GRE Argument Essay 31

The following is a letter to the editor of the Roseville Gazette.

“Despite opposition from some residents of West Roseville, the arguments in favor of merging the townships of Roseville and West Roseville are overwhelming. First, residents in both townships are confused about which authority to contact when they need a service; for example, the police department in Roseville receives many calls from residents of West Roseville. This sort of confusion would be eliminated with the merger. Second, the savings in administrative costs would be enormous, since services would no longer be duplicated: we would have only one fire chief, one tax department, one mayor, and so on. And no jobs in city government would be lost – employees could simply be reassigned. Most importantly, the merger will undoubtedly attract business investments as it did when the townships of Hamden and North Hamden merged ten years ago.”

The given argument brings out that the merger of the townships of Roseville and West Roseville is highly recommended. The arguer supports this recommendation by highlighting three main assumptions in favor of the proposed merger. The first assumption is that the confusion amongst the residents of the two townships regarding whom to contact for a required service would be eliminated. The second assumption in support of the recommendation is that certain key appointments and services would not be duplicated thereby saving administrative costs. The arguer also states that there would be no loss of jobs as the employees could be reassigned. The last assumption is that the proposed merger would attract business investments as was the case when the townships of Hamden and North Hamden were merged ten years ago. The argument fails to sound persuasive enough due to various loopholes in the assumptions provided by the arguer.

Firstly, the assumption that the confusion regarding which authority to contact will be eliminated after the proposed merger seems far-fetched. The arguer does not address other options like educating the residents of both the townships about the contact details of the relevant services. This awareness drive would be a far better method for the elimination of this confusion rather than merging the two townships. If the residents are not clear about the related information, this confusion will carry on after the merger as well.

Secondly, the arguer fails to convince the reader that there will be savings in administrative costs after the merger. There is an ambiguity in the statements that the duplication of jobs will be done away with by having only one mayor, one tax department etc. and the statement that there will be no loss of jobs. What will happen to the employees of the tax department of one of the townships after the merger when there will be only one functional tax department? The arguer fails to address the issue that the employees who have lost their jobs will have to be given subsequent employment by creating new jobs. If the total number of employed people and jobs remain the same, then how are the savings in administrative costs justified?

Lastly, the assumption that there will be an increase in business investments as was in the case of the merger of Hamden and North Hamden is totally baseless. A major flaw in this assumption is that the merger of Hamden was carried out 10 years ago. The financial scenario that existed 10 years ago cannot be compared to that which exists in the present. Moreover, Hamden may have had certain resources that attracted business investments. It is likely that Hamden was an upcoming industrial area or it was experiencing a boom in real-estate prices. Therefore, the merger of Hamden saw an increase in business investments. It is not necessary that the merger of Roseville and West Roseville will experience a similar rise in business investments as the arguer has not drawn any similarities between the townships of Roseville and Hamden from a business investor’s perspective.

In view of the above, it can be concluded that the given argument fails to sound convincing due to the presence of evidence that is not logically sound. The argument could have been substantiated by providing additional evidence that could have further strengthened all the three given assumptions in support of the recommendation.