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#17 - In a business whose owners and employees all belong

curiosity
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Why is answer choice C preferable over answer choice B? I had it narrowed down to the choice between the two and chose B. Thank you!
Lucas Moreau
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Hello, curiosity,

The argument doesn't necessarily assume what's proposed in B. It doesn't presume that companies that pay the lowest wages have the lowest general operating expenses, only that their general operating expenses are "much lower than they would be" otherwise.

C is preferable because you can't achieve financial prosperity for your family by paying them a tiny wage, lol. :lol: But you probably already saw that! B just isn't as good as it might seem at first. :)

Hope that helps,
Lucas Moreau
pacer
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Can you please explain this one? I really feel that B makes more sense since the authors fails to acknowledge any alternative reasons for operational cost levels. Choice C appears more like a distorted statement.
Ron Gore
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Hi Pacer,

First, the portion of the argument that you're pointing to is a subconclusion of the argument, not it's main conclusion. You should always focus your prephrase on the argument's main point, unless you're specifically told otherwise. Second, answer choice (B) is not an accurate statement of the author's position. The author did not assume that the family businesses at issue pay the lowest wages, nor did the author assume that they have the highest profits. Rather, the author pointed to exceptionally low wages, which may or may not be the lowest wages, and to higher profits, which may or may not be the highest profits. Since this answer choice not an accurate reflection of the argument, it can't be correct.

I'm not sure why you think answer choice (C) is a "distorted" statement. Could you expand on that?

Ron
pacer
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Hi Ron,

Thanks for the response.

For question 17, I understand now why B is incorrect. When I look at Choice C, it mentions family's prosperity (happiness etc) which implies to members of a family, focusing on individuals. But the stimulus is talking about financial prosperity. This made me think this was a distorted answer choice.

Thanks
ksikanon
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Hi there,

A quick question on (B) - if the language was changed from "lowest" and "highest" to just "low" and "high," so that it reads "presumes, without providing justification, that businesses that pay low wages have low general operating expenses and thus high profits," would the answer be correct? Or has the stimulus provided us with premises that we can't question on this one?
Daniel Stern
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I think your proposed linguistic change -- from "lowest" to "low" and "highest" to "high" -- still does not save answer choice B or make it a correct statement of the flaw in this argument. The author definitely does presume that lower wages lead to lower operating costs and thus higher profits, but I don't know that the author does so "without justification," as stated in answer B. Wages are, in fact, part of a business's operating cost, and lowering them, all else being equal, should increase profits.

When we are seeking a flaw, it is best to look at how the premises relate to the conclusion. Here, the premise that running a family business where the family members are paid low wages is supposed to lead to the conclusion that a family business will make the family financially prosperous. Credited response C points out the problem with this logic: that the low wages themselves may adversely effect the family's prosperity, regardless of the profitability of the business.

Good luck in your studies!
Dan