GMAT Essay Topic 421 - The following appeared in the editorial section of a local newspaper. "In the first four years that Montoya has served as mayor of the city of San Perdito, the population has decreased and the unemployment rate has increased. Two businesses have closed for each new business that has opened. Under Varro, who served as mayor for four years before Montoya, the unemployment rate decreased and the population increased. Clearly, the residents of San Perdito would be best served if they voted Montoya out of office and reelected Varro." Discuss how well reasoned . . . Etc.
In this argument, the arguer claims that Varro would serve the residents of San Perdito better than Montoya. To substantiate the conclusion, the arguer provides the evidence that the economic situation has become worse and worse in the first four years that Montoya has served as the mayor, while ...
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In the given editorial, the author concludes that residents of San Perdito would be best served if they voted Montoya out of the office and reelceted Varro. The evidence of the conclusion is that the population has decreased and the unemployment rate has increased during the first four years of Montoya, while it was the opposite outcome four years before Montoya when Varro served as mayor of San Perdito. After closely scrutinizing the argument, i find that it is unconvincing, for it omits some important concerns that must be addressed to substantiate the argument.
Most conspicuously, the author assumes that the decrease in the population and the increase in the unemployment are the fault of Montoya because they happended during the time when Montoya was the mayor. There is, however, no causal relationship between bad situation and Montoya. Similarly, the success achieved four years earlier was not only caused by Varro. In fact, the author overlooks other crucial factors that might contribute to the result. For example, the economy was strong and political environment was stable when Varro served as a mayor. However, the worldwide economic crisis break out during Montoya's time, leading to the decrease in the population, the increase in the unemployment and the bankrupt of bussiness company. Therefore, unless more detailed information is given, it is unwarrant to draw the conclusion at all.
In addition, the conclusion rests on gratuitous assumption that the condition of population, unemployment and bussiness is the only factor the judge the work of a mayor. There is, however, no guarantee that this is the case.Nor does the author cite any evidence to support the assumption. A variety of factors should be taken into consideration,such as the popularity over the country, the relationship with other foreign nations,ect. Without this consideration, the claim is groundless.
In conclusion, the argument is undermined by the flaws discussed above. If the author could take the key issues into consideration, eliminate all the fallcies and provide enough detailed information, the argument could have been thorough and convincing.