Engaging with the argument avoiding the Who is to say criticism

Sometimes an argument will contain a premise which no one would say can be known with certainty. Sometimes these will have to do with what a particular person was thinking, or with what motives people in certain circumstances are likely to have, or with the future, such as whether unemployment will increase or the Labour Party will win the next election. Consider this argument:

If they close down the factory - making over 500 workers redundant - then unemployment in our town will immediately double, at the very least. This will surely lead to increases in family tensions, hence in domestic violence. Studies have found this happening in every case where there is such an abrupt and dramatic increase in unemployment.

The conclusion is that if the factory closes, domestic violence will increase. Without bothering to reconstruct further, you can well imagine someone reacting to this argument with, 'Well, who is to say what will happen? You don't know that increased domestic violence would result; you can't just assume that the people in our town are as bad as that'. But this is an empty criticism of the argument. The critic has given no reason to suppose that the people of the town in question are different from other people. The critic is just ignoring the argument, not analysing it. Assuming the premises to be true, the evidence that an increase in domestic violence tends to follow large increases in unemployment is very strong. Perhaps this sort of thing cannot be absolutely certain until it happens, but that is the nature of inductive inferences. Where an argument is inductively forceful, the person who says 'who is to say?' that the conclusion is true is either repeating what nobody doubts - that the argument is not deductively valid - or expressing a seemingly unreasonable scepticism, like a person who refuses to believe that past observation supports the hypothesis that spring will follow winter.

Another variety of the 'who is to say?' response is illustrated in the following example:

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