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“Job or Health?” by J. Tankersley

Coronavirus is one of the most pressing issues affecting the world today, and the coverage of the pandemic in the news is extensive. In particular, articles concerning the social effects of the outbreak are widely published and read. In their article “Job or Health? Restarting the Economy Threatens to Worsen Economic Inequality”, Tankersley (2020) reports that lifting restrictions from business activity in the United States too quickly could further socioeconomic inequality in the United States. The main argument of the article is that the pandemic’s effects varied based on people’s socioeconomic status. The author states that the pandemic has already divided Americans into two groups based on their income level. While the more affluent people can afford to practice social distancing, people from low-income backgrounds are forced to take on any available jobs to avoid losing money (Tankersley, 2020). Therefore, opening businesses too soon could lead to negative consequences for the second group, as they are likely to start working as quickly as possible regardless of potential health consequences (Tankersley, 2020).

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In order to develop and support their argument, the author uses appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos throughout the text. In order to appeal to emotion, Tankersley (2020) includes excerpts from interviews with people from low socioeconomic status who were influenced by the outbreak. Interviews explore their concerns and feelings, thus also evoking empathy in the readers. Credibility is established through the use of statistical figures, research findings, and expert opinion. Exploring information from reliable sources assists the author in highlighting the depth and scope of the problem, which contributes to the validity of the argument. Lastly, credibility is established through the use of appropriate voice and tone. The author’s use of language suggests an unbiased perspective; they avoid using informal expressions and present the issue from both sides, thus showing credibility. On the whole, the article concerns an important topic, and the author appeals to credibility, emotion, and reason effectively to support their argument.


Tankersley, J. (2020). Job or health? Restarting the economy threatens to worsen economic inequality. The New York Times. Web.

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