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The postal service is badly mismanaged. Thirty years ago

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The postal service is badly mismanaged. Thirty years ago [#permalink]  15 Oct 2003, 01:41
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The postal service is badly mismanaged. Thirty years ago, first-class letter delivery cost only three cents. Since then, the price has increased sevenfold, with an actual decrease in the speed and reliability of service.

All of the following would tend to weaken the conclusion of the argument above EXCEPT:

a) The volume of mail handled by the postal service has increased dramatically over the last thirty 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 services.

d) The average delivery time for a first-class letter three decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today.

e) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased fourfold over the last thirty years.
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[#permalink]  15 Oct 2003, 18:07
I think E is the best answer since it supports the conclusion that the postal service is badly mismanaged.

Postal delivery costs have increased seven-fold while other consumer prices have only gone up four-fold.

C weakens the conclusion because the post office has to be doing something right if their services are cheaper than private services.

Overall I think this is a bad question because there are so many other assumptions missing for each of these answers.
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[#permalink]  16 Oct 2003, 00:00
Vote for C

I think that C is out of the scope thus it does not weaken the argument.

E weakens argument a little bit since

1. Costs went up 7fold - O!!!! Terrible !!!

but CPI went up 4fold - Hey! That is bad! But not so Terrible

Last edited by Mikhail on 16 Oct 2003, 00:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CR: Postal Service [#permalink]  16 Oct 2003, 06:44
I think E is the answer. E in a way strengthens the conclusion that the postal service is badly managed. With C it makes the postal service look properly managed
araspai wrote:
1) The postal service is badly mismanaged. Thirty years ago, first-class letter delivery cost only three cents. Since then, the price has increased sevenfold, with an actual decrease in the speed and reliability of service.

All of the following would tend to weaken the conclusion of the argument above EXCEPT:

a) The volume of mail handled by the postal service has increased dramatically over the last thirty 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 services.

d) The average delivery time for a first-class letter three decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today.

e) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased fourfold over the last thirty years.

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[#permalink]  17 Oct 2003, 01:50
Explanation: the conclusion here is that the postal service is poorly managed. We are looking for something that would not weaken the argument, in other words, something that suggests incompetent management, something that doesn't excuse the post office's poor performance.

Choice a) The volume of mail handled by the postal service has increased dramatically over the last thirty years. This would seem to excuse the poor service/price because the service has had to overcome a massive increase in volume.

Choice b) Unprecedented increases in the cost of fuel for trucks and planes have put severe upward pressures on postal delivery costs. This would seem to excuse the poor service/price because costs have increased dramatically.

Choice c) Private delivery services usually charge more than does the postal service for comparable delivery services. This would seem to excuse the poor service/price because other services are not as efficient.

Choice d) The average delivery time for a first-class letter three decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today. This shows they have made improvements in service, suggesting that the postal service isn't all that bad after all.

Choice e) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased fourfold over the last thirty years. Since the price of postage has increased seven times over, this suggests that postal prices have increased at a rate much quicker than inflation. Thus, choice E suggests that there is price gouging and does support the original argument, making this the correct answer.

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[#permalink] 17 Oct 2003, 01:50
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