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Woodraw Wilson was referring to the liberal idea of the

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Woodraw Wilson was referring to the liberal idea of the [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2011, 05:56
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Woodraw Wilson was referring to the liberal idea of the economic market when he said that the free enterprise system is the most efficient economic system. Maximum freedom means maximum productiveness; our “openness” is to be the measure of our stability. Fascination with this ideal has made Americans defy the “Old World” categories of settled possessiveness versus unsettling deprivation., the cupidity of retention versus the cupidity of seizure, a “status quo” defended of attacked. The United States, it was believed, had no status quo ante. Our only “station” was the turning of a stationary wheel, spinning faster and faster. We did not base our system on property but opportunity-which meant we based it not on stability but on mobility. The more things changed, that is, the more rapidly the wheel turned, the steadier we would be. The conventional picture of class politics is composed of the Haves, who want a stability to keep what they have, and Have-Nots, who want a touch of instability and change in which to scramble for the things they have not. But Americans imagined a condition in which speculators, self-makers, runners are always using the new opportunities given by our land. These economic leaders (front-runners) would thus be mainly agents of Change. The nonstarters were considered the ones who wanted stability, a strong referee to give them some position in the race, a regulative hand to calm manic speculation; an authority that can call things to a half begin things again from compensatorily staggered “starting lines”.:Reform” in America has been sterile because it can imagine no change except through the extension of this metaphor of the race, wider inclusion of competitors, “a piece of the action.” As it were, of the disenfranchised. There is no attempt to call off the race. Since our only stability is change. America seems not to honor the quite work that achieves social interdependence and stability. There is, in our legends, no heroism of the office clerk, no stable industrial work force of the people who actually make the system work. There is no pride in being an employee (Wilson asked for a return to the time when everyone was an employer). There has been no boasting about our social workers-they are need; empty boasts from the past make us ashamed of our present achievements, make us try to forget or deny the, move away from them. There is no honor but in the wonderland race we must all run, all trying to win, none winning in the end (for there is no end).


. It can be inferred from the passage that the author
most probably thinks that giving the disenfranchised
“a piece of the action ” (line 38) is
(A) a compassionate, if misdirected, legislative
measure
(B) an example of Americans’ resistance to profound
social change
(C) an innovative program for genuine social reform
(D) a monument to the efforts of industrial reformers
(E) a surprisingly “Old World” remedy for social ills


I got C. I mean from the logic in the bolded lines - is the "piece of action" positive? When I read it, it seemed positive but by the answer it is used in the negative context. How to avoid these kind of mistakes?
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Re: I need a good explanation [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2011, 14:13
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If you use my strategy based on passage structure, you'll get the answer no matter how confusing the text. Focus on structure to help you answer the question

If you take the following snippet:

Quote:
"Reform in America has been sterile because it can imagine no change except through the extension of this metaphor of the race, wider inclusion of competitors, “a piece of the action.” As it were, of the disenfranchised. There is no attempt to call off the race. Since our only stability is change. America seems not to honor the quite work that achieves social interdependence and stability"


You will see that the phrase "a piece of the action" is part of the sentence that starts out as "Reform in America has been sterile because..."

And here you ask yourself, why was reform in America sterile? We know that everything else in the sentence is going to help us answer this question, based on sentence structure. Since "a piece of the action" is part of the sentence, it must be part of the answer to that question and support it in some way.

Answer choice B gets us the answer. Take the answer choice and restate what it implies. Why was American reform sterile? Because Americans (as B says) were resistant to profound social change. Is this true?

Then you re-read to make sure the whole answer choice is correct. Was it an "example" of Americans' resistance to social change? Yes, because the sentence is in this format: "Reform in America has been sterile because it can imagine no change except through [A, B, and C]."

"A piece of the action" happens to be one of these points and therefore is an example that supports the sentence.

"It can imagine no change except through [A, B, and C]"

What does this mean? It just means America can't imagine any change except for the listed items. OR, in other words, these listed items are very small changes and they are the ONLY changes that America CAN possibly imagine. Basically anything along the lines of having little impact/change is described in [A, B, and C].

If you read (B) again, it indicates resistance to profound social change which matches what we expect based on sentence structure - something that has little impact/change. (B) supports that thinking and fits well into our sentence structure. There are no inconsistencies that we see, so (B) is the answer.

Even as you read the following sentences, you'll see they all support the statement that American reform was sterile. Other reasons for reform being "sterile" were that there was "no attempt to call of the race" and that America did not honor social work. All of these reasons also are along the same lines as the first - a negative attitude towards social change! And we know that because that's just how the sentence structure was written - one statement followed by supporting sentences. They ALL have to support each other! By understanding sentence structure well, you can nail down any complex RC question! Just follow my thinking.

The reason you had read it first as positive is because the first paragraph is all positive. I didn't know that this passage is actually 2 paragraphs until I noticed the tone change starting with that sentence "Reform in America has been STERILE because..."

Well paragraph 1 was about how change was good because of so and so. But then I started reading that sentence and it used the word STERILE when describing reform/change. This was the opposite approach from paragraph 1 so I immediately knew the author was going in a different direction with that sentence.

Be careful to follow KEY transitive phrases when answering RC questions. The key is to use passage structure to help you answer RC questions.
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Re: I need a good explanation [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2011, 06:12
gmatpill

That's a very profound explanation :-D
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Re: I need a good explanation [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2011, 12:03
great thinking there. I was pretty confused by the text on this one, but somehow was able to follow thru Gmatpill's explanation. I'm still confused by the passage but am getting the right answer now :) lol
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Re: I need a good explanation [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2011, 00:22
I was able to pick B by using POE.
Gmatpill, your post really wowed me.
Kudos for your brilliant thinking!
Thanks so much for giving us such a logical explanation.
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Re: I need a good explanation   [#permalink] 27 Mar 2011, 00:22
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