Chapter 6 Section 2 Analysis of Issue
These essays are not "perfect" answers, but represent what could be done in a 30 minute time period to get a score of 5 or 6.
The censorship and regulation of broadcast media for offensive material involves a conflict between the freedom of expression and the duty of government to protect its citizenry from potential harm. I believe that our societal interest in preventing the harm that exposure to obscenity produces takes precedence over the freedoms of individual broadcasters.
Firstly, I believe exposure to obscene and offensive language and behavior causes people to mimic such behavior. There is anecdotal and scientific evidence to support this contention.
Secondly, I believe that obscene and offensive behavior is damaging to a society. It weakens moral character and weakens human relationships and it promotes a tendency toward immoral and antisocial behavior. These effects weaken the civil cords that hold a democratic society together.
Some argue that free speech is the basis of a democratic society. However, the founding fathers never intended the constitution to mean an unrestricted license to wanton profanity. Advocates of free expression might also point out difficulties in defining "obscene" or "offensive" language or behavior. But, however difficult it may be to agree on standards, the effort is beneficial insofar as it helps to maintain the civil cords of a democratic society.
In conclusion, government should
take a role in regulating speech, but only speech that is patently
offensive. Regulation of media may infringe on freedom of speech,
but it is worthwhile if it can restrict the exposure of damaging
The statement argues that international
leadership is necessary to conserve energy for the future. The
passage makes the reasonable assumption that individual nations
will not unilaterally cut their energy usage, and that international
cooperation is necessary to conserve resources. However, the
sub text of the argument, that resources are diminishing and
that international regulation is the only way to protect resource
availability may not be valid. This calls into question the legitimacy
of the statement.
However, the argument is too vague and fails to define (1) what resources are approaching depletion and (2) if regulation restricting usage is the most effective means of conservation. Oil reserves, for example, have been increasing, not decreasing, over time because of improved technology used in drilling has allowed greater access. In addition, if technology can improve access to resources, provide access to renewable resources (such as solar power), and improve conservation (energy efficiency), then regulations that could impede technological advancement could exacerbate the situation. Thus, an international regulatory regime may not be effective at maintaining adequate resource supplies.
In sum, it is likely true that
an international regulatory regime would be required to regulate
global resource consumption. However, it is unclear that such
a regime would be necessary or effective to maintain adequate
resource supplies globally.
The author tries to argue that corporations should use a "flat" structure and eliminate salary grades. This, according to the author, would benefit worker morale and encourage camaraderie. I disagree with the author because it is likely that such a corporate structure would diminish corporate profits and potentially decrease worker morale.
The principal flaw with such a structure is that it fails to incentivize workers and reward them for their own performance. Without individual merit, workers have no self-interest in their own performance and results. In a dynamic business environment, workers must be able to take initiative and effect change. In a flat organizational structure, such behavior would be indirectly discouraged because the risk-taking necessary to catalyze change would not be rewarded. Thus, companies with such a structure would likely have less motivated and entrepreneurial employees.
The speaker also assumes that such a flat structure would increase camaraderie. While it is true that such a structure may reduce envy among employees by reducing inequality, it is not clear that such a structure is conducive to decisive leadership. In a organization where all are equals, there are no leaders. Without leaders, there are no arbiters in times of disagreement or leaders in times of change. Thus, the flat organizational structure may devolve into an anarchistic one.
In sum, the opinion that a "flat"
organizational structure conducive to collegiality and cooperation
is likely inaccurate. Such a structure would probably reduce
profitability and create a chaotic work environment that lacked
a decisive decision-making capability.
However, another great man, Winston
Churchill, lost political power for his restraint. In 1946, Winston
Churchill, the brilliant war leader during World War II, lost
an election for Prime Minister to his socialist opponents who
argued for the nationalization of industries. Churchill could
have certainly used his prestige to nationalize industries or
offer a host of entitlements to Britain's citizens, but instead
he refused to exercise power in such a way and ended up losing
an election to a candidate who argued for much greater use of
governmental intervention in the economy.
This author argues that responsibilities
should be collective and that individuals are not effective at
getting things done. I agree that in certain circumstances a
team approach is more effective, but in other instances the flexibility,
creativity and accountability of individuals is more effective.
Both approaches have strengths and weaknesses.
The author of this statement defines success by the ability to "spend life in your own way." It is freedom to act and the ability to choose your own destiny free from direct accountability. This is highly attractive lifestyle to many people and makes a reasonable definition of success. However, it seems that freedom alone is not an indicator of success.
When we think of individuals
who spend life in their own way we think of great people who
have earned independence and freedom through their successes.
A good example is Jim Clark, who founded Silicon Graphics, Netscape
and Healtheon. He is arguably the most successful entrepreneur
in history and is in complete control of his life and destiny.
He has the ability to create new ventures from nothing and create
companies with billion-dollar capitalizations. His life, by this
definition, has been a remarkable success.
Perhaps the author's original statement could be qualified. Being able to "spend life in your own way" is not necessarily a definition of success, but a benefit that success often entails.
Is the best way to advise people to simply find out what it is they want and help them attain it? This is a sound policy to helping people and should always be the concern when offering assistance. Make sure that you are indeed helping the person rather than your misconception of what that person wants. This approach is usually valid unless the person does not know what is best for him or herself.
The main problem with giving advise to other people is that you may confuse what is good for yourself and apply it to that individual. The person you are trying to help, however, may be in a situation you do not understand. The best way to help that person is to first find out what that person wants.
However, the author's suggestion will often not apply to circumstances where the person being given advice is in no position to judge what he or she wants. For example, an adult should not always advise a child about how to get what he or she wants. In these situation, the best advise is obviously not to find out what a child wants and help him or her attain it, but to instead advise the child on what is best for him or her.
In conclusion, giving advice to people should depend on the person you are trying to help. If the person is capable of determining what is in his or her best interests, then advise should be given to help this person. Otherwise, you should be careful advising someone about what he or she want.
This is an interesting concept for changing the world's monetary system of metal coins and printed paper into a computerized system of credits and debits. However, this system is already largely implemented. The final step would be to create digital cash cards.
Much of the world's wealth is
already tracked digitally. Every day trillions of dollars are
shifted digitally around the world. This argument is somewhat
confused insofar as it poses its argument as if wealth and monetary
transactions have not already been digitized.
Should employees leave their personal lives entirely behind them when they enter the workplace, as the author suggests here? While it is true that employees should not allow their personal lives to interfere with their jobs, the author fails to consider that personal issues can help to foster a workplace atmosphere that helps everyone do a better job.
Bringing in personal interests and activities can help build collegiality among workers. Discussing personal activities helps to establish a rapport with co-workers. Company-sponsored social activities help to produce greater cohesiveness in an organization, by allowing relationships to develop among workers.
However, employees should be aware that personal lives could intrude on job performance. At worst, personal lives could become a distraction to work performance. Romantic relationships between coworkers could create sexual harassment liability and also need to be kept confidential. Another problem with interjecting personal lives into work is that employees who do not share their personal lives could be viewed as aloof and may be resented by coworkers who perceive them as arrogant, unfriendly or uncooperative. Thus, interjecting personal lives into work presents risks.
In the final analysis, employees should strike a careful balance when they mix their personal lives with their jobs. Although there are some circumstances in which bringing one's personal life to the job may be counterproductive, for many reasons it is a good idea to inject small doses of personal life into the workplace.
The passage states that "in an enterprise the process of doing something is more important than the final product itself." I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, the process of doing something, if handled properly will insure the final product, in this way, the process is what makes the final product.
The quality of the process will insure the quality of the results. For example, if a company is processing its tax returns, then it must assure the legitimacy of the processes of calculating those results. Were qualified accountants used? Were they given the proper accounting process? What is important is not the final return but the process that leads to the final tax calculation.
In addition, in research the process is often more valuable than the final results. For example, at Bell Labs in the 1940s several scientists were trying to develop transistor technology that could be demonstrable. Instead, while developing the transistor the scientists stumbled upon a design that laid the groundwork for the microchip. The process of research led to a radical new design that was highly cost effective.
Finally, there is an ennobling element to the process associated with any great accomplishment, whether it be winning World War II, building the Hoover Dam, or the Wright brothers development of motorized flight, in each case the value of an accomplishment becomes especially sweet in light of the sacrifices required to make it. When we collectively reflect on these accomplishments, we cannot help dwell on the courage required in the processes to make the final accomplishment.
In conclusion, the process of
doing something often is more critical and important than the
final product. It is the effort and brilliance in the process
that itself produces the result.
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