AWA 2: Argument analysis

AWA ESSAYS: Analyze Argument
The following appeared in the editorial section of a local newspaper:“The inflow of immigrant workers into our community has put a downward pressure on wages. In fact, the average compensation of unskilled labor in our city has declined by nearly 10% over the past 5 years. Therefore, to protect our local economy, it is essential to impose a moratorium on further immigration.”

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Point out flaws in the argument’s logic and analyze the argument’s underlying assumptions. In addition, evaluate how supporting evidence is used and what evidence might counter the argument’s conclusion. You may also discuss what additional evidence could be used to strengthen the argument or what changes would make the argument more logically sound.

The author argues that the economy of the city is getting weakened by the decrease in the average compensation for unskilled labor. This is questionable. Lower wages for unskilled labor reduce the cost of production in areas such as infrastructure. This may lead to an increase in external investments in the city’s economy. Hence it’s not correct to say that the lower wages are making the economy weak.There is no mention of the main sources of income of city’s economy. For example, for an economy based on industries, having cheaper labor is better. This may cause the natives of the city to lose their jobs but this has not been discussed in the argument. Furthermore, it’s rather unlikely, that the sole source of economic growth is the income from unskilled labor employed in the city itself. Cheaper labor puts the city’s economy at advantage as compared to the economies of the neighboring cities. Hence the conclusion, that lowering of wages is not good for the economy, is not correct.

There is no information about the other impacts that the immigrants might be having on the economy. For instance, an increase in population brought about by the immigrants might be putting a strain on the infrastructure resources of the city. Holding the lowering wages as the only factor that might weaken the economy is not correct.

The author has assumed that a moratorium on further immigration will stop it all together. If illegal immigration ensues as a result of the moratorium, it may lead to even lower wages for unskilled labors. This may also create a law and order problem for the city.

The argument would have been more convincing had the author provided information about the nature of the economy of the city and other impacts of the increase in the immigrant population.


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