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Critical Thinking Exercise #3 Assignment




Question;Critical Thinking Exercise #3: InstructionsOn the next page, you will find an argument. Please both a) diagram the argument, and b) analyze each main premise and tell me whether it is reasonable or not. Both parts of the assignment are equally important.Diagramming the ArgumentThis is a relatively complex argument with a number of main premises, most of which are supported by one or more sub-premises. You should attempt to include all premises and sub-premises while omitting anything that isn?t a premise or subpremise (such as background information, statements in which the author merely restates the conclusion, empty rhetoric, etc.). In doing so, please heed the following:Your diagramming should be more in list format rather than essay formatYou should indicate the conclusion with a ?C?You should indicate premises and sub-premises with a ?P?Sub-premises should be listed immediately under the premise that they support, and they should be indented in order to indicate that they are sub-premisesIf you?re wondering how to distinguish between premises and their sub-premises, one general rule of thumb is that premises will almost always be more general than sub-premises, which tend to be more specificEXAMPLE:P: Managers want to increase productivity.P: Country-western music in the workplace helps increase productivity.P: Research on worker productivity supports this.C: Managers should play country-western music in the workplace.In this instance, ?research on worker productivity? is a sub-premise, and it?s indicated as a sub-premise by being indented and placed directly below the main premise that it supports.Critiquing the ArgumentIn this module, we are focusing on the concept of reasonableness ? whether or not we have good reasons to believe that a premise is true. Therefore, you should comment on each of your main premises and tell me whether you think they are reasonable and why. In other words, if you have 7 main premises, you should analyze each main premise separately and tell me whether each one is reasonable and why. You would have 7 ?mini-essays,? one essay for each main premise. You do not need to specifically comment on the reasonableness of each sub-premise, although your analysis will certainly include some discussion of them because any main premise that is supported by unreasonable sub-premises is itself unreasonable.Critical Thinking Exercise #3: The ArgumentThis is an excerpt from testimony given by an executive of Greyhound Bus Lines to the Senate?s Subcommittee on the Handicapped regarding the ?Americans with Disabilities Act.? The issue here is ?Should the Senate pass the Americans with Disabilities Act???The proposed Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA] has the potential to destroy the private sector intercity bus industry and to deprive millions of people with affordable intercity public transportation and thousands of rural communities of their only link to the outside world.The ADA [requires] full handicapped accessibility for all intercity busses purchased more than 30 days after its passage. This would include installation of wheelchair lifts, widening of the aisles, removal of seats, loss of baggage and package express space, and redesigning of bus restrooms to accommodate wheelchair users.At present, Greyhound has a nationwide fleet of approximately 4,000 busses. In order to provide a cost-effective and attractive bus fleet, it is desirable to replace 10% of the bus fleet ? or approximately 400 busses ? every year. Thus, the bus installation costs to Greyhound annually could be as high as $20 billion. Greyhound simply could not afford that additional cost.To accommodate wheelchair lifts, we would have to remove at least four seats. Assuming full accessibility to the restroom, as many as 12 additional seats would have to be removed. Thus the passenger carrying capacity of our busses would be diminished by between 10 and 35 percent. This is a critical factor since the bus business is very much of a peak period business, we must have the capacity to handle passengers at peak periods. Loss of even 10% of our capacity would deprive us of that ability. We would be required to run additional equipment to provide peak period service at an estimated additional cost of $20 million per year. An even more serious problem is the fact that wheelchair lifts presently being manufactured take up 32% of the capacity of the baggage and package express bins under the buses. Intercity bus service, particularly rural service, is viable only because we derive incremental revenue from carrying package express in our baggage bins. Loss of any significant portion of this revenue would jeopardize all of our service, but particularly our rural service.In addition, there is the added maintenance cost. It is difficult to estimate with precision, but based on transit bus experience as well as other information we have obtained, we conservatively estimate $2,000 per bus in additional annual maintenance costs. For us, this would be another $8 million.One might ask, ?Why not simply raise your prices to accommodate these added costs?? This is not possible for bus service. Our market niche is reliable, low-cost transportation. Our service is extremely price-sensitive in competition with the private automobile, the airlines and Amtrak. The former two modes (private autos and airlines) are specifically exempt from the ADA, and Amtrak is so highly subsidized that the effect would be largely absorbed through subsidies, rather than price increases.The people who would be hurt by the loss of bus service brought about by the ADA are those that truly need public transportation. A recent study found that among all modes of transportation, the bus industry serves the highest percentage of rural Americans, the elderly, the young, and those with lower incomes. It also found that over the last 30 years, intercity bus service has been the least subsidized mode of public transportation. Largely as a result of this subsidy imbalance, intercity bus service declined precipitously over this period, with more than 10,000 communities losing all bus service. The ADA would expedite this deterioriation.There are also serious questions about the available technology for wheelchair lifts on high-decked intercity buses. Although there are a small number of prototype intercity buses with wheelchair lifts, we question whether the technology has been developed in a safe and reliable intercity bus lift. This raises serious safety and insurance issues. One needs to bear in mind that, unlike transit buses, intercity buses are high-decked with the passengers sitting over the luggage compartments. This means that the lift must be raised several feet above the ground before entering the bus. A further safety concern is presented by the wheelchair user?s accessibility to the restroom on a bus moving either at 65 mph on a rural interstate or in stop-and-go city traffic. Flowing from the safety concerns would be escalating insurance costs that would further add to the fiscal impossibility of complying with the ADA and maintaining viable bus service.Greyound sincerely believes that we are meeting, to the maximum extent feasible, the traveling needs and desires of the handicapped. If there is a sense in Congress that there is a public demand for intercity bus transportation of the handicapped beyond what is presently being provided, then perhaps a serious study of the significance of that demand and how best to meet it should be undertaken. Based on such a study, informed decisions could be made with regard to what, if any, changes in the present intercity bus service are needed, how to fund those changes, and how to make them, while preserving a viable form of low-cost, intercity passenger transportation for those who need it.


Paper#54098 | Written in 18-Jul-2015

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