QUESTION TEXT: Economist: Global recessions can never be…
QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: We can never stop global recessions.
REASONING: To stop recessions, we’d need to predict them. But currently, we can’t predict them.
ANALYSIS: This argument confuses the future with the present. It’s true that we currently can’t predict recessions, and therefore we can’t stop them.
But at some point, economists might get better at predicting. Then perhaps we could predict recessions and therefore prevent recessions.
You might have thought the flaw was that someone else could predict recessions, other than economists. That could have been an answer, but it was unlikely for two reasons: Economists are the relevant experts, and they’re also using the best techniques.
- This is circular reasoning. Circular reasoning is rarely the flaw, but it often appears in the answers.
Example of flaw: Recessions can’t be stopped because they’re unstoppable.
- It doesn’t matter what economists claim. It only matters what they’re able to do.
- This answer describes confusing a necessary condition for a sufficient condition. But the author didn’t say that recessions could definitely be stopped if they were predictable.
- CORRECT. If techniques significantly improve, then economists might be able to predict recessions.
- This is a different flaw.
Example of flaw: We can’t know when a recession will happen. So recessions will never happen.
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