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#23 - Politician: We should impose a tariff on imported

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Complete Question Explanation

Must Be True—PR, CE. The correct answer choice is (C)

In this stimulus, the politician’s conclusion is presented in the first sentence:

..... Imported fruit should be taxed so that it is more expensive than domestic fruit.

The politician follows this conclusion with supporting premises—a discussion of what a tariff might
avoid. Otherwise, the politician argues, other countries’ cheaper fruit will put domestic fruit farmers
out of business, farmland will be used for more lucrative industry, and a unique way of life (fruit
farming) will disappear.

Considering that the argument is in favor of taxing foreign fruit, the politician clearly believes that
domestic fruit farming is worth saving—despite the fact that industrial uses would apparently bring
greater financial benefit. In other words, the politician favors a policy that would preserve this unique
way of life, even though that policy does not maximize financial exploitation of the land involved.

Answer choice (A): While one incidental outcome of the suggested fruit tariff might be placing the
politician’s own country’s economic interests above that of others, the central idea from the stimulus
is that a unique lifestyle should be preserved—even if fruit growing is not the most lucrative way to
use the land.

Answer choice (B): Like incorrect answer choice (A) above, this choice conforms to a principle that
is rather different from the principle suggested by the politician. The politician does not reference
producers in general, and does not weigh the interests of producers’ against those of the consumers;
rather, the politician’s recommendation puts the interests of the domestic fruit growers ahead of those
of maximization of financial gain.

Answer choice (C): This is the correct answer choice. The principle presented in this choice
is aligned with the stand taken by the politician and discussed above—that saving domestic fruit
farming is worthwhile, even if it is not the most economically efficient outcome—that is, regardless
of the fact that it does not maximize financial gains.

Answer choice (D): Like the other answer choices which present slightly different groups whose
interests are being weighed, this choice is incorrect. The politician does not suggest that the interests
of one’s own citizens should take priority—the politician is merely suggesting that protection of
domestic fruit growers is more important than profit maximization.

Answer choice (E): This answer choice cannot be correct, because the politician’s suggestion
actually reduces economic efficiency. If free markets were allowed to reign, the foreign fruit growers
would have the advantage, and bring in cheaper fruit, putting the domestic growers out of business,
and the domestic land would then be converted for more lucrative use—thus government intervention
as suggested in this case would actually decrease efficiency.
smile22
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I am having troubling understanding the stimulus in this question. In the stimulus, are they assuming that because growers from other countries can grow fruit more cheaply than domestic growers, if tariff is not imposed, the foreign fruit will be cheaper and run domestic growers out of the market? If that is the assumption, how does answer C describe the principle underlying the stimulus? Additionally, why is A incorrect?
David Boyle
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smile22 wrote:I am having troubling understanding the stimulus in this question. In the stimulus, are they assuming that because growers from other countries can grow fruit more cheaply than domestic growers, if tariff is not imposed, the foreign fruit will be cheaper and run domestic growers out of the market? If that is the assumption, how does answer C describe the principle underlying the stimulus? Additionally, why is A incorrect?


Hello smile22,

Yes, that is the assumption, that cheap foreign fruit will destroy domestic growers. Answer C is consistent with that, in that the politician wants a sort of "landmark preservation" status for farming despite having to pay higher fruit prices because of avoiding foreign fruit. That is, even if more money could be made by industrial use, farming should be preserved anyway. So, as answer C says, social concerns are put above raw economics.
Answer A fails to see the social/cultural dimension of things, and also fails to see that maybe it is in fact economically advantageous to the country (even if foreign fruit-sellers also profit) to get the foreign fruit cheaper (saving money), and to let farmers sell their land to more profitable industrial use (making even more money). But more than economics is at stake here.

Hope that helps,
David
smile22
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Thank you for the explanation!
eober
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Hi,

Here, both question stems look like they are the same but question 21 is identified as Parallel PR and 23 as Strengthen, why is that?

Thanks for the clarification!
Nicholas Bruno
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Good question! I can see where, just isolating the question stems, you can see that the two look similar.

The difference though is that #21 asks you to *apply* the principle: "which of the following *judgments* (from the answer choices) conforms...to the principle?"

#23 asks you to find which principle is applied in the stimulus: "the *recommendation* (from the stimulus) most closely conforms to which one of the following principles?"

I hope that makes sense! Let me know if that answers your question!
LAM
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ok - I too had issues with this question. I was stuck between B and C. I liked neither and here's why: B uses the term always - too strong for this argument I thought, and C uses the term economic 'efficiency' - that word threw me off. Dave implies in his answer above that economic efficiency equates to 'raw economics'. I do not think you can make a case that economic 'efficiency' was ever used in this argument and is in fact a stretch. I don't see how efficiency and raw are even nearly the same thing. Questions like this really tick me off because the efficiency of economics was never used in this argument or even implied. If they left out the word efficiency, I would have chose it but instead I was completely dumbfounded by these 2 answer choices (the other 3 were easy to eliminate.) Please help. Thanks.
Kristina Moen
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Hi LAM,

You are correct to eliminate answer choice (B) because the word "always." This is a classic LSAT Must Be True question. Two options are considered which have underlying Reasons A and B (sometimes explicitly stated, sometimes not) and the author agrees with the option supported by Reason A. And so the answer is simply "Reason A should sometimes take precedence over Reason B" or "Reason A is sometimes more important than Reason B" or even "For some people, Reason A is superior to Reason B."

Here, economic efficiency is one implicit (unstated) reason for choosing the first option (no tariff). Keep the status quo. Let economics do its thing, people can buy the fruit that is the cheapest and domestic growers can find a more profitable enterprise. The other option is to tax imported fruit and artificially raise its price so it exceeds domestic fruit. The author likes this option. Why? Because of "the consequent vanishing of a unique way of life." Thus, this author believes that Reason A (social concerns) should take precedence over Reason B (economic efficiency). Note that neither "social concerns" nor "economic efficiency" were stated in the stimulus. You will see this more often on Principle questions, because the correct answer is a GENERAL principle which can be applied to many different scenarios, not just the specific facts of the stimulus.

Hope that helps.
LAM
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Thanks Kristina,
You are right that the words 'social concern' and 'efficiency' were never used - and the lsat often swaps out terms in its answer choices. I just thought these words were a stretch and so it threw me off. What did help me was your explanation about Reason A vs Reason B. I will keep this broader principle in mind when confronted with these questions. Thanks again.
hassan66
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I thought that answer choices in Principle questions can use strong, forceful language such as always and never because that could strengthen the principle/umbrella idea that we want it to cover. I thought that the reason to get rid of B was because it does not specify which producers or consumers. I incorrectly chose B because I assumed it meant the interests of domestic producers over those of domestic consumers.

A) incorrect because it could very well be better for your economy to import cheaper fruit
D) Importing cheaper fruit probably would be better for your own citizens than having them pay more for domestic goods
E) We can't say that this is creating a better economy

B) we don't know whose interests this refers to
C) comes closest to matching the stimulus

Thanks!