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# Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and

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Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 10 Dec 2017, 04:15
3
6
00:00

Difficulty:

75% (hard)

Question Stats:

55% (01:58) correct 45% (02:11) wrong based on 474 sessions

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Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and addictive drugs, we cannot expect farmers in Narobistan to stop growing poppies without providing these farmers, whose only concern is earning enough to support their families, with other options. To encourage the growing of soy plants that can be used to produce alternative fuels, we should agree to pay the farmers twice as much for an acre of soy plants as the farmers are paid for an acre of poppies.

Which of the following would most weaken the argument above?

A. In Narobistan, it is illegal to use drugs grown from poppies, but legal to grow the poppies.
B. The process by which soy plants are turned into alternative fuels will remain very expensive for at least another five years.
C. The farmers in Narobistan who grow plants that are used in perfumes make 2.5 times what poppy-growing farmers make each year.
D. The market for alternative fuels is less than one-thousandth of the market for illegal drugs.
E. The cost of producing an acre of poppies is approximately one-half of the cost of producing an acre of soy plants.

Source: Veri Prep Quiz

Originally posted by TGC on 18 Jan 2013, 22:45.
Last edited by Mahmud6 on 10 Dec 2017, 04:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and  [#permalink]

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19 Jan 2013, 08:00
Clearly we are concerned of the cost of producing an acre of soy plants.

So we have to give incentives to the farmers to do so.

But if the cost of conversion poppies are less of soy conversion we do not need to pay the farmers to convert their acres

So E is the best answer
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Re: Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and  [#permalink]

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19 Jan 2013, 09:14
1
OE

Explanation: The conclusion is that farmers will be encouraged to plant soy rather than poppies if they are paid twice as much per acre for the soy. However, if it costs twice as much to produce the soy plants, then there’s no advantage. With no advantage, why switch if your only concern is earning enough money?

(A) This has no effect on the argument since it does not address the soy vs. poppies issue. The illegality of using these drugs in Narobistan is outside the scope of the argument.

(B) This is of no concern to the farmer, who simply grows the stuff. Production is outside the scope of the argument.

(C) This means that some farmers might be even more encouraged to switch to the plants used in perfume, but that doesn’t mean that some farmers won’t switch to soy. Perhaps not every farmer has the right soil for the perfume plants, or there isn’t much demand for these plants.

(D) This strays from the scope, which is just drugs made from poppies, not all illegal drugs.
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Re: Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2013, 02:43
1
TGC wrote:
OE

Explanation: The conclusion is that farmers will be encouraged to plant soy rather than poppies if they are paid twice as much per acre for the soy. However, if it costs twice as much to produce the soy plants, then there’s no advantage. With no advantage, why switch if your only concern is earning enough money?

Am I wrong?

"enough to support their families" = profit

Profit = Revenue - Cost
i.e. If the farmers get some money for their families, they must have a cost that is lower than the revenue: (P)1 = (R)100 - (C)99

Revenue from soy = 2x revenue from poppies
Cost of soy = 2x cost of poppies

So, for any revenue and cost, the profit will always be greater when planting soy:

If the revenue fom poppies = 100, then the revenue of soy will be 200.
If the cost of poppies = 99, then the cost of soy will be 198.

The conclusion: the profit from poppies will be 1 while the profit from soy will be 2. The OE says that there is no advantage switching from poppies to soy, but obviously there is an advantage, which is a higher profit per acre.

How (E) weakens the argument?

The correct alternative should have something such as "soy sells less acres per year" or "there are a lot of farmers producing soy".

For me, the best alternative is B
The process by which soy plants are turned into alternative fuels will remain very expensive for at least another five years.
» So, soy might not be used for fuel and maybe the demand for soy will be lower than the demand for poppies, then even getting a higher profit per acre, less acres of soy will be sold.

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Re: Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2013, 05:18
Hi -

There is an issue with B. It suggests that demand will be low. However, we already know that price will be set as double poppy price - i.e. guaranteeing that we will pay that price. So there is no issue there.

E is correct as others have said as it reduces the benefit from switching goods.

James
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Re: Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2013, 05:32
I agree with amgelcer's calculations. E doesn't weaken the argument.

However, I don't find any of the other options convincing.
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Re: Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2013, 05:35
E does not weaken
The money could still be more after accounting the double cost of production.

Imo D looks good to me.
The assumption here is there is a good market for Soy based alternative fuels.

However as D says the market is very small clearly attacks it and weaken the argument.

B is close however linking demand to the cost of expensive process is going too far away.

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Re: Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2013, 07:07
plumber250 wrote:
Hi -

There is an issue with B. It suggests that demand will be low. However, we already know that price will be set as double poppy price - i.e. guaranteeing that we will pay that price. So there is no issue there.

E is correct as others have said as it reduces the benefit from switching goods.

James

Yes, will pay the double for an acre, but does not say that will buy the same number of acres.

If (B) sugests that the demand will be lower, then should be the correct one.

(E) does not reduces the benefit, it increases the benfit. If you double a number X and double a smaller number Y, the difference from the doubles will be greather than the difference of the original numbers. Hence, more profit and advantage.

If X>Y and Y>0, then X - Y < 2X - 2Y.

Maybe the point of the question is not if there will be more profit. "Only concern is earning enough to support their families" might say that they don't care about anything else. But, then I don't see a good alternative.
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Re: Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and  [#permalink]

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06 Oct 2013, 07:46
Hi can the experts explain why D is wrong.

It certainly hurts the argument "The market for alternative fuels is less than one-thousandth of the market for illegal drugs."

Even if the farmers are encouraged enough to grow Soy plants they wont have enough market to sell.
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Re: Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and  [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2014, 03:31
Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and addictive drugs, we cannot expect farmers in Narobistan to stop growing poppies without providing these farmers, whose only concern is earning enough to support their families, with other options.

con: paying the farmers twice as much for an acre of soy plants as the farmers are paid for an acre of poppies will encourage the growing of soy plants that can be used to produce alternative fuels.

to weaken the con we should indicate that paying this amount will not encourage farmers to plant alternative plant.
or paying the farmers twice as much for an acre of soy plants as the farmers are paid for an acre of poppies is not profitable enough for farmers to make them switch to planting new crops.

Which of the following would most weaken the argument above?

In Narobistan, it is illegal to use drugs grown from poppies, but legal to grow the poppies.
The process by which soy plants are turned into alternative fuels will remain very expensive for at least another five years. we don't care about the process in which the soy plant are turned into alternative fuels. we only care about the issue related to farming
The farmers in Narobistan who grow plants that are used in perfumes make 2.5 times what poppy-growing farmers make each year.
The market for alternative fuels is less than one-thousandth of the market for illegal drugs.
The cost of producing an acre of poppies is approximately one-half of the cost of producing an acre of soy plants. this option indicates that the extra money proposed to be paid to farmers is not encouraging enough to make them switch to plant soy. the extra money paid should be spent on extra cost.
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Re: Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and  [#permalink]

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09 Nov 2015, 04:11
What is the official explanation for E?

As shown by some comments, if poppy costs 50/acre and sells for 75, you have a profit of 25/acre. If soy costs twice as much and sells for twice as much, your margin is the same but your profit is greater. Soy, in the example, would cost 100/acre and sell for 150/acre, therefore you have a profit of 50/acre.

I can see the explanation being based on this statement:

"we cannot expect farmers in Narobistan to stop growing poppies without providing these farmers, whose only concern is earning enough to support their families, with other options."

implying that farmers are struggling financially as it is and they won't have the capital to plant soy if it costs twice as much. But I'm not sure if I can properly infer that farmers will have trouble with the larger capital requirements of soy planting given the quoted statement
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Re: Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and  [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2016, 21:39
In this problem, like other problems belonging to assumption family, IMO staying close to premise and conclusion helps us survive a tempting choice.
Background - Farmers are growing poppy, Poppy can be routed to make drugs.
Premise - Farmer's concern is making money
Concluson- if we pay the farmers twice for growing soy, they will switch!

So we need to find an argument which says they probably won't.
Let us see a tempting choice.. --D says that market size for alternative fuels is less than Poppy. If the farmers were producing soy and selling that in the market, then surely it is of concern. But in the plan is to pay the farmers directly twice the amount they get after selling poppy. Farmers need not worry about scaling soy production. Also it is unclear whether the alternative fuels is the only use of soy.

E - directly attacks the choice to swiitch. If its twice as costly to produce then the farmers just have a choice that is just as good, not good enough to switch
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Re: Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and  [#permalink]

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29 Jun 2017, 04:21
carcass wrote:
Clearly we are concerned of the cost of producing an acre of soy plants.

So we have to give incentives to the farmers to do so.

But if the cost of conversion poppies are less of soy conversion we do not need to pay the farmers to convert their acres

So E is the best answer

hi I have a small doubt on E, below is my evaluation

Follow the below assumptions for the prices as per the stimulus:

Cost to get poppy= 10 sells at 20 profit= 10
Cost to soya= 20 (as per choice E) sells at 40 (double of poppy); profit= 20 . clearly profit is double

I am not able to understand how E is correct. Kindly help me understand this better.

Thanks
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Re: Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and  [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2017, 04:29
Considering the posts of @amgelcer and @GMATblock, how E could be the correct answer? Need expert's opinion.
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Re: Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and  [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2017, 06:47
Agree with GMATblock. The argument needs another assumption to make E the correct answer.
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Re: Diplomat: Though poppies can be turned into illegal and &nbs [#permalink] 10 Dec 2017, 06:47
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