[b]In surveys Mason City residents rank water sports (swimming, boating, and fishing) among their favorite recreational activities. The Mason River flowing through the city is rarely used for these pursuits, however, and the city park department devotes little of its budget to maintaining riverside recreational facilities. For years there have been complaints from residents 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 and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.[/b]
Although it may be a right decision for the Mason city government to increase budget on riverside recreational facilities, the author’s argument is plagued with assumptions and omissions, and thus can not support his conclusion.
The survey, to begin with, may lack credibility. It is known that there are considerable discrepancies between the surveys done by sophisticated investigators and those of the amateurs. For example, the survey might provide only limited options such as water sports, mountain hiking, outdoor picnic as recreational activities for the surveyees, which might have omitted other interests of the Mason citizens. Also, the surveyors might not have asked in detail the residents, whether they only favored watching riverside sports from distance rather than participating , or they took interest in experiencing themselves. Therefore, such possible omissions and mistakes might contribute to the invalidity of that survey, and thus vitiate the author’s argument.
The assumption that the clean-up will increase the river’s usage is also questionable. The state announced that the river would be cleaned up though, it did not state how. If the clean up is long-term and beneficial to the nearby environment, the argument may be true. For example, the state could extract the polluted river and fill it with clean water, this will definitely better the river quality for long term. However, if the state is too penurious to extract water, and tries cleaning up the river by applying chemical agent, this may even decrease the river usage. Because the chemicals may destroy nearby environment and only improve the water quality for short- term. Consequently, this assumption may prove unwarranted and the author fails to link the clean-up with increased usage.
Furthermore, the author assumes that the quality of the river and smell results in rare usage of the river and suggests that if such problems are solved, the usage will increase. But what if there are other reasons omitted? The complaints may only come from a handful of residents who are allergic to odor, and the quality may not seem so severe. It could be the noise from a nearby mechanical factory that discouraged residents who wanted to do recreational activities on river. To strengthen this argument, the author requires to preclude other possibilities that affect usage of river and corroborate that the inferior quality and smell of Mason river is the sole culprit resulting in rare usage by the residents.
Spending money on riverside recreational facilities might seem a beneficial option for Mason City, but the author’s argument is not cogent enough to lead to that conclusion.