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Trad. Logic 2 Weekly Analysis Paper

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Assignment - to take a newspaper article ( http://www.blufftontoday.com/bluffton-opinion/2012-10-24/other-view-myth-job-creation#.UIrEXcXA-So ) and analyse it's logical form. The paper should have a presentation of the argument as originally written, a summary of the argument, an analysis of the logical form and an evaluation of the argument's soundness.


This is what ds15 wrote (my comments in red):


"The government does not create jobs? It most certainly does. And at this


time of state budgetary hardship, a dose of federal aid to states and localities


could create more jobs, in both the public and private sectors." - New York


Times (This is his attempt to present the argument as


originally written. All he did was to quote the article verbatim. I think he


needs to set up the quote somehow. Also - I think he needs to attribute the


quote better. I guess I'd better research how to do that. (I'm rusty on


those things since grad. school.)




On October 22nd, 2012, the New York Times ran an article named The


Myth of Job Creation in their opinion pages (specifically, page A22). The


unnamed author argued that, contrary to statements by President Barak


Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, the U.S. Government creates jobs. The


author argued that government jobs employ 7% of all people in the U.S.,


down from 7.3% in the 1980's. He also argued that government spending


trickles down and effects the entire economy.




In syllogistic form, the argument appears as "All governments can create


jobs. All jobs improve the economy. Therefore, the Government must make


more jobs, to improve the economy." This is true, both logically and


economically. The transferral of money creates wealth. Jobs help with this


process, government, in a cycle. The economy has problems when there is


an imbalance, where enough people do not have enough money to spend,


and/or people hold on to their money too much. This can be caused by the


government devaluing its currency by printing too much, and other things. I


disagree with the author on one point: The making of new jobs in the public


sector cannot fully fix the problem. When the government is in an


unsustainable financial position, it cannot make new jobs, and still be able to


operate. It will run out of money too quickly. So, what options remain?


I'm wondering if his syllogism is too simplistic. I think the


author discusses both public and private sector jobs and the role that public


sector jobs have on private sector. I think there is a problem with the


conclusion but I'm having a hard time pinpointing what it is.




The government can cut its most-draining and least necessary parts,


such as Medicare, and Social Security. While the concept behind these is


good, it has been calculated that it would require taxes to be raised to over


80%, a rate that would drive almost all businesses into bankruptcy, to say


nothing of private citizens, to fulfill the promises that were made. So, it


comes down to this dilemma: Break the promises and stay afloat, or pay up,


and go under. Either way, the government is in trouble. The former choice is


the best choice, however, as it is the only option that will keep the


government functioning in its true role: Making the country safe for people to


exercise their freedom fully. This includes maintaining a functional, efficient


military, police forces on the city level, sheriff's offices on a county level,


border guards, and industry regulators preventing companies and corporations


from oppressing their employees and/or putting out unsafe products. (I think


this paragraph gets away from the assignment but he is trying to find a



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Thanks, Lisa. We talked over the paper yesterday. I think I was able to give him some tips on improving things somewhat. He wants to send it in to the New York Times when he's done - since it is a commentary on one of their articles.


Other than talking over papers together, he's never taken a writing course, so I can't take credit for his improvement. It's all him!

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Boy, he sets his sights high, doesn't he? I think that trying to reason about the economy is particularly difficult, logically speaking. I'm curious if this particular argument to analyze was his choice or not? I agree with you that his last paragraph runs away from the prompt, it shouldn't matter what he thinks, just whether the argument is logically sound.


What makes analyzing this particular opinion piece tricky is that it is, itself trying to refute statements made by the presidential candidates. So, those original statements need to be part of your son's analysis. Note that, to my eye, the author (perhaps intentionally), himself mistakenly analyzed the positions the candidates claim to have, so that right there might be worthy of your son's time.


Now, I think there's an interesting conversation you can have with him about the limits of formal logic. Without getting into politics, I hope we can all agree that the national economy is a tremendously complicated subject, and that no one really can predict how it works, and it is subject to all kinds of unintended consequences. If the economy was amenable to logic, the stock market wouldn't jump around so much.

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