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The fall of the Berlin Wall represented a political victory

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The fall of the Berlin Wall represented a political victory [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2013, 16:01
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The fall of the Berlin Wall represented a political victory of the free market against a centrally planned economy. Though highly interventionist and dependent on international defense and industrial subsidy, West Germany was a model of economic expansion in the post-war era. East Germany, while relatively successful in comparison with other Eastern Bloc nations, was far behind West Germany with regard to the buying power of its people. It was hard to avoid obvious comparisons such as the fact that 1 in 4 East Germans did not even have an indoor toilet. Western German authorities were therefore committed to rapid integration of the two Germanys without resorting to massive controls on internal migration, external capital controls, or continuation of a large state-owned industrial sector.

Other nations were already wary of a united Germany. France, a perpetual competitor, saw Germany’s size advantage increase overnight. In Gross Domestic Product ("GDP") alone, an historical size advantage of 23% jumped to nearly 30%, with stronger growth promised when East Germany was fully integrated.

Within Germany, there should have been no doubt that integration would be costly. The question was whether the government was up to the task. In Italy, for example, the central government has invested tremendous resources in promoting the economy of its under-performing Southern region. In contrast, in the United States, the local population bears the burden of varying economic performance. For example, the American South is allowed to exist with much higher rates of poverty and lower education than the rest of the nation.

Rather than allow East Germany to fall into total disrepair, with millions fleeing to the West and a long-term negative impact on national GDP growth, West German authorities decided to try to spend their way out of the crisis, creating almost overnight an infrastructure in East Germany to provide a standard of living comparable to that in West Germany. The goal was to take an under-performing country and raise it to “first world” standards in only a few years. This goal would have been preposterous had not West Germany possessed the resources to accomplish the task.
1. According to the author, which of the following is the principal reason that German reunification could succeed?
· The additional population from East Germany gave the reunified Germany an economic advantage over other European nations.
· East Germany had not been as impoverished as other Eastern Bloc countries.
· West Germany did not plan to control internal migration from East Germany.
· West Germany patterned its economic plan after a successful Italian model.
· West Germany was a materially stable country.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
E


2. The author mentions the United States most probably in order to
· argue against a commonly held belief about market economies
· provide an example of a situation seen as undesirable
· suggest an advantageous solution to an economic problem
· illustrate an economic principle called into question
· demonstrate the positive consequences of economic freedom
[Reveal] Spoiler:
B


3. Which of the following best describes the way the first paragraph functions in the context of the passage?
· A specific example is presented to illustrate the main elements of a general economic theory.
· Evidence is presented in support of a revision of a commonly held view.
· Information that is necessary for understanding the main argument of the passage is presented.
· Questions are raised which are answered in subsequent paragraphs.
· A qualified view of the author’s main point is contrasted with a less specific view.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
C


4. The passage suggests which of the following about the relationship between West Germany and France?
· Historically, the economy of West Germany had been more stable than that of France.
· The Gross Domestic Product of West Germany had always been greater than that of France.
· The size of West Germany’s population gave it an advantage over France in international trade.
· France did not view its economic position relative to West Germany as immutable.
· West Germany planned to use reunification to bolster ts economic advantage over France.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
D


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Re: The fall of the Berlin Wall represented a political victory [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2013, 02:24
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My answers :
1.E 2.B 3.E 4.D
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Re: The fall of the Berlin Wall represented a political victory [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2013, 04:41
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1.
The question asks us to identify the author's reason for believing that German
reunification could succeed. According to the last sentence of the passage,
"[reunification] would have been preposterous had not West Germany possessed the
resources to accomplish the task." In other words, West Germany was prosperous
enough to afford this major undertaking.
(A) The correct principal reason for success does not include attributes of East
Germany.
(B) The correct principal reason for success does not include attributes of East
Germany.
(C) Although this point is made in the passage, it is not the reason given for
reunification's success.
(D) This is not the reason given in the last sentence for reunification's success.
(E) CORRECT. This choice reflects the information we were looking for: the country
was "materially stable," or prosperous enough, to succeed.


2.
The question asks us to identify the reason that the author mentions the United
States in the passage. In the third paragraph, the author asks whether West
Germany was "up to the task" of re-unification. This is followed by the example of
Italy as a government that does spend the necessary resources to help its
underperforming regions. Then, the author mentions the United States as a
counterexample with negative overtones: "In contrast, in the United States, the local
population bears the burden of varying economic performance. For example, the
American South is allowed to exist with much higher rates of poverty and lower
education than the rest of the nation." [Emphasis added.]
The use of the word "allowed" suggests that the author does not approve of the
situation in the United States. Further, the very next paragraph begins . . ."Rather
than allow East Germany to fall into total disrepair . . . " as if to further contrast the
German government with that of the United States.
(A) The passage in general does not argue against any commonly held beliefs,
including the specific example about the United States. (B) CORRECT. This choice echoes our above analysis: the author views the
situation cited as "undesirable."
(C) The author disapproves of the cited example, so he would not offer it as a
possible advantageous solution to Germany's reunification.
(D) The passage does not call the principle into question; rather, the author indicates
disapproval of this particular approach.
(E) The author disapproves of the cited example; he would not offer it as a positive
lesson.


3.
The question asks us to identify the purpose of the first paragraph: what role does it
play in the context of the passage as a whole? The first paragraph presents historical
information about the relationship between East and West Germany. This
information is given as background to the subsequent paragraphs. We need to find
an answer choice that is consistent with this analysis.
(A) The relationship between East and West Germany is not merely one example of
a much larger general theory; the passage is about this specific circumstance.
(B) The passage does not seek to alter or revise a commonly held view, either in the
first paragraph or elsewhere.
(C) CORRECT. The first paragraph presents the background information necessary
to understand the claims made in the rest of the passage.
(D) The first paragraph does not raise questions; it provides facts as to the
relationship between East and West Germany at a specific point in time.
(E) The first paragraph does not provide two opposing points of view.


4.
The question asks us to infer something from the passage regarding the relationship
between West Germany and France. The passage notes that countries were "wary
of a united Germany" and next mentions that France, "a perpetual competitor, saw
Germany’s size advantage increase overnight." We need to find an answer choice
that can be deduced from this information alone; we cannot conclude too much. If
France is wary of Germany's impending larger size, then France must also be
worried that it will be negatively impacted by the change.

(A) The above information tells us nothing about the relative stabilities of the two
economies.

(B) The above information does not tell us the entire history of the relative GDPs of
the two countries. "Always" is too extreme.

(C) The above information does not mention either population or international trade
with respect to the two countries' economies.

(D) CORRECT. If France does not view its relative economic position as immutable,
or unable to be changed, then it is sensible for the country to worry that it might be
negatively impacted by the changes in Germany.
that West Germany specifically planned to
bolster its position over that of France.
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Re: The fall of the Berlin Wall represented a political victory [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2013, 05:27
All right... very rare for a non-native..
carcass please keep posting with detailed answers... :)
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Re: The fall of the Berlin Wall represented a political victory [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2013, 07:07
hi carcass,

great passage.

i got 3/4....but with little extra time.

but i was unable to understand the explanation of question 4.

the whole passage talks about FRANCE and W. GERMANY in the following lines.

Other nations were already wary of a united Germany.
France, a perpetual competitor, saw Germany’s size advantage increase overnight.
In Gross Domestic Product ("GDP") alone, an historical size advantage of 23% jumped to nearly 30%, with stronger growth promised when East Germany was fully integrated.

on the basis we have to infer option D of question 4 WHICH IS:
France did not view its economic position relative to West Germany as immutable.
It means FRANCE view its economic position relative to W.GERMANY mutable( susceptible to change )
i was unable to get this based on this passage .
request you to elaborate on this.
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Re: The fall of the Berlin Wall represented a political victory [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2013, 23:15
hi Guys,

am in line with the other choices of but little confused about question 4.

I got that right but my reasoning was as follows:-
the question is about the relationship and not the actions-

Historically, the economy of West Germany had been more stable than that of France.-Nowhere mentioned
· The Gross Domestic Product of West Germany had always been greater than that of France.-nowhere mentioned
· The size of West Germany’s population gave it an advantage over France in international trade. international trade??..nowhere mentioned
· France did not view its economic position relative to West Germany as immutable. frankly speaking, I did not what it tries to say
· West Germany planned to use reunification to bolster ts economic advantage over France. this shows Germany's Plan. thus this is not what question asks

thus by POE, I chose D.

guys, pls correct me if I eliminated in a wrong way....also let me know why D is justified?

thanks,

Aniket
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Re: The fall of the Berlin Wall represented a political victory [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2013, 03:33
Hi Anket,

Other options cant be inferred from second passage

But yet immutable can be inferred!
immutable means no competition, winner etc.
not immutable means there is scope of competition.
The above can be inferred from "France perpetual competitor" in second paragraph.

Try going back to the specifics for a specific question.

Regards,
Jojo

Kudos please if you like my answer.
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Re: The fall of the Berlin Wall represented a political victory [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2013, 10:14
All correct. :-D

Took 8min 45sec :idea:

Want to know the time frames of others :?:

This passage would be difficult under testing conditions. :?
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Re: The fall of the Berlin Wall represented a political victory [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2013, 03:43
carcass wrote:
The fall of the Berlin Wall represented a political victory of the free market against a centrally planned economy. Though highly interventionist and dependent on international defense and industrial subsidy, West Germany was a model of economic expansion in the post-war era. East Germany, while relatively successful in comparison with other Eastern Bloc nations, was far behind West Germany with regard to the buying power of its people. It was hard to avoid obvious comparisons such as the fact that 1 in 4 East Germans did not even have an indoor toilet. Western German authorities were therefore committed to rapid integration of the two Germanys without resorting to massive controls on internal migration, external capital controls, or continuation of a large state-owned industrial sector.

Other nations were already wary of a united Germany. France, a perpetual competitor, saw Germany’s size advantage increase overnight. In Gross Domestic Product ("GDP") alone, an historical size advantage of 23% jumped to nearly 30%, with stronger growth promised when East Germany was fully integrated.

Within Germany, there should have been no doubt that integration would be costly. The question was whether the government was up to the task. In Italy, for example, the central government has invested tremendous resources in promoting the economy of its under-performing Southern region. In contrast, in the United States, the local population bears the burden of varying economic performance. For example, the American South is allowed to exist with much higher rates of poverty and lower education than the rest of the nation.

Rather than allow East Germany to fall into total disrepair, with millions fleeing to the West and a long-term negative impact on national GDP growth, West German authorities decided to try to spend their way out of the crisis, creating almost overnight an infrastructure in East Germany to provide a standard of living comparable to that in West Germany. The goal was to take an under-performing country and raise it to “first world” standards in only a few years. This goal would have been preposterous had not West Germany possessed the resources to accomplish the task.
1. According to the author, which of the following is the principal reason that German reunification could succeed?
· The additional population from East Germany gave the reunified Germany an economic advantage over other European nations.
· East Germany had not been as impoverished as other Eastern Bloc countries.
· West Germany did not plan to control internal migration from East Germany.
· West Germany patterned its economic plan after a successful Italian model.
· West Germany was a materially stable country.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
E


2. The author mentions the United States most probably in order to
· argue against a commonly held belief about market economies
· provide an example of a situation seen as undesirable
· suggest an advantageous solution to an economic problem
· illustrate an economic principle called into question
· demonstrate the positive consequences of economic freedom
[Reveal] Spoiler:
B


3. Which of the following best describes the way the first paragraph functions in the context of the passage?
· A specific example is presented to illustrate the main elements of a general economic theory.
· Evidence is presented in support of a revision of a commonly held view.
· Information that is necessary for understanding the main argument of the passage is presented.
· Questions are raised which are answered in subsequent paragraphs.
· A qualified view of the author’s main point is contrasted with a less specific view.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
C


4. The passage suggests which of the following about the relationship between West Germany and France?
· Historically, the economy of West Germany had been more stable than that of France.
· The Gross Domestic Product of West Germany had always been greater than that of France.
· The size of West Germany’s population gave it an advantage over France in international trade.
· France did not view its economic position relative to West Germany as immutable.
· West Germany planned to use reunification to bolster ts economic advantage over France.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
D




Can someone explain the reasoning for Q1 and Q2..
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Re: The fall of the Berlin Wall represented a political victory   [#permalink] 20 Jul 2013, 03:43
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