Thursday, September 26, 2013

GRE:The effectiveness of a country's leaders is best measured by examining the well-being of that country's citizens.

The effectiveness of a country's leaders is best measured by examining the well-being of that country's citizens.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.



The statement made is open ended since it states "effectiveness" of a country's leader is best measure by examining the well-being of said country's citizens. Effectiveness is unclear in its meaning; whether it is an indicator of the leader's self- agenda (as with a dictator) or preserving the people's rights (as with a democratic country). If a country's leader is a dictator with no regard of its citizen's well-being then their well-being is not an indicator of the dictator's effectiveness. It is essential to remember that through time there have been several effect leaders that implanted their laws and citizen's right humanely, but their actual citizen's well being was not superb.

In ancient times, the Romans were capable of ruling most of the known world from trade routes to India, Egypt and even to Britain; however even the citizens who lived in the capital, Rome, were often subjected to disease and death due to the nearby swamps and mosquitoes. The fact that, in the Roman Empire's capital, citizens were dying and were not living in the best of circumstance should not reflect on the emperors ability to manage an empire of great lengths with ease and grace. In these two cases, the statement does not hold true. The ancient empire's citizens , as well as the dictator's, did not fare well, and it is not a reflection of a leader's ineffectiveness or effectiveness.

However, it could be argued that country who do pride themselves on being democracies or even humane countries; the statement could be proven true. The United State of America is commented to be the place "Where dreams come true" or other sayings such as the "American Dream." This sanguine approach to the country places a substantial amount of pressure on its leaders to produce a country in which the average day citizen is prospering well. However, citizens in America (or other similar countries) may not have the highest well-being due to their financial circumstance or personal issues. The president is not responsible for every trouble a citizen may have. Therefore, the well-being of citizens is subjective on what is being judged and evaluated for the "well-being" indicator.

Albeit, if the statement were to be calculating "well-being" from a citizen's happiness of their rights, then democratic countries' effectiveness would be a direct reflection of a citizen's well-being. After all, democratic comes from the Greek words "demos" and "kratos" meaning people and power. Therefore, the original statement made would reflect only democratic countries and the in particular the rights given to the citizen's of aforementioned countries. 

The most recent civil rights to come into discussion across the globe is the right of same-sex marriage. Based on this right and a leader's ability of providing it, this may be reflective a citizen's well-being. A leader's ability to understand both sides of the argument while working within it's constitution would then show a leader's effectiveness to provide their citizens with laws and rights which would aid in their well-being. But, just as with many liberties, there are many sides to the coin; not every law and right is accepted by every citizen. Civil right, women's suffrage, health care and same-sex marriage are a few examples of topics which are impossible to appease everyone on. Every citizen has different views, beliefs, and maxims which they live by. Then consequently, a leader's effectiveness of providing laws and rights within a given country may upset or even anger some citizens, while at the same time it may uplift the spirit and well-being of other citizens. Thus, a country's citizens' well-being is difficult to judge since not every citizen have the same ideals of laws, rights, and well-being.

It could then be attested that the statement is too rigid in its claim. That the effectiveness of any leader can not be solely based upon the well-being of citizens. There are too many variable from the type of leader, government, morals of citizens, and essentially what is meant by "effectiveness." It then leads to the conclusion that the statement should be rendered to read " A leader's effectiveness in ruling their country for the betterment of their citizen's can be evaluated and judged by that country's citizen's well-being." This statement is clearer in its attempt to render the citizens' well-being as an indicator of leadership.

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