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Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivi

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Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivi [#permalink]

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Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivity, for this increases profits for the owners and the likelihood that the business will survive. But not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole. Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.

Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main conclusion of the economist’s argument?

(A) If an action taken to secure the survival of a business fails to enhance the welfare of the business’s employees, that action cannot be good for the business as a whole.
(B) Some measures taken by a business to increase productivity fail to be beneficial to the business as a whole.
(C) Only if the employees of a business are also its owners will the interests of the employees and owners coincide, enabling measures that will be beneficial to the business as a whole.
(D) There is no business that does not make efforts to increase its productivity.
(E) Decreasing the number of employees in a business undermines the sense of security of retained employees.

Source: LSAT June 2007
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Last edited by broall on 17 Sep 2017, 19:14, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivi [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2014, 03:42
passage clearly states that

But not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole.

Same as B,

(B) Some measures taken by a business to increase productivity fail to be beneficial to the business
as a whole.
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Re: Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivi [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2014, 19:33
How to chose which one is the Main conclusion if there are two conclusions as this question does.

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Re: Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivi [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2016, 11:01
gauravkaushik8591 wrote:
How to chose which one is the Main conclusion if there are two conclusions as this question does.


I believe you are referring to the choices B and E.

While both state the things that are true and confirmed by the passage, the Economist is more concerned with the Effects on Employees by the measures taken by the Business rather than the safety of fewer Employees.

The Entire conclusion will be logically followed by the Option B while Option E is acting like a modifier to the last sentence. It cannot be applied to the first part of argument

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Re: Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivi [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jan 2016, 02:37
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The main conclusion of the argument is "not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole". The statement can be paraphrased as some efforts to increase productivity may backfire on the business as a whole. Remember there is only one main conclusion. You need to look for a paraphrase of that. "Not all" translates to "some". The only answer which has the paraphrase is "B".
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Re: Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivi [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2017, 09:33
Can someone explain why option A is wrong?

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Re: Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivi [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2017, 10:27
Chef wrote:
Can someone explain why option A is wrong?


Employees security is just given as an example that can have negative effect on the company productivity as whole, but whole paragraph hinges on fact that efforts to increase productivity not always have positive effect ...

So B is the main conclusion...

Hope it helps.

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Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivi [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2017, 11:03
Hi GMATninja2, GMATNinja

I knew that "SOME" is not equal to "NOT ALL", so i did not choose B.

I chose D - Because argument says "EVERY business" and this choice says "there is NO business that does NOT". I felt both are same. Please help me understand why it is not the case.

I did not choose E: because Argument says "OFTEN" attempts to increase productivity DECREASE the number of employees and that harms the sense of security. but this choice says "decrease UNDERMINES the sense of security". So this choice says with surity what argument says happens OFTEN. is this reasoning correct to dismiss choice E.
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Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivi [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2017, 09:04
Main conclusion
Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivity, for this increases profits for the owners and the likelihood that the business will survive. But not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole. Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.

Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main conclusion of the economist’s argument?

(A) If an action taken to secure the survival of a business fails to enhance the welfare of the business’s employees, that action cannot be good for the business as a whole.
(B) Some measures taken by a business to increase productivity fail to be beneficial to the business as a whole.
(C) Only if the employees of a business are also its owners will the interests of the employees and owners coincide, enabling measures that will be beneficial to the business as a whole.
(D) There is no business that does not make efforts to increase its productivity.
(E) Decreasing the number of employees in a business undermines the sense of security of retained employees.


In main conclusion question we generally look for the option which covers all the points in the passage and gives us a crux of what is written, B does that and is our answer.
I feel there are couple of important phrases that we have to pay attention to such as “But not all efforts”, “Often, attempts”.
E is wrong because it only talks about the security of retained employees which doesn’t give us the crux of the passage.
B is right because it talks about some measures (remember the phrase “not all efforts”) and business as a whole which covers both dismissed employees and retained employees.

Thank you
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Re: Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivi [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2017, 10:47
HKD1710 wrote:
I knew that "SOME" is not equal to "NOT ALL", so i did not choose B.

I chose D - Because argument says "EVERY business" and this choice says "there is NO business that does NOT". I felt both are same. Please help me understand why it is not the case.

I did not choose E: because Argument says "OFTEN" attempts to increase productivity DECREASE the number of employees and that harms the sense of security. but this choice says "decrease UNDERMINES the sense of security". So this choice says with surity what argument says happens OFTEN. is this reasoning correct to dismiss choice E.

"Some" means an unspecified amount. This is practically the same as saying "not all".
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Re: Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivi [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2017, 03:09
GMATNinjaTwo wrote:
HKD1710 wrote:
I knew that "SOME" is not equal to "NOT ALL", so i did not choose B.

I chose D - Because argument says "EVERY business" and this choice says "there is NO business that does NOT". I felt both are same. Please help me understand why it is not the case.

I did not choose E: because Argument says "OFTEN" attempts to increase productivity DECREASE the number of employees and that harms the sense of security. but this choice says "decrease UNDERMINES the sense of security". So this choice says with surity what argument says happens OFTEN. is this reasoning correct to dismiss choice E.

"Some" means an unspecified amount. This is practically the same as saying "not all".


Hi GMATNinjaTwo,

I learnt that "Not All includes 0-99" and "some includes 1-100". so i was skeptical about the possibility of some being 100 or not all being 0. In this case they won't be equal. so i'm still confused with B.

Could you please shed some light about my queries regarding the choice D & E as well.
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Re: Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivi [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2017, 09:01
HKD1710 wrote:
GMATNinjaTwo wrote:
HKD1710 wrote:
I knew that "SOME" is not equal to "NOT ALL", so i did not choose B.

I chose D - Because argument says "EVERY business" and this choice says "there is NO business that does NOT". I felt both are same. Please help me understand why it is not the case.

I did not choose E: because Argument says "OFTEN" attempts to increase productivity DECREASE the number of employees and that harms the sense of security. but this choice says "decrease UNDERMINES the sense of security". So this choice says with surity what argument says happens OFTEN. is this reasoning correct to dismiss choice E.

"Some" means an unspecified amount. This is practically the same as saying "not all".


Hi GMATNinjaTwo,

I learnt that "Not All includes 0-99" and "some includes 1-100". so i was skeptical about the possibility of some being 100 or not all being 0. In this case they won't be equal. so i'm still confused with B.

Could you please shed some light about my queries regarding the choice D & E as well.

Yes, there is a subtle difference between "not all efforts are beneficial" and "some efforts are beneficial", but the answer choice says, "some efforts are NOT beneficial".

For example:

  • There are several treatments for cancer.
  • Not all treatments are helpful.
  • Since we know that there is a nonzero number of treatments and not all of them are helpful, we also know that SOME of those treatments are NOT helpful.

Yes, there is a subtle difference between "some" and "not all", but "not all" refers to efforts that are beneficial while "some" refers to efforts that are not beneficial.

As for choice (D), this might be an accurate statement, but does it reflect the main conclusion of the passage? Does the author want you to walk away with the knowledge that all businesses strive to improve productivity? No... this is simply information on which the rest of the argument is based:

  • Every business strives to improve productivity.
  • Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.
  • In conclusion, "not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole."

This is exactly what GMATNinja is talking about in the "How structural thinking can help" section of the Ultimate CR Guide for Beginners.

Similarly, choice (E) is an accurate statement, but it doesn't represent the main conclusion. Rather, it is evidence in support of the main conclusion. Yes, to your point, there is a subtle difference between choice (E) and the statement in the passage, but even if choice (E) were worded exactly the same as the information in the passage, it would still not represent the author's main conclusion.

In general, don't get lost in the trees and lose sight of the forest! Sometimes we can focus so much on little technical details that we lose track of the author's main point and the importance of the author's word choices. So make sure to step back and ask yourself, "What is the author trying to say here?". Refer to the Ultimate CR Guide for Beginners for more tips.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivi   [#permalink] 24 Sep 2017, 09:01
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