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Class Supplement, TOEFL Essay, A new factory in your community, Essay for Ideas and Expressions)


Imagine that a company has announced plans to build a large factory in your community. Would you support this addition to your community?

☆Essay for Ideas and Expressions
I would welcome the factory if it is run by a new type of company but strongly reject it if it is owned by the conventional corporation. Although it would seemingly benefit my town mainly because of job creation, a factory owned by the corporation would eventually bring unhappiness to the community and humankind.

In the long run, a corporate-owned factory would harm my community and its environment. By law, a corporation is only responsible to its shareholders, not to the community, and much less to the environment. If calculation shows that it can still make profits even if it has to pay compensation for the damage caused by the production, the corporation just makes the product. As we have seen, factories have polluted the air, water, and soil, and many people have suffered due to defective products.

Outsourcing is another practice to worry about. If the factory is successful, the company wants to expand and it will close the factory to build some in overseas countries where cheap labor forces are available. If this happens, not to speak of the plight of the people who are exploited there in the third world, my town will be full of the unemployed. This has happened in America over the last 20 years. The result is a bunch of ghost towns and the crushed middle class. Tight economy and harsh global market competition, plus very expensive personnel costs of my country Japan, can transform even a paternalistic Japanese company into a ruthless, money-hungry machine. It is sensible to suspect the possibility of future offshoring of the factory.

Moreover, the corporation could close even a most productive factory for profits. For example, if the product the factory turns out is abundant in the market, the company could stop manufacturing it to prevent its price from falling down, just as extra crops such as oranges are discarded to manipulate the market prices, when many people are starving, as depicted in The Grapes of Wrath half a century ago and is being done right at this moment somewhere on this planet.

A new type of company that I would be pleased to invite to my town is one of employee ownership. I myself have no desire to own a company, but, in theory, I think this system will make our lives better. Employee ownership allows all employees literally participate in policy making. This would drive the factory to the right direction even though the majority is not always right. For instance, considering most ordinary citizens are concerned about environmental issues while many large companies are still denying the global warming theory for fear of loss caused by policy change, a company where decisions are made by workers’ majority vote is sure to emit minimum amount of CO2 and easy on the environment in general. Needless to say, the pay gap between the officials and the rank-and-file would be smaller because everyone is the owner of the company. This kind of company is established by people who have values far from money-and-power orientation and therefore, my town would be livelier with people respecting and supporting each other.

A company as a tool for extra-income of a few super-rich people is not welcome, while a company of the ordinary people, by the ordinary people, for the ordinary people is a great welcome. Increase of factories operated by this type of companies would drastically change society.

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