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QOTD: Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people

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QOTD: Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people [#permalink]

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 248: Critical Reasoning


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Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people in this country now report that they know someone who is unemployed.

Sharon: But a normal, moderate level of unemployment is 5 percent, with 1 out of 20 workers unemployed. So at any given time if a person knows approximately 50 workers, 1 or more will very likely be unemployed.

Sharon's argument relies on the assumption that

(A) normal levels of unemployment are rarely exceeded

(B) unemployment is not normally concentrated in geographically isolated segments of the population

(C) the number of people who each know someone who is unemployed is always higher than 90% of the population

(D) Roland is not consciously distorting the statistics he presents

(E) knowledge that a personal acquaintance is unemployed generates more fear of losing one's job than does knowledge of unemployment statistics

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Re: QOTD: Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people [#permalink]

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The heart of Sharon's argument is pretty straightforward: she thinks that what Roland sees is somewhat "normal", and not "alarming".

Let’s break down the reasoning behind her argument:

    1. A "normal" unemployment rate is 1/20.
    2. So if you know 20 typical workers, odds are good that one will be unemployed.
    3. And then if you know 50 workers, at least 1 of them will probably be unemployed.
    4. Therefore, it’s likely at any given time that 90% of people in the country know at least 1 unemployed person.

In her reasoning, Sharon refers to nationwide levels of unemployment. When she jumps to step 4 of her argument, she assumes that the employment patterns of the 50 workers each of us knows personally will resemble the nationwide employment patterns. In order to accept this assumption, we need evidence that the normal unemployment rate in any given area will roughly match the normal rate of unemployment for the entire country. Otherwise, it could be the case that the unemployed workers are overwhelmingly concentrated in a few parts of the country, and most people elsewhere might NOT know any unemployed workers.

So Sharon's argument relies on which of these assumptions?

Quote:
(A) normal levels of unemployment are rarely exceeded

It makes no difference whether normal levels of unemployment are exceeded rarely or frequently. As long as the current level of unemployment is normal, then Sharon’s argument is valid.

In other words, normal levels of unemployment could be exceeded frequently. But according to Sharon, the data cited by Roland is evidence that unemployment levels are normal right now. Sharon’s argument does not rely on choice (A), so eliminate this one.

Quote:
(B) unemployment is not normally concentrated in geographically isolated segments of the population

Choice (B) gets to the heart of Sharon’s assumption. If unemployment is evenly distributed across the population as opposed to being concentrated in certain states, cities and industries, then we’ll have an easier time agreeing with Sharon. If (B) is true, then any person who knows approximately 50 workers -- anywhere in the country -- is likely to know at least one unemployed worker, even if unemployment levels are moderate.

If (B) were NOT true and unemployment levels were moderate, then we would expect people in the geographically isolated segments to know several unemployed workers. In that case, most people in other parts of the country would NOT likely know at least one unemployed worker. If (B) were not true, then Roland’s evidence would be "alarming", and Sharon’s argument would fall apart.

Let’s keep choice (B) for now and try to eliminate the rest.

Quote:
(C) the number of people who each know someone who is unemployed is always higher than 90% of the population

Choice (C) could certainly weaken Roland’s argument (by suggesting that the evidence is normal, not alarming). But does Sharon’s argument rely on this assumption? What if unemployment levels are sometimes LESS than moderate? In that case, there would certainly be times when the number of people who each know someone who is unemployed is NOT higher than 90% of the population.

Regardless, we are only interested in the fact that that 90 percent NOW report that they know someone who is unemployed. According to Sharon, this is no cause for alarm. Sharon’s argument would be the same regardless of whether (C) is true, so we can eliminate this one.

Quote:
(D) Roland is not consciously distorting the statistics he presents

Sharon’s argument doesn’t depend on whether Roland is honest. There would be no reason for continuing to this conversation if Roland were rattling off fake news he saw on Facebook, but Sharon’s logical connection wouldn’t be affected.

Sharon’s argument is basically, “Even if your evidence is true, there is no cause for alarm.” If the evidence is false, Roland might be a liar, but Sharon’s logic remains sound.

(D) isn't necessary, so we can eliminate it.

Quote:
(E) knowledge that a personal acquaintance is unemployed generates more fear of losing one's job than does knowledge of unemployment statistics

Choice (E) very well may be true, but it tells us nothing that would affect the logical argument Sharon is making. She says we shouldn’t be alarmed because normal unemployment rates explain the seemingly abnormal rates of knowing an unemployed person. Fear of losing one's job is completely irrelevant to her argument.

So (E) is out, and (B) is our answer.
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Re: QOTD: Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2018, 04:33
souvik101990 wrote:
Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people in this country now report that they know someone who is unemployed.

Sharon: But a normal, moderate level of unemployment is 5 percent, with 1 out of 20 workers unemployed. So at any given time if a person knows approximately 50 workers, 1 or more will very likely be unemployed.

Sharon's argument relies on the assumption that

(A) normal levels of unemployment are rarely exceeded

(B) unemployment is not normally concentrated in geographically isolated segments of the population

(C) the number of people who each know someone who is unemployed is always higher than 90% of the population

(D) Roland is not consciously distorting the statistics he presents

(E) knowledge that a personal acquaintance is unemployed generates more fear of losing one's job than does knowledge of unemployment statistics



Conclusion here:
"So at any given time if a person knows approximately 50 workers, 1 or more will very likely be unemployed."
"So" is a conclusion indicator.

A) Shell game answer - Out
B) We don't care about geographically isolated segments. - Out
C) Hold
D) Out of scope - Out
E) Irrelevant - Out

Hence C is the Ans. Waiting for OA

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks.
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Re: QOTD: Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2018, 11:33
C
I was initially confused between B and C.
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Re: QOTD: Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2018, 07:20
Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people in this country now report that they know someone who is unemployed.

Sharon: But a normal, moderate level of unemployment is 5 percent, with 1 out of 20 workers unemployed. So at any given time if a person knows approximately 50 workers, 1 or more will very likely be unemployed.

Sharon's argument relies on the assumption that


assumption question
BID : sharon states a data :1/20 or 5% employment in the overall region stating the 90 percent data is not so high
Missing GAP :the Data is sufficient to counter roland's argument
:numbers and percentages coincide

so now looking at options

(A) normal levels of unemployment are rarely exceeded( Not an assumption rather the conclusion)

(B) unemployment is not normally concentrated in geographically isolated segments of the population (hold- increases the applicability of the data point
for example: if the unemployment rate of 1/20 is not applicable to other locations then sharon cannot contradict Roland argument )

(C) the number of people who each know someone who is unemployed is always higher than 90% of the population (no mention of the same )

(D) Roland is not consciously distorting the statistics he presents (we have no idea : out of scope )

(E) knowledge that a personal acquaintance is unemployed generates more fear of losing one's job than does knowledge of unemployment statistics(out of scope )

correct B
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Re: QOTD: Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2018, 11:23
Sharon: But a normal, moderate level of unemployment is 5 percent, with 1 out of 20 workers unemployed. So at any given time if a person knows approximately 50 workers, 1 or more will very likely be unemployed.

Sharon's argument relies on the assumption that
(B) unemployment is not normally concentrated in geographically isolated segments of the population
If unemployment is normally concentrated in geographically isolated segments (imagine, very poor areas of a city), her conclusion does not hold true. Most of the people who don't live in isolated segments wouldn't know 1 or more unemployed workers for every 50 ppl they know. It is unlikely that this people know the people from isolated areas.
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Re: QOTD: Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2018, 04:43
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people in this country now report that they know someone who is unemployed.

Sharon: But a normal, moderate level of unemployment is 5 percent, with 1 out of 20 workers unemployed. So at any given time if a person knows approximately 50 workers, 1 or more will very likely be unemployed.

Sharon's argument relies on the assumption that

(A) normal levels of unemployment are rarely exceeded
(B) unemployment is not normally concentrated in geographically isolated segments of the population
(C) the number of people who each know someone who is unemployed is always higher than 90% of the population
(D) Roland is not consciously distorting the statistics he presents
(E) knowledge that a personal acquaintance is unemployed generates more fear of losing one's job than does knowledge of unemployment statistics



According to Sharon, the fact that 90 percent of the people in this country now report that they know someone who is unemployed is no cause for alarm. Why not? .. because if the average person knows about 50 workers and if the moderate unemployment level is 5%, then it is likely that the average person will know at least one unemployed person. In other words, the fact that 90 percent of people know someone who is unemployed might be explained by moderate unemployment, not necessarily by alarming levels of unemployment.

We need an answer choice on which that line of reasoning depends.

Quote:
(B) unemployment is not normally concentrated in geographically isolated segments of the population


Say we have moderate levels of employment (with 1 out of 20 workers unemployed). If unemployment is spread out evenly across the country, then the author's argument makes sense. In other words, if unemployment is evenly spread, then I can pick any 100 workers and expect to find about 5 unemployed workers in that group.

What if most of those unemployed workers are concentrated in a few geographically isolated segments of the population? In that case, if unemployment is moderate, we would expect MOST people to NOT know an unemployed worker and SOME people to know several unemployed workers.

But Roland tells us that now 90 percent of the people in this country report knowing someone who is unemployed. If unemployment is concentrated in only a few isolated segments, then this statistic is alarming. Why?... because now most people, even those who are NOT in those isolated segments, know someone who is unemployed. Unless unemployment is evenly spread, Roland's statistic suggests that unemployment is much higher than 5%.

I hope that helps!


Hi GMATNinja,
I got this explanation from other topic,
Would you please explain further?

what i can get from Sharon's statement, a moderate level of unemployment is 5 percent and if a person knows approximately 50 workers, 1 or more will very likely be unemployed, is that the unemployment rate is lower than moderate level if a person knows about 50 worker, 1 or more will very likely be unemployed.
I feel sharon argures against Roland, But i am not sure how ?

I am not complete understand your reasoning:

GMATNinja wrote:
But Roland tells us that now 90 percent of the people in this country report knowing someone who is unemployed. If unemployment is concentrated in only a few isolated segments, then this statistic is alarming. Why?... because now most people, even those who are NOT in those isolated segments, know someone who is unemployed.


if most people, althoug those who are NOT in those isolated segment, know someone who is unemployed, it does not mean it is a alaming fact,
what if the most people know the unemployed workers from same source,
I mean, some unemployed workers have a section of one forum, and most people are in another section of the same forum.

Please help~~~

Thanks in advance

Have a nice day
>_~
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Re: QOTD: Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 06:20
GMATNinja wrote:
The heart of Sharon's argument is pretty straightforward: she thinks that what Roland sees is somewhat "normal", and not "alarming".

Let’s break down the reasoning behind her argument:

    1. A "normal" unemployment rate is 1/20.
    2. So if you know 20 typical workers, odds are good that one will be unemployed.
    3. And then if you know 50 workers, at least 1 of them will probably be unemployed.
    4. Therefore, it’s likely at any given time that 90% of people in the country know at least 1 unemployed person.

In her reasoning, Sharon refers to nationwide levels of unemployment. When she jumps to step 4 of her argument, she assumes that the employment patterns of the 50 workers each of us knows personally will resemble the nationwide employment patterns. In order to accept this assumption, we need evidence that the normal unemployment rate in any given area will roughly match the normal rate of unemployment for the entire country. Otherwise, it could be the case that the unemployed workers are overwhelmingly concentrated in a few parts of the country, and most people elsewhere might NOT know any unemployed workers.

So Sharon's argument relies on which of these assumptions?

Quote:
(A) normal levels of unemployment are rarely exceeded

It makes no difference whether normal levels of unemployment are exceeded rarely or frequently. As long as the current level of unemployment is normal, then Sharon’s argument is valid.

In other words, normal levels of unemployment could be exceeded frequently. But according to Sharon, the data cited by Roland is evidence that unemployment levels are normal right now. Sharon’s argument does not rely on choice (A), so eliminate this one.

Quote:
(B) unemployment is not normally concentrated in geographically isolated segments of the population

Choice (B) gets to the heart of Sharon’s assumption. If unemployment is evenly distributed across the population as opposed to being concentrated in certain states, cities and industries, then we’ll have an easier time agreeing with Sharon. If (B) is true, then any person who knows approximately 50 workers -- anywhere in the country -- is likely to know at least one unemployed worker, even if unemployment levels are moderate.

If (B) were NOT true and unemployment levels were moderate, then we would expect people in the geographically isolated segments to know several unemployed workers. In that case, most people in other parts of the country would NOT likely know at least one unemployed worker. If (B) were not true, then Roland’s evidence would be "alarming", and Sharon’s argument would fall apart.

Let’s keep choice (B) for now and try to eliminate the rest.

Quote:
(C) the number of people who each know someone who is unemployed is always higher than 90% of the population

Choice (C) could certainly weaken Roland’s argument (by suggesting that the evidence is normal, not alarming). But does Sharon’s argument rely on this assumption? What if unemployment levels are sometimes LESS than moderate? In that case, there would certainly be times when the number of people who each know someone who is unemployed is NOT higher than 90% of the population.

Regardless, we are only interested in the fact that that 90 percent NOW report that they know someone who is unemployed. According to Sharon, this is no cause for alarm. Sharon’s argument would be the same regardless of whether (C) is true, so we can eliminate this one.

Quote:
(D) Roland is not consciously distorting the statistics he presents

Sharon’s argument doesn’t depend on whether Roland is honest. There would be no reason for continuing to this conversation if Roland were rattling off fake news he saw on Facebook, but Sharon’s logical connection wouldn’t be affected.

Sharon’s argument is basically, “Even if your evidence is true, there is no cause for alarm.” If the evidence is false, Roland might be a liar, but Sharon’s logic remains sound.

(D) isn't necessary, so we can eliminate it.

Quote:
(E) knowledge that a personal acquaintance is unemployed generates more fear of losing one's job than does knowledge of unemployment statistics

Choice (E) very well may be true, but it tells us nothing that would affect the logical argument Sharon is making. She says we shouldn’t be alarmed because normal unemployment rates explain the seemingly abnormal rates of knowing an unemployed person. Fear of losing one's job is completely irrelevant to her argument.

So (E) is out, and (B) is our answer.


Thanks for the wonderful explanation !!!
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Re: QOTD: Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2018, 01:41
zoezhuyan wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people in this country now report that they know someone who is unemployed.

Sharon: But a normal, moderate level of unemployment is 5 percent, with 1 out of 20 workers unemployed. So at any given time if a person knows approximately 50 workers, 1 or more will very likely be unemployed.

Sharon's argument relies on the assumption that

(A) normal levels of unemployment are rarely exceeded
(B) unemployment is not normally concentrated in geographically isolated segments of the population
(C) the number of people who each know someone who is unemployed is always higher than 90% of the population
(D) Roland is not consciously distorting the statistics he presents
(E) knowledge that a personal acquaintance is unemployed generates more fear of losing one's job than does knowledge of unemployment statistics



According to Sharon, the fact that 90 percent of the people in this country now report that they know someone who is unemployed is no cause for alarm. Why not? .. because if the average person knows about 50 workers and if the moderate unemployment level is 5%, then it is likely that the average person will know at least one unemployed person. In other words, the fact that 90 percent of people know someone who is unemployed might be explained by moderate unemployment, not necessarily by alarming levels of unemployment.

We need an answer choice on which that line of reasoning depends.

Quote:
(B) unemployment is not normally concentrated in geographically isolated segments of the population


Say we have moderate levels of employment (with 1 out of 20 workers unemployed). If unemployment is spread out evenly across the country, then the author's argument makes sense. In other words, if unemployment is evenly spread, then I can pick any 100 workers and expect to find about 5 unemployed workers in that group.

What if most of those unemployed workers are concentrated in a few geographically isolated segments of the population? In that case, if unemployment is moderate, we would expect MOST people to NOT know an unemployed worker and SOME people to know several unemployed workers.

But Roland tells us that now 90 percent of the people in this country report knowing someone who is unemployed. If unemployment is concentrated in only a few isolated segments, then this statistic is alarming. Why?... because now most people, even those who are NOT in those isolated segments, know someone who is unemployed. Unless unemployment is evenly spread, Roland's statistic suggests that unemployment is much higher than 5%.

I hope that helps!


Hi GMATNinja,
I got this explanation from other topic,
Would you please explain further?

what i can get from Sharon's statement, a moderate level of unemployment is 5 percent and if a person knows approximately 50 workers, 1 or more will very likely be unemployed, is that the unemployment rate is lower than moderate level if a person knows about 50 worker, 1 or more will very likely be unemployed.
I feel sharon argures against Roland, But i am not sure how ?

I am not complete understand your reasoning:

GMATNinja wrote:
But Roland tells us that now 90 percent of the people in this country report knowing someone who is unemployed. If unemployment is concentrated in only a few isolated segments, then this statistic is alarming. Why?... because now most people, even those who are NOT in those isolated segments, know someone who is unemployed.


if most people, althoug those who are NOT in those isolated segment, know someone who is unemployed, it does not mean it is a alaming fact,
what if the most people know the unemployed workers from same source,
I mean, some unemployed workers have a section of one forum, and most people are in another section of the same forum.

Please help~~~

Thanks in advance

Have a nice day
>_~


Hi GMATNinjaTwo, GMATNinja

this problem still confused me, would you please help clarify?

Thanks in advance
Have a nice day
>_~
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Re: QOTD: Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2018, 10:51
zoezhuyan wrote:
Hi GMATNinja,
I got this explanation from other topic,
Would you please explain further?

what i can get from Sharon's statement, a moderate level of unemployment is 5 percent and if a person knows approximately 50 workers, 1 or more will very likely be unemployed, is that the unemployment rate is lower than moderate level if a person knows about 50 worker, 1 or more will very likely be unemployed.
I feel sharon argures against Roland, But i am not sure how ?

I am not complete understand your reasoning:

GMATNinja wrote:
But Roland tells us that now 90 percent of the people in this country report knowing someone who is unemployed. If unemployment is concentrated in only a few isolated segments, then this statistic is alarming. Why?... because now most people, even those who are NOT in those isolated segments, know someone who is unemployed.


if most people, althoug those who are NOT in those isolated segment, know someone who is unemployed, it does not mean it is a alaming fact,
what if the most people know the unemployed workers from same source,
I mean, some unemployed workers have a section of one forum, and most people are in another section of the same forum.

Please help~~~

Thanks in advance

Have a nice day
>_~

Hi zoezhuyan, if you haven't done so already, check out the breakdown of Sharon's argument in the beginning of this post.

According to Sharon, when unemployment is normal and moderate, 1 out of 20 workers ON AVERAGE is unemployed. So if you know 50 people, you will likely know more than 1 unemployed worker. If most people know at least 50 workers, then most people will know an unemployed worker, EVEN WHEN unemployment is normal and moderate. So according to Sharon, the statistic cited by Roland is not alarming. Instead, that statistic can be explained by normal and moderate unemployment conditions.

But now let's take all (or most) of our unemployed workers and, without changing the total number of unemployed workers, put them all in one or two GEOGRAPHICALLY ISOLATED areas (i.e. a couple cities or perhaps a small, coastal area). So now we have a whole bunch of unemployed workers in a couple areas and very few unemployed workers in the rest of the country.

Remember, we haven't changed the total number of unemployed workers. ON AVERAGE, the country still has 1 unemployed worker for every 20 workers. But in those geographically isolated areas, we would expect MORE than 1 unemployed worker for every 20 (i.e. maybe 1 out of 4 are unemployed). In the rest of the country, we would expect LESS than 1 unemployed workers for every 20 (i.e. maybe 1 out of 500 are unemployed in the rest of the country).

If the average person knows 50 workers, then people in the REST of the country will probably NOT know any unemployed workers when unemployment is normal and moderate. Why not? Because all of those unemployed workers are concentrated in a couple geographically isolated parts of the country. In order for the ENTIRE country to know at least one unemployed person, unemployment would have to be MUCH HIGHER than normal and moderate levels.

So if (B) is true, then Roland's statistic is alarming. But if (B) is not true and unemployment is evenly distributed, then Roland's statistic is not alarming.
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Hit the request verbal experts' reply button -- and please be specific about your question. Feel free to tag @GMATNinja and @GMATNinjaTwo in your post.

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Re: QOTD: Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people   [#permalink] 16 Apr 2018, 10:51
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