Advertisement: Each of the Economic Merit Prize winners from the past 25 years is covered by the Acme retirement plan. Since the winners of the nation’s most prestigious award for economists have thus clearly recognized that the Acme plan offers them a ﬁnancially secure future, it is probably a good plan for anyone with retirement needs similar to theirs.
The advertisement’s argumentation is most vulnerable to criticism on which one of the following grounds?
(A) It ignores the possibility that the majority of Economic Merit Prize winners from previous years used a retirement plan other than the Acme plan.
(B) It fails to address adequately the possibility that any of several retirement plans would be good enough for, and offer a ﬁnancially secure future to, Economic Merit Prize winners.
(C) It appeals to the fact that supposed experts have endorsed the argument’s main conclusion, rather than appealing to direct evidence for that conclusion.
(D) It takes for granted that some winners of the Economic Merit Prize have deliberately selected the Acme retirement plan, rather than having had it chosen for them by their employers.
(E) It presumes, without providing justiﬁcation, that each of the Economic Merit Prize winners has retirement plan needs that are identical to the advertisement’s intended audience’s retirement plan needs.
Why is E) wrong?
I am responding to a pm from Voodoochild
First of all, as piyatiwari
so eloquently pointed out --- if the argument specifies "a good plan for anyone with retirement needs similar to theirs
", then they explicitly are considering the issue of differing retirement needs. In other words, they are not presuming anything along those lines.
Furthermore, beware of extreme language, which is always always always wrong on the GMAT. The phrase "similar retirement needs" -- that's balanced and sensible. The phrase "identical retirement needs" --- that's fanatically extreme. Consider any broad categories of people's lives --- their marriages, their relationship with children, their relationship with career, their relationship with religion, etc. etc. --- for any of these, we could reasonably say that the experience of this person and that person were "similar", but to say that two unrelated people had "identical" experience of marriage or family or something --- that's simply crazy. Right there, extreme = wrong.
Finally, in real world terms, there is something particularly bizarre and so completely unrealistic about the whole concept of "identical retirement needs" --- that is a phrase that, in and of itself, trumpets its own unabashed absurdity. Most people choosing a retirement account are decades away from actually retiring --- a typical person in her 30s has no idea what her needs will be by the time she is in her late 60s. If we look at two people of reasonably similar health and age, both in their 30s --- there's no way we could guarantee right now that their "retirement needs" three decades from now will be anywhere close to the same. No one can say what injuries, what diseases, what conditions, or what disabilities might occur. Some people, healthy all their lives, hit difficult health problems in their 50s, or in their 60s, or in their 70s, or much later, and it's very hard to tell, when a person is in his 30s, how all that will play out. The whole idea of two people, both in their 30s, having "identical retirement needs" --- pure fantasy, pure nonsense. It's true, if we are talking about customers in their 50s, they will have a somewhat better idea what to expect, but even in the 15 years between starting the plan and retiring, anything could happen. Folks might be on an ostensibly similar trajectory, but it is nothing short of folly to imagine that we could say two people have "identical" retirement needs. That's what leaps out at me when I read (E).
Does all this make sense?
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