way of survey with all the questions we noted above.
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