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# CR 1000: Postal Service

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Intern
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01 Nov 2007, 01:51
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The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago, first-class letter delivery cost only three cents. Since then, the price has increased nearly tenfold, with an actual decrease in the speed and reliability of service.

Each of the following statements, if true, would tend to weaken the argument above EXCEPT:

(A) The volume of mail handled by the postal service has increased dramatically over the last forty years.
(B) Unprecedented increases in the cost of fuel for trucks and planes have put severe upward pressures on postal delivery costs.
(C) Private delivery services usually charge more than does the postal service for comparable delivery charges.
(D) The average delivery time for a first-class letter four decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today.
(E) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years.
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Re: CR 1000: Postal Service [#permalink]

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01 Nov 2007, 05:34
vsaxena wrote:

The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago, first-class letter delivery cost only three cents. Since then, the price has increased nearly tenfold, with an actual decrease in the speed and reliability of service.

Each of the following statements, if true, would tend to weaken the argument above EXCEPT:

(A) The volume of mail handled by the postal service has increased dramatically over the last forty years. STRENGTHENS
(B) Unprecedented increases in the cost of fuel for trucks and planes have put severe upward pressures on postal delivery costs. STRENGTHENS
(C) Private delivery services usually charge more than does the postal service for comparable delivery charges. STRENGTHENS
(D) The average delivery time for a first-class letter four decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today. STRENGTHENS
(E) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years.
I DON'T SEE ANYTHING IN THIS COMMENT THAT STRENGTHENS OR WEAKENS HENCE BY POE I VOTE FOR E.
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Re: CR 1000: Postal Service [#permalink]

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01 Nov 2007, 06:32
vsaxena wrote:

The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago, first-class letter delivery cost only three cents. Since then, the price has increased nearly tenfold, with an actual decrease in the speed and reliability of service.

Each of the following statements, if true, would tend to weaken the argument above EXCEPT:

(A) The volume of mail handled by the postal service has increased dramatically over the last forty years.
(B) Unprecedented increases in the cost of fuel for trucks and planes have put severe upward pressures on postal delivery costs.
(C) Private delivery services usually charge more than does the postal service for comparable delivery charges.
(D) The average delivery time for a first-class letter four decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today.
(E) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years.

I go with C. I guess this one is the only answer that does not mention information about work of the postal service in the past.
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Re: CR 1000: Postal Service [#permalink]

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01 Nov 2007, 06:54
vsaxena wrote:

The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago, first-class letter delivery cost only three cents. Since then, the price has increased nearly tenfold, with an actual decrease in the speed and reliability of service.

Each of the following statements, if true, would tend to weaken the argument above EXCEPT:

(A) The volume of mail handled by the postal service has increased dramatically over the last forty years.
(B) Unprecedented increases in the cost of fuel for trucks and planes have put severe upward pressures on postal delivery costs.
(C) Private delivery services usually charge more than does the postal service for comparable delivery charges.
(D) The average delivery time for a first-class letter four decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today.
(E) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years.

As we can see that A, B, D & E weaken the argument as all of them state one of the reasons why the current price is higher or delivery is slower (worse reliability) hence higher prices or service reliability is not only because of mismanagement. Only C has no direct relation to the argument and does not strengthen or weaken the argument.

My take is C.
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01 Nov 2007, 16:12
im for C as well
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Re: CR 1000: Postal Service [#permalink]

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01 Nov 2007, 19:08
vsaxena wrote:

The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago, first-class letter delivery cost only three cents. Since then, the price has increased nearly tenfold, with an actual decrease in the speed and reliability of service.

Each of the following statements, if true, would tend to weaken the argument above EXCEPT:

(A) The volume of mail handled by the postal service has increased dramatically over the last forty years.
(B) Unprecedented increases in the cost of fuel for trucks and planes have put severe upward pressures on postal delivery costs.
(C) Private delivery services usually charge more than does the postal service for comparable delivery charges.
(D) The average delivery time for a first-class letter four decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today.
(E) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years.

Clear C.

A: volume increased: weakens argument
B: costs increased: weakens argument
D: Weakens argument by saying that delivery time was worse, very slight weaken, but it does weaken.
E: Def. Weaken b/c prices overall increased.
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01 Nov 2007, 19:09
I am going with C. This actually strengthens the conclusion.

The weaken qn mostly attacks the conclusion and not the premises. Here the conclusion is:

The postal service is badly mismanaged. So to weaken except we need to find something that "does not weaken" the conclusion i.e; either strengthen or does nothing.

Choice D shows that they are getting better in delivery speed than was 40 years ago. This weakens the conclusion.

Choice E actually weakens the conclusion. In the argument mismanagement is because of higher price and speed and reliability. If consumer prices has increase 300 percent and the postal price increased only tenfold that weakens the conclusion.

Among the choice I guess A is the only one that does not do anything.
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01 Nov 2007, 23:16
The official answer is 'C'. Do watch out, the question asks for 'strengthener' and NOT 'weakener'.

John, I liked your POE approach on this question.
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01 Nov 2007, 23:18
I AM SORRY!! The official answer is 'E'. I said 'C' by mistake.
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02 Nov 2007, 00:04
I liked C, but I guess E makes sense.

If general inflation is about 300%, why does the mail has suffered a 1000% increase (from 3 to 30 cents)?

In my case, I underestimated the number and thought that 300% was reason enough for it to be more expensive.
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