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Sample Response to GMAT AWA Issue Questions

8. “For hundreds of years, the monetary system of most countries has been based on the exchange of metal coins and printed pieces of paper. However, because of recent developments in technology, the international community should consider replacing the entire system of coins and paper with a system of electronic accounts of credits and debits.” Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.

In my opinion, the system of coins and paper shouldn't be entirely replaced with a system of electronic accounts of credits and debts, even though the explosion in technology is exponential. Though the recent developments in technology have undoubtedly brought about dramatic changes in many aspects of the society. They helped put humans on the moon, totally revised people's conceptions of space and time, brought tremendous comforts and conveniences to people. However, we cannot take it for granted that technology changes everything in our life.

First Of all, the traditional monetary system has deeply rooted in almost all societies. People have long been used to coins and paper money as a medium of exchange and a standard of value. Even in highly developed countries in terms of technology' like the ones in the European community, when they were considering adopting a common monetary system named Euro at the turn of the 21st century, they continued in the use of coins and paper and spent a lot of money in designing and producing them.

Secondly, developments in technology may have brought great convenience to people, but convenience is not the only underlying standard or cause for such changes as dramatic as the entire replacement of the existing monetary system. Such a system, like many other systems in a society such as language system, political system, has a cultural, historical and social background, and therefore becomes difficult, and sometimes impossible to change.

Thirdly, technology isn't always foolproof. Disasters involving high-tech like the spaceship Challenger and Chernobyl nuclear station still cast shadow on people. In recent years, it becomes not very uncommon for us to hear about various computer viruses as well as computer crimes. Not a single bank can afford the viruses and crimes in their network.

At last, there are emotional factors that cannot be ignored in this case. People have just developed a certain feeling towards coins and paper money. They see coins and paper money as concrete, tangible and as inviting as gold, silver and diamond. While credit cards seem to be more functional than sensational. Besides, the entire replacement of the present coins and paper money system will inevitably hurt millions of coin-collectors as well as those so-called "high-tech phobic people", who feel at a loss when dealing with such things as ATM, computer network and the Internet.

In sum, although theoretically the replacement may bring convenience to people and can avoid certain problems, in practice, the recent developments in technology can only change some aspects of the existing monetary system, not the entire one.

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