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#8 - Economist: Historically, sunflower seed was one of

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I chose B as the correct answer while the correct answer was D.

I reasoned that since the farming industry was unstable, making it stable would improve the economy with little environmental impact. That is what B states.

D speaks about another crop. I don't understand what relation that has to the stimulus.

Thank you, Maxim.
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I don't either. I chose E because I ruled out D because the mentioned it benefitting the general economy. How can we be sure improving the farm industry improves the entire economy? Maybe another industry is plummeting simultaneously, making the overall results even. Please help. Thanks!
Nikki Siclunov
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Hey guys,

Thanks for your questions. The stimulus states that renewed growing of sunflowers in Kalotopia would benefit their farming industry at little cost to the environment. The stem asks us to identify what must be true.

Answer choice (A): This answer choice is incorrect, because we have no reason to believe that Kalotopia's industry would deteriorate if sunflowers aren't grown there. Growing sunflowers was never introduced as a necessary condition for prosperity.

Answer choice (B): Whether stabilizing the farming industry would improve the economy without damaging the environment is debatable. Maybe if the improvement only involves growing sunflowers - that's possible. But answer choice (B) is a very general statement. It's entirely possible that there are ways of stabilizing their farming industry that are actually detrimental to the environment.

Answer choice (C): This is a hypothetical that cannot be proven with the information provided.

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. Let me address each of your objections separately:

    Maxim - (D) does not speak about another crop. It speaks about "a crop that was once a large production crop in Kalotopia." Since sunflower seed matches that description, answer choice (D) represents a claim about a crop that was discussed in the stimulus.

    Zierra28 - Your argument is that we cannot deduce with absolute certainty that Kalotopia's general economy is going to improve, because it is possible that another industry would plummet even if farming were to improve. This is a specious hypothetical. We know from the first sentence that sunflower seed was one of the largest production crops in Kalotopia, and it's still a major source of income for several countries. These countries no longer include Kalotopia, but it's reasonable to assume that Kalotopia was once among them. Furthermore, the last sentence clearly suggests that growing sunflowers will also provide a variety of other products, both industrial and consumer. Thus, it is reasonable to expect that renewed growing of sunflowers would benefit not only farming, but also the general economy.

Hope this answers your questions!

Nikki Siclunov
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Now I have known why B is wrong.
But just in case, could you tell me whether "at little cost to environment"="without damaging the environment"? "Little"is really a subtle word to me.
Jonathan Evans
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No, "at little cost to the environment" is not the same as "without damaging the environment."

If you notice extreme language such as "without," "all," "none," "every," "any," etc., you must focus on that term and determine the effect it has on the quantity or probability of whatever it describes. If it makes something absolute, you must note that strong, absolute statements are difficult to support. Choose an answer with this kind of language if and only if it is explicitly supported by information in the stimulus.

In this case, "at little cost" arguably implies some minor cost and in my judgment is necessarily inconsistent with the term "without." If I am mistaken, I would welcome the insight of those more versed in this semantic distinction.

If you will permit me a brief digression, one could make an analogy between the expressions "a few [of something]" versus "few [of something]" and the expressions "a little [of something]" versus "little [of something]," respectively. The former expressions imply the existence of the substance in question; the latter are consistent both with its existence or nonexistence.