Minister of local businesses: Paying extra for free range pork—meat of pigs fed natural plant feed and grass—is intended to help poor pig farmers, because they receive a higher price for the free range pigs they grow. But this practice may hurt more farmers in developing nations than it helps. By raising average prices for pork, it encourages more pork to be produced than consumers want to buy. This lowers prices for non-free-range pork and thus lowers profits for non-free-range pig farmers.
To evaluate the strength of the minister’s argument, it would be the most helpful to know which of the following?
- Whether consumers should pay extra for free-range pork if doing so lowers profits for non-free-range pig farmers
- What proportion of pig farmers in developing nations produce free-range pork
- Whether many pig farmers in developing nations also derive income from other kinds of farming
- How free-range pig farmers in developing nations could be helped without lowering profits for non-free-range pig farmers
- Whether there is a way of alleviating the impact of the increased average prices for pork on non-free-range pig farmers’ profits
Question type: Evaluate
Difficulty level: Hard
Summary of the argument: practice of free-range pig farming may decrease profits for pig farmers in general since this might increase average prices of pork.
- Whether they should pay is not the issue here; the evidence shows that they already do.
- This is relevant since if we found out that free-range pork is a very minute proportion of pork farmed, then it would have a negligible effect on the overall average prices of pork.
- Income from other sources is out of scope.
- This is outside the scope of the argument; we need to evaluate whether margins are likely to reduce.
- This is outside the scope of the argument.