Humanitarian considerations aside, sheer economics dictates that country X should institute, as country Y has done, a...

on July 23 at 03:16PM

Necessary Assumption

Please could you explain this argument and conclusion? This is a strengthen with necessary premise question. My instinct was to pick E, which was obviously wrong - when I negated E, my thought process was that if the people already received treatment in trauma centers, then what is the point of setting up a network like in country Y?

1 Reply

Shunhe on July 23 at 10:20PM

Hi @Anna2020,

Thanks for the question! So let’s take a look at what the stimulus is telling us. We’re told that based on economics, country X should have a transportation system set up for specialized trauma centers. And why? Well, this would save the lives of a bunch of people. And the earnings of these people (how much they make from their jobs) would result in an increasing in country X’s GNP, and also the taxes paid would help government revenues out.

So now we’re asked for a necessary assumption of the argument. And isn’t the argument assuming that people are actually going to have earnings that will contribute to the GNP and can then be taxed? If they don’t have these earnings, then the economic argument made here falls apart. So we should look for something like that in the answer choices.

Now take a look at (D), which tells us that there would be a net increase in employment in country X if more persons survived serious injury. This is what we were looking for! Let’s use the negation test. Say this isn’t true; more persons survive serious injury, but there’s not a net increase in employment. Maybe everyone who survives goes off and adventures for the rest of their lives, having been so close to death once. Well, then there’s no earnings, and no taxes on those earnings, so the argument falls apart. Since negating (D) ruins the argument, (D) is a necessary assumption and the correct answer.

(E), on the other hand, just tells us that most people seriously injured in automobile accidents in country X don’t get treatment now in specialized trauma centers. Why does this argument rely on most people who get in automobile accidents? There’s still a ton of other different kinds of accidents. This definitely isn’t a necessary assumption, and again we can use the negation test to see why. If we negate (E), we’re told that most people seriously injured in automobile accidents do get treatment. OK, but again, maybe the transportation network is necessary for people injured in other ways, and maybe there aren’t even that many automobile accidents. Since (E) doesn’t really weaken the argument, it can’t be the necessary assumption.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.