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Critical Reasoning: Conclusion Strengthening Questions

In numerous factories, automated equipment is replacing employees in order to save money. These employees will need government assistance to survive, and the same factories that fire employees will eventually pay for that assistance through a heavier tax burden and unemployment insurance fees.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the author's argument?

Incorrect.

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This answer choice weakens the conclusion which states that the factories will be punished by having to fund government unemployment assistance. If this assistance is only based partly (10%) on the money from factories, then the tax burden may not be that heavy.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice neither strengthens nor weakens the author's conclusion since the data it presents is irrelevant. The author's conclusion regards factories that do fire employees whereas this answer choice provides us with information about factories that do not.

Notice that the conclusion isn't simply about whether the employees should be fired; it's about the effects firing employees would have on the factories.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice neither strengthens nor weakens the author's conclusion. The premise in the argument already states that the move from worker to machine was done to save money. Therefore, even though the machines may be expensive, they obviously pay for themselves after a certain period of time.

At any rate, this point is irrelevant. The conclusion isn't simply about whether the employees should be fired; it's about the effects firing employees would have on the factories.

Well done!

[[snippet]]

This answer choice confirms the argument's assumption. The employees will only need government assistance if they cannot take care of themselves. This answer choice presents data that supports the idea that the employees, once fired, will not be able to take care of themselves and will need help from the government.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice neither strengthens nor weakens the author's conclusion as knowing the factories' obligations does not help us determine whether firing employees would increase the taxation on factories.

The profits of most factories that are not replacing employees with automated equipment are declining each year.
Automated equipment that is sophisticated enough to replace employees is very costly.
Most employees that have been replaced by automated equipment are unskilled workers and are thus often unable to find new jobs.
Government unemployment assistance is funded by many resources, and taxes and unemployment insurance fees account for less than 10% of these funds.
All factories are obligated to pay taxes and to give employees a month's notice before dismissal.