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# Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more

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Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 12 Feb 2019, 06:39
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 19, Date : 10-FEB-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more generally, affirmative action are phrases that carry powerful emotional charges. But why should affirmative action, of all government policies, be so controversial? In a sense, affirmative action is like other government programs, e.g., defense, conservation, and public schools. Affirmative action programs are designed to achieve legitimate government objectives such as improved economic efficiency, reduced social tension, and general betterment of the public welfare. While it cannot be denied that there is no guarantee that affirmative action will achieve these results, neither can it be denied that there are plausible, even powerful, sociological and economic arguments pointing to its likely success. Government programs, however, entail a cost; i.e., the expenditure of social or economic resources. Setting aside cases in which the specific user is charged a fee for service (toll roads and tuition at state institutions), the burdens and benefits of publicly funded or mandated programs are widely shared. When an individual benefits personally from a government program, it is only because she or he is one member of a larger beneficiary class, e.g., a farmer; and most government revenue is obtained through a scheme of general taxation to which all are subject.

Affirmative action programs are exceptions to this general rule, though not, as it might at first seem, because the beneficiaries of the programs are specific individuals. It is still the case that those who ultimately benefit from affirmative action do so only by virtue of their status as a member of a larger group, a particular minority. Rather the difference is the location of the burden. In affirmative action, the burden of “funding” the program is not shared universally, and that is inherent in the nature of the case, as can be seen clearly in the case of affirmative action in employment. Often job promotions are allocated along a single dimension— seniority. When an employer promotes a less senior worker from a minority group, the person disadvantaged by the move is easily identified: the worker with greatest seniority on a combined minority-non minority list passed over for promotion.

Now we are confronted with two competing moral sentiments. On the one hand, there is the idea that those who have been unfairly disadvantaged by past discriminatory practices are entitled to some kind of assistance. On the other, there is the feeling that no person ought to be deprived of what is rightfully his, even for the worthwhile service of his fellow humans. In this respect, disability due to past racial discrimination, at least in so far as there is no connection to the passed-over worker, is like a natural evil. When a villainous man willfully and without provocation strikes and injures another, there is not only the feeling that the injured person ought to be compensated but there is also consensus that the appropriate party to bear the cost is the one who inflicted the injury. Yet, if the same innocent man stumbled and injured himself, it would be surprising to hear someone argue that the villainous man ought to be taxed for the injury simply because he might have tripped the victim had he been given the opportunity. There may very well be agreement that the victim should be aided in his recovery with money and personal assistance, and many will give willingly, but there is also agreement that no one individual ought to be singled out and forced to do what must ultimately be considered an act of charity.

1. The passage is primarily concerned with

(A) comparing affirmative action programs to other government programs
(B) arguing that affirmative action programs are morally justified
(C) analyzing the basis for moral judgments about affirmative action programs
(D) introducing the reader to the importance of affirmative action as a social issue
(E) describing the benefits that can be obtained through affirmative action programs

2. The author mentions toll roads and tuition at state institutions in order to

(A) anticipate a possible objection based on counterexamples
(B) avoid a contradiction between moral sentiments
(C) provide illustrations of common government programs
(D) voice doubts about the social and economic value of affirmative action
(E) offer examples of government programs that are too costly

3. With which of the following statements would the author most likely agree?

(A) Affirmative action programs should be discontinued because they place an unfair burden on non minority persons who bear the cost of the programs.
(B) Affirmative action programs may be able to achieve legitimate social and economic goals such as improved efficiency.
(C) Affirmative action programs are justified because they are the only way of correcting injustices created by past discrimination.
(D) Affirmative action programs must be redesigned so that society as a whole, rather than particular individuals, bears the cost of the programs.
(E) Affirmative action programs should be abandoned because they serve no useful social function and place unfair burdens on particular individuals.

4. The author most likely places the word “funding” in quotation marks in order to remind the reader that

(A) affirmative action programs are costly in terms of government revenues
(B) particular individuals may bear a disproportionate share of the burden of affirmative action
(C) the cost of most government programs is shared by society at large
(D) the beneficiaries of affirmative action are members of larger groups
(E) the cost of affirmative action is not only a monetary expenditure

5. The “villainous man” introduced at line functions primarily as a(n)

(A) illustration
(B) counterexample
(C) authority
(D) analogy
(E) disclaimer

6. According to the passage, affirmative action programs are different from most other government programs in the

(A) legitimacy of the goals the programs are designed to achieve
(B) ways in which costs of the programs are distributed
(C) methods for allocating the benefits of the programs
(D) legal structures that are enacted to achieve the objectives
(E) discretion granted to the executive for implementing the programs

Source: Master GMAT (110)
Difficulty Level: 650

Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 12 Feb 2019, 06:39, edited 5 times in total.
Formatted.
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Re: Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more  [#permalink]

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12 Feb 2019, 06:59
Official Explanation

1. The passage is primarily concerned with

Explanation

This is a main idea question. The author begins by posing the following question: Why are affirmative action programs so controversial? He then argues that affirmative action is unlike ordinary government programs in the way it allocates the burden of the program. Because of this, he concludes, we are torn between supporting the programs (because they have legitimate goals) and condemning the programs (because of the way the cost is allocated). (C) neatly describes this development. The author analyzes the structure of the moral dilemma. (A) is incorrect since the comparison is but a subpart of the overall development and is used in the service of the larger analysis. (B) is incorrect since the author reaches no such clear-cut decision. Rather, we are left with the question posed by the dilemma. (D) is incorrect since the author presupposes in his presentation that the reader already understands the importance of the issue. Finally, (E) is incorrect since the advantages of the programs are mentioned only in passing.

2. The author mentions toll roads and tuition at state institutions in order to

Explanation

This is a logical structure question. In the second paragraph the author will describe the general structure of government programs in order to set up the contrast with affirmative action. The discussion begins with “Setting aside . . . ,” indicating that the author recognizes such cases and does not wish to discuss them in detail. Tolls and tuition are exceptions to the general rule, so the author explicitly sets them aside in order to preempt a possible objection to his analysis based on claimed counterexamples. (B) is incorrect since the overall point of the passage is to discuss this dilemma, but the main point of the passage will not answer the question about the logical substructure of the argument. (C) is incorrect since tolls and tuition are not ordinary government programs. (D) is incorrect since the author never raises such doubts. Finally, (E) misses the point of the examples. The point is not that they are costly but that the cost is born by the specific user.

3. With which of the following statements would the author most likely agree?

Explanation

This is an application question. In the first paragraph the author states that affirmative action is designed to achieve social and economic objectives. Although he qualifies his claim, he seems to believe that the arguments are in favor of affirmative action. So (B) is clearly supported by the text. (A) is not supported by the text since the author leaves us with a question; he does not resolve the issue. (C) can be eliminated on the same ground. The author neither embraces nor rejects affirmative action. (D) goes beyond the scope of the argument. While the author might wish this were possible, nothing in the passage indicates such restructuring is possible. Indeed, in paragraph three the author remarks that the “funding” problem seems to be inherent. Finally, (E) can be eliminated on the same ground as (A). Though the author recognizes the unfairness of affirmative action, he also believes that the programs are valuable.

4. The author most likely places the word “funding” in quotation marks in order to remind the reader that

Explanation

In paragraph two the author mentions that government programs entail both social and economic costs. Then, the cost of a specific example, the passed-over worker, is not a government expenditure in the sense that money is laid out to purchase something. So the author is using the term “funding” in a nonstandard way, and he wishes to call his readers’ attention to this. (E) parallels this explanation. (A) is incorrect since it is inconsistent with the reasoning just provided. (B) is incorrect, for though the author may believe that individuals bear a disproportionate share of the burden, this is not a response to the question asked. (C) is incorrect for the same reason: It is a true but non responsive statement. Finally, (D) fails for the same reason. Though the author notes that affirmative action programs are similar to other government programs in this respect, this is not an explanation for the author’s placing “funding” in quotation marks.

5. The “villainous man” introduced at line functions primarily as a(n)

Explanation

This is a logical structure question. In the final paragraph, the author analyzes another similar situation. This technique is called “arguing from analogy.” The strength of the argument depends on our seeing the similarity and accepting the conclusion of the one argument (the villainous man) as applicable to the other argument (affirmative action). (A) is perhaps the second-best response, but the author is not offering an illustration, e.g., an example of affirmative action. To be sure, the author is attempting to prove a point, but attempting to prove a conclusion is not equivalent to illustrating a contention. (B) is incorrect since the author adduces the situation to support his contention. (C) is incorrect, for the author cites no authority. Finally, (E) can be eliminated since the author uses the case of the villanious man to support, not to weaken, the case.

6. According to the passage, affirmative action programs are different from most other government programs in the

Explanation

This is an explicit idea question. In paragraph one, the author mentions that affirmative action is like other government programs in that it is designed to achieve certain
social and economic goals. So, (A) cites a similarity rather than a difference. (C) can also be eliminated. In paragraph three the author states that the relevant difference is not the method of allocating benefits. The salient difference is set forth in the same paragraph, and it is the difference described by (B). (D) and (E) are simply not mentioned anywhere in the selection.

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##### General Discussion
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Re: Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more  [#permalink]

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04 May 2018, 20:39
Can someone explain to me why number 3 isn't D?
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Re: Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more  [#permalink]

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05 May 2018, 12:29
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ng.phg.mai wrote:
Can someone explain to me why number 3 isn't D?

The correct answer is (B). This is an application question. In the first paragraph the author states that affirmative action is designed to achieve social and economic objectives. Although he qualifies his claim, he seems to believe that the arguments are in favor of affirmative action. So (B) is clearly supported by the text. (A) is not supported by the text since the author leaves us with a question; he does not resolve the issue. (C) can be eliminated on the same ground. The author neither embraces nor rejects affirmative action. (D) goes beyond the scope of the argument. While the author might wish this were possible, nothing in the passage indicates such restructuring is possible. Indeed, in paragraph three the author remarks that the “funding” problem seems to be inherent. Finally, (E) can be eliminated on the same ground as (A). Though the author recognizes the unfairness of affirmative action, he also believes that the programs are valuable.

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Re: Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more  [#permalink]

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05 May 2018, 23:43
Would anyone please Explain question no 5.. How to eliminate both A and C ??
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Re: Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more  [#permalink]

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06 May 2018, 09:18
soumya170293 wrote:
Would anyone please Explain question no 5.. How to eliminate both A and C ??

soumya170293

The correct answer is (B). This is an explicit idea question. In paragraph one, the author mentions that affirmative action is like other government programs in that it is designed to achieve certain social and economic goals. So, (A) cites a similarity rather than a difference. (C) can also be eliminated. In paragraph three the author states that the relevant difference is not the method of allocating benefits. The salient difference is set forth in the same paragraph, and it is the difference described by (B). (D) and (E) are simply not mentioned anywhere in the selection.

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Re: Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more  [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2018, 02:10
Why is answer to Q4 not B? B is clearly implied when the author states " In affirmative action, the burden of “funding” the program is not shared universally".
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Re: Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more  [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2019, 12:31
+1 Kudos to posts containing explanation to all questions.
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Re: Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more  [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2019, 23:44
Why is answer to Q4 not B? B is clearly implied when the author states " In affirmative action, the burden of “funding” the program is not shared universally".
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Re: Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more  [#permalink]

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11 Feb 2019, 11:03
StrugglingGmat2910 wrote:
Why is answer to Q4 not B? B is clearly implied when the author states " In affirmative action, the burden of “funding” the program is not shared universally".

" the burden of “funding” the program is not shared universally, and that is inherent in the nature of the case, as can be seen clearly in the case of affirmative action in employment"- It means that funding is varies and includes job promotion - it has both monetary and other benefits... Nowhere in the passage mentions about the share of individual from the funding.
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Re: Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more   [#permalink] 11 Feb 2019, 11:03
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