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consumers are really benefiting from advances in agricultural tech

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Intern
Joined: 05 Feb 2019
Posts: 2

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11 Feb 2019, 02:46
The following appeared in a letter to the editor of a popular science and
technology magazine.
“It is a popular myth that consumers are really benefiting from advances in agricultural technology. Granted-consumers are, on the average, spending a decreasing proportion of their income on food. But consider that the demand for food does not rise in proportion with real income. As real income rises, therefore, consumers can be expected to spend a decreasing proportion of their income on food. Yet agricultural technology is credited with having made our lives better.”

In this article, the writer discusses the relationship between the increase in income of customers and the proportion of that Income spent on food. The writer concludes that as the portion of the income of average customers spent is not increasing proportionally with the advancements in agricultural technology and the customers are not benefiting from the improvements in agricultural technology.
However, there a lot of other factors that the author needs to consider before drawing such a firm conclusion. For example, It is plausible that the primary objective of advancements in agricultural technology is to make food less expensive for the customers, so that they can spend less on food, and more on other equally important aspects of life. Less expensive food is an objective that almost every country wants to achieve, as it significantly improves the quality of life and helps in eradicating hunger and poverty. If this is the case, customers are benefiting from the advancements of agricultural technology, which the writer has failed to consider.
Secondly, the writer has based his conclusion on so-called "granted customers". While almost every country is fighting against poverty, it is wrong to draw a conclusion only based on the privileged customers who are generally in the minority, and not paying attention to the "not so granted" customers, who are working hard just to fulfil the basic requirements of life. If agricultural advancements are helping people get less expensive food, It is bliss and unequivocally benefiting.
Thirdly, the writer should also consider the increase in the incomes of people. For example, ten years ago if the average salary of people in a country used to be \$1000 per month, and the food cost them \$100 which is 1/10th of their income. And now, the average salary is \$5000 and on average current spending on food is \$450, which is less than 1/10th of their current income, but, the people are spending way more on food then they used to.
Lastly, The writer also needs to consider the average number of people employed in a family. For example 10 years ago, the trend was that only one member of the family works, so apparently, he/she has to spend a much more proportion of salary on food. But, if the current trend is that almost every member of the family contributes on the total family income, then, the proportion of salary spent on food by an individual member of the family will be way less.
In sum, various factors can play a role in determining the benefits of agricultural advancements amongst the people and the writer needs to consider the above-stated points before concluding.
General GMAT Forum Moderator
Joined: 15 Jan 2018
Posts: 605
Concentration: General Management, Finance
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17 Feb 2019, 12:54
1
Rahul - To be honest, you need to put in some more effort on the AWA section. Please realize that the AWA section tests your writing capabilities, not your ability to make strong arguments. As written, the AWA section has several grammar flaws. You have not used proper structural keywords. Typically, test takers do not need more than 2-3 days of time to come up with a template and then practice a few essays. You do not need to sweat it out, though. All the best.
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Re: consumers are really benefiting from advances in agricultural tech   [#permalink] 17 Feb 2019, 12:54
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