GMAT Essay Topic 499 - The following is taken from an editorial in a local newspaper. "Over the past decade, the price per pound of citrus fruit has increased substantially. Eleven years ago, Megamart charged 5 cents apiece for lemons, but today it commonly charges over 30 cents apiece. In only one of these last eleven years was the weather unfavorable for growing citrus crops. Evidently, then, citrus growers have been responsible for the excessive increase in the price of citrus fruit, and strict pricing regulations are needed to prevent them from continuing to inflate prices." Discuss how well reasoned . . . Etc.
Author: edmund.shi | Date: August 13, 2009 | Score: 5.5
To bolster his assertion that strict pricing regulations are needed to prevent the citrus growers from continuing to inflate prices, the author reasons that in only one of these last eleven years was the weather unfavorable for growing citrus crops. Meanwhile, he also points out that citrus peanu...
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The author has argued that the citrus growers have been solely responsible for the substantial price of the citrus foods over the past decade. The price rise of lemon, from 5 cents per apiece eleven years ago to 30 cents apiece now, has been provided as an supporting example. To further justify the argument, the author has also informed that the weather was unfavorable only in one year of the last eleven and has called for strict price control of the citrus foods. Carefully analyzing, the argument appears to have too much open ends and doesn't takes care into multiple other factors that can contribute to the price rise.
First of all, the author has given the example of only one store, Megamart, where the price has substantially increased over last one year. No detailed statistics has been provided, e.g. across different stores or different geographical areas to validate whether the price rise is similar all across. Also, the example doesn't provide information on whether the prices compared are across same the variety of lemons or different. As an example, the new variety could be organic lemons, which are costlier in general.
The other aspects of the price rise that has been totally overlooked are the additional costs, which adds to the final price of any product. There hasn't been any analysis done on whether the price of seeds, fertilizers etc. has also increased substantially over the last decade. There hasn't been analysis done on whether the cost of transportation, including the cost of fuel & truck rentals, have increased over this time. These factors are crucial in determining the final price of any product.
Overall, analyzing the different possible reasons of price rise as described above, I feel that the author's argument is not built upon a deep analysis of the market dynamics. He/ she has chosen to put the blame solely on the citrus growers, which is not reasonable at all. While agreeing that the price rise should be controlled in general, it has to be done based on overall analysis of the market situation.Read more