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Joined: 14 Jan 2013
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14 May 2013, 08:43
Could you please take time to review the below essay and provide valuable inputs. Thanks.
“Over time, the costs of processing go down because as organizations learn how to do things better, they become more efficient. In color film processing, for example, the cost of a 3-by-5-inch print fell from 50 cents for five-day service in 1970 to 20 cents for one-day service in 1984. The same principle applies to the processing of food. And since Olympic Foods will soon celebrate its 25th birthday, we can expect that our long experience will enable us to minimize costs and thus maximize profits.”
Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.

The premise that cost of processing goes down as an organization learns how to things better is a general and a valid argument, and is substantiated in many industries. However, it is not always the case. Each industry is different and the parameters that affect each industry is different so is the result. The factors which may question the merit of the argument are enumerated and described in the following paragraphs.
First, the example provided in which the cost of processing of the given print fell is may be because of improvement in the printing technology, so that, the capital investment required in the printing technology itself may have been reduced, in turn, bringing down the price of the print. The argument fails to provide any data to counter substantiate the advance in the technology to the effect prices are brought down. Also, typically, advance in technology may be such that any appreciation in inflation may effectively be countered by the advances in technology. For example, computers once not affordable to the masses are now wide spread due to technological advance, even overcoming the inflation.
Second, the inputs to the food industry are human resources, cereals, oil, and vegetables. All of which are subjected to inflation, unless, the prices of groceries have drastically fallen for various reasons. In which case, such a premise should have been captured in the argument to substantiate the corollary. Also, the value addition to the food processing comes mainly from human preparation and skill set of the chef; salaries are bound to increase over the years. If indeed, a technological advance brought down the cost of food production, then it should have been captured in the argument.
From the above paragraphs, it can be inferred that even though argument in general may be valid, argument fails to substantiate any concrete reason or steps taken so that the food price would have brought down over the years in the Olympic foods, resulting in profits
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