GRE Argument Essay 16

The following is a letter that recently appeared in the Oak City Gazette, a local newspaper.

“Membership in Oak City’s Civic Club – a club whose primary objective is to discuss local issues – should continue to be restricted to people who live in Oak City. People who work in Oak City but who live elsewhere cannot truly understand the business and politics of the city. It is important to restrict membership to city residents because only residents pay city taxes and therefore only residents understand how the money could best be used to improve the city. At any rate, restricting membership in this way is unlikely to disappoint many of the nonresidents employed in Oak City, since neighboring Elm City’s Civic Club has always had an open membership policy, and only twenty-five nonresidents have joined Elm City’s Club in the last ten years.”

The letter that appeared in Oak City Gazette presents a view about the members constituting the Oak City’s Civic Club. It says only city residents should be allowed membership in the club because they understand the local problems and issues better than non residents who work in the Oak City. It is only the residents who pay the taxes and they should be the ones to decide where to spend the money. The letter also mentions that it will not affect the nonresidents to a great extent since another neighboring Elm City’s Civic Club which has an open membership has negligible number of nonresidents joining it. The letter, however, seems to be written without giving a proper thought to the issue. It may sound wise enough to restrict membership of nonresidents, but, instead of giving a one-sided view it should present a broader perspective by looking at all the concerned matters.

First of all, the letter presents a step-motherly treatment to the people who work in Oak City and live elsewhere. People working in Oak City are directly affected by any policies and changes made in the city. They are equally involved in the business and politics of the city as the residents of the city. There are many nonresidents who spend major time of the day in the Oak city than at their hometown. Therefore, they are bound to the policies and laws of the city. If they have to follow these policies just like the local residents, they should also have a say in the discussion of local problems and issues. It is likely that some policies that are suitable to residents may not be suitable to nonresidents and makes it difficult for them to work. For example, policies related to number of working hours, leisure time allotted to workers, sale and purchase and other business related issues have equally to do with those working in the city and living away from it as to those who live in the city. This aspect should be taken into consideration before restricting the membership to the residents of the city.

It is true that city residents are paying taxes, but these taxes are used for the betterment of the whole city. It does not isolate one city from another but welcomes new talent, ideas, investments and business expertise from other places as well. If such restrictions are allowed in the City Club, it will not attract many people to the city which may prove a hindrance in the way of its development. Moreover, it should not be forgotten that the nonresidents are paying their due of taxes in their respective cities. Hence, the City Club should develop a better attitude towards them.

Further, it can be said that although Elm City’s Civic Club has not got many nonresident members despite its open membership policy, it may not be the same with Oak City Civic Club. There could be many reasons for a low count of nonresident members in Elm City Club, like lack of facilities, high membership prices etc. It is also possible that there are very few nonresidents working in the Elm City to join the club. Therefore, there could be different conditions in both the cities which cannot be compared. Hence, it would be a mistake to take a clue from the experience of Elm city of low count of nonresidents and restrict their membership.

The argument given above weakens the basis of the suggestion given in the letter. Nonresidents may not be living in the city, but they are a part of the city dynamics. Moreover, with their membership it will only benefit the city club with more money coming in from them. Therefore, instead of acting upon the suggestions blindly, a considerable thought must be given to other related aspects as well.