GRE Argument Essay 96

The following appeared in a newsletter offering advice to investors.

“Over 80 percent of the respondents to a recent survey indicated a desire to reduce their intake of foods containing fats and cholesterol, and today low-fat products abound in many food stores. Since many of the food products currently marketed by Old Dairy Industries are high in fat and cholesterol, the company’s sales are likely to diminish greatly and their profits will no doubt decrease. We therefore advise Old Dairy stockholders to sell their shares and other investors not to purchase stock in this company.”

The given argument advises the stockholders of Old Dairy Industries to sell their shares and it recommends that investors should not purchase shares of this company as it is likely to face a sharp dip in sales and profit. The arguer has based his recommendation on evidence that highlights the desire of 80 percent of the participants of a recent survey that they would like to reduce their intake of high fat foods. The arguer adds that most of the food products marketed by Old Dairy are high in their fat and cholesterol content and low-fat products are easily available in most of the other food stores. Using the above mentioned assumptions, the arguer concludes that the sales and subsequently the profits of Old Dairy are going to reduce. However, the argument lacks critical information, the absence of which has rendered the argument indefensible.

Firstly, the results of the survey clearly indicate that 80 percent of the participants have expressed a desire to reduce their intake of food products with high-fat content. There is a wide difference between expressing a desire to do something and actually executing it on ground. It is likely that these 80 percent are still purchasing food products that are high in fat and cholesterol. The results of the survey have not included information related to the percentage of people who have already restricted their intake of food products with high-fat content. Moreover, the results of the survey cannot describe the opinion of the entire population as there is no description of the section of the people who were a part of this survey. It is likely that the survey was conducted among the older generation of people and therefore, 80 percent of them expressed their concern for restricting their diet. It is likely that a majority of the younger generation of people still likes to consume products that are high in fat content and they have no intention of switching to low-fat food products. Therefore, the findings of the survey fail to substantiate the recommendation made by the arguer.

The second evidence presented by the arguer refers to the abundant stock of low-fat products in food stores. It is not necessary that this stock indicates a requirement of low-fat products. On the contrary, it is likely that there are diminished sales of low-fat food products and therefore, their stocks are not depleting in the food stores.

The argument does not provide concrete evidence to support the contention that the company will face severe losses due to declining sales. Even if the company does face some form of decline in sales, it might continue to make profit. This is because the profits of a company are calculated on the basis of the investment made in the business and the cost of running the business coupled with its maintenance. It is likely that Old Dairy Industries is an old establishment and it has already recovered its initial investments. Additionally, the arguer does not make a mention of the profit margins of the company. Therefore, the assumption that people are keen on avoiding the consumption of high-fat products may not affect either the sales or the profits of Old Dairy at all.

The argument could have been strengthened with additional information that proved a link between the results of the survey and the opinion of the entire population and their subsequent action on ground. Moreover, the argument lacks information pertaining to the sale and profit statistics of Old Dairy. Hence, the advice being given by the arguer to the stockholders of Old Dairy and other investors should be completely ignored as it is grossly flawed.