Sur Why Should We Share the Wealth: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos In the essay “Why Should We Share the Wealth”, author Jeffrey Sachs explores an idealistic viewpoint that extreme conditions brought about by poverty can be resolved if the few who owns the majority of the world’s wealth will come together to use their resources for the betterment of the people. The purpose of this essay is to examine the strength of the author’s argument by weighing it against the different perspectives on argument essays. On a personal standpoint, it can be said that credibility, emotional, and logical appeals are necessary in persuasion.
Ethos is one of the pillars of any rhetoric. It is based on the character of the writer. The ethos is the writer’s credibility and reputation. If one does not know Jeffrey Sachs, the article alone does not gain him the trust of the readers. He does not introduce himself nor does he associate himself with established and credible organizations. The good thing about the article is that Sachs itemizes information that leads the readers to sense his fairness.
Pathos is another pillar of any rhetoric. This is the emotional appeal of the argument. On a personal analysis, the overall emotional appeal of this article is the notion of assuaging poverty. In the lines:
“A century ago, Rockefeller decided to put his vast fortune to public use, offering to endow a federal institution to fight disease, poverty and ignorance. Hotheads attacked him, claiming that he was just trying to buy a good name, and Congress demurred.”,
Sachs points out that while Rockefeller was attacked negatively by discrediting his purpose of charity, he still pursued his goal, thus, achieving a legacy that has not been surpassed yet in terms of international development. Another effective pathos in this article is when Sachs cites a statement by Andrew Carnegie:
“the day is not far distant when the man who dies leaving behind him millions of available wealth, which was free for him to administer during life, will pass away unwept, unhonored, and unsung”.
Logos is one of the pillars of a rhetoric that refers to the logical appeal of a material. In this area, Sachs is able to enumerate certain points that support his argument. He cites specific examples done by Rockefeller, Bill, Gates, Soros, and others to show the readers that this concept of wealth sharing has been done before by these great people. Therefore, there should be nothing to hinder the same thing from being done today. Along these lines, Sachs explores on the positive results that wealth sharing did worldwide. By stating factual events and well-researched statistical analysis, Sachs effectively demonstrates the logical aspect of his argument.
The graphics used for the argument help a lot in creating a good and credible position for Sachs concept of wealth sharing. The statistics alone argue that in combining the excess wealth of the billionaires in the world, there will be enough to fund international development that could at least create a positive impact in alleviating the endless cycles of famine and poverty where it is most needed. Use of graphics adds to the credibility of the statements that Sachs mentions in his article. It gives the readers the impression of a well-examined claim that is based on factual data.
As a conclusion, it can be said that Sachs mainly used the logical appeal for this argument. He touched on certain emotional arguments that were helpful, but being a famous economist himself, he rather focused on giving explicit details to support his standpoint. And although the ethos part falls short, who does not know Jeffrey Sachs anyway?
Wood, Nancy V. Perspectives on Argument. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Prentice Hall,
2009. Print. 250-252.