Joined: 22 Apr 2013
GMAT 1: 660 Q48 V33
, given: 32
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12 Nov 2013, 21:42
The following appeared as part of an article in the travel section of a newspaper:
“Over the past decade, the restaurant industry in the country of Spiessa has experienced unprecedented growth. This
surge can be expected to continue in the coming years, fueled by recent social changes: personal incomes are rising,
more leisure time is available, single-person households are more common, and people have a greater interest in
gourmet food, as evidenced by a proliferation of publications on the subject.”
Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.
The author of this argument claims that the restaurant industry in Spiessa can be expected to grow in the future. The claim is based on the fact that the restaurant industry has been growing over the past decade and that several recent social changes have will fuel the growth. However on a deeper analysis, it is evident that there are certain relevant aspects, leading to a number of mistaken assumptions and logical flaws.
One such flaw is that the author mistakenly assumes that the same trend of growth in the restaurant industry will be followed in the future. This claim is a stretch and unsubstantiated without evidence to support the claim. Perhaps, the restaurant industry has reached its maximum growth and has now hit a plateau. For example, if there was only 1 restaurant a decade ago and now there are 1000 restaurants and the country of Spiessa has resources only for 1000 restaurants, then there will not be a growth at the same rate as a decade ago. The people in the country of Spiessa may choose to allocate their resources in an industry that has not matured such as manufacturing or IT solutions. To strengthen the argument, the author should analyze the growth rate of the previous decade and what factors led to the growth of the restaurant industry.
Another statement, significantly weakening the argument is that the author assumes that the social changes will lead to the growth of the restaurant industry at the same rate as the previous decade. The growth in the previous decade perhaps occurred because of government subsidies to investors in the restaurant industry, or lack of competition in the industry, the economy of Spiessa was going through a boom. The author provides no information about the personal income, leisure time, people's interest a decade ago. To overcome this flaw, the author should provide what factors instigated the growth of restaurant industry. The author should also analyze the overall economic situation of Spiessa a decade ago compared to what the economic situation is now.
The author also wrongly concludes that because the restaurant industry for growing in the previous decades, the restaurant industry will continue to do so in the coming years. Moreover, the author does not mention a time frame for the future. The coming years may mean 5 years or it may even mean 15 years. The claim made by the author leaves a doubt and hence the claim is not full proof. The economic conditions, government support, status of other industries will differ in the next 5 years from the next 15 years. To make this argument more valid, the author should provide a time-frame for the future in which the author expects the restaurant industry to continue growing. After a time-frame is set, the author should provide sufficient data such as industry analysis, or a survey from the population of Spiessa.
After closer examination of the argument above, it is apparent that there are several logical flaws in the author's attempt to prove that the restaurant industry in Spiessa will continue to grow like it did in the previous decade. The author should provide sufficient data such as a market analysis, factors that led to the growth of the industry, and economic situation of Spiessa compared to a decade ago to support the claim. Without such data the argument is flawed and unsubstantiated.