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Gortland has long been narrowly self-sufficient

This topic has 5 expert replies and 4 member replies
manhhiep2509 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Gortland has long been narrowly self-sufficient

Post Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:36 am
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    Gortland has long been narrowly self-sufficient in both grain and meat. However, as per capita income in Gortland has risen toward the world average, per capita consumption of meat has also risen toward the world average, and it takes several pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat. Therefore, since per capita income continues to rise, whereas domestic grain production will not increase, Gortland will soon have to import either grain or meat or both.
    Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

    (A) The total acreage devoted to grain production in Gortland will not decrease substantially.
    (B) The population of Gortland has remained relatively constant during the country’s years of growing prosperity.
    (C) The per capita consumption of meat in Gortland is roughly the same across all income levels.
    (D) In Gortland, neither meat nor grain is subject to government price controls.
    (E) People in Gortland who increase their consumption of meat will not radically decrease their consumption of grain.


    Please take a look my problem and see what is wrong with my reasoning.

    I understand that we need an assumption that indicates the grain consumption, that is not used to produce meat, does not decrease more than that, used to produce meat, increases.

    Since the correct choice is an assumption, it must be necessary. However, I cannot explain why we need to know about the consumption of people who increase their meat consumption.
    What makes those people so special that we need to know about their grain consumption?
    How about people who do not increase their meat consumption? If their grain consumption decreases substantially then the choice E may not necessary to make the conclusion true.

    Even I negate the choice, it does not break the conclusion at all because the choice overlook the grain consumption of people who do not increase meat consumption.

    Thank you.

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    Post Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:56 am
    manhhiep2509 wrote:
    However, I cannot explain why we need to know about the consumption of people who increase their meat consumption.
    What makes those people so special that we need to know about their grain consumption?
    How about people who do not increase their meat consumption? If their grain consumption decreases substantially then the choice E may not necessary to make the conclusion true.

    Even I negate the choice, it does not break the conclusion at all because the choice overlook the grain consumption of people who do not increase meat consumption.

    Thank you.
    At the moment, Gortland has barely enough meat and grain to support its population. However, an increase in meat consumption will require a lot more grain. In other words, an increase in meat eaters will place a strain on the amount of available wheat. So, we need to focus on the meat eaters because they are going to be the ones who cause the problem.

    Cheers,
    Brent

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    Post Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:13 am
    manhhiep2509 wrote:
    Gortland has long been narrowly self-sufficient in both grain and meat. However, as per capita income in Gortland has risen toward the world average, per capita consumption of meat has also risen toward the world average, and it takes several pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat. Therefore, since per capita income continues to rise, whereas domestic grain production will not increase, Gortland will soon have to import either grain or meat or both.
    Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

    (A) The total acreage devoted to grain production in Gortland will not decrease substantially.
    (B) The population of Gortland has remained relatively constant during the country’s years of growing prosperity.
    (C) The per capita consumption of meat in Gortland is roughly the same across all income levels.
    (D) In Gortland, neither meat nor grain is subject to government price controls.
    (E) People in Gortland who increase their consumption of meat will not radically decrease their consumption of grain.

    PREMISE: Gortland produces barely enough meat and grain to support its population.
    PREMISE: Gortland's meat consumption is rising
    PREMISE: Meat production requires a lot of grain
    CONCLUSION: If the trend continues, Gortland will need to import meat or grain

    We're looking for a necessary assumption. So, if we NEGATE each answer choice, the one that destroys the conclusion will be the correct answer.

    (A) The total acreage devoted to grain production in Gortland WILL decrease substantially.
    Does this destroy the conclusion that Gortland will need to import meat or grain?
    No. In fact, this negated premise supports the idea that Gortland will run out of grain, and will need to import it. ELIMINATE A

    (B) The population of Gortland has NOT remained relatively constant during the country’s years of growing prosperity.
    Does this destroy the conclusion that Gortland will need to import meat or grain?
    It's hard to say. All we know is that the population has not been constant. Has it been growing or declining? Since we can't be sure, we can't tell whether this negated premise harms the argument. ELIMINATE B

    (C) The per capita consumption of meat in Gortland is NOT roughly the same across all income levels.
    Does this destroy the conclusion that Gortland will need to import meat or grain?
    No effect on conclusion. ELIMINATE C

    (D) In Gortland, meat and grain ARE subject to government price controls.
    Does this destroy the conclusion that Gortland will need to import meat or grain? No.
    ELIMINATE D

    (E) People in Gortland who increase their consumption of meat WILL radically decrease their consumption of grain.
    Does this destroy the conclusion that Gortland will need to import meat or grain?
    Yes. If the meat eaters radically decrease their grain consumption then the extra grain used to produce their meat will be offset by their reduced grain consumption, which means Gortland will NOT need to import meat or grain.

    Answer: E

    Cheers,
    Brent

    _________________
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    RBBmba@2014 Legendary Member Default Avatar
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    Post Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:21 am
    Brent@GMATPrepNow wrote:
    manhhiep2509 wrote:
    Gortland has long been narrowly self-sufficient in both grain and meat. However, as per capita income in Gortland has risen toward the world average, per capita consumption of meat has also risen toward the world average, and it takes several pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat. Therefore, since per capita income continues to rise, whereas domestic grain production will not increase, Gortland will soon have to import either grain or meat or both.
    Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

    (A) The total acreage devoted to grain production in Gortland will not decrease substantially.
    (B) The population of Gortland has remained relatively constant during the country’s years of growing prosperity.
    (C) The per capita consumption of meat in Gortland is roughly the same across all income levels.
    (D) In Gortland, neither meat nor grain is subject to government price controls.
    (E) People in Gortland who increase their consumption of meat will not radically decrease their consumption of grain.

    PREMISE: Gortland produces barely enough meat and grain to support its population.
    PREMISE: Gortland's meat consumption is rising
    PREMISE: Meat production requires a lot of grain
    CONCLUSION: If the trend continues, Gortland will need to import meat or grain

    We're looking for a necessary assumption. So, if we NEGATE each answer choice, the one that destroys the conclusion will be the correct answer.

    (A) The total acreage devoted to grain production in Gortland WILL decrease substantially.
    Does this destroy the conclusion that Gortland will need to import meat or grain?
    No. In fact, this negated premise supports the idea that Gortland will run out of grain, and will need to import it. ELIMINATE A

    (B) The population of Gortland has NOT remained relatively constant during the country’s years of growing prosperity.
    Does this destroy the conclusion that Gortland will need to import meat or grain?
    It's hard to say. All we know is that the population has not been constant. Has it been growing or declining? Since we can't be sure, we can't tell whether this negated premise harms the argument. ELIMINATE B

    (C) The per capita consumption of meat in Gortland is NOT roughly the same across all income levels.
    Does this destroy the conclusion that Gortland will need to import meat or grain?
    No effect on conclusion. ELIMINATE C

    (D) In Gortland, meat and grain ARE subject to government price controls.
    Does this destroy the conclusion that Gortland will need to import meat or grain? No.
    ELIMINATE D

    (E) People in Gortland who increase their consumption of meat WILL radically decrease their consumption of grain.
    Does this destroy the conclusion that Gortland will need to import meat or grain?
    Yes. If the meat eaters radically decrease their grain consumption then the extra grain used to produce their meat will be offset by their reduced grain consumption, which means Gortland will NOT need to import meat or grain.

    Answer: E

    Cheers,
    Brent
    Brent,
    GREAT explanation. A quick question on E although...

    Option E ONLY talks about people who increase their consumption of meat. BUT, it DOESN'T consider OTHER people who DON'T increase their consumption of meat. What if these people (who DON'T increase consumption of meat) radically decrease their consumption of grain - in such a situation,clearly Gortland may NOT need to import meat or grain. Right ?

    Now, as we know that in ASSUMPTION CR the MUST BE TRUE aspect should hold good in ALL spheres, so how can we ignore the above consideration in which the Option E seems to be MAY BE TRUE that the CONCLUSION is valid ?

    Can you please help ?

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    Post Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:49 am
    Hi Brent,
    Any update on this Sir ? Could you please share your explanation to clarify my above concerns ?

    Look forward to your feedback. Much thanks in advance!

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    Post Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:41 am
    RBBmba@2014 wrote:
    Brent,
    GREAT explanation. A quick question on E although...

    Option E ONLY talks about people who increase their consumption of meat. BUT, it DOESN'T consider OTHER people who DON'T increase their consumption of meat. What if these people (who DON'T increase consumption of meat) radically decrease their consumption of grain - in such a situation,clearly Gortland may NOT need to import meat or grain. Right ?

    Now, as we know that in ASSUMPTION CR the MUST BE TRUE aspect should hold good in ALL spheres, so how can we ignore the above consideration in which the Option E seems to be MAY BE TRUE that the CONCLUSION is valid ?

    Can you please help ?
    Hey Brent - any thoughts on my above concerns Sir ?

    Look forward to your feedback.Much Thanks in advance!

    P.S: Other Verbal experts - please feel free to share your thoughts as well.Thank you!

    Post Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:15 am
    Quote:
    Option E ONLY talks about people who increase their consumption of meat. BUT, it DOESN'T consider OTHER people who DON'T increase their consumption of meat. What if these people (who DON'T increase consumption of meat) radically decrease their consumption of grain - in such a situation,clearly Gortland may NOT need to import meat or grain. Right ?
    We know that some people are increasing their meat consumption. We know that it requires grain to support meat production. The conclusion, based on this evidence, is that Gortland will have to increase imports of meat or grain. So we have the simple scenario: increased meat consumption + increased grain to produce meat = more imports. If those who increase their meat consumption radically decrease their grain consumption, the scenario is no longer valid. (And note the powerful modifier "radically.")

    You never want to eliminate an answer choice based on your own hypothetical scenario for which there's no evidence. There's no reason to consider the possibility that non-meat eaters will dramatically increase their consumption of grain (why would they?) just as there's no reason to consider the possibility that erratic weather patterns will lead to lower crop yields. (Or that a meteor will hit Gortland, annihilating all sentient life. Or that aliens will arrive bearing gifts of grain and meat.) Are these things possible? Sure. But there's no evidence provided to suggest either will occur, so they have no bearing on the particular causal chain we're evaluating.

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    Post Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:29 am
    DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote:
    Quote:
    Option E ONLY talks about people who increase their consumption of meat. BUT, it DOESN'T consider OTHER people who DON'T increase their consumption of meat. What if these people (who DON'T increase consumption of meat) radically decrease their consumption of grain - in such a situation,clearly Gortland may NOT need to import meat or grain. Right ?
    We know that some people are increasing their meat consumption. We know that it requires grain to support meat production. The conclusion, based on this evidence, is that Gortland will have to increase imports of meat or grain. So we have the simple scenario: increased meat consumption + increased grain to produce meat = more imports. If those who increase their meat consumption radically decrease their grain consumption, the scenario is no longer valid. (And note the powerful modifier "radically.")

    You never want to eliminate an answer choice based on your own hypothetical scenario for which there's no evidence. There's no reason to consider the possibility that non-meat eaters will dramatically increase their consumption of grain (why would they?) just as there's no reason to consider the possibility that erratic weather patterns will lead to lower crop yields. (Or that a meteor will hit Gortland, annihilating all sentient life. Or that aliens will arrive bearing gifts of grain and meat.) Are these things possible? Sure. But there's no evidence provided to suggest either will occur, so they have no bearing on the particular causal chain we're evaluating.
    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for sharing your feedback. Really appreciate!

    While I can understand what you're trying to convey, but I've two quick questions on your above reply.

    (1) "You never want to eliminate an answer choice based on your own hypothetical scenario for which there's no evidence." -- Could you please elaborate why you say this especially the RED part ? Because, in an ASSUMPTION CR, our goal is to find a PREMISE(or EVIDENCE) which is NOT present in the ARGUMENT and which MUST BE TRUE for the CONCLUSION to hold good. Isn't it ?

    (2) It seems that you perhaps wanted to mean "There's no reason to consider the possibility that non-meat eaters will dramatically DECREASE (instead of INcrease as written in your above quote) their consumption of grain (why would they?)"... Because if there is any INCREASE in consumption of grain among non-meat eaters or among people who DON'T increase consumption of meat, then it's evident from the ARGUMENT that there will be inevitable shortage of grain and hence import will be necessary -- so this is not what I was trying to highlight. Rather,I was trying to figure out whether the Option E in any way(re as stated above in RED) invalidates the conclusion or not... because I thought that if there is any DECREASE in consumption of grain among non-meat eaters or among people who DON'T increase consumption of meat, then it might be possible that Gortland will not have to increase imports either grain or meat or both -- so,MUST BE TRUE aspect of an ASSUMPTION PREMISE is getting affected!

    Now, is my ASSUMPTION too far fetched in this argument ? (That said, I understand that in this CR, Option E stands out as the best of the lot as other options have major issues.)

    Hope I'm able to clear myself!

    Would be curious to know your thoughts Sir...Much thanks.

    Post Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:02 am
    Quote:
    1) "You never want to eliminate an answer choice based on your own hypothetical scenario for which there's no evidence." -- Could you please elaborate why you say this especially the RED part ? Because, in an ASSUMPTION CR, our goal is to find a PREMISE(or EVIDENCE) which is NOT present in the ARGUMENT and which MUST BE TRUE for the CONCLUSION to hold good. Isn't it ?
    I could have phrased this a little more precisely. When you're evaluating an Assumption question, the goal is to either 1) come up with the necessary link between conclusion and evidence before looking at the answer choices or 2) recognize that one of the answer choices offers that necessary link. So while, you're right that the assumption won't be explicitly stated in the argument - you wouldn't have much of a question if it were - one could logically deduce that the assumption must be the case based on how the argument proceeds. Any hypothetical that you can't logically deduce from the initial argument and that isn't mentioned in the answer choices shouldn't play a role in your analysis.

    Put another way, once you see that the argument boils down to: increased meat consumption ------> increased imports of grain or meat, it's safe to say that this particular argument is assuming that the meat-eaters won't radically decrease their grain consumption, even though you aren't explicitly told this. Otherwise, there's no reason to believe that the evidence leads to the conclusion. Does it have to be the case that meat-eaters aren't radically reducing their grain consumption? No. But the argument would make no sense if they were. (This is where negation comes in handy.)

    But even if you didn't see this before looking at the answer choices, you want to evaluate your answer choices without introducing some other variable that isn't mentioned, otherwise, you could be brain-storming hypotheticals forever.

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    Post Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:11 am
    Quote:
    (2) It seems that you perhaps wanted to mean "There's no reason to consider the possibility that non-meat eaters will dramatically DECREASE (instead of INcrease as written in your above quote) their consumption of grain (why would they?)"... Because if there is any INCREASE in consumption of grain among non-meat eaters or among people who DON'T increase consumption of meat, then it's evident from the ARGUMENT that there will be inevitable shortage of grain and hence import will be necessary -- so this is not what I was trying to highlight. Rather,I was trying to figure out whether the Option E in any way(re as stated above in RED) invalidates the conclusion or not... because I thought that if there is any DECREASE in consumption of grain among non-meat eaters or among people who DON'T increase consumption of meat, then it might be possible that Gortland will not have to increase imports either grain or meat or both -- so,MUST BE TRUE aspect of an ASSUMPTION PREMISE is getting affected!
    If the non-meat-eaters were radically decreasing their grain consumption, then the argument wouldn't really make any sense to begin with, would it? If the logic is predicated on an increase in demand leading to a need for imports, and one group is increasing their demand (meat-eaters) while another group is decreasing their demand (non-meat-eaters), why assume a net increase at all? In any event, there's no logical reason to assume a drastic change in the consumption pattern of non-meat-eaters one way or another.

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