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The following is taken from an editorial in a local newspaper.
“Over the past decade, the price per pound of citrus fruit has increased
substantially. Eleven years ago, Megamart charged 5 cents apiece for lemons, but
today it commonly charges over 30 cents apiece. In only one of these last eleven
years was the weather unfavorable for growing citrus crops. Evidently, then, citrus
growers have been responsible for the excessive increase in the price of citrus fruit,
and strict pricing regulations are needed to prevent them from continuing to inflate
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Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.
In this editorial the author argues for the imposition of strict pricing regulations in order to prevent citrus growers from continued
inflation of prices of citrus fruit. The need for such regulation is supported by the author’s contention that citrus growers have been
unnecessarily raising prices of citrus fruit in the past. The evidence for this allegation is the fact that the price of lemons at Megamart
has increased from 15 cents per pound to over a dollar a pound during the preceding 11-year period. The author maintains that this
increase is unjustifiable because weather conditions have been favorable to citrus production in all but one of those years. This argument
is flawed for several reasons.
First and foremost, the author assumes that the only factor that influences the price of citrus fruit is the weather. Other factors such
as monetary inflation, increased distribution and labor costs, or alterations in supply and demand conditions are completely ignored as
possible sources for the increase. The charge that citrus growers have unnecessarily raised prices can be sustained only if these and
other possible factors can be completely ruled out as contributing to the price increases. Since the author fails to address these
factors, the recommendation calling for strict pricing regulations can be dismissed out of handHidden text (Hidden text adv.
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Second, the author assumes that the only way to combat increased prices is through government intervention. In a free enterprise
system many other means of affecting the pricing of goods are available. For example, boycotting a product and thereby influencing
supply and demand conditions of the commodity is an effective means of influencing the price of the product. In a free market economy
the call for price regulation by the government should occur only when all other means to rectify the problem have been exhausted.
In conclusion, the author’s argument is unconvincing. To strengthen the argument it would be necessary to show that the only factor
influencing the price increases is the growers’ desire for increased profits.