LSAT 12 – Section 1 – Question 09

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT12 S1 Q09
Main conclusion or main point +MC
+Medium 147.282 +SubsectionMedium

Here we have a main conclusion question, which we know from the question stem “The main point of the argument is that...”

The argument opens with a common premise indicator, “since,” so I’m expecting that we’ll first be presented with a reason for the conclusion to be true, and then the conclusion will follow. The premise is that grain companies operating internationally are run with the goal of maximizing profits. Knowing this is supposed to make the following claim more likely to be true: that we can’t rely on these companies to make choices with their money that would reform food distribution worldwide. So, Big Grain can’t reliably solve world hunger because they care too much about making money. The first part of that sentence smells like conclusion to me, as we have a reason to believe it. Let’s see if the rest of the argument supports that, or if this claim ends up supporting a more overarching conclusion. The next sentence includes a concession: sure, sometimes big corporations do things that bring about similar economic change. But hey, it’s just a coincidence that this happens because the right motives weren’t there; these companies that did do economic good didn’t actually care about the world, just about making money. And then we’re given a final reason to agree with the initial claim: maximizing profits usually needs a stable, unchanging economic environment. As terrible as this argument is, there’s no doubt that the conclusion was the second part of the first sentence: we just can’t count on Big Grain to save the world from hunger.

Answer Choice (A) repeats the final sentence of the stimulus almost word-for-word, which we already know isn’t the conclusion because we aren’t presented any reason that this must be true; instead it’s given as support for the actual conclusion. Next!

Answer Choice (B) rephrases the second part of the second sentence, which was also just a premise. The author did say that economic change via big business is motivated by profit, but we’re given no reason to believe this and it serves to support the main conclusion. Still searching...

Answer Choice (C) rephrases the first part of the first sentence, which we immediately deemed a premise due to the “since” and its role in supporting the following half of the sentence (the actual main conclusion). Yes, Big Grain cares about making money, but that’s not our conclusion.

Answer Choice (D) was never stated in the argument. We have reason to think the author here actually would say the opposite, that the world’s current food distribution system does need reform. Why would they even bother writing this argument otherwise? Anyways, it’s definitely not the main conclusion.

Correct Answer Choice (E) is right on the money. Like Big Grain, haha. LSAC made this one pretty easy for us by not even bothering to rephrase the second part of the first sentence of the stimulus for AC (E) beyond removing that step about economic changes, so we are that much more confident that this is our answer!

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