Since the federal government began deregulating railroad travel in the mid 1970s, major train companies in the United States have cut their employees ranks by more than 1000 persons. Thus, although deregulated competition has afforded consumers dramatically lower fares, the economy of the United States has been harmed by the deregulation of the railways.
The argument above would be most seriously weakened if it were true that
(A) a poll of people in the United States shows exceptionally strong support for railroad deregulation
(B) fewer passengers now travel on commercial trains than traveled on them in 1976, with the consequence that fewer employees are needed to operate the airlines than were needed in 1976
(C) trains now run a more restricted regular schedule of routes than they did in 1976, with the consequence that the industry is more highly concentrated and competitive than it was before 1976
(D) several major train companies now enjoy significantly higher profits and levels of employment than they did in the years preceding the Deregulation Acts
(E) smaller carriers have thrived as a result of deregulation and now provide more new jobs than the major train companies have eliminated since 1976