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#3 - In a recession, a decrease in consumer spending causes

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Complete Question Explanation

Must Be True. The correct answer choice is (D)

While decreased consumer spending during a recession causes businesses to lay off workers in order to cope with the decreased demand, recovery does not always produce an equivalent increase in hiring. This is generally due to the lack of confidence businesspeople have in a recovering economy.

Since this is an ordinary fact-set stimulus and not an argument, the Must Be True question requires us to put the facts together in some meaningful way and come up with a valid conclusion.

Answer choice (A): The facts presented only describe the effects of recessions on employment and consumer spending, not its causes. Because the cause of recessions is beyond the scope of the stimulus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (B): Even though recovery might be difficult at first, there is no reason to suspect that government intervention is required in order for the economy to recover. While you may know this to be true from real life, the information in the stimulus does not definitively prove it. Therefore this answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (C): We are given no clues as to what percentage of the laid off workers are employees of businesses that close during a recession. While such lay-offs do result in an increase in unemployment, such an increase need not account for the majority of workers who lose their jobs. This answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. See discussion above.

Answer choice (E): It is beyond the scope of this argument to determine whether the workers who lose their jobs during a recession might get equally good jobs when the economy recovers. All we know is that they may have to wait awhile before finding new jobs. This answer choice is incorrect.
srcline@noctrl.edu
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Hello,
I was going through this question and what seems to be tripping me up is the question stem. It states " the statements above if true provide most support for which one of the following conclusions? So this is essentially a strengthen question? So we are trying to strengthen the conclusion? Which is: "But businesspeople generally have little confidence in the economy after recession and therefore delay hiring additional workers as long as possible.

Would this be the reason why A is correct? Because its addressing the confidence before the recession?

Thankyou
Sarah
Clay Cooper
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Hi Sarah,

Thanks for your question. This type of question stem often trips students up.

It is not a strengthen question, but a must be true question. If you'll notice, the stem states that the stimulus will support the answer choice, and not the other way around (as you would find in a strengthen question). In other words, the direction of support here is pointing down; take a look at pages 1-7 and 1-8 if you are taking the full-length course.

In a strengthen question, the stem would read something like this: "Which one of the following, if true, lends the most support to the argument above?"

Don't let the 'if true' part of this question stem fool you - it is not referring to the answer choices, as it would in a strengthen question, but to the stimulus - and is essentially included just to trick students who, like you, have learned to expect strengthen or weaken or other question types when they see it (the test-makers usually leave this phrase out of must be true questions, as it is understood).

I hope this helps. Keep working hard!
Daniel B
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Hi,

Without looking at the answer choices, how would one come up with a prephrase for this question? That's what I was struggling with.

I chose C but I now understand that the "make up the majority" part makes it wrong. I would have only reached answer choice D by process of elimination.

I had trouble coming up with a prephrase for this one because of where it says "Recovery from a recession is defined by an increase in consumer spending and an expansion of business activity that creates a need for additional workers."


Thanks,

Daniel
Matt Griffiths
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Hi Daniel. Good question. Prephrasing can be tricky with Must be True questions, because in Family #1 we're using the stimulus to prove the answer choice rather than plugging something back into the stimulus. Process of elimination is going to be necessary either way. However, there are still strategies we can try. In this particular question, we might ask: what is the stimulus trying to convey? That is to say, what are the facts we learn from reading the stimulus, and what inferences can we draw?

Here, reading the stimulus for the first time, a word I noticed a lot is the word "workers." It's in almost every sentence of the stimulus. And the idea I got after reading the stimulus is that a recession means trouble for the workers. In a recession, lots of people seem to lose their jobs and have a hard time finding new jobs. So that serves as my prephrase. Now this doesn't necessarily mean that the correct answer will contain this language, but it's at least a starting point. Since the stimulus focuses almost exclusively on the workers losing and finding jobs, it would make sense that the correct answer choice would be related to that.

With this in mind, looking through the answer choices on Must Be True questions, I always ask: is that a valid conclusion I can draw from the stimulus?

Answer choice (D), although it's worded in a tricky way, is a pretty good match for my prephrase. It states that recovery doesn't promptly result in a decrease in people who are jobless -- or in other words, lots of people lose their jobs and have a hard time finding new jobs. Can I draw this conclusion from the stimulus? Well, yes, it follows that new jobs are not going to come immediately, particularly when we see that the last sentence states that businesses will "delay hiring additional workers as long as possible."

Remember that prephrasing is a lot easier for some questions than for others. Don't stress about it too much, though; just get the facts you can from the stimulus, come up with an general inference or summary, and let that serve as your prephrase.
Daniel B
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Thanks Matt, that was helpful.

Regards,

Daniel