In surveys Mason city residents rank water sports (swimming, boating, fising) among their favorite recreational activities. The mason river flowing through this city is rarely used for these pursuits, however and the city devotes less of its budget to maintaining the recreational facilities
For years there have been complaints from residence about the quality of the river’s water and the river’s smell. In response, the state has recently announced plans to clean up Mason river. Use of the river for water sports is therefore sure to increase. The city government should for that reason devote more money in this year’s budget to riverside recreational facilities.
Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions. What implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.
Model answer to GRE argument analysis question
Mason city residents are prone to take to water sports, however they also know that the Mason river smells bad and doesn’t have well maintained recreational facilities near the river. Therefore it would be necessary to clean up the water as well as the image of the river as a dirty river not clean enough to swim or fish. Perceptions can stay longer than changed reality. If the city administration cleans up the river and improves the riverside recreation, there may be some improvement in the use of the river for water sports.This assumption needs to be carefully evaluated, although it appears perfectly logical, there could be good reasons for not achieving the end result. Since the river is in a bad shape and the surveys state that city residents rank water sports as one of their favorite sports, it is necessary to check how the city dwellers indulge in their favorite waters sports. Do they use alternative facilities such as pools? Do they travel to other places? These questions are vital in understanding the behavior of the residents to determine if they’ll take to the Mason river for water sports.
Essentially, devoting more money without being reasonably sure of the outcome could result in wasteful public expenditure. Even if the answers to the above questions is an affirmative, what is the incentive for them to use the Mason river all of a sudden? That is the critical question that needs answering. A survey with relevant questions about the future usage of the Mason river recreational facilities must be done. The information from that survey should then be evaluated in lieu of the proposed plans to improve the waters sports facilities on the Mason river.
If the city government presumes that the usage of the riverside sports facilities would improve simply because the city residents in surveys said they rank water sports as one of the favorites, then it may not be really listening to its population carefully. If the surveys were right then there would have been some cleanup demands or some real indicators that show that. Surely, nobody would object to cleaning up the river but they may view expenditure on riverside recreational facilities as unnecessary. Particularly if there were other pressing needs in the city that could use some funding.