QUESTION TEXT: Essayist: One of the claims of laissez-faire…
QUESTION TYPE: Necessary Assumption
CONCLUSION: Laissez faire economics isn’t completely accurate.
REASONING: Laissez-faire says that an increase in the minimum wage will lower the number of minimum wage jobs. But the recent increase in the minimum wage did not lower minimum wage jobs in the restaurant industry.
ANALYSIS: This is a really bad argument. Its only evidence is that minimum wage jobs did not decline in one out of thousands of industries. And the author hasn’t shown that restaurant jobs are representative of all minimum wage jobs.
So it could be that minimum wage jobs actually did decline in other industries.
- The conclusion did not claim that laissez-faire is completely wrong. The argument just said that it isn’t right about this single prediction.
- CORRECT. If the restaurant industry was not representative then there could have been many minimum wage jobs lost in other industries.
- Even if a study hypothetically did find that one business reduced jobs, that does not prove much. Another business could have increased jobs at the same time. The argument is claiming that on average no jobs will be lost, across the entire economy.
- Actually the argument is assuming that the fast food restaurants did increase salaries to comply with the new, higher minimum wage. Otherwise, there would be no temptation to fire workers.
- This is tempting but the argument is restricted to minimum wage jobs. It doesn’t hurt the argument if other jobs were lost as long as minimum wage jobs did not decline.
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