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QOTD: The average hourly wage of television assemblers in

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QOTD: The average hourly wage of television assemblers in [#permalink]

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New post 17 Nov 2017, 06:11
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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 159: Critical Reasoning


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The average hourly wage of television assemblers in Vernland has long been significantly lower than that in neighboring Borodia. Since Borodia dropped all tariffs on Vernlandian televisions three years ago, the number of televisions sold annually in Borodia has not changed. However, recent statistics show a drop in the number of television assemblers in Borodia. Therefore, updated trade statistics will probably indicate that the number of televisions Borodia imports annually from Vernland has increased.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. The number of television assemblers in Vernland has increased by at least as much as the number of television assemblers in Borodia has decreased.
B. Televisions assembled in Vernland have features that televisions assembled in Borodia do not have.
C. The average number of hours it takes a Borodian television assembler to assemble a television has not decreased significantly during the past three years.
D. The number of televisions assembled annually in Vernland has increased significantly during the past three years.
E. The difference between the hourly wage of television assemblers in Vernland and the hourly wage of television assemblers in Borodia is likely to decrease in the next few years.

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QOTD: The average hourly wage of television assemblers in [#permalink]

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New post 17 Nov 2017, 06:11
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This passage is hard to follow, so let's pick it apart, starting with the conclusion: "Updated trade statistics will probably indicate that the number of televisions Borodia imports annually from Vernland has increased." Now let's think about how the author arrived at that conclusion.

  • "The average hourly wage of television assemblers in Vernland has long been significantly lower than that in neighboring Borodia." - So we have people assembling televisions in these two places, and the assemblers in Borodia have, for a long time, earned more money per hour doing so.
  • Three years ago, Borodia dropped all tariffs on Vernlandian televisions. That means that Borodia can import televisions from Vernland without paying any tariffs (taxes on imports).
  • Ever since the tariffs were eliminated, the number of total televisions sold each year in Borodia has not changed. In other words, removing the tariffs did not cause an INCREASE in the number of televisions sold annually in Borodia.
  • Ever since the tariffs were eliminated, the number of television ASSEMBLERS in Borodia has decreased.

The author sees a supply and demand problem. The number of televisions demanded in Borodia (i.e. the number sold annually) has not changed. However, the number of assemblers has decreased. According to the author, if the number of assemblers decreases, then the SUPPLY of televisions produced in Borodia would also decrease. Thus, Borodia would have to get televisions from somewhere else (i.e. Vernland) to meet the unchanging demand. Thus, the author concludes that Borodia has probably started to import more televisions from Vernland.

Is this logic sound? If the number of assemblers in Borodia decreases, does the supply of televisions produced in Borodia necessarily decrease? Which of the following is an assumption on which the author's argument depends?

Quote:
A. The number of television assemblers in Vernland has increased by at least as much as the number of television assemblers in Borodia has decreased.

The problem with (A) is that we don't know the rates at which Vernlandian assemblers and Borodian assemblers can assemble televisions. What if Vernlandians assemble televisions three times as quickly as Borodians? In that case, we would only need, for example, 100 Vernlandians to replace the output of 300 Borodians. Furthermore, what if Vernlandia already has an excess supply of televisions available for sale? In that case, Vernland would not need to significantly ramp up production in order to meet the demand from Borodia. The author's argument does not rely on this assumption, so eliminate (A).

Quote:
B. Televisions assembled in Vernland have features that televisions assembled in Borodia do not have.

The author's argument rests on the idea that there is excess television demand in Borodia. If Vernlandian televisions had the SAME features as Borodian televisions, then surely Borodia would be willing to import the Vernlandian televisions to meet that demand. If Vernlandian televisions did NOT have the same features as the ones made in Borodia, that might weaken the author's argument. However, as is, choice (B) is not a required assumption.

Quote:
C. The average number of hours it takes a Borodian television assembler to assemble a television has not decreased significantly during the past three years.

The author's argument is based on the idea that Borodia's television supply has decreased because the number of Borodian assemblers has decreased. But what if the Borodian assemblers have simply become more efficient? What if there are new methods or technologies that allow Borodian assemblers to make televisions twice as quickly as they did three years ago? In that case, Borodia would need half as many assemblers to meet the existing demand.

In order for the author's supply-demand argument to hold, we have to assume that the productivity of Borodian assemblers has not significantly improved. Otherwise, the supply of televisions could remain the same despite a decrease in the number of assemblers. Thus, (C) is a required assumption.

Quote:
D. The number of televisions assembled annually in Vernland has increased significantly during the past three years.

As described for choice (A), it is possible that Vernland has an excess supply of televisions that could be sold to Borodia. Alternatively, Vernland could simply decide to sell a higher proportion of the televisions it makes to Borodia and keep a smaller proportion in Vernland. Thus, Vernland could export more televisions to Borodia without significantly increasing the number of televisions it assembles annually. Thus, (D) is not a required assumption and can be eliminated.

Quote:
E. The difference between the hourly wage of television assemblers in Vernland and the hourly wage of television assemblers in Borodia is likely to decrease in the next few years.

The author's argument has nothing to do with wages. Sure, you could speculate that if wages don't increase in Vernland then Vernlandian assemblers might move to Borodia, decreasing the need to import televisions from Vernland, but there is nothing in the passage to suggest that this will happen. Even if wages do not change, Vernlandian assemblers might go on making televisions and exporting them to Borodia. The author's reasoning does not rely on this assumption, so eliminate (E).

Choice (C) is the best answer.
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Kudos [?]: 2044 [3], given: 465

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QOTD: The average hourly wage of television assemblers in [#permalink]

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New post 17 Nov 2017, 08:33
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IMO C

Fact: The average hourly wage of television assemblers in Vernland has long been significantly lower than that in neighboring Borodia.
Fact: Since Borodia dropped all tariffs on Vernlandian televisions three years ago, the number of televisions sold annually in Borodia has not changed.
Fact: However, recent statistics show a drop in the number of television assemblers in Borodia.

Conclusion: Therefore, updated trade statistics will probably indicate that the number of televisions Borodia imports annually from Vernland has increased.

Assumption: with the decrease in number of local assemblers, there will be a shortage of local product -- and to fulfill the demand , Borodia will import from Vernland


Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. The number of television assemblers in Vernland has increased by at least as much as the number of television assemblers in Borodia has decreased.
B. Televisions assembled in Vernland have features that televisions assembled in Borodia do not have.
C. The average number of hours it takes a Borodian television assembler to assemble a television has not decreased significantly during the past three years.
they incorrectly assume that - there will be a shortage , hence imports will be made
D. The number of televisions assembled annually in Vernland has increased significantly during the past three years.
E. The difference between the hourly wage of television assemblers in Vernland and the hourly wage of television assemblers in Borodia is likely to decrease in the next few years.

Kudos [?]: 9 [1], given: 20

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Re: QOTD: The average hourly wage of television assemblers in [#permalink]

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New post 17 Nov 2017, 10:44
The average hourly wage of television assemblers in Vernland has long been significantly lower than that in neighboring Borodia. Since Borodia dropped all tariffs on Vernlandian televisions three years ago, the number of televisions sold annually in Borodia has not changed. However, recent statistics show a drop in the number of television assemblers in Borodia. Therefore, updated trade statistics will probably indicate that the number of televisions Borodia imports annually from Vernland has increased.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. The number of television assemblers in Vernland has increased by at least as much as the number of television assemblers in Borodia has decreased. -We can't say that the number of assemblers have increased. The number of televisions assembled per assembler could also increase.
B. Televisions assembled in Vernland have features that televisions assembled in Borodia do not have. -Features? out of scope
C. The average number of hours it takes a Borodian television assembler to assemble a television has not decreased significantly during the past three years. -Correct. If the number of hours to build a TV has not decreased, then that means that the existing Borodians are not building more TV than they used to before.
D. The number of televisions assembled annually in Vernland has increased significantly during the past three years. -significantly? extreme language.
E. The difference between the hourly wage of television assemblers in Vernland and the hourly wage of television assemblers in Borodia is likely to decrease in the next few years. -Hourly wage? out of scope
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QOTD: The average hourly wage of television assemblers in [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2017, 22:39
the pattern in this question is indeed interesting.
The answer is C b/c the pattern here is that all possible reasons Borodia can succeed in assembling new TV are eliminated.
D is out of scope and A is a trap b/c there is no direct link in A.

Kudos [?]: 47 [0], given: 1410

QOTD: The average hourly wage of television assemblers in   [#permalink] 23 Nov 2017, 22:39
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QOTD: The average hourly wage of television assemblers in

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