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Contrary to the statements of labor leaders, the central economic prob

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Contrary to the statements of labor leaders, the central economic prob  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 05 Sep 2018, 20:32
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Contrary to the statements of labor leaders, the central economic problem facing America today is not the distribution of wealth. It is productivity. With the productivity of U.S. industry stagnant, or even declining slightly, the economic pie is no longer growing. Labor leaders, of course, point to what they consider an unfair distribution of the slices of pie to justify their demands for further increases in wages and benefits. And in the past, when the pie was still growing, management could afford to acquiesce. No longer. Until productivity resumes its growth, there can be no justification for further increases in the compensation of workers.

Which of the following statements by a labor leader focuses on the logical weakness in the argument above?


(A) Although the economic pie is no longer growing, the portion of the pie allocated to American workers remains unjustly small.

(B) If management fails to accommodate the demands of workers, labor leaders will be forced to call strikes that will cripple the operation of industry.

(C) Although productivity is stagnant, the U.S. population is growing, so that the absolute size of the economic pie continues to grow as well.

(D) As a labor leader, I can be concerned only with the needs of working people, not with the problems faced by management.

(E) The stagnation of U.S. industry has been caused largely by factors—such as foreign competition—beyond the control of American workers.

Originally posted by shaneforu on 30 Jun 2010, 08:23.
Last edited by Bunuel on 05 Sep 2018, 20:32, edited 2 times in total.
Reformatted the Question for better representation
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Re: Contrary to the statements of labor leaders, the central economic prob  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2010, 09:14
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Let's summarize the argument:

1. Productivity is the central economic problem.
2. When productivity stops increasing - economic pie stops growing.
3. Until productivity starts to increase, wage increase is not justified.

In the argument, some of the opinions of labor leaders and their argument is also mentioned:

1. Distribution of wealth is the problem.
2. The economic pie is distributed unfairly.

What is a logical FLAW in the first argument?


A. Exactly. If you notice, the argument only talks about the overall size of the economic pie, but irrespective of the total size, the allocation to wages may be too small. The argument does not consider this, and instead focuses on talking about the entire economic pie as a whole. This does not resolve the issue of DISTRIBUTION which is independent of total size, and is simply the proportion of each constituent.

B. This is a threat - not a logical flaw.

C. This refutes the evidence cited in the argument, but remember - this is not the main point of the labor leaders. They are more concerned with distribution - not the total size of the pie.

D. This is apathy - not a logical flaw.

E. This does not justify wage increase according the the argument. The causes for the size of the pie are irrelevant, it is the distribution that needs to be changed.


Pick A.
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Re: Contrary to the statements of labor leaders, the central economic prob  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2010, 01:56
Thanks a lot Abhay Prasanna. Superb explanation..
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Re: Contrary to the statements of labor leaders, the central economic prob  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Sep 2018, 07:43
I am not able to figure why A is the correct answer. I marked B
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Re: Contrary to the statements of labor leaders, the central economic prob  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Sep 2018, 04:41
shaneforu wrote:
Contrary to the statements of labor leaders, the central economic problem facing America today is not the distribution of wealth. It is productivity. With the productivity of U.S. industry stagnant, or even declining slightly, the economic pie is no longer growing. Labor leaders, of course, point to what they consider an unfair distribution of the slices of pie to justify their demands for further increases in wages and benefits. And in the past, when the pie was still growing, management could afford to acquiesce. No longer. Until productivity resumes its growth, there can be no justification for further increases in the compensation of workers.

Which of the following statements by a labor leader focuses on the logical weakness in the argument above?


(A) Although the economic pie is no longer growing, the portion of the pie allocated to American workers remains unjustly small.

(B) If management fails to accommodate the demands of workers, labor leaders will be forced to call strikes that will cripple the operation of industry.

(C) Although productivity is stagnant, the U.S. population is growing, so that the absolute size of the economic pie continues to grow as well.

(D) As a labor leader, I can be concerned only with the needs of working people, not with the problems faced by management.

(E) The stagnation of U.S. industry has been caused largely by factors—such as foreign competition—beyond the control of American workers.


Argument of management:

- Productivity stagnant so economic pie not growing
- Was pie was growing, management could increase wages.
- Now management can't afford

Conclusion: Until productivity resumes its growth, there can be no justification for further increases in the compensation of workers.

We need to look for a weakness.

(A) Although the economic pie is no longer growing, the portion of the pie allocated to American workers remains unjustly small.

It can certainly be the labour leaders' argument. Even if the pie is not growing, the problem is the unjust distribution of current pie. The redistribution of pie is required even if the pie is not expanding.

(B) If management fails to accommodate the demands of workers, labor leaders will be forced to call strikes that will cripple the operation of industry.

This is not correct. It doesn't focus on logical weakness of the given argument. It threatens dire consequences in case demands are not met.

(C) Although productivity is stagnant, the U.S. population is growing, so that the absolute size of the economic pie continues to grow as well.
The argument states that the economic pie is not growing and that has to be taken to be true since it is a premise. Hence, this is not a logical weakness in the argument. Calling another person a liar is not the same as revealing logical weakness in his/her argument.

(D) As a labor leader, I can be concerned only with the needs of working people, not with the problems faced by management.
Again, this is not a logical weakness in the management's argument. This response is same as saying your problem is not my problem.

(E) The stagnation of U.S. industry has been caused largely by factors—such as foreign competition—beyond the control of American workers.
This reveals the reason for the problems being faced by the economy. It doesn't say what the logical flaw of the argument is.

Answer (A)
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Re: Contrary to the statements of labor leaders, the central economic prob &nbs [#permalink] 06 Sep 2018, 04:41
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