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.