GRE Argument Essay 164

The following appeared in a memo from the business manager of Medicine, Inc., a local drugstore.

“Most business analysts for the drugstore industry have stated that even when a nation’s economy is weak, drugstores’ profits are unlikely to decline appreciably. While consumers might put off some kinds of purchases when the economy is slow, prescription and over-the-counter drug purchases are dictated by consumers’ health needs, which are independent of the economy. Therefore, Medicine Inc. is likely to continue to have increasing profits and should plan to open an additional drugstore next year.”

The business manager of Medicine, Inc. utilizes this memo to recommend that Medicine Inc. is likely to continue its profitable business despite a weak national economy and therefore, Medicine Inc. should plan on opening an additional drugstore in the coming year. The arguer supports his recommendation by citing the statements of business analysts, most of who have agreed that the profits made by drugstores are unlikely to decline even in the face of poor economy because consumers’ health is not governed by the nation’s economy. Therefore, even when the economy is slow, over-the-counter drug purchases are unlikely to decline. However, the argument suffers from several fallacies that render the recommendation made by the arguer unconvincing.

A major flaw in the argument is that the arguer has completely ignored the present status of Medicine Inc. with respect to its sales and popularity. In the absence of information related to the consumer’s demands and the availability of stock with Medicine Inc., it would be unwarranted to assume that there is a requirement of a new drugstore in the coming year. The arguer cannot rely on the nation’s economy to prove that Medicine Inc. will continue to reap profits in the coming year as well. If there are no surplus demands for the products stocked by Medicine Inc. in the present, then it is highly likely that the company will run into losses by opening the new drugstore as they may not be able to recover the investments made. Other factors like the location of the new drugstore, competition in the market, financial implications of employing additional staff etc. will determine the profitability of the new drugstore. Unless these aspects are discussed by the arguer, the argument sounds unconvincing and fallacious.

Even if we assume that Medicine Inc. has a huge consumer demand and that they have the financial capability to establish a new drugstore, the assumption that Medicine Inc. will continue to make profits in the face of slow economy is unwarranted. Firstly, slow economy would mean lesser money in the hands of consumers who may not be able to buy medicines easily. Secondly, the business analysts whose statements have been used by the arguer to substantiate his recommendation have made these statements in respect of the entire drugstore industry. It is likely that they may have been referring to big drugstore chains which would probably not be affected by the economy as their clientage includes big hospitals and government establishments. As Medicine Inc. is a local drugstore, it is likely that the statements of the business analysts may not hold true for Medicine Inc. Thirdly, even if the health of people is independent of the economy, what is the surety that people will increasingly fall sick so as to accrue increasing profits for the drugstore? An increase in profits may have been possible if the prices of medicines had risen or if there was a sudden increase in the consumer demands for the stocks held by Medicine Inc. The arguer does not touch upon other reasons that may lead to an increase in profits for Medicine Inc. despite a slow economy.

Therefore, the assumption that Medicine Inc. will continue to be a profitable business in the coming year and that it should now contemplate establishing a new drugstore is highly unconvincing due to lack of crucial evidence in its support. The argument could have been strengthened with evidence that proved that the profits of Medicine Inc. will definitely increase in the future and that Medicine Inc. has the financial capability to open a profitable new drugstore. Moreover, there is a need to prove that the statements made by the business analysts will hold true for local drugstores like Medicine Inc. too.