GRE Argument Essay 58
The following appeared in a memorandum from a vice president of the Megamart department store chain.
“For the third year in a row, the average household income in our country has risen significantly. That prosperity means that families are likely to be spending more time and money on leisure activities. Megamart stores should therefore concentrate on enlarging and promoting its line of products typically used in leisure activities: athletic and outdoor equipment, televisions, gourmet cooking equipment, and luggage and travel accessories.”
The vice president of the Megamart department store chain refers to the increase in the average household income and says that people are likely to spend more on leisure activities. Therefore, they should concentrate on enlarging the products used in leisure activities in their Megamart stores. This argument however does not support the decision well. The reasons given in the argument show only one of the possibilities out of many possible outcomes, which might prove this decision to be a disaster.
There are other possibilities, which the president ignores in his argument. Firstly, if the average income of households has increased for the third year in a row, it does not directly indicate that people will spend more money on leisure. How a person chooses to spend his income is a highly personal matter. We cannot generalize the way people spend their income. While some people might want to spend their increased income on leisure activities, some would prefer to spend it on luxuries. It is likely that they want to live a more comfortable life than before and they choose to buy the products that make their lives easier. Similarly, some people would like to spend the money on educating their children and some might want to save the money for future use. Therefore, one cannot say for certain that people will like to spend their income on leisure activities.
The argument given by the president also ignores the possibility of rise in prices with a rise in the average income. If there has been a constant rise in the incomes of households in the past three years, it is bound to increase the prices of commodities as well. This could take the shape of inflation and people would have to spend more on the goods and products that they have been buying at a cheaper rate earlier. As a result, there would not be much difference created with the rise in income. People would not be left with any extra amount in their hands to spend on leisure activities. Therefore, if the Megamart stores introduce more products for leisure activities, they might be disappointed to find only few customers.
It can further be argued that leisure activities require a lot of leisure time for people to indulge in them. Taking a trip, cultivating hobbies like outdoor activities or even watching television needs free time from work. However, increased income indicates that people are working more than before. If they are engaged in more work, they have considerably lesser time for leisure activities. If people have lesser time to spare for such activities, it is obvious that they will not spend their increased income on the products used in leisure activities. Once again, the argument given by the president is proven wrong and insufficient to support its decision.
The sale of leisure activities depends upon a number of factors. Not only does it require the time and money of people, there should also be opportunities of engaging in leisure activities. Taking a trip is useful only if there are holiday spots nearby. Similarly, gourmet-cooking equipment will sell only if there are cookery classes in the town. Moreover, these products will sell only if people have an interest in these leisure activities. These products have no meaning for people who prefer to stay at home and spend their spare time with their family members. All these points indicate towards only one thing, that the reasoning given by the president is not enough to support his stand. The discussion presented above proves that the increase in income may or may not help in the sale of more leisure products.