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Mayor of Smalltown: Instituting high taxes on sodas, which are current

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Mayor of Smalltown: Instituting high taxes on sodas, which are current  [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2018, 23:21
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71% (01:55) correct 29% (02:02) wrong based on 182 sessions

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Mayor of Smalltown: Instituting high taxes on sodas, which are currently untaxed in Smalltown, has been shown in the past year to encourage people to reduce their intake of soda and live healthier lifestyles. Because the effects of such taxes on local businesses have not yet been determined, though, I believe we should wait before implementing such a tax.

Activist: Your position is inconsistent with previous actions you have taken. You have implemented many laws that have decreased local businesses' revenues in order to help consumers, so concern for local businesses cannot be the true reason you refuse to pass this law now.

The activist's argument is flawed because it fails to consider that

A. the health effects of some types of sodas may be different than the health effects of others.
B. it is possible that the mayor believes lower soda consumption is an inefficient way to encourage healthier lifestyles.
C. soda consumption has been strongly linked to rates of obesity and shorter lifespans.
D. the effects of taxes on local businesses may not be immediately apparent in all cases.
E. it is possible to weigh known drawbacks against known benefits, but not possible to weigh unknown drawbacks in the same way.

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Re: Mayor of Smalltown: Instituting high taxes on sodas, which are current  [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2018, 01:13
1
Mayor of Smalltown: Instituting high taxes on sodas, which are currently untaxed in Smalltown, has been shown in the past year to encourage people to reduce their intake of soda and live healthier lifestyles. Because the effects of such taxes on local businesses have not yet been determined, though, I believe we should wait before implementing such a tax.

Activist: Your position is inconsistent with previous actions you have taken. You have implemented many laws that have decreased local businesses' revenues in order to help consumers, so concern for local businesses cannot be the true reason you refuse to pass this law now.

REASONING
Mayor:- high taxes - reduction in intake of soda and healtheir lifestyle. However effects on local businesses not known - so wait.
WAIT means they are trying to study the effect before taking a call

Activist :- mayor's position inconsistent - earlier too laws implemented that resulted in lower local business revenue but helped consumers.

The activist's argument is flawed because it fails to consider that
LOOKING for:- some choice which can justify the implementation of law earlier and the suggested wait in present case

A. the health effects of some types of sodas may be different than the health effects of others.
we are looking for the consistency in implementation of law. health effects is not being discussed

B. it is possible that the mayor believes lower soda consumption is an inefficient way to encourage healthier lifestyles.
out of context

C. soda consumption has been strongly linked to rates of obesity and shorter lifespans.
Again does not touch teh argument

D. the effects of taxes on local businesses may not be immediately apparent in all cases.
This is valid for the present and all old cases equally, so does not effect the argument

E. it is possible to weigh known drawbacks against known benefits, but not possible to weigh unknown drawbacks in the same way.
Now if there were unkown drawbacks in the old scenarios so these could not be wehed with benefits, and thus implemented..
But in this case the drawbacks and benefits are known and so can be weighed and then implementedi as also in the reasoning above it is inferred

WAIT means they are trying to study the effect before taking a call
correct

E
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Re: Mayor of Smalltown: Instituting high taxes on sodas, which are current  [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2018, 01:14

We can solve this question using the

Alternative

method of using the answers, since it's not clear where we should start.

A. the health effects of some types of sodas may be different than the health effects of others. The topic is a soda ban in general, not on specific types of sodas
B. it is possible that the mayor believes lower soda consumption is an inefficient way to encourage healthier lifestyles. no - the mayor explicitly says the reduced consumption and healthier lifestyles come together

C. soda consumption has been strongly linked to rates of obesity and shorter lifespans. this adds no info (the mayor acknowledges the health risks), but if anything, this strengthens the activist's seed of the argument
D. the effects of taxes on local businesses may not be immediately apparent in all cases. again, adds no information - the Mayor explicitly said this, and thus it doesn't make sense to claim that the activists didn't take this into account

E. it is possible to weigh known drawbacks against known benefits, but not possible to weigh unknown drawbacks in the same way. yes - this is a point which 1) hasn't yet been stated, and 2) provides a differentiating reason that can can explain why the Mayor would decide against businesses in one case, and for them in another
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Mayor of Smalltown: Instituting high taxes on sodas, which are current  [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2018, 02:38
Mayor of Smalltown: Instituting high taxes on sodas, which are currently untaxed in Smalltown, has been shown in the past year to encourage people to reduce their intake of soda and live healthier lifestyles. Because the effects of such taxes on local businesses have not yet been determined, though, I believe we should wait before implementing such a tax.

Activist: Your position is inconsistent with previous actions you have taken. You have implemented many laws that have decreased local businesses' revenues in order to help consumers, so concern for local businesses cannot be the true reason you refuse to pass this law now.

The activist's argument is flawed because it fails to consider that

A. the health effects of some types of sodas may be different than the health effects of others. -- Irrelevant -- the varying severity of effects is not relevant
B. it is possible that the mayor believes lower soda consumption is an inefficient way to encourage healthier lifestyles. -- Irrelevant
C. soda consumption has been strongly linked to rates of obesity and shorter lifespans. -- Out of scope
D. the effects of taxes on local businesses may not be immediately apparent in all cases. -- Irrelevant
E. it is possible to weigh known drawbacks against known benefits, but not possible to weigh unknown drawbacks in the same way.-- Correct

You have implemented many laws that have decreased local businesses' revenues in order to help consumers--- > weigh known drawbacks against known benefits

Because the effects of such taxes on local businesses have not yet been determined, though, I believe we should wait before implementing such a tax. --> but not possible to weigh unknown drawbacks in the same way

This question is similar to an official question on doctors prescribing drugs whose side-effects are not known

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Re: Mayor of Smalltown: Instituting high taxes on sodas, which are current  [#permalink]

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07 Aug 2018, 16:46

Official Explanation

Outlining the logic of the mayor’s argument, we can say that she is stating that there is not enough information to evaluate the risks of this proposal to local businesses. The activist counters that she has previously taken actions that have harmed these businesses’ profits, so her reasoning is false. Note that the major discord between these arguments is that the mayor claims there is not enough information, while the activist claims that the mayor doesn’t mind harming local businesses’ profits.

The mayor could refute the activist’s argument by explaining that, in previous cases, she knew the advantages and disadvantages of the measures taken before implementing them, while she does not in this case. Essentially, this is what answer choice (E) states.

Answer choice (A) does not take into consideration the terms of the activist’s argument: the activist is not arguing about any particular brand of soda, but about different kinds of laws that the mayor has implemented. It also does not engage with the mayor’s claim of insufficient information.

The mayor cannot claim (B) yet, as she has already stated that there is not enough information to evaluate the possible costs and benefits of this scenario. This is thus not a valid flaw in the activist’s argument. The same is true for (C), which makes assumptions about the scenario that have not been presented by the mayor in this passage--this answer choice is out of the scope of the mayor’s argument.

While (D) may seem tempting, problems of timing come into play: the mayor is claiming that the town should wait and evaluate the issue when there is more evidence before implementing it, not that the town should implement the tax and THEN evaluate it. Therefore, (D) does not provide adequate grounds for criticizing the activist’s argument.

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Re: Mayor of Smalltown: Instituting high taxes on sodas, which are current   [#permalink] 07 Aug 2018, 16:46
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