Rhetorical Analysis

1423 words - 6 pages

Rhetorical Analysis on ‘Inequality and the American Dream’
“A Fair Analysis Based on Inequality and the American Dream”

The United States economy took a turn for the worst in the year 2006. Consumption declined the most it had in three years[1]. Job opportunities also declined 15% from 2004 to 20061. Because many could not afford to buy new homes, the prices of houses declined by a staggering 6.6% rate just from 20051. In addition, wages and salaries compiled only 51.4% of the national income1. This is the lowest percentage ever recorded. Though the financial circumstances of many Americans weakened, circumstances of those wealthier did not change as drastically. In the essay ...view middle of the document...

These criterions generally provide an individual with equal economic opportunities regardless of “class, race, creed, or sex” (Page 258) and a “safety net” in any case where these opportunities are not made available. Leading to the conclusion of the article, the author mentions sectors of the economy, such as welfare and healthcare that also need adjustments. The author concludes the article by mentioning how the influence of the United States on the rest of the world endows America with a sense of responsibility to set a good example. In order to fulfill this responsibility, America must instill financial equality to all of its economic classes rather than promoting self-interest driven by selfishness.
The intended audience clearly seems to be United States government officials who have the authority to make changes. This essay is a political newspaper article and therefore, can also target white-collared and blue-collared Americans who feel just as strongly about the nation’s stressed economic situation. This essay falls under the political viewpoint newspaper article genre. The anonymous-publishing of this essay is not because it revolves around controversial opinions but because the ‘Economist’ newspaper publishes all of its opinions essays anonymously.
Although this article is based on political and economic topics, which normally utilize citations and statistics, this essay does not use logos effectively despite its genre and publisher. The author mentions the low rates of employment and yet how profits remain high but simply mentioned it without elaborating or giving any statistical information. No actual rates of employment or numbers indicating any sort of profit are stated. Another example of misusage of logos is near the end of the essay where the author states, “Inequality is not inherently wrong- as long as three conditions are met” (Page 258). This single statement sets the author’s intended argument many steps back. Despite what the three “conditions” he/she mentions are, the argument of the entire essay is that American individuals must be equally distributed with benefits (healthcare, welfare…etc.), opportunities for fiscal improvement, and monetary means. This statement may be interpreted as contradicting. Logically, it does not make sense with the rest of the essay. A third example of improper usage of logos is towards the conclusion of the essay where the author brings up hot topics such as immigration, welfare, and healthcare. The author practically lists them and states that these systems must be adjusted (“Health care, for instance, needs reform” [Page 259]). However, without any guidance or logical explanation as to how to properly adjust these systems, the author leaves the reader wondering exactly what would make him/her satisfied.
The usage of ethos is least included in this essay. In the introduction, where an author should mostly establish credibility, the author states, “Only one in four Americans...

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