trv (trevmex) wrote,

Practice FSWE Essay 1

Please evaluate my practice FSWE essay.

The actual essay is evaluated from 1 to 12 with 12 being the highest score. I believe that last year the passing score was a 6.

I handwrote this essay in 50 minutes in accordance with the rules of the FSWE. I will present it without spellchecking or editing so to represent the actual essay as it was written.

When evaluating please be aware of the following:
  • When composing the essay, the point of view should be clearly stated and supported.
  • Writing should be evaluated on quality of writing, not the opinions expressed.
  • A sucessful essay should have an obvious structure and clear thesis supported by relevant substantiating details.
  • It should show my ability to analyze the topic in a way that is appropriate for the intended audience (a foreign service officer).
  • The writing should be coherent with only occasional lapses that do not impede flow or readers' comprehension.
  • Language should be generally concise with clear and appropriate word choices.
  • The language should be free of errors in grammar and syntax, with only minor errors in spelling and punctuation.
  • There is no limit on length.

The topic:
In the U.S., businesses must comply with federal regulations regarding labor practices, product saftey, and environmental impact. Although they raise the cost of doing business, such regulations are generally regarded as a legitimate way to balance the public good against corporate profits. When U.S. companies operate in other countries, however, many of these regulations no longer apply. Some argue that if U.S. companies meet costs associated with these regulations and the additional costs of doing business abroad, their ability to compete is diminished. Others maintain that some U.S. federal regulations should be implemented in only selected countries. Another view is that U.S. companies have moral obligations to observe all U.S. federal regulations when operating abroad. In your view, what regulations, if any, should apply to U.S. companies doing business abroad? Carefully explain the rationale for your position.

My essay:

Why Federal Regulations Are Important Abroad

     In the United States, government is used to regulate businesses in both social and economic matters. Many of these regulations can be traced back to the turn of the century when anti-trust laws were introduced to incourage fair competition. Now an increasing number of US firms go overseas for part of their business. It is important that these U.S. companies keep their social values while overseas while still being able to take advantage of the economic benefits of foreign plants.
     There are a great many reasons why a US firm would move part or all of its operations to a foreign locale, but most are because it is generally less expensive to hire a foreign worker. It is important for us as Americans, though, to not abuse this system. For example, many foreign countries use child labor, but a US firm taking advantage of this will get public ridicule in the US, as was the case with Nike shoes a few years back. That US firm was going around US labor law. Another serious problem is overwork. Many poorer countries have unreasonably long work hours, something not allowed by law in the US. The government should set out to stop these US firms from committing human rights violations that would not be allowed in the US.
     Another problem that is oft overlooked by companies moving overseas is the disregard to environmental standards. Many foreign countries do not have the environmental standards we do, and some companies, in order to cut costs that are associated with meeting environmental standards like the ISO 14000 series will seek these places out. Unchecked pollution is bad for everyone on the planet, there should be regulations in place that ensure that US companies cannot sidestep pollution laws by leaving the country. On the top of the pollution issue, abuses like strip mining and unmonitered waste disposal are detrimental to host countries, and it is important to respect the health of not only American's but the entire world's.
     Human rights and environmental issues are good places for government intervention, but the more economical issues should stay free. For example, workers in China can make products for much less than in the US because they can pay less for labor. This in itself is not a bad thing, as long as workers are paid enough to ensure a good standard of living, which is less expensive in China as opposed to the US. Another sticky area is when US regulations would effect local foreign economic policy. It is important that US firms do not "rock the boat" too much in foreign markets. Too much economic regulations of US firms in foreign countries might do just that.
     The government should play a role in ensuring that US companies do not violate human rights or do excessive damage to the environment in the US or abroad. At the same time government intervention should not overextend its reach in foreign lands so much that it would have adverse effects on the world economy. Government is there to make sure we do the right thing, but we must make sure it doesn't go too far.

My outline:

For Reg in other Countries

  • Social issues
    • Child labor
    • Underpayment
  • Environmental
    • Pollution
    • Strip mining
  • Relaxed Economic
    • not our workforce
    • Business apolitical
  • Soc Yes, Econ. no

Some questions I have:
  • How big should the margins be when I write?
  • Will I be using a pen or a pencil? Will it be provided or be my own?

Please be critical. I want to improve my essay writing skills as much as I can for the test and beyond.

Thank you for your help.

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