QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: The media critics are wrong to say that negative economic news will harm the economy.
REASONING: People spend based on their confidence in their own economic situation.
ANALYSIS: The argument ignores the possibility that negative news about the economy makes people less confident in their own economic situation. That would cause them to spend less.
- This is backwards. We don’t care what causes people to think the economy is doing well. As far as we know, spending is only related to people’s confidence in their own situation.
- It would be astounding if news reports about the economy were 100% accurate. This answer just points out the obvious. It has no impact on the stimulus, which was about whether negative news affects confidence.
- This doesn’t tell us anything about people who do pay attention to media reports about the economy.
- CORRECT. Suppose negative news makes people less confident about the economic situation. This answer says that people’s lack of confidence in the wider economy will reduce their confidence in their own situation, which will make them spend less.
- This tells us what will happen if an economic slowdown occurs. The stimulus was about whether negative news could cause a slowdown in the first place.
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