Essay topics: 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.
The passage states that it is critical for the government to instill additional funds from the current budget to riverside recreational facilities. This assertion is based on the assumption that cleaning up the Mason River would undoubtedly engender an increase in the usage of the river for water sports. However, the allegation of such requires much examination and could likely be unwarranted. I would like to use the following paragraphs to disprove the certainty of the assumption, as well as provide alternative explanations that could challenge the contention in the passage given.
First and foremost, the usage if the Mason River for water sports is likely to be affected by a multitude of variables. While there is no doubt that eliminating the water quality and odorous smells would certainly make visiting the river more attractive, it is spurious to say it would alone bring an increase notable enough to warrant more provisions of the budget to riverside recreational facilities. Some other factors that could certainly be in consideration for the water sports loving residents of Mason City could include the following. The landscape surrounding Mason River could be unattractive that recreation seekers would venture elsewhere for a better scenery. The geography of the river, and how precarious the environment is, could also dissuade the residents from visiting. In short, ridding the river of its unpleasant scents does not guarantee that other existing deterrence would be eradicated.
Equally noteworthy is how the relationship between cleaning up the river and putting in additional funds is likely reversed. It is highly possible that truly maintaining the the river could lead to the decrease in odor instead of the other way around. This could be inferred from the fact that the city park department used to devote little budget to maintaining the facilities. That could very well be the reason why the river quality deteriorated and started to expel nasty smells. We can see from the relationship that putting in more funds to the maintenance could eradicate the bad scents altogether. However, it should also be taken into consideration why the city park department cut down funds for the facilities in the first place. It was because the residents have never used the river for water sports to a noticeable extend to begin with. Therefore, we can safely assume the causal relationship for these facts is actually that due to the lack of visitors to the river, the department decided against putting an abundance of funds into it, which in turn gave rise to the odorous smells from the river. Solving the problems of the "effect" would not inherently imply that the issues upstream from the "cause" could be eliminated.
By way of conclusion, I would like to restate my belief that adding more funds to the facilities could be an erroneous decision. There is no evidence to suggest that getting rid of the smells would bring in more visitors, but it was likely that the lack of visitors indirectly caused the odors in the first place. Allocating a bigger proportion of the budget to the facilities could very well be met with a visitor count that is refusing to increase. This could lead to an expenditure that cannot be reimbursed with revenue from non-existing recreation seekers. In a nutshell, the allegation that use of the river for water sports would rise is likely to be spurious, and the assertion to increase funds on the riverside recreational facilities could be unfounded.
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