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#15 - Economist: Many of my colleagues are arguing

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Hi Powerscore,

I believe answer choice C is correct because the economist reaches a conclusion that there is no reason to lower interest rates merely on the grounds that the reason the economist's colleagues give for lowering interest rates is not occurring (the economy is already growing at a sustainable rate). By doing this, the economist is arguing that his colleagues' reason is the only reason why one would want to lower interest rates, and their reason does not exist. But, of course, there could be many reasons to lower interest rates besides economic growth. Maybe it will make taxpayers happy, for example.

I'm wondering this: Would the economist's conclusion be valid if it was phrased this way?

So, my colleagues' argument does not provide us a sufficient reason to currently lower interest rates further.

Jonathan Evans
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Hi, NeverMissing,

I'm glad I got a chance to address this question too because I want to recall something I noted in my other reply (viewtopic.php?f=476&t=10747), namely be careful not to venture too deeply into conjecture on Logical Reasoning problems.

Overall, your analysis in your first paragraph is sound: the economist does presume that "stimulation" is the only consideration that would justify further lowering interest rates.

In general, I resist hypothetical counterfactual conclusions because it's easy to get lost down a rabbit-hole. However, with that caveat, the reply to your question is: no, the conclusion would still not be justified even in the manner you rephrased it. There is an implicit assumption that growth at a sustainable rate is sufficient to know that "no such stimulation is needed," a subordinate conclusion here.

Basically, I recommend that you continue to engage with these problems in depth, just as you are, only exercise caution when extrapolating outside the scope of the text. Keep up the good work!
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Can you explain why we know that the economist here is assuming that the need to stimulate economic growth is the only possible reason to lower interest rates? Is it just because in the stimulus the conclusion is aying that there is no reason to lower interest rates further? Thanks.
Adam Tyson
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That's exactly right, Freddy. The author has told us that lowering interest rates isn't necessary to stimulate growth, so he has eliminated ONE possible reason for lowering the rates. But then he concludes that there is NO reason to lower the rates, which is going pretty far when all he did was eliminate one possible reason. He has to be assuming, then, that there could be no other reason. That's the problem - there could be another reason other than stimulating growth that he has failed to take into account.
Adam M. Tyson
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Is the fact that the other economists (the "colleagues") say that they want to lower interest rates to stimulate economic growth irrelevant? I want to make sure I understand this. I had a moment of hesitation before picking (C), because he does presume that it is the only reason to lower growth, but what if that was only because the other economists framed the discussion in that way
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Is this an error in the use of evidence because the author seems to weaken the arguments of the colleagues and then proceeds to say 'there is no reason... '? My problem is with the answer, how do I make sense of it?

To be honest, I am getting really frustrated with these Flaw questions that play on similar errors in reasoning but the answers are worded in a way that is difficult to follow. How should I deal with these?