Hello,

this is my first post here, I think I will learn a lot with the community. I'm preparing for the GRE exam, and I would appreciate if some of you could you analyze my essay, and give me tips on how to improve it. Thanks in advance.

The desire of corporations to maximize profits creates conflict with the general welfare of the nation at large
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations or reading.

It's a rule from capitalism that when a certain amount is invested, it corresponds to an abstention from current spending in order to receive a greater value in the future. So, a lot of pressure is put in all levels of management to maximize profits, in response to the eagerness of those who directly benefit from good financial performance of the company - its investors. This attitude leads to significant contradictions to the general welfare of the nation, mainly because of two reasons: first, it's a vicious cycle, which allows little space for redistribution; and second, resources are limited, meaning that it is impossible to provide the same life standard of the richest people to every citizen in a country.

Provided that a few portion of the nation has the required capital in excess to start up a business, these profits will benefit only a small fraction of a given population. In the long term, it will be easier for groups of people with previous experience in successful enterprises to enroll in new ventures. This way, the economic benefits will be even more concentrated. So, it is a vicious cycle that leads to increasing social inequities.

Another consequence of trying to achieve the highest profit is that a company will never contribute to the general welfare of the nation, because resources are essentially limited. The richest have access to better hospitals, their children receive the best education, and they also have better leisure opportunities. The money spent to satisfy the needs of elite can be used to benefit a greater amount of people. In addition, if companies have a reasonably and fair profit sharing policy, that takes all employees into account, there would be a more general contribution to the nation welfare.

Given the aforementioned reasons, it is clear that the continuously desire of executives to maximize profits is not sustainable and is incoherent with a general welfare policy. I think that the society must discuss and devise limits to corporations, in order to guarantee a fair country.
Hi Color;
I only have a starting comment on your second sentence, but it provides some food for thought on the rest of your essay. Best wishes for a happy new year!
color850It's a rule from capitalism that when a certain amount is invested, it corresponds to an abstention from current spending in order to receive a greater value in the future. So, a lot of pressure is put in all levels of management to maximize profits, in response to the eagerness of those who directly benefit from good financial performance of the company - its investors.
The second sentence does not directly follow from the first. It would be true with an additional observation that the investors do not buy stock for the long-term and patiently wait for the investments to pay out over years; they are increasingly focused on short term returns. So the pressure for short-term profits sacrifices the long term viability - just look at the American car company's recent experience of building gas-guzzling SUVs. This strategy paid off in the short term, but, when the market changed, the companies were in a real bind because they could not sell their profit-making products. The investors sold their shares, the price went down, and the companies could not raise the minimum capital for keeping their factories running.
Now whose attitude is this "desire for profits" - the investors', or the corporations'? And if they are the investors, then who are they? Are they only the richest people, or the middle class with their 401Ks and IRAs?
Your other points should be backed up better with observations, facts, and citations.
Thanks for your comments Alphecca,

First of all, thanks for your feedback, it was quite useful. I just like to comment on the terms IRA and 401Ks, because although there are equivalents in other countries and languages, the precise terms seems very particular to the USA, I think. I am not criticizing it; in fact, I enjoy when somebody gives me a meaningful message, and in the same time forces me to do some research - it's a more significant contribution than telling the entire story.
I'd like to share two references, that despite inaccuracies may give a deeper understanding to international members such as me (Brazilian).

IRA
Individual Retirement Account. A tax-deferred or tax-free retirement account established by an individual that permits the individual to set aside up to a certain amount per year, with earnings tax-deferred until withdrawals begin at age 59 1/2 or later (or earlier, with a 10% IRS penalty) or, in the case of a Roth IRA, are tax-free on withdrawal.
http://www.path2college529.com/faq/glossary_f_r.html

401k
In the United States of America, a 401(k) plan allows a worker to save for retirement and have the savings invested while deferring income taxes on the saved money and earnings until withdrawal. The employee elects to have a portion of his or her wage paid directly, or "deferred," into his or her 401(k) account. In participant-directed plans (the most common option), the employee can select from a number of investment options, usually an assortment of mutual funds that emphasize stocks , bonds , money market investments, or some mix of the above. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/401K

I will work a bit more on my essay, and I will post it as soon as I finish. Best wishes!
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Hi Color:
Indeed, my perspective on "the nation at large" is my own nation! Certainly the government's policy on investing would be different and specific to one's own country.
The lesson is that the "corporate desire for profits" is significantly influenced by government laws and regulations. In the US, working class families are investors because of the laws that allow a portion of earnings to be put away tax-free (or tax-deferred) for future use. The money can be used (tax-free) for educational expenses or (tax-deferred) retirement expenses. The government also taxes the employer and employee's wages for Social Security which is used to pay living expenses for orphans, disabled people and the elderly. So some of the profits of corporations are redistributed to non-workers by these taxes and laws. Also, the US government has a "Small Business Administration" to loan money and give training and advice to people who want to start their own business. Lack of capital, not lack of energy and motivation, is the impediment to starting a small business.
The laws in Brazil may not encourage investment and redistribution as much. It would be interesting research for you to compare Brazil and the US to show evidence of the actual effect of government policies on the "profits of corporations" and the "general welfare" of the nation. If there are no such laws in place, then there would likely be a large and growing class division and wealth inequity between the workers and capitalists.
Hi Alphecca,

thanks for your comments. I hope that someday I am as fluent as you when writing. =)
I'd like to share a paid review of my essay, so you have a comparative view. Note that this review supposedly considers GRE criteria.

> Group #1: Analysis of Issue
> The desire of corporations to maximize profits creates
> conflict with the general welfare of the nation at large
>
> Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the
> opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and/or
> examples from your own experience, observations or reading.
>
> It's a rule from capitalism that when a certain amount
> is invested, it corresponds to an abstention from current
> spending in order to receive a greater value in the future.
> So, a lot of pressure is put in all levels of management to
> maximize profits, in response to the eargeness of those who
> directly benefit from good financial performance of the
> company - its investors. This attitude leads to significant
> contraditions to the general welfare of the nation, mainly
> because of two reason: first, it's a vicious cycle,
> which allows little space for redistribution; and second,
> resources are limited, meaning that it is impossible to
> provide the same life standard of the richest people to
> every citizen in a country.

This is not an introduction. Your fist para should introduce the issue, and summarize the key points you make in your essay. Also consider that the issue is never 100% right or wrong and should be evaluated thoroughly, as certain factors affect the issue and your argument for or against.

> Provided that a few portion of the nation has the required
> capital in excess to start up a business, these profits will
> benefit only a small fraction of a given population. In the
> long term, it will be easier for groups of people with
> previous experience in successful enterprises to enroll in
> new ventures. This way, the economic benefits will be even

> more concentratated<SP>. So, it is a vicious cycle, that leads
> to increasing social inequities.

An example would be more useful. If the profits mentioned here are put to good use, such as charitable activities for example, wouldn't that benefit society?

> Another consequence of trying to achieve the highest profit
> is that a company will never contribute to the general
> welfare of the nation, because resources are essentially
> limited. The richest have access to better hospitals, their
> children receive the best education, and they also have
> better leisure opportunities. The money spend to satisfy the
> needs of an elite can be used to benefit a greater amount of
> people. In addition, if companies have a reasonably and fair
> profit sharing policy, that takes all employees into
> account, there would be a more general contribution to the
> nation welfare.

Consider activities of companies, such as providing jobs, providing training and education, investment in infrastructure, all of this helps those in the non-richest class.

> Given the aforementioned reasons, it is clear that the

> continously<SP> desire of executives to maximize profits is not

> sustainable and is incoherent with a general welfare policy.
> I think that the society must discuss and devise limits to
> corporations, in order to guarantee a fair country.

You make good points in your essay, but it is one-sided and fails to evaluate both sides of the issue. Consider redoing the essay, taking a stand on the issue, but also making sure you provide a balanced analysis.

>
> *********************** Summary ***********************
>
> Structure:3
> Content:1
> Style:3
> Total Score:2.3
Hi Color:
I agree with the points, but the reviewer could have steered you better into discrete next steps.
The structure of an essay is prescriptive:
The first paragraph states the issue and introduces your thesis (what you will substantiate). The next paragraphs each take one point in some detail, showing the pros and cons and substantiating evidence. The last paragraph summarizes your conclusion.
So take what you have written and ask yourself - what am I trying to convince the reader? What are the main points that I want to make? What is the evidence for each of these points? Can I directly quote the evidence from reliable or authoritative sources? Who are the main actors? How do they interact?
Some people make a mind map - a brainstorming exercise - when starting an essay. Others just start writing, and then revise and restructure the paragraphs many times. The successful approach is what works best for you. Writing a good essay is hard work.
Good luck!
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