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Many critics of the current welfare system argue that existing welfare

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Many critics of the current welfare system argue that existing welfare  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 03:06
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 463, Date: 20-Nov-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


Many critics of the current welfare system argue that existing welfare regulations foster family instability. They maintain that those regulations, which exclude most poor husband-and-wife families from Aid to Families with Dependent Children assistance grants, contribute to the problem of family dissolution. Thus, they conclude that expanding the set of families eligible for family assistance plans or guaranteed income measures would result in a marked strengthening of the low-income family structure. If all poor families could receive welfare, would the incidence of instability change markedly? The answer to this question depends on the relative importance of three categories of potential welfare recipients. The first is the “cheater”—the husband who is reported to have abandoned his family, but in fact disappears only when the social caseworker is in the neighborhood. The second consists of a loving husband and devoted father who, sensing his own inadequacy as a provider, leaves so that his wife and children may enjoy the relative benefit provided by public assistance. There is very little evidence that these categories are significant.

The third category is the unhappily married couple who remain together out of a sense of economic responsibility for their children, because of the high costs of separation, or because of the consumption benefits of marriage. This group is numerous. The formation, maintenance and dissolution of the family is in large part a function of the relative balance between the benefits and costs of marriage as seen by the individual members of the marriage. The major benefit generated by the creation of a family is the expansion of the set of consumption possibilities. The benefits from such a partnership depend largely on the relative dissimilarity of the resources or basic endowments each partner brings to the marriage. Persons with similar productive capacities have less economic “cement” holding their marriage together. Since the family performs certain functions society regards as vital, a complex network of social and legal buttresses has evolved to reinforce marriage. Much of the variation in marital stability across income classes can be explained by the variation in costs of dissolution imposed by society, e.g., division of property, alimony, child support, and the social stigma attached to divorce.

Marital stability is related to the costs of achieving an acceptance agreement on family consumption and production and to the prevailing social price of instability in the marriage partners’ social-economic group. Expected AFDC income exerts pressures on family instability by reducing the cost of dissolution. To the extent that welfare is a form of government-subsidized alimony payments, it reduces the institutional costs of separation and guarantees a minimal standard of living for wife and children. So welfare opportunities are a significant determinant of family instability in poor neighborhoods, but this is not the result of AFDC regulations that exclude most intact families from coverage. Rather, welfare-related instability occurs because public assistance lowers both the benefits of marriage and the costs of its disruption by providing a system of government-subsidized alimony payments.

Spoiler: :: OA
C

1. The author’s primary concern is to

(A) interpret the results of a survey
(B) discuss the role of the father in low-income families
(C) analyze the causes of a phenomenon
(D) recommend reforms in the welfare system
(E) change public attitude toward welfare recipients


Spoiler: :: OA
A

2. Which of the following would provide the most logical continuation of the final paragraph?

(A) Paradoxically, any liberalization of AFDC eligibility restrictions is likely to intensify, rather than mitigate, pressures on family stability.
(B) Actually, concern for the individual recipients should not be allowed to override considerations of sound fiscal policy.
(C) In reality, there is virtually no evidence that AFDC payments have any relationship at all to problems of family instability in low-income marriages.
(D) In the final analysis, it appears that government welfare payments, to the extent that the cost of marriage is lowered, encourage the formation of low income families.
(E) Ultimately, the problem of low-income family instability can be eliminated by reducing welfare benefits to the point where the cost of dissolution equals the cost of staying married.


Spoiler: :: OA
B

3. All of the following are mentioned by the author as factors tending to perpetuate a marriage EXCEPT

(A) the stigma attached to divorce
(B) the social class of the partners
(C) the cost of alimony and child support
(D) the loss of property upon divorce
(E) the greater consumption possibilities of married people


Spoiler: :: OA
A

4. Which of the following best summarizes the main idea of the passage?

(A) Welfare restrictions limiting the eligibility of families for benefits do not contribute to low-income family instability.
(B) Contrary to popular opinion, the most significant category of welfare recipients is not the “cheating” father.
(C) The incidence of family dissolution among low-income families is directly related to the inability of families with fathers to get welfare benefits.
(D) Very little of the divorce rate among low-income families can be attributed to fathers’ deserting their families so that they can qualify for welfare.
(E) Government welfare payments are at present excessively high and must be reduced in order to slow the growing divorce rate among low-income
families.


Spoiler: :: OA
B

5. The tone of the passage can best be described as

(A) confident and optimistic
(B) scientific and detached
(C) discouraged and alarmed
(D) polite and sensitive
(E) callous and indifferent


Spoiler: :: OA
A

6. With which of the following statements about marriage would the author most likely agree?

(A) Marriage is an institution that is largely shaped by powerful but impersonal economic and social forces.
(B) Marriage has a greater value to persons in higher income brackets than to persons in lower income brackets.
(C) Society has no legitimate interest in encouraging people to remain married to one another.
(D) Marriage as an institution is no longer economically viable and will gradually give way to other forms of social organization.
(E) The rising divorce rate across all income brackets indicates that people are more self-centered and less concerned about others than before.


Spoiler: :: OA
E

7. The passage would most likely be found in a

(A) pamphlet on civil rights
(B) basic economics text
(C) book on the history of welfare
(D) religious tract on the importance of marriage
(E) scholarly journal devoted to public policy questions



Source: Master GMAT
Difficulty Level: Will be updated after 30+ timers attempts

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Re: Many critics of the current welfare system argue that existing welfare  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2020, 20:33
Q2:
D-In the final analysis, it appears that government welfare payments, to the extent that the cost of marriage is lowered, encourage the formation of low income families - Can someone explain why it is wrong?

Q5:How to solve this type of question - I choose D for the reason that there was no scientific under consideration.
The tone of the passage can best be described as

(A) confident and optimistic
(B) scientific and detached
(C) discouraged and alarmed
(D) polite and sensitive
(E) callous and indifferent

Thanks
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Re: Many critics of the current welfare system argue that existing welfare  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2020, 02:32
aislam wrote:
Q5:How to solve this type of question - I choose D for the reason that there was no scientific under consideration.
The tone of the passage can best be described as

(A) confident and optimistic
(B) scientific and detached
(C) discouraged and alarmed
(D) polite and sensitive
(E) callous and indifferent

Thanks


Maybe i can help you a little bit on Question 5. Look at a few excerpt sentences from the author of the text:
"Many critics of the current welfare system argue..."
"The answer to this question depends on the relative importance of three categories..."
"There is very little evidence that these categories are significant."
"The third category is..."
"Marital stability is related to the costs..."
"Expected AFDC income exerts pressures on family instability...."

Does it really sound sensitive? For being sensitive/polite i would have expected much more careful words.
To me it sounds really factual and straight neutral. .....aka "detached"
The text has a scientific character in that sense, that the author discusses what is the critic, the underlying problem and several aspects why things are the way they are.
D would be more of a far choice to me, compared to B. I hope this may help.
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Re: Many critics of the current welfare system argue that existing welfare  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2020, 03:34
aislam wrote:
Q2:
D-In the final analysis, it appears that government welfare payments, to the extent that the cost of marriage is lowered, encourage the formation of low income families - Can someone explain why it is wrong?

Q5:How to solve this type of question - I choose D for the reason that there was no scientific under consideration.
The tone of the passage can best be described as

(A) confident and optimistic
(B) scientific and detached
(C) discouraged and alarmed
(D) polite and sensitive
(E) callous and indifferent

Thanks


Official Explanation


2. Which of the following would provide the most logical continuation of the final paragraph?

Difficulty Level: 750

Explanation

As we noted above, the author argues that it is not the restrictions on aid that create pressures on low-income families; it is the aid itself. We can apply this reasoning to answer this question. The analysis in the text can be used to predict that an increase in the availability of aid would tend to increase pressures on the family unit.

Thus, reducing restrictions, because it would result in an increase in aid availability, would actually tend to create more pressure for divorce. This would have the exact opposite effect predicted by those who call for welfare reforms such as eliminating restrictions. (A) is nice also because of the word “paradoxically,” which opens the statement, for the result would be paradoxical from the standpoint of the reformer.

(C) and (D) can be eliminated because they are contradicted by the analysis given in the passage.

(B) is eliminated because the author never addresses questions of fiscal policy.

Finally, (E) goes too far in two respects. First, it overstates the author’s case. The author does not suggest that the only factor operating in the dissolution of low-income families is welfare, and therefore, would not likely suggest that the problem could be entirely controlled by manipulating benefit levels.

Further, it is not clear that the author advocates any particular policy. The scholarly tone of the article suggests that the author may or may not believe public policy on welfare should take into account the problem of divorce.

The correct answer is (A).


5. The tone of the passage can best be described as

Difficulty Level: 650

Explanation

As we have just noted, the scholarly treatment of the passage is best described as scientific and detached. As for (A), though the author may be confident, there is no hint of optimism.

(C) can be eliminated for a similar reason: There is no hint of alarm or discouragement.

As for (D), to the extent that it can be argued that the author’s treatment is scholarly, and therefore polite and sensitive,

(B) is a better description of the overall tone. The defining elements of a scholarly treatment are those set forth in (B).

Those elements suggested by (D) would be merely incidental to, and parasitic upon, the main features of scientific neutrality and detachment.

Finally, though the author’s treatment is detached, it would be wrong to say that the author is callous and indifferent—any more than we would want to say that the doctor who analyzes the causes of a disease in clinical terms is therefore callous and indifferent.

The correct answer is (B).


Hope it helps
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Re: Many critics of the current welfare system argue that existing welfare   [#permalink] 14 Jan 2020, 03:34
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