GRE Argument Essay 53
In each city in the region of Treehaven, the majority of the money spent on government-run public school education comes from taxes that each city government collects. The region’s cities differ, however, in the value they place on public education. For example, Parson City typically budgets twice as much money per year as Blue City does for its public schools – even though both cities have about the same number of residents. It seems clear, therefore, that Parson City residents care more about public school education than do Blue City residents.
The author of the above given argument holds the view that various cities of the region of Treehaven differ in the value they place on public education. The author supports his stand by saying that the amount of money spent by Parson City on its schools is two times that spent by Blue City despite having about the same population that pays taxes. Therefore, according to the author, Parson City residents value public education more than Blue City residents. However, the author seems to be looking at the issue within a narrow scope. Instead of making conclusions with the little data that he has, the author should try to find out more facts to support his argument.
As mentioned, the facts that the author presents to support his argument are not sufficient to form conclusions and decide about the importance a region places on education. First of all, what can be said for one city may not be true for other cities. Each city spends its share of taxes on different services. This cannot be compared because the needs of each city differ from another. While one of the cities can spend more on public education, another city might have another major issue that needs to be attended. For example, if a city is fighting with a problem of a high death rate or infant mortality rate due to lack of health care services, it is more important to spend the government money on building hospitals and dispensaries. This city will have to spend on creating awareness about health care and bringing up the survival rate amongst its residents. For such a city, it becomes necessary to spend on another issue that demands more attention. This does not mean that it attaches less importance to public education. The residents may place the same importance to education as other cities, but the city is not able to spend on its schools due to another issue of greater concern.
Further, it can be said that such a comparison is a baseless comparison due to the fact that the total amount of taxes collected not only depend upon the number of residents but also on the composition of residents. If Parson City can budget more funds for public education it is likely that the residents are shelling out more taxes despite the same number of residents as Blue City. The amount of tax a person pays depends upon his income. The higher the income, the more will be the tax. Therefore, it is likely that Parson City residents are richer and the average income is more than that of Blue City. This could be the reason that it can shell out more taxes, which eventually means that more amounts can be spent on public schools.
The decision about spending the taxes collected on public services is that of the administration. Therefore, it has to look into all the places that need funds. It is possible that the condition of schools differ in different places due to which public schools in one city need more attention than those in other cities. If Blue City is spending lesser as compared to Parson City on education, it is possible that the public schools in Blue City are already of a higher level than those of Parson City. On the other hand, if Parson City is spending more on its public schools, it is possible that this is done because these schools are backward and need funds for basic things to bring them up.
The discussion given above weakens the argument presented by the author. It only proves that the author forms his opinion in a hurry by just looking at the few facts that he has. He should rather have a broader outlook and not jump to such conclusions that can be contradicted.