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# One problem with labor unions today is that their top staffs consist

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One problem with labor unions today is that their top staffs consist  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 01 Jun 2017, 20:10
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One problem with labor unions today is that their top staffs consist of college-trained lawyers, economists, and labor relations experts who cannot understand the concerns of real workers. One goal of union reform movements should be to build staffs out of workers who have come up from the ranks of the industry involved.

The argument above depends primarily on which of the following assumptions?

(A) Higher education lessens people’s identification with their class background.
(B) Union staffs should include more people with first-hand industrial supervisory experience.
(C) People who have worked in a given industry can understand the concerns of workers in that industry.
(D) Most labor unions today do not fairly represent workers’ interests.
(E) A goal of union reform movements should be to make unions more democratic.

Originally posted by raafsa on 01 Jun 2017, 14:42.
Last edited by broall on 01 Jun 2017, 20:10, edited 1 time in total.
Reformatted question, OA added
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One problem with labor unions today is that their top staffs consist  [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2017, 16:59
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raafsa wrote:
One problem with labor unions today is that their top staffs consist of college-trained lawyers, economists, and labor relations experts who cannot understand the concerns of real workers. One goal of union reform movements should be to build staffs out of workers who have come up from the ranks of the industry involved.

The argument above depends primarily on which of the following assumptions?

(A) Higher education lessens people’s identification with their class background.
(B) Union staffs should include more people with first-hand industrial supervisory experience.
(C) People who have worked in a given industry can understand the concerns of workers in that industry.
(D) Most labor unions today do not fairly represent workers’ interests.
(E) A goal of union reform movements should be to make unions more democratic.

Dear raafsa,

I'm happy to respond. I will explain this using, among other things, the Negation Test.

(A) Higher education lessens people’s identification with their class background.
The folks in the top staff now seem to be these college-educated people. The problem, though, is that we don't know their class origin. We might assume that any lawyer working on the staff of a labor union had working class origins, but we don't know that this is the case.
Let's use the Negation test, and assume the polar opposite: Higher education galvanizes people’s identification with their class background. Now, suppose all these lawyers and economist and labor relationship experts are actually upper class elite people. Higher education keeps them this way, and the argument is still valid. This is not an assumption.

(B) Union staffs should include more people with first-hand industrial supervisory experience.
This is really out of scope. Workers who have come up through the ranks may not be in industrial supervisory positions. This is simply irrelevant.

(C) People who have worked in a given industry can understand the concerns of workers in that industry.
Assume the negation: People who have worked in a given industry have absolutely no understanding of the concerns of workers in that industry. If that were true, then these workers would be the very last people who should be running the union. Negating this decimates the argument. That's the hallmark of a good assumption.

(D) Most labor unions today do not fairly represent workers’ interests
Negation: "Most labor unions today fairly represent workers’ interests." Let's say that 90% of labor unions are entirely fair. That still could mean that the last 10% are unfair, and this argument should still be considered. We can negate this and the argument still works. This is not an assumption.

(E) A goal of union reform movements should be to make unions more democratic.
Out of scope. We are not talking about perfect democracy. We don't know how these "top staffs" get into that position, and even if workers who came up through the ranks joined the top ranks, it's not clear that they would be voted into that level by some democratic process. This is irrelevant.

The best answer is (C), the OA.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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One problem with labor unions today is that their top staffs consist  [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2017, 18:39
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raafsa wrote:
One problem with labor unions today is that their top staffs consist of college-trained lawyers, economists, and labor relations experts who cannot understand the concerns of real workers. One goal of union reform movements should be to build staffs out of workers who have come up from the ranks of the industry involved.

The argument above depends primarily on which of the following assumptions?

(A) Higher education lessens people’s identification with their class background.
(B) Union staffs should include more people with first-hand industrial supervisory experience.
(C) People who have worked in a given industry can understand the concerns of workers in that industry.
(D) Most labor unions today do not fairly represent workers’ interests.
(E) A goal of union reform movements should be to make unions more democratic.

Problem with labor union today = theoretical top staffs with no understanding of real workers' problems
Conclusion: Goal of Union reform = include real staffs who have worked in the industry

Assumption: real staffs know industry problem than theoretical staffs! so they are better off in labor union

Hence, C
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One problem with labor unions today is that their top staffs consist  [#permalink]

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03 Jun 2017, 07:44
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One problem with labor unions today is that their top staffs consist of college-trained lawyers, economists, and labor relations experts who cannot understand the concerns of real workers. One goal of union reform movements should be to build staffs out of workers who have come up from the ranks of the industry involved.

The argument above depends primarily on which of the following assumptions?

(A) Higher education lessens people’s identification with their class background. Not necessary
(B) Union staffs should include more people with first-hand industrial supervisory experience. Not implied by argument
(C) People who have worked in a given industry can understand the concerns of workers in that industry.
(D) Most labor unions today do not fairly represent workers’ interests. Restate argument
(E) A goal of union reform movements should be to make unions more democratic. Out of scope
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Re: One problem with labor unions today is that their top staffs consist  [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2018, 05:49

The Conclusion: Union reform movements should build staffs out of workers who have come up the ranks.
The Evidence: Union movements are currently suffering from a problem: Their staffs consist of college-educated professional types who don’t understand the concerns of the worker. If the author believes that hiring up-from-the-ranks workers (an idea introduced in the conclusion) will cure that problem, he must be assuming that these former workers do understand workers’ real concerns.
There’s no need to assume that higher education lessens people’s identification with their class background (A), since the author hasn’t said that the lawyers, economists, and experts who don’t understand workers come from a working class background. Supervisory experience (B) isn’t the same as coming up through the ranks. Labor unions having problems, which the author admits, isn’t the same as (D) most of them unfairly representing workers’ interests. That’s an overstatement. “Democratic” (E) is a new term, and one the argument doesn’t need.
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Re: One problem with labor unions today is that their top staffs consist  [#permalink]

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21 Sep 2018, 06:00
raafsa wrote:
One problem with labor unions today is that their top staffs consist of college-trained lawyers, economists, and labor relations experts who cannot understand the concerns of real workers. One goal of union reform movements should be to build staffs out of workers who have come up from the ranks of the industry involved.

The argument above depends primarily on which of the following assumptions?

(A) Higher education lessens people’s identification with their class background.
(B) Union staffs should include more people with first-hand industrial supervisory experience.
(C) People who have worked in a given industry can understand the concerns of workers in that industry.
(D) Most labor unions today do not fairly represent workers’ interests.
(E) A goal of union reform movements should be to make unions more democratic.

Prethink: Relevance: People with higher education cannot understand the problems but staff who will be selected out of workers WILL BE able to understand. How? By magic? I doubt! It’s assumed. Moreover, we don’t know if the people in top staffs have come to their position by experience or their college degrees have helped them. If we negate the option C, the argument breaks down.
Negation: People who have worked in a given industry can NOT understand the concerns of workers in that industry. If they cannot understand the concerns then hiring them will not make sense because that’s the goal of the union reforms.
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Re: One problem with labor unions today is that their top staffs consist  [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2019, 01:15
The author argues that unions should get more "workers who have come up through the ranks" into leadership. She asserts that the lawyers and experts don't understand what real workers worry about. So if her solution is to get more rank-and-file workers into top union staffs, then what must she thinl these rank-and-file are capablew of? The author is assuming that, unlike the college-trained experts, "workers who have come up through the ranks" can understand the concerns of the "real workers" whom the unions are supposed to represent. Scanning through options, the one that matches this prediction is (C)
Re: One problem with labor unions today is that their top staffs consist   [#permalink] 15 Jan 2019, 01:15
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