Complete Question Explanation
Must Be True—SN. The correct answer choice is (A)
The company president offers a fact set featuring two conditional relationships. The first relationship is stated as “whenever you subcontract the manufacturing of a product, you lose some control over the quality of that product.” We can diagram this statement as:
SMP = subcontract the manufacturing of a product
CQ = lose some control over the quality of that product
The president then acknowledges that the company subcontracts some of its manufacturing, but with a certain restriction. The company subcontracts “only with companies that maintain complete control over the quality of the products they supply.” Using the subscript “we” to refer to the president’s company, and the subscript “sub” to refer to the subcontractor, diagram this second conditional relationship as:
The repetition of the terms SMP and CQ confuses the fact that the first and second relationships, while dealing with related subject matter, are distinct relationships. We can chain these relationships together using the contrapositive of the first relationship, resulting in:
SMPwe CQsub SMPsub
From this connection, we can infer that the president’s company subcontracts the manufacturing of its products only to subcontractors that do not themselves subcontract the work to some other company. Not further farming out its work is the only way that the company’s subcontractor can maintain complete control over the quality of the products they supply.
The question stem identifies this as a Must Be True question. Our prephrase is that the correct answer choice will test this additive inference we obtained from the chained conditional relationships.
Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice, because it describes the restriction on the subcontractors used by the company, that they themselves cannot further subcontract the work to other companies. Do not be thrown off by the portion of this answer choice that says the company “does not allow the subcontractor to further subcontract” the work. The company president’s statement that the company only contracts with companies that abide by this restriction, within the context of the stimulus, conveys essentially the same meaning as the phrasing used in the answer choice, even thought the language is not identical.
Answer choice (B): This is a classic “could be true” answer choice. While it is clear from the stimulus that the possible production of substandard goods is what prompts the company’s policy, the stimulus does not tell us how often the quality of goods produced by subcontractors disappoints the company that subcontracted out the work.
Answer choice (C): It is not clear form the stimulus that this is true, because we do not know how much control the president could have over the quality of the company’s products. While we do know that the president gives up some control, because the company subcontracts some of its manufacturing, we do not know whether it would be possible for the company to do that work itself.
Answer choice (D): Nothing in the stimulus told us about the consumer’s perception of the quality of subcontracted goods.
Answer choice (E): This generalization, that the quality of in-house products is uniformly better than subcontracted goods, is not supported by the stimulus. It may be the case that a company subcontracts the work because it does not have the in-house capacity to produce a quality product. The stimulus does not provide the information necessary make this inference.