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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] New post 29 Apr 2010, 14:03
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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.

Please validate the explanation:
We have to find which choice strengthen the argument.

A - weaken as it gives the other reason for mismanagement.
B - This is tricky. Increase in cost of fuel in turn increases the cost so we can say this strengthen.
C - If Private delivery services charges more than we cannot say postal services are mismanaged i.e Weaken
D - If the time was longer before than what it is now so it weakens.
E - overall consumer cost increased. And one reason for mismanagement is increase in cost. So it strengthen.

But for B to strengthen, and extra assumption that "Increase in cost of fuel in turn increases the cost" has to be made.

So answer is E.
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Manager
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Re: 1000 CR test D - 7 [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2010, 14:46
IMO, answer is E.

The argument is "The postal service is badly mismanaged," not "the price has increased nearly tenfold, with an actual decrease in the speed and reliability of service."

B does not strengthen the argument. It gives an alternative reason why the costs have increased so much
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Re: 1000 CR test D - 7 [#permalink] New post 30 Apr 2010, 03:05
IMO answer is E too
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Re: 1000 CR test D - 7 [#permalink] New post 30 Apr 2010, 06:13
E is not strengthning the argument but merely not affecting it.
So though the correct answer seems to be E but the reason is because it doesnt affect the arg
Re: 1000 CR test D - 7   [#permalink] 30 Apr 2010, 06:13
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