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# For years, U.S. employers have counted on a steady flow of labor from

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For years, U.S. employers have counted on a steady flow of labor from  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 08 May 2020, 09:49
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For years, U.S. employers have counted on a steady flow of labor from Mexico willing to accept low-skilled, low paying jobs. These workers, many of whom leave economically depressed villages in the Mexican interior, are often more than willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line. However, thanks to a dramatic demographic shift currently taking place in Mexico, the seemingly inexhaustible supply of workers migrating from Mexico to the United States might one day greatly diminish if not cease. Predictions of such a drastic decrease in the number of Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal, are driven by Mexico’s rapidly diminishing population growth.

As a result of a decades-long family planning campaign, most Mexicans are having far fewer children than was the norm a generation ago. The campaign, organized around the slogan that “the small family lives better,” saw the Mexican government establish family-planning clinics and offer free contraception. For nearly three decades, the government’s message concerning population hasn’t wavered. In fact, the Mexican Senate recently voted to extend public school sex education programs to kindergarten. The result of Mexico’s efforts to stem population growth is nothing short of stunning. In 1968, the average Mexican woman had just fewer than seven children; today, the figure is slightly more than two.

For two primary reasons, Mexico’s new demographics could greatly impact the number of Mexicans seeking work in the U.S. First, smaller families by their nature limit the pool of potential migrants. Second, the slowing of Mexico’s population growth has fostered hope that Mexico will develop a healthy middle class of people content to make their livelihoods in their home country. Though the former of these factors is all but assured, the growth of a healthy middle class is far from a foregone conclusion. The critical challenge for Mexico is what it does with the next 20 years. Mexico must invest in education, job training, and infrastructure, as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population. If Mexico is willing to step forward and meet this challenge, America may one day wake up to find that, like cheap gasoline, cheap Mexican labor has become a thing of the past.

Q1. The passage does NOT indicate which of the following concerning Mexico’s current demographics?

(A) Due to the government’s family planning campaign, Mexico’s population is currently diminishing.
(B) On average, Mexican women are having approximately one-third the number of children that they had in 1968.
(C) Many Mexicans still migrate to the United States in search of work.
(D) As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging.
(E) A healthy middle class in Mexico has not yet fully developed.

Q2. Which of the following can be inferred about U.S. employers of Mexican immigrants?

(A) Most of these employers pay Mexican immigrants less money than they pay American citizens.
(B) Some of these employers violate wage laws.
(C) Many of these employers work in the agricultural industry.
(D) Without Mexican immigrants, some of these employers would be forced to close their businesses.
(E) The majority of these employers show no concern for the welfare of their workers.

Q3. One function of the final paragraph of the passage is to

(A) relate why the number of Mexican immigrants seeking work in the United States is certain to decline.
(B) detail the successes of Mexico’s family planning campaign.
(C) explain why the number of Mexican immigrants seeking work in the United States may not dramatically decrease.
(D) specify the types of infrastructure in which Mexico must invest.
(E) notify American employers that they will soon need to find alternative sources of labor.

E

OE:

A keen understanding of the main idea of the passage, in combination with a well
developed sketch of the passage to help you quickly access the pertinent
(A) In both the first and fourth paragraphs the author indicates that the supply of
Mexican labor to the United States might diminish over time if certain conditions in
Mexico continue to change. The author does not believe this to be a foregone
conclusion. Moreover, the author never hints that this hypothetical labor vacuum will
have to be filled by other immigrant groups.
(B) The author speaks only of Mexico and its challenges. It is beyond the scope of
the passage to assume what the author might believe, in general, about countries
with large populations. Additionally, the passage never quantifies the definition of a
“large population.”
(C) In the first paragraph, the author says Mexican immigrants are “more than willing
to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line.”
Thus, the workers themselves seem not to feel taken advantage of.
toward countries other than Mexico. The passage, however, discusses only Mexico
and its policies and challenges.
(E) CORRECT. In the final paragraph, the author indicates that "the growth of a
healthy middle class is far from a foregone conclusion. The critical challenge for
Mexico is what it does with the next 20 years.” Then, the author indicates the steps
that Mexico must take. Thus, the author obviously believes that Mexico does not
currently have the infrastructure to develop a healthy middle class. The key, for the
author, is whether Mexico is willing and able to build this infrastructure.

Q4: With which of the following statements would the author of the passage MOST likely agree?

(A) The United States will soon have to replace lost Mexican labor with labor provided by other immigrant groups.
(B) It is difficult for a country with a large population to develop a healthy middle class.
(C) Many Mexican immigrants who work in the United States believe that they are taken advantage of by American employers.
(D) Most rapidly growing countries should institute a family planning campaign to limit population growth.
(E) Mexico does not currently have the infrastructure to develop a healthy middle class.

5. The author includes the third paragraph of the passage in order to

A. illustrate why the number of Mexican immigrants seeking work in the United States is certain to decline
B. detail the successes of Mexico’s family planning campaign
C. explain why the number of Mexicans seeking work in the United States may not dramatically decrease
D. specify the types of infrastructure in which Mexico must invest
E. notify American employers that they must soon find alternative sources of labor

6. The passage indicates all of the following concerning Mexico’s current demographics EXCEPT:

A. Due to the government’s family-planning campaign, Mexico’s population is currently diminishing.
B. On average, Mexican women of a generation ago gave birth to more than twice as many children as do Mexican women today.
C. Many Mexicans still migrate to the United States in search of work.
D. As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging.
E. A healthy middle class in Mexico has not yet fully developed.

7. Which of the following is most strongly suggested about U.S. employers of Mexican immigrants?

A. Most of these employers pay illegal Mexican immigrants less money than they pay legal Mexican immigrants.
B. Some of these employers either violate or are exempt from wage laws.
C. Without Mexican immigrants, some of these employers would be forced to close their businesses.
D. Most of these companies employ Mexican immigrants in order to lower their costs and, therefore, increase their profits.
E. The majority of these employers prefer to hire immigrants for low-paying jobs rather than U.S. citizens.

Originally posted by samark on 02 Nov 2010, 20:05.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 08 May 2020, 09:49, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: For years, U.S. employers have counted on a steady flow of labor from  [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2010, 11:24
35
2
9
This passage is so sneaky-- it *seems* straightforward and I wouldn't be surprised if people finished it well under time with a lot of confidence...only to find that they missed most of the questions.

Everyone's reading process differs, but so you have a sense of where I'm coming from, here's a breakdown of my mental process while reading:

For years, U.S. employers have counted on a steady flow of labor from Mexico willing to accept low-skilled, low paying jobs. (OK, social science passage...it's about labor but what's the main point? Also, this is an issue that is very much in the popular consciousness-- be extremely wary of bringing in outside knowledge) These workers, many of whom leave economically depressed villages in the Mexican interior, are often more than willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line. (Mexican workers work in US for <min wage) However, thanks to a dramatic demographic shift currently taking place in Mexico, the seemingly inexhaustible supply of workers migrating from Mexico to the United States might one day greatly diminish if not cease. (Author's point of view! Probable main point of passage...bc of Mex demo shift the current Mex->US flow of migrant workers may shift or stop).

Notes:

I. For years, US employers count on low skill/pay Mex workers
Mex workers <min wage/pov line
Current Mex demo shift MAY ->flow of migrant workers shift/stop

On to P.2:

Predictions of such a drastic decrease in the number of Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal, are driven by Mexico’s rapidly diminishing population growth. (support for author's main point-- dec. pop growth) As a result of a decades-long family planning campaign, most Mexicans are having far fewer children than was the norm a generation ago. (decades-long campaign->fewer children for most) The campaign, organized around the slogan that “the small family lives better,” saw the Mexican government establish family-planning clinics and offer free contraception. (details of campaign...don't get bogged down in specifics...maybe just jot some key words) For nearly three decades, the government’s message concerning population hasn’t wavered. In fact, the Mexican Senate recently voted to extend public school sex education programs to kindergarten.

Notes:
II. REASON for predicted imm dec is dec in pop growth
decades of fam plan campaign-> fewer kids for most
(govt clinics, contracep, sex ed)

The result of Mexico’s efforts to stem population growth is nothing short of stunning. (results awesome!) In 1968, the average Mexican woman had just fewer than seven children; today, the figure is slightly more than two. (7->2 kids per woman) For two primary reasons, (structure marker, pay attention to upcoming list) Mexico’s new demographics could greatly impact the number of Mexicans seeking work in the U.S. First, smaller families by their nature limit the pool of potential migrants. (1--fewer people overall...duh...other one must be more interesting) Second, the slowing of Mexico’s population growth has fostered hope that Mexico will develop a healthy middle class of people content to make their livelihoods in their home country. (2--hope for domestic Mex middle class)

Notes:
III.Campaign results = wow
7->2 kids/woman
2 reasons: (1) fewer people and (2) hope for domestic Mex mid-class

Though the former of these factors is all but assured, the growth of a healthy middle class is far from a foregone conclusion. (yup, second one is more interesting, as predicted) The critical (red flag word--pay attention) challenge for Mexico is what it does with the next 20 years. Mexico must (red flag word!) invest in education, job training, and infrastructure, as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population. If (structure word...we're dealing w/a conditional) Mexico is willing to step forward and meet this challenge, America may one day wake up to find that, like cheap gasoline, cheap Mexican labor has become a thing of the past.

Notes:
IV. Reason (1)=YES but reason (2)= MAYBE
For (2), in next 20 yrs, Mex MUST invest in ed, training, infra, SS for aging pop
If Mex does-> predicted shift happens

I like social science passages, and there wasn't any of the highly technical language that can sometimes trip me up, so it took me 2:39 to read and take notes on this passage, which means I should spend about 1 min per question to average out to a total of 6 min for both reading and 3 questions (2 min per question). The actual reading process might be faster/slower for you--adjust the time on and approach to your questions accordingly. Also, there are some symbols I used to cut down on writing time (arrows, etc) that I can't convey easily here-- use whatever system and symbols are most efficient for you.

Now onto the questions!

Q1. a NOT question...I'm going to have to examine all of them. What a pain!
(A) I remembered something about pop diminishing in P2, but looking at my notes saw that I had "pop growth" underlined. Typical sneaky Gmat tactic! This might be our answer, but let's keep looking just in case.
(B) 2 is about a third of 7? Pretty close. Cross off.
(C) This is pretty much what P1 says...there may be a shift "one day," but for now the workers are still coming. Cross off.
(D) Where did we see that word "aging"? In my notes for P4! Yup, the pop is aging-- the passage says so....is this the result of declining birth rates? If people are having fewer kids, then the population as a whole must be skewing more toward people who are already alive (older people), so yes this is true but involves some inference. Leave for now.
(E) P.4 notes again-- middle class is a MAYBE. Cross off.

Between (A) and (D), (D) requires a few more steps to reason through, but (A) has a concrete, identifiable error. The answer is (A). If we had gone too quickly and missed that sneaky word "growth" in (A), we might have gotten rid of all the answers. When that happens (and it will!) don't despair--cycle through them again and try to zero in on those little words you may have missed the first time--- getting rid of everything is often a result of rushing through the first time.

Q2. This is an inference question, so keep an eye out for any keywords that will tell us what part(s) of the passage we should focus on. Where did it talk about US employers? According to our notes--the first paragraph.

(A) This choice is a comparison-- make sure both parts are mentioned (and again, be very wary of bringing in outside knowledge--if "most" people know something, GMAC will try to use that info trip you up, so that info is highly suspect in an answer). The passage talks about the Mexican workers' pay, but never explicitly says anything about Americans' pay. What if most of these employers don't hire Americans at all? Eliminate.
(B) "Some" is a vague term that could mean as many as 100% and as few as 1. Do we know that at least one employer violates wage laws? Yes, the US counts on the labor of Mexican immigrants who are "often more than willing" to work for a wage "below the U.S. minimum wage." You could argue, however, that there is a little outside knowledge required here, too-- the fact that the minimum wage is a "wage law." Let's hold onto it for now but keep that flaw in mind.
(C) The passage doesn't specify what industry the workers are employed in. Eliminate.
(E) The words "no concern" are quite strong, and therefore you must have strong evidence to support it. The author states that the workers are often paid less-than-minimum wage, but does this mean there is absolutely zero concern on the part of the employers? Not necessarily. Eliminate.

We had a reservation about (B), but it's the only one left after all the others are eliminated, and requires the smallest "jump."

Q3. The phrase "one function" is very open-ended-- we only need ONE function, which may or may not be the primary function, of the final paragraph. Reread our notes for that paragraph.
(A) "certain" is a red-flag word. Is this certain? No, the paragraph lists conditions that must be fulfilled for the number of immigrants to decline. Eliminate.
(B) This info is in the passage, but not in the paragraph we care about (common GMAT trap). Eliminate.
(C) Does this happen in the final paragraph? Sort of...the author says that the decline is a "maybe" not a "definite," and proceeds to state the conditions that must be fulfilled (the implication being that if those conditions are NOT fulfilled, the prediction will not come true). The paragraph is primarily concerned with those conditions, but we're only looking for "one" function. Hold onto it for now.
(D) The passage DOES list infrastructure in which Mexico must invest...IF the prediction is to come true. This answer choice, however, simply says "Mexico must invest"--a very strong statement containing the red-flag word "must." Mexico doesn't *have to* invest in those items-- if it doesn't, then the predicted shift may not happen. Eliminate.
(E) The predicted decrease is contingent on many things happening, and not a certainty. Eliminate.

Really really sneaky passage, but a great exercise in staying sharp about those little words that can make or break an answer choice.
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Re: For years, U.S. employers have counted on a steady flow of labor from  [#permalink]

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03 Nov 2010, 08:07
6
1
nageshshiv wrote:
Hi samark,

Pls provide official explanation for the answers.

Nagesh

Q1. The best way to answer a question that asks for information NOT indicated in the passage is to quickly skim through the passage and eliminate any answer choice that IS indicated in the passage.

A is correct here because the passage states several times that Mexico’s population growth is diminishing due to the country’s declining birth rate. However, the passage never suggests that Mexico’s population itself is diminishing.

Population may be increasing but at a lower rate than before!

Q2. The passage states that U.S. employers of Mexican immigrants often provide low-skilled, low-paying jobs to individuals who "are often more than willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line."

Choice A is wrong because No information is provided concerning the amount of money paid to American citizens. It is possible that there are many Americans who also work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line.

As for B, If some of these immigrant workers are accepting wages “well below the U.S. minimum wage,” their American employers must be violating wage laws (i.e. paying wages below what the U.S. minimum wage requires).

Q3.
The final paragraph primarily explains why the development of a healthy middle class, an important factor in limiting the desire of many Mexicans to migrate to the United States, is not a foregone conclusion.

In paragraph, it is stated that Mexico must take specific actions to foster the development of a healthy middle class. Without a healthy middle class, the author believes that large numbers of Mexicans will continue to seek work in the United States.

Hope, it helps!

Press Kudos......
##### General Discussion
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Re: For years, U.S. employers have counted on a steady flow of labor from  [#permalink]

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08 Oct 2012, 04:08
6
Hey!
The answer to the question is A
Good, tricky question this is so thanks for a 2 min exercise!
All options here, apparently seem to be indicated in the passage.
I will post the option in RED and the indication in the passage in green

E. A healthy middle class in Mexico has not yet fully developed.
Though the former of these factors is all but assured, the growth of a healthy middle class is far from a foregone conclusion.

D. As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging.
Developing a stable middle class will require investments in education, job training, and infrastructure, as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population.

C. Many Mexicans still migrate to the United States in search of work.
the stream of workers migrating from Mexico to the United States might one day greatly diminish if not cease.

B. On average, Mexican women of a generation ago gave birth to more than twice as many children as do Mexican women today.
On average, Mexican women today are giving birth to fewer than half as many children as did their mothers.

A. Due to the government’s family-planning campaign, Mexico’s population is currently diminishing.
WE GOT NOTHING

This is a very commonly tested trap set by the GMAT for difficult RC and CR questions, in which it confuses with with percentage and absolute figures. The text here says the population growth is diminishing. However, nothing is mentioned about population as an absolute entity. Population may only decrease when more people die than those who are born. The passage, however, suggests that if previously population changed from 100 to 200, now it changed from 200 to 205. The absolute population is increasing, but its growth is diminishing.

Hope this helps
Souvik
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06 Nov 2010, 08:43
3
I hate these 'hide the ball' questions - I got this passage too on one of the MGMAT CATs... different set of questions though; but even that one was pretty tough and I think I got most of them wrong...

Q. 1. Point taken about A. A is not expressly suggested by the passage. But where in the passage is D expressly suggested: "As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging"? Birth rate could be declining and the death rate may have also increased?

Q. 2. OK. The passage states: "These workers, many of whom leave economically depressed villages in the Mexican interior, are often more than willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line." --- they are more than "willing" - fine - but it is not suggested that they are in fact paid below min wage by the employers; how can you impute that to the employers? Just because they are willing doesnt mean the employers will necessarily violate the law to pay them less. I picked A. The last sentence of the passage: "If Mexico is willing to step forward and meet this challenge, America may one day wake up to find that, like cheap gasoline, cheap Mexican labor has become a thing of the past" CHEAP labor --- ok it doesn't say cheaper than U.S. employees, but I thought that would be a more reasonable jump to make than to assume the employers are violating the min wage law.

Q. 3. Again I picked the wrong answer choice! Picked E. Now looking back use of "will" in E is too extreme --- C has "may" --- so ok I agree with C. If the middle class is not developed due to lack of investment in infrastructure then at least one factor affecting labor movement "may" be affected and maybe there won't be a drastic decrease --- so ok C can work because of the "may" while the other choices have words which express certainty - will, must, certain; choice B is clearly out (looks irrelevant).

But don't agree with the answers to Q. 1 and Q. 2.
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08 Oct 2012, 20:21
2
Hey,
I did not make any note(s), and I dd not go through the passage again and again.
Its just that with practice you get a hang of what gmat likes to test and confusing people with proportion and absolute values is one of its favorite.
And this is a type of detail question in which you have to refer to the passage.
But coming to think about it, if you have a mental map of the organization of the passage, it doesnt take that much of time!
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03 Nov 2010, 00:21
1
8:19

(Q1) Ans: D

The passage does NOT indicate which of the following concerning Mexico’s current demographics?

A. Due to the government’s family planning campaign, Mexico’s population is currently diminishing.
Yes. It stated in the passage.

B. On average, Mexican women are having approximately one-third the number of children that they had in 1968.
Yes. We can infer this from passage. In 1968: a little less than 7 on average. Today: A little more than 2. We can conclude the above

C. Many Mexicans still migrate to the United States in search of work.
Yes. Still a little migration exists if not ceased completely

D. As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging.
Stated in the passage. " ...as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population". We can't just say the declining birth reates are reason for population aging. What incase, the families are still give birth to 7 people on average but only on an average 2 are alive.

E. A healthy middle class in Mexico has not yet fully developed.
The passage states that " ... that Mexico will develop a healthy middle class of people content to make their livelihoods in their home country."
That means - Healthy middle class is still a hope and not yet fully developed.

(2) A

(3) D
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11 Oct 2016, 06:03
1
AbhijitGoswami wrote:
Hi Skywalker18,

3rd Question
Can you please explain why option D is wrong . In 3 para we have " mexico should invest in education , training, infra and social security".

Hi abhijit ,
This answer choice talks about the author’s attitude toward countries other than Mexico - " Most rapidly growing countries ". The passage, however, discusses only Mexico and its policies and challenges.
Hope this helps!!
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30 Nov 2019, 04:08
1
1 more question:

Q4: With which of the following statements would the
author of the passage MOST likely agree?
a. The United States will soon have to replace lost
Mexican labor with labor provided by other immigrant
groups.
b. It is difficult for a country with a large population to
develop a healthy middle class.
c. Many Mexican immigrants who work in the United
States believe that they are taken advantage of by
American employers.
d. Most rapidly growing countries should institute a
family planning campaign to limit population growth.
e. Mexico does not currently have the infrastructure to
develop a healthy middle class.

OA

OE:
A keen understanding of the main idea of the passage, in combination with a well
developed sketch of the passage to help you quickly access the pertinent
(A) In both the first and fourth paragraphs the author indicates that the supply of
Mexican labor to the United States might diminish over time if certain conditions in
Mexico continue to change. The author does not believe this to be a foregone
conclusion. Moreover, the author never hints that this hypothetical labor vacuum will
have to be filled by other immigrant groups.
(B) The author speaks only of Mexico and its challenges. It is beyond the scope of
the passage to assume what the author might believe, in general, about countries
with large populations. Additionally, the passage never quantifies the definition of a
“large population.”
(C) In the first paragraph, the author says Mexican immigrants are “more than willing
to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line.”
Thus, the workers themselves seem not to feel taken advantage of.
toward countries other than Mexico. The passage, however, discusses only Mexico
and its policies and challenges.
(E) CORRECT. In the final paragraph, the author indicates that "the growth of a
healthy middle class is far from a foregone conclusion. The critical challenge for
Mexico is what it does with the next 20 years.” Then, the author indicates the steps
that Mexico must take. Thus, the author obviously believes that Mexico does not
currently have the infrastructure to develop a healthy middle class. The key, for the
author, is whether Mexico is willing and able to build this infrastructure.
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08 May 2020, 03:40
1

The author includes the third paragraph of the passage in order to
A. illustrate why the number of Mexican immigrants seeking work in the United States is certain to decline
B. detail the successes of Mexico’s family planning campaign
C. explain why the number of Mexicans seeking work in the United States may not dramatically decrease
D. specify the types of infrastructure in which Mexico must invest
E. notify American employers that they must soon find alternative sources of labor

The passage indicates all of the following concerning Mexico’s current demographics EXCEPT:
A. Due to the government’s family-planning campaign, Mexico’s population is currently diminishing.
B. On average, Mexican women of a generation ago gave birth to more than twice as many children as do Mexican women today.
C. Many Mexicans still migrate to the United States in search of work.
D. As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging.
E. A healthy middle class in Mexico has not yet fully developed.

Which of the following is most strongly suggested about U.S. employers of Mexican immigrants?
A. Most of these employers pay illegal Mexican immigrants less money than they pay legal Mexican immigrants.
B. Some of these employers either violate or are exempt from wage laws.
C. Without Mexican immigrants, some of these employers would be forced to close their businesses.
D. Most of these companies employ Mexican immigrants in order to lower their costs and, therefore, increase their profits.
E. The majority of these employers prefer to hire immigrants for low-paying jobs rather than U.S. citizens.

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03 Nov 2010, 01:16
nravi549 wrote:
8:19

(Q1) Ans: D

The passage does NOT indicate which of the following concerning Mexico’s current demographics?

A. Due to the government’s family planning campaign, Mexico’s population is currently diminishing.
Yes. It stated in the passage.

B. On average, Mexican women are having approximately one-third the number of children that they had in 1968.
Yes. We can infer this from passage. In 1968: a little less than 7 on average. Today: A little more than 2. We can conclude the above

C. Many Mexicans still migrate to the United States in search of work.
Yes. Still a little migration exists if not ceased completely

D. As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging.
Stated in the passage. " ...as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population". We can't just say the declining birth reates are reason for population aging. What incase, the families are still give birth to 7 people on average but only on an average 2 are alive.

E. A healthy middle class in Mexico has not yet fully developed.
The passage states that " ... that Mexico will develop a healthy middle class of people content to make their livelihoods in their home country."
That means - Healthy middle class is still a hope and not yet fully developed.

(2) A

(3) D

ABC

I will suggest you to look out again for your self why answers are wrong. I would say that first one is really tricky, you should concentrate on what A is saying and what is given in passage. There is subtle difference.

The second one is moderate. So, I guess, you will be able to find out the flaw after some inspection.

I am not fully agree with third answer.

Consider giving Kudos if this passage challanged you!
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03 Nov 2010, 13:09
Hi,

For question 1, The passage states that population growth is diminishing

Predictions of such a drastic decrease in the number of Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal, are driven by Mexico’s rapidly diminishing population growth.

For 2nd Question, The below line from passages states that Workers are willing to work below the wages..But passage doesn't state that EMPLOYERS are willing to accept the workers at wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage

If the answer is "employers are violating ...." then we are pulling outside information here.

These workers, ...........are often more than willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line.
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09 Nov 2010, 06:48
parker wrote:
This passage is so sneaky-- it *seems* straightforward and I wouldn't be surprised if people finished it well under time with a lot of confidence...only to find that they missed most of the questions.

Everyone's reading process differs, but so you have a sense of where I'm coming from, here's a breakdown of my mental process while reading:

For years, U.S. employers have counted on a steady flow of labor from Mexico willing to accept low-skilled, low paying jobs. (OK, social science passage...it's about labor but what's the main point? Also, this is an issue that is very much in the popular consciousness-- be extremely wary of bringing in outside knowledge) These workers, many of whom leave economically depressed villages in the Mexican interior, are often more than willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line. (Mexican workers work in US for <min wage) However, thanks to a dramatic demographic shift currently taking place in Mexico, the seemingly inexhaustible supply of workers migrating from Mexico to the United States might one day greatly diminish if not cease. (Author's point of view! Probable main point of passage...bc of Mex demo shift the current Mex->US flow of migrant workers may shift or stop).

Notes:

I. For years, US employers count on low skill/pay Mex workers
Mex workers <min wage/pov line
Current Mex demo shift MAY ->flow of migrant workers shift/stop

On to P.2:

Predictions of such a drastic decrease in the number of Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal, are driven by Mexico’s rapidly diminishing population growth. (support for author's main point-- dec. pop growth) As a result of a decades-long family planning campaign, most Mexicans are having far fewer children than was the norm a generation ago. (decades-long campaign->fewer children for most) The campaign, organized around the slogan that “the small family lives better,” saw the Mexican government establish family-planning clinics and offer free contraception. (details of campaign...don't get bogged down in specifics...maybe just jot some key words) For nearly three decades, the government’s message concerning population hasn’t wavered. In fact, the Mexican Senate recently voted to extend public school sex education programs to kindergarten.

Notes:
II. REASON for predicted imm dec is dec in pop growth
decades of fam plan campaign-> fewer kids for most
(govt clinics, contracep, sex ed)

The result of Mexico’s efforts to stem population growth is nothing short of stunning. (results awesome!) In 1968, the average Mexican woman had just fewer than seven children; today, the figure is slightly more than two. (7->2 kids per woman) For two primary reasons, (structure marker, pay attention to upcoming list) Mexico’s new demographics could greatly impact the number of Mexicans seeking work in the U.S. First, smaller families by their nature limit the pool of potential migrants. (1--fewer people overall...duh...other one must be more interesting) Second, the slowing of Mexico’s population growth has fostered hope that Mexico will develop a healthy middle class of people content to make their livelihoods in their home country. (2--hope for domestic Mex middle class)

Notes:
III.Campaign results = wow
7->2 kids/woman
2 reasons: (1) fewer people and (2) hope for domestic Mex mid-class

Though the former of these factors is all but assured, the growth of a healthy middle class is far from a foregone conclusion. (yup, second one is more interesting, as predicted) The critical (red flag word--pay attention) challenge for Mexico is what it does with the next 20 years. Mexico must (red flag word!) invest in education, job training, and infrastructure, as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population. If (structure word...we're dealing w/a conditional) Mexico is willing to step forward and meet this challenge, America may one day wake up to find that, like cheap gasoline, cheap Mexican labor has become a thing of the past.

Notes:
IV. Reason (1)=YES but reason (2)= MAYBE
For (2), in next 20 yrs, Mex MUST invest in ed, training, infra, SS for aging pop
If Mex does-> predicted shift happens

I like social science passages, and there wasn't any of the highly technical language that can sometimes trip me up, so it took me 2:39 to read and take notes on this passage, which means I should spend about 1 min per question to average out to a total of 6 min for both reading and 3 questions (2 min per question). The actual reading process might be faster/slower for you--adjust the time on and approach to your questions accordingly. Also, there are some symbols I used to cut down on writing time (arrows, etc) that I can't convey easily here-- use whatever system and symbols are most efficient for you.

Now onto the questions!

Q1. a NOT question...I'm going to have to examine all of them. What a pain!
(A) I remembered something about pop diminishing in P2, but looking at my notes saw that I had "pop growth" underlined. Typical sneaky Gmat tactic! This might be our answer, but let's keep looking just in case.
(B) 2 is about a third of 7? Pretty close. Cross off.
(C) This is pretty much what P1 says...there may be a shift "one day," but for now the workers are still coming. Cross off.
(D) Where did we see that word "aging"? In my notes for P4! Yup, the pop is aging-- the passage says so....is this the result of declining birth rates? If people are having fewer kids, then the population as a whole must be skewing more toward people who are already alive (older people), so yes this is true but involves some inference. Leave for now.
(E) P.4 notes again-- middle class is a MAYBE. Cross off.

Between (A) and (D), (D) requires a few more steps to reason through, but (A) has a concrete, identifiable error. The answer is (A). If we had gone too quickly and missed that sneaky word "growth" in (A), we might have gotten rid of all the answers. When that happens (and it will!) don't despair--cycle through them again and try to zero in on those little words you may have missed the first time--- getting rid of everything is often a result of rushing through the first time.

Q2. This is an inference question, so keep an eye out for any keywords that will tell us what part(s) of the passage we should focus on. Where did it talk about US employers? According to our notes--the first paragraph.

(A) This choice is a comparison-- make sure both parts are mentioned (and again, be very wary of bringing in outside knowledge--if "most" people know something, GMAC will try to use that info trip you up, so that info is highly suspect in an answer). The passage talks about the Mexican workers' pay, but never explicitly says anything about Americans' pay. What if most of these employers don't hire Americans at all? Eliminate.
(B) "Some" is a vague term that could mean as many as 100% and as few as 1. Do we know that at least one employer violates wage laws? Yes, the US counts on the labor of Mexican immigrants who are "often more than willing" to work for a wage "below the U.S. minimum wage." You could argue, however, that there is a little outside knowledge required here, too-- the fact that the minimum wage is a "wage law." Let's hold onto it for now but keep that flaw in mind.
(C) The passage doesn't specify what industry the workers are employed in. Eliminate.
(E) The words "no concern" are quite strong, and therefore you must have strong evidence to support it. The author states that the workers are often paid less-than-minimum wage, but does this mean there is absolutely zero concern on the part of the employers? Not necessarily. Eliminate.

We had a reservation about (B), but it's the only one left after all the others are eliminated, and requires the smallest "jump."

Q3. The phrase "one function" is very open-ended-- we only need ONE function, which may or may not be the primary function, of the final paragraph. Reread our notes for that paragraph.
(A) "certain" is a red-flag word. Is this certain? No, the paragraph lists conditions that must be fulfilled for the number of immigrants to decline. Eliminate.
(B) This info is in the passage, but not in the paragraph we care about (common GMAT trap). Eliminate.
(C) Does this happen in the final paragraph? Sort of...the author says that the decline is a "maybe" not a "definite," and proceeds to state the conditions that must be fulfilled (the implication being that if those conditions are NOT fulfilled, the prediction will not come true). The paragraph is primarily concerned with those conditions, but we're only looking for "one" function. Hold onto it for now.
(D) The passage DOES list infrastructure in which Mexico must invest...IF the prediction is to come true. This answer choice, however, simply says "Mexico must invest"--a very strong statement containing the red-flag word "must." Mexico doesn't *have to* invest in those items-- if it doesn't, then the predicted shift may not happen. Eliminate.
(E) The predicted decrease is contingent on many things happening, and not a certainty. Eliminate.

Really really sneaky passage, but a great exercise in staying sharp about those little words that can make or break an answer choice.

Thanks Parker, but I am not still convinced with 1(I had this q appearing on one of my MGMAT test on which I just managed a 36)
The later part of the passage reinforces the thought that the there is a current change in the demo. The later part of the passage talks about statistics and shows that the decline in population has already begun?

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15 Nov 2010, 19:03
For mailnavin:

You're right, the latter part of the passage definitely indicates a shift in demographics, but note the very specific wording used "the slowing of Mexico’s population growth" -- slower population growth does not equal a declining population.

Say, for example, you have a city (with attractive tax incentives) in which new technology firms are launching at a rate of 100 new firms per year. The city then decides to scale back those incentives, so that rate slows to 50 new firms per year. The number of firms is still growing (assuming no significant change in the number of firms that go out of business, or "die"), but at a slower rate.

Does that help?
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18 Apr 2011, 07:44
ABC in 5:20 minutes

Explanations are next to the options
samark wrote:
For years, U.S. employers have counted on a steady flow of labor from Mexico willing to accept low-skilled, low paying jobs. These workers, many of whom leave economically depressed villages in the Mexican interior, are often more than willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line. However, thanks to a dramatic demographic shift currently taking place in Mexico, the seemingly inexhaustible supply of workers migrating from Mexico to the United States might one day greatly diminish if not cease.
Predictions of such a drastic decrease in the number of Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal, are driven by Mexico’s rapidly diminishing population growth. As a result of a decades-long family planning campaign, most Mexicans are having far fewer children than was the norm a generation ago. The campaign, organized around the slogan that “the small family lives better,” saw the Mexican government establish family-planning clinics and offer free contraception. For nearly three decades, the government’s message concerning population hasn’t wavered. In fact, the Mexican Senate recently voted to extend public school sex education programs to kindergarten.
The result of Mexico’s efforts to stem population growth is nothing short of stunning. In 1968, the average Mexican woman had just fewer than seven children; today, the figure is slightly more than two. For two primary reasons, Mexico’s new demographics could greatly impact the number of Mexicans seeking work in the U.S. First, smaller families by their nature limit the pool of potential migrants. Second, the slowing of Mexico’s population growth has fostered hope that Mexico will develop a healthy middle class of people content to make their livelihoods in their home country.
Though the former of these factors is all but assured, the growth of a healthy middle class is far from a foregone conclusion. The critical challenge for Mexico is what it does with the next 20 years. Mexico must invest in education, job training, and infrastructure, as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population. If Mexico is willing to step forward and meet this challenge, America may one day wake up to find that, like cheap gasoline, cheap Mexican labor has become a thing of the past.

Q1. The passage does NOT indicate which of the following concerning Mexico’s current demographics?
A. Due to the government’s family planning campaign, Mexico’s population is currently diminishing.(Government's family planning is reducing the population growth rate & not the population itself...Didn't spent much time on other choices)
B. On average, Mexican women are having approximately one-third the number of children that they had in 1968.
C. Many Mexicans still migrate to the United States in search of work.
D. As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging.
E. A healthy middle class in Mexico has not yet fully developed.

Solve this one correct under time constraint and you will be hero in my eyes and I will be asking for some explanations

Q2. Which of the following can be inferred about U.S. employers of Mexican immigrants?
A. Most of these employers pay Mexican immigrants less money than they pay American citizens.(this one is bit tricky but passage doesn't say that most of the employees pay less to the Mexicans)
B. Some of these employers violate wage laws. (Line 2 in 1st paragraph strengthen this choice)
C. Many of these employers work in the agricultural industry. (no evidence available for this)
D. Without Mexican immigrants, some of these employers would be forced to close their businesses. (Too extreme)
E. The majority of these employers show no concern for the welfare of their workers. (Not mentioned in paragraph)

Q3. One function of the final paragraph of the passage is to
A. relate why the number of Mexican immigrants seeking work in the United States is certain to decline. (paragraph says that how 1 factor will help to decrease the flow of mexican workers & other doesn't so this option is out)
B. detail the successes of Mexico’s family planning campaign. (Not mentioned in 3rd paragraph)
C. explain why the number of Mexican immigrants seeking work in the United States may not dramatically decrease. (The effect of the 2nd factor mentioned in 2nd paragraph is inconclusive so this sounds the best choice among all)
D. specify the types of infrastructure in which Mexico must invest. (they details in the paragraph, does not specify the function of paragraph)
E. notify American employers that they will soon need to find alternative sources of labor.

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07 Oct 2012, 19:18
3
Discussed in detail at
http://gmatclub.com/forum/passage-1-fil ... 45037.html

Quote:
For years, employers in the United States have counted on a steady flow of laborers from Mexico willing to accept low-skilled, low paying jobs. These workers, many of whom leave economically depressed villages in the Mexican interior, are often willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line. A dramatic demographic shift currently taking place in Mexico, however, may alter the trend: the stream of workers migrating from Mexico to the United States might one day greatly diminish if not cease.

As a result of a decades-long family planning campaign, population growth, which had reached a peak of 3.5% in 1965, declined to just 1% by 2005. On average, Mexican women today are giving birth to fewer than half as many children as did their mothers. The campaign, organized around the slogan that “the small family lives better,” saw the Mexican government establish family-planning clinics and offer free contraception. For nearly three decades, the government’s message concerning population has not wavered. In fact, the Mexican Senate recently voted to expand public school sex education programs to kindergarten.

For two primary reasons, Mexico’s new demographics could greatly impact the number of Mexicans seeking work in the U.S. First, smaller families directly limit the pool of potential migrants. Second, the slowing of Mexico’s population growth has fostered hope that Mexico will develop a healthy middle class. Though the former of these factors is all but assured, the growth of a healthy middle class is far from a foregone conclusion. The critical challenge for Mexico is what it does with the next 20 years. Developing a stable middle class will require investments in education, job training, and infrastructure, as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population. Businesses will need to create more semi-skilled and skilled jobs in construction, manufacturing, and technology, as well as the associated “white collar” jobs that too many Mexican manufacturers currently locate outside of the country’s borders. It remains to be seen whether government and industry will answer these challenges as vigorously as the family-planning campaign answered the problem of population growth.

The passage indicates all of the following concerning Mexico’s current demographics EXCEPT:

(A) Due to the government’s family-planning campaign, Mexico’s population is currently diminishing.
(B) On average, Mexican women of a generation ago gave birth to more than twice as many children as do Mexican women today.
(C) Many Mexicans still migrate to the United States in search of work.
(D) As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging.
(E) A healthy middle class in Mexico has not yet fully developed.

OFFICIAL EXPLANATION

“Except” questions are negatively-worded questions. Typically, four of the answers will fall into a certain category or be “true” in some way, while the fifth choice will be the “odd one out.” The correct answer on EXCEPT questions will be the odd one out. Keep track of your eliminations on your scrap paper. Because it is often easier to find the four “true” answer choices, focus on eliminating wrong answers rather than trying to find the one right answer.

(A) CORRECT. False. The passage states several times that Mexico’s population growth is diminishing due to the country’s declining birth rate. However, the passage never suggests that Mexico’s population itself is diminishing. According to the passage, the growth rate is 1% in 2005; at that time, the population is still growing. It’s simply growing more slowly than it used to grow.

(B) True. The second paragraph states that “on average, Mexican women today are giving birth to fewer than half as many children as did their mothers.” A mother and child represent two generations, so “a generation ago” refers to the mothers of the women who are currently giving birth.

(C) True. The first paragraph states that U.S. employers are still counting on a steady flow of labor from Mexico. To reinforce this contention, the final sentence of the first paragraph says this flow might “one day” diminish, indicating that at present it is continuing.

(D) True. The sixth sentence of the third paragraph states that Mexico’s population is aging. The overall aging of the population naturally results from the declining number of babies born in Mexico. As fewer babies are born, the average age of the population gradually increases.

(E) True. The third paragraph indicates that a healthy middle class in Mexico is a hope and a goal but that it is far from a foregone conclusion.
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26 Feb 2013, 00:05
souvik101990 wrote:
Hey!
The answer to the question is A
Good, tricky question this is so thanks for a 2 min exercise!
All options here, apparently seem to be indicated in the passage.
I will post the option in RED and the indication in the passage in green

E. A healthy middle class in Mexico has not yet fully developed.
Though the former of these factors is all but assured, the growth of a healthy middle class is far from a foregone conclusion.

D. As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging.
Developing a stable middle class will require investments in education, job training, and infrastructure, as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population.

C. Many Mexicans still migrate to the United States in search of work.
the stream of workers migrating from Mexico to the United States might one day greatly diminish if not cease.

B. On average, Mexican women of a generation ago gave birth to more than twice as many children as do Mexican women today.
On average, Mexican women today are giving birth to fewer than half as many children as did their mothers.

A. Due to the government’s family-planning campaign, Mexico’s population is currently diminishing.
WE GOT NOTHING

This is a very commonly tested trap set by the GMAT for difficult RC and CR questions, in which it confuses with with percentage and absolute figures. The text here says the population growth is diminishing. However, nothing is mentioned about population as an absolute entity. Population may only decrease when more people die than those who are born. The passage, however, suggests that if previously population changed from 100 to 200, now it changed from 200 to 205. The absolute population is increasing, but its growth is diminishing.

Hope this helps
Souvik

The trap got me. Thanks for your explanation. I will remember that.
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01 Sep 2016, 23:11
Took 7 mins 40 seconds , including 2 mins 20 seconds to read.

1.(A) CORRECT. The passage states several times that Mexico’s population growth is diminishing due to the country’s declining birth rate. However, the passage never
suggests that Mexico’s population itself is diminishing.
(B) The third paragraph states that, on average, a Mexican woman had just fewer than seven children in 1968. Today the average number of children born to a
Mexican woman is slightly more than two, or approximately one-third of the 1968 figure.
(C) The first paragraph states that U.S. employers are still counting on a steady flow of labor from Mexico. To reinforce this contention, the final sentence of the first
paragraph says this flow might “one day” diminish, indicating that at present it is continuing.
(D) The final paragraph states that Mexico’s population is aging. This aging of the population naturally results from the declining number of babies born in Mexico. As
fewer babies are born, the average age of the population gradually increases.
(E) The third and final paragraphs indicate that a healthy middle class in Mexico is a hope and a goal but that it is far from a foregone conclusion.

2.
The correct answer to an inference question must be directly supported by evidence from the text. The passage states that U.S. employers of Mexican immigrants often
provide low-skilled, low-paying jobs to individuals who "are often more than willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line."

(A) No information is provided concerning the amount of money paid to American citizens. It is possible that there are many Americans who also work for wages well
below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line.
(B) CORRECT. If some of these immigrant workers are accepting wages “well belowthe U.S. minimum wage,” their American employers must be violating wage laws (i.e.
paying wages below what the U.S. minimum wage requires).

3.
(E) CORRECT. In the final paragraph, the author indicates that "the growth of a healthy middle class is far from a foregone conclusion. The critical challenge for
Mexico is what it does with the next 20 years.” Then, the author indicates the steps that Mexico must take. Thus, the author obviously believes that Mexico does not
currently have the infrastructure to develop a healthy middle class. The key, for the author, is whether Mexico is willing and able to build this infrastructure.

4.
The final paragraph primarily explains why the development of a healthy middle class, an important factor in limiting the desire of many Mexicans to migrate to the
United States, is not a foregone conclusion.
(C) CORRECT. The final paragraph explains that Mexico must take specific actions to foster the development of a healthy middle class. Without a healthy middle class,
the author believes that large numbers of Mexicans will continue to seek work in the United States.
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11 Oct 2016, 05:05
Hi Skywalker18,

3rd Question
Can you please explain why option D is wrong . In 3 para we have " mexico should invest in education , training, infra and social security".
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25 Jan 2018, 02:24
soumya170293 wrote:
Would anyone please explain the reason for the question 2 to eliminate A as the potential answer ?
Both A and B may be right and both may be wrong also by the possibility of what has not been told in the option choices ..

So how to eliminate this kind of trap ?

These workers, many of whom leave economically depressed villages in the Mexican interior, are often more than willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line.
The text only states the Mexican workers receive the unfair payment that is under the minimum wage.
There is no evidence to support A that many American citizens get the payment that above or equal to.
A. Most of these employers pay Mexican immigrants less money than they pay American citizens.
B. Some of these employers violate wage laws.
Re: For years, U.S. employers have counted on a steady flow of labor from   [#permalink] 25 Jan 2018, 02:24

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