SOURCE : MGMAT CAT The Civil Service Act of 1883, also known : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# SOURCE : MGMAT CAT The Civil Service Act of 1883, also known

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SOURCE : MGMAT CAT The Civil Service Act of 1883, also known [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2008, 11:18
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SOURCE : MGMAT CAT

The Civil Service Act of 1883, also known as the Pendleton Act, which created a professional corps of administrators, was passed after a disappointed office-seeker assassinated President James A. Garfield. For a hundred years, this system has anchored American government service to competence rather than corruption. The best way to preserve this state in the new millennium is to maintain the Pendleton Act as it is.

Which of the following would be most useful to evaluate the argument’s conclusion?

A) The methods that the Swiss and British governments have used to prevent corruption in government service for the past one hundred years
B) The current level of job satisfaction among government office-seekers and office-holders
C) The levels of competence and corruption in American government service between 1950 and the present
D) The number of Presidents assassinated since the passage of the Pendleton Act
E) The percentage of office-holders fired or convicted on charges stemming from corruption during the first hundred years of the Pendleton Act
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Re: CR : PENDLETON ACT [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2008, 11:30
amitdgr wrote:
The Civil Service Act of 1883, also known as the Pendleton Act, which created a professional corps of administrators, was passed after a disappointed office-seeker assassinated President James A. Garfield. For a hundred years, this system has anchored American government service to competence rather than corruption. The best way to preserve this state in the new millennium is to maintain the Pendleton Act as it is.

Which of the following would be most useful to evaluate the argument’s conclusion?

A) The methods that the Swiss and British governments have used to prevent corruption in government service for the past one hundred years
B) The current level of job satisfaction among government office-seekers and office-holders
C) The levels of competence and corruption in American government service between 1950 and the present
D) The number of Presidents assassinated since the passage of the Pendleton Act
E) The percentage of office-holders fired or convicted on charges stemming from corruption during the first hundred years of the Pendleton Act

C because the stimulus only accounts for up to 1983. 1950 to present is a better gauge for the new milleneum. B is wrong because it says job satisfaction
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Re: CR : PENDLETON ACT [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2008, 11:37
Another C
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Re: CR : PENDLETON ACT [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2008, 15:02
Which of the following would be most useful to evaluate the argument’s conclusion?

A) The methods that the Swiss and British governments have used to prevent corruption in government service for the past one hundred years
-
Eliminate: We don't care about the means, but the ends.

B) The current level of job satisfaction among government office-seekers and office-holders -
Eliminate: This is the opinion of the employees. We want to know the effectiveness of this act.

C) The levels of competence and corruption in American government service between 1950 and the present -
I chose this one, the argument assumes that the having that act is more beneficial than not having one.

D) The number of Presidents assassinated since the passage of the Pendleton Act
Eliminate: We want to know how competence has increased. This one plays off of one premise.

E) The percentage of office-holders fired or convicted on charges stemming from corruption during the first hundred years of the Pendleton Act
Eliminate: This choice doesn't permit a comparison with the ratio without enactment.

Hope I'm correct!
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Re: CR : PENDLETON ACT [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2008, 15:09
another C
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Re: CR : PENDLETON ACT [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2008, 16:28
The first time one of my students showed me this one, I picked the wrong answer. After reviewing it, I see where the error came from.

The conclusion is that leaving the Pendleton Act unchanged is the best way to keep American gov't service "anchored to competence rather than corruption" after the year 2000. Note that it is important to see that the conclusion is about a specific time period, regardless of the poetic way of IDENTIFYING that time period. The evidence is that the Pendleton Act "has anchored American government service to competence rather than corruption" for a hundred years starting in 1883.

What are the assumptions? There are at least two. One is that there is no BETTER way to "anchor government service to competence", and another is that the Pendleton Act, which worked well from 1883 to 1983, continued to work well thereafter. In order to evaluate the argument, we need information which could support or refute either of the assumptions. Choice C would do this for the second assumption.

I chose A at first because I thought it helped assess whether a better way exists. Of course, it does not. Choice A would tell us whether other countries have DIFFERENT ways, but not whether they are better. If A had been worded something like "the levels of corruption in the Swiss and British government service since 1883", it would have addressed the first assumption. Even if we did not know HOW they did it, knowing that the levels of corruption in these countries were higher than in the US would make the assumption more likely, while knowing that they were lower would disprove it.

The one aspect of this question which is not well thought out (it is MGMAT, not real GMAC) is the verb "has anchored". This is the perfect tense, which usually means an action in the past WHICH CONTINUES UP TO THE PRESENT. If we read "has anchored" with this normal meaning, it means that the Pendleton Act is STILL doing its job, conflicting with "a hundred years". What then happens is that we interpret "a hundred years" as a piece of rhetoric meaning "a long time", and NOT meaning "until 1983".

If we interpret the evidence that way, C is no longer a correct answer, because it actually conflicts with the evidence as interpreted. In order to avoid this interpretation problem, the verb should have been "anchored" instead of "has anchored".

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Re: CR : PENDLETON ACT [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2008, 19:52
OA is C
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Re: CR : PENDLETON ACT [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2008, 20:23
Why 1950 ? why not since 1901 ? what if corruption level went up by 1950 and then came down for some reason unrelated to this act ? My head is spinning !

Thank god I didn't pay for this crap from MGMAT.
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Re: CR : PENDLETON ACT [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2008, 23:05
I would choose C

Conclusion: PA remains effective in the new millenium

Sonce this Act has remained successful for 100 yrs, i.e from 1883 tio 1983, the new millenium is 2000, hence evaluating the level of corruption during the later stages of the act till the present day would be relevant to the conclusion that this act would still be effectibe.
Re: CR : PENDLETON ACT   [#permalink] 29 Oct 2008, 23:05
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