GRE Argument Essay 91
The following appeared in a letter to the editor of a Batavia newspaper.
“The department of agriculture in Batavia reports that the number of dairy farms throughout the country is now 25 percent greater than it was 10 years ago. During this same time period, however, the price of milk at the local Excello Food Market has increased from $1.50 to over $3.00 per gallon. To prevent farmers from continuing to receive excessive profits on an apparently increased supply of milk, the Batavia government should begin to regulate retail milk prices. Such regulation is necessary to ensure both lower prices and an adequate supply of milk for consumers.”
The given argument highlights the fact that the price of milk at the local Excello Food Market has increased from $1.50 to $3.00 per gallon despite the report given by the department of agriculture in Batavia that the number of dairy farms across the country has increased by 25% in the past 10 years. The arguer recommends that the Batavia government should regulate retail milk prices for three reasons. The reasons quoted by the arguer are that this regulation will prevent farmers from gaining excessive profits from an increased supply of milk, lower prices will be ensured and there will be an adequate supply of milk for the consumers. The argument stands unconvincing despite the evidence provided in its support as the evidence in itself is highly questionable.
A major stumbling block for the argument is the assumption that the milk prices of the local Excello Food Market are an indication of the milk prices throughout Batavia. The relationship between the milk prices throughout Batavia and those at the Excello Food Market has not been explicitly established by the argument. Hence, the contention that the Batavia government needs to regulate its retail milk prices does not sound convincing enough. Moreover, the arguer does not present any evidence that proves that the profits from the sale of milk are higher than those accrued from the sale of other products. It is likely that whatever profits that are being accrued by the farmers are being contradicted by the cost involved in producing and distributing the milk. Therefore, the assumption that the farmers are receiving excessive profits from the sale of milk is baseless. Hence, the reason quoted by the arguer for the regulation of milk prices does not stand on firm ground.
The assumption, that an increase in the number of dairy farms across the nation implies that the milk supply has also increased, fails to convince the reader. It is not necessary that a major percentage of the new dairy farms are located in Batavia. Even if there are a substantial number of new diary farms in Batavia, it is not necessary that this has led to an increase in the milk supply. This is because the new dairy farms may be equipped with machinery for the production of other dairy products like cheese and milk cream. Hence, the supply of milk to the population of Batavia may not be affected by a great margin despite the increase in the number of dairy farms.
Finally, the arguer overlooks the fact that imposing a regulation on the milk prices would lead to the farmers trying out other profit making businesses. They would not like to run a business which gets them less profits. Therefore, the assumption that the regulation would ultimately result in an adequate milk supply for consumers does not sound convincing.
The argument could have been substantiated with the presence of clear evidence that proved the link between the Excello milk prices and an increase in the number of dairy farms across the country. Moreover, there is a requirement of strong evidence that proves beyond doubt that the proposed regulation would indeed result in an adequate milk supply for consumers. To sum up, one can say that the conclusion arrived at by the argument is not supported by adequate evidence and hence, it fails to convince the reader that the recommendation made by the arguer is justified.