Economist: As should be obvious, raising the minimum wage significantly would make it more expensive for businesses ...

Minerva on July 18, 2019

A vs D

Hey, I think I understand why A is correct, but can someone explain why D is incorrect? Thanks!

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Minerva on July 18, 2019

(Just saw that this was answered)

Irina on July 18, 2019


Let's look at the argument. The economist argues that raising the minimum wage would make it more expensive for businesses to pay workers for minimum-wage jobs. Since business could not afford to employ as many workers for such jobs as before, the employment rate will go up.

This is a weaken question. We are looking or a statement that would most undermine/ weaken the economist's argument.

(A) is the right answer choice as you correctly identified because it weakens the assumption the argument depends on - "would make it more expensive for businesses to pay workers." If the cost of increased wages is passed on to consumers without adversely affecting profits, meaning higher cost is not going to hurt their sales, then the increased minimum wage must have no impact on the businesses' ability to afford paying workers in minimum wage positions.

(D) has no impact on the validity of the economist's conclusion because the argument only concerns minimum wage workers. This statement might have weakened the argument if the conclusion said "raising the minimum wage significantly will cause a SIGNIFICANT increase in unemployment," but the economist merely argues that it would result in "an increase in unemployment" no matter how small. Therefore, even if most workers do indeed earn more than minimum wage and only a small percentage of workers are in minimum wage positions, the unemployment rate would still go up if the businesses can no longer afford to employ them.

Let me know if this makes sense.