The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago, : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago,

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The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago, [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2009, 04:51
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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: Postal Service [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2009, 07:49
noboru 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.- provides an alternate explanation for increase in prices and therefore weaken the conclusion
(B) Unprecedented increases in the cost of fuel for trucks and planes have put severe upward pressures on postal delivery costs.- reason for increase in the price rise thus weaken the conclusion
(C) Private delivery services usually charge more than does the postal service for comparable delivery charges.- this is comparing private and postal delivery charges and thus does nothing to the conclusion-
(D) The average delivery time for a first-class letter four decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today. this shows that postal services have improved the speed and thus weakens the argument.
(E) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years.
- this also weakens the argument as it provides reason for price rise.

correct is C
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Re: Postal Service [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2009, 08:39
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I'll vote for E

The question is asking for an option, which doesn't weaken the argument and its option E.

(A) The volume of mail handled by the postal service has increased dramatically over the last forty years. -Weakening the conclusion about mismanagement of postal services
(B) Unprecedented increases in the cost of fuel for trucks and planes have put severe upward pressures on postal delivery costs. -providing reason for the "price has increased nearly tenfold", hence weakening this evidence.
(C) Private delivery services usually charge more than does the postal service for comparable delivery charges.-weakening the claim that "price has increased nearly tenfold". If private sevices are charging even more, that means Postal services are still well-managed as compared to other private services
(D) The average delivery time for a first-class letter four decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today. -Directly hitting the claim that "with an actual decrease in the speed "
(E) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years. -Correct. The option says that other prices has increased by 3 times, whereas Postal service prices has increased by 10 times. Hence strengthening the conclusion that Postal services are badly managed.
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Re: Postal Service [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2009, 11:26
Correct answer is "C"

It is claimed that postal service is bad. So anything that provides an excuse why postal service is doing a bad job, is out of the question. The poster above mentioned that "E" is a right answer. It is not, because it provides an excuse; if the prices have gone up it made everything more expensive.

Hence, it is C, because it says pretty much that postal service is better (cheaper) than private delivery service.
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Re: Postal Service [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2009, 12:29
jjovan15 wrote:
Correct answer is "C"

It is claimed that postal service is bad. So anything that provides an excuse why postal service is doing a bad job, is out of the question. The poster above mentioned that "E" is a right answer. It is not, because it provides an excuse; if the prices have gone up it made everything more expensive.

Hence, it is C, because it says pretty much that postal service is better (cheaper) than private delivery service.

But option E says that the prices has increased by 300% (3 times), whereas postal service prices has increased to 10 times. This provides an example of mimanagement in postal services.
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Re: Postal Service [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2009, 12:32
I agree with E.

E can strengthen or weaken. We cant say that it weakens for sure. Notice that "average level of consumer prices" have increased. We don't know whether 'postal service' prices specifically increased or decreased. If it increased then it weakens the argument, if it decreased then it strengthens the argument.

C definitely weakens the argument because it specifically mentions that for "comparable delivery charges" others charge more.
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Re: Postal Service [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2009, 12:47
One more vote for E. Please post OA.
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Re: Postal Service [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2009, 12:51
Economist wrote:
I agree with E.

E can strengthen or weaken. We cant say that it weakens for sure. Notice that "average level of consumer prices" have increased. We don't know whether 'postal service' prices specifically increased or decreased. If it increased then it weakens the argument, if it decreased then it strengthens the argument.

C definitely weakens the argument because it specifically mentions that for "comparable delivery charges" others charge more.

The argument says that the "postal service" prices has also increased. This is evident in line "Forty years ago, first-class letter delivery cost only three cents. Since then, the price has increased nearly tenfold,"
But the problem is that, the increase in postal service prices are at a much higher rate than the increase in average consumer prices.
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Re: Postal Service [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2009, 13:01
Agreed. thanks for pointing !! But somehow I could smell the wrong answer choice with some keywords
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Re: Postal Service [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2009, 21:37
Agree with E.

Nicely Explained bigoyal!
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Re: Postal Service [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2009, 23:39
yeah, I agree now as well, I was way too tired I guess
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Re: Postal Service [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2009, 23:45
between C and E .... whats the OA ??
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27 Jul 2009, 05:56
C.

E weakens the argument, basically stating that 10x increase is exaggerated.

Since comparison is between two time periods (and definately not between private vs smth service), C does not weaken the argument.
noboru 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.
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Re: Postal Service [#permalink]

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27 Jul 2009, 10:09
IMO C
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Re: Postal Service [#permalink]

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27 Jul 2009, 15:14
noboru 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 vote for E. E's confirming that the price in first-class letter delivery has increased at ~3.3x the rate of inflation, i.e. siding with the argument. I don't see how E weakens the argument at all. A and C are probably the "weakest" weakeners, however.
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28 Jul 2009, 01:39
There seems to be an ambiguity.

Can't fully agree with E. It says consumer prices has increased by 300 percent but 'more' than 300 %. In that case can we say E with certainity?
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Re: The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago, [#permalink]

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10 Sep 2012, 08:22
why i think this question is not like gmat question???

According to gmat there is always one choice which weakens the argument.. but i consider this quesion totaly ambigous..
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Re: The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago,   [#permalink] 10 Sep 2012, 08:22
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