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AWA from GMATprep

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theolck Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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AWA from GMATprep

Post Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:47 am
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    The following appeared in a magazine article on trends and lifestyles.

    “In general, people are not as concerned as they were a decade ago about regulating their intake of red meat and fatty cheeses. Walk into the Heart’s Delight, a store that started selling organic fruits and vegetables and whole-grain flours in the 1960’s, and you will also find a wide selection of cheeses made with higher butterfat content. Next door, the owners of the Good Earth Café, an old vegetarian restaurant, are still making a modest living, but the owners of the new House of Beef across the street are millionaires.”

    Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations of counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.

    ____________________________________________________

    This argument states that people are not as concerned as they were a decade ago about regulating their intake of red meat and fatty cheese based on the perceived revenue and diverse selection of products in 3 stores. At first glance, this appears somewhat convincing, but further reflection reveals that it is based on several flawed assumptions.

    Firstly, the argument has generalized the entire population based on information taken from 3 select stores on the same street. This is a poor representation of the entire population. People living along that street might have a local culture or belief that promotes the intake of red meat and fatty cheeses. It would be poor practice to deduce that the diet of the entire population has shifted based on the information deduced from these 3 stores. The empirical observation done here is clearly insufficient and more needs to be done before the author can draw a conclusion. He would do well to include comparisons across streets in different states or countries for a better representation of the population to strengthen the argument.

    Secondly, it is assumed that the only reason that the owners of the House of Beef are millionaires while the owners of the Good Earth Café are not, is because the former sells red meat while the latter sell vegetables. The author takes it for granted that the wealth of the owners of the House of Beef was accumulated from the profits of that specific store. He neglects to consider the possibility that their riches were generated from other sources. Furthermore, even if it were generated from the House of Beef, this remains an unfair comparison between 2 stores with not only contrasting business strategies but which are at different stages of the business cycle as well. On one hand, the House of Beef is a new and most likely modern store which might hold certain novelty values to locals and youngsters. On the other hand, the Good Earth Café is an old restaurant whose owners might not have much insight into business and marketing strategies. Thus, this argument does not accurately depict the dietary preference of the population.

    Lastly, the author presumes that there is an increased in consumption of fatty cheese simply from the wide selection of cheese found in the Heart’s Delight. However, correlation does not imply causality. An increased in consumption of fatty cheese might have led Heart’s Delight to branch out from selling organic fruits and vegetables into cheese; however, them selling cheese does not imply that there has been an increased consumption of fatty cheese. The store might simply have found that there weren’t any stores that sold cheese in the area and decided to take advantage of the lack of competition. The owners might have gotten a good price from the supplier allowing him to have a competitive edge in selling cheese. Or they might even have been forced into the cheese industry as a result of too many stores entering the organic fruit and vegetables market. The lack of statistical evidence regarding the rate of consumption of fatty cheese means that whilst this line of reasoning does not refute the author’s argument, it does not support it either.

    In conclusion, this argument is weak because the author failed to consider a fair representation of the population, used poor comparisons and readily assumed that correlation implied causality. To strengthen the argument, the author could have conducted more comprehensive empirical research, used more appropriate comparisons and found statistical evidence to back up his cause.

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