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The current administration and Congress have once again practiced bad

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Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
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Re: The current administration and Congress have once again practiced bad  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2018, 23:40
vd wrote:
The current administration and Congress have once again practiced bad public policy in failing to increase Pell grants or at least limit their reduction for next year’s budget. Pell grants improve access to higher education for those who have historically been disadvantaged in our society by financial or other life circumstances, thereby helping recipients elevate themselves to the middle class. Without that access, the gap between the rich and poor in this country will continue to widen, increasingly straining the stability of our democracy.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the conclusion of this argument?

(A) Total spending on programs targeted at improving access to higher education for disadvantaged students will increase in next year’s federal budget.

(B) The neediest candidates for Pell grants often lack information about their eligibility for such grants.

(C) Congress recently authorized a bill that will increase after-school programs in urban communities.

(D) On average, an individual Pell grant funds less than 15% of the full cost of attending a four-year college or university.

(E) Federal spending on education for next year will increase as a percentage of the total budget.


Premises:
The current admin has failed to increase Pell grants.
Pell grants improve access to higher education for those who have historically been disadvantaged
Without that access, the gap between the rich and poor in this country will continue to widen, increasingly straining the stability of our democracy. (bad future implication of this policy)

Conclusion: Not increasing (or at least limiting their reduction) Pell grants is bad public policy. (this is the author's purpose of writing this argument)

(A) Total spending on programs targeted at improving access to higher education for disadvantaged students will increase in next year’s federal budget.

This option tells us that spending on other programs which give access to higher education is going to increase even if spending on Pell grants is not going to increase. Pell grants is just one of the programs. So the new public policy may not be bad. This weakens the argument.

(B) The neediest candidates for Pell grants often lack information about their eligibility for such grants.

As long as Pell grants reach the needy, the purpose is served. Even if it has some shortcomings, it is irrelevant to our argument.

(C) Congress recently authorized a bill that will increase after-school programs in urban communities.

"after school programs" and "access to higher education" are different. Irrelevant.

(D) On average, an individual Pell grant funds less than 15% of the full cost of attending a four-year college or university.

The exact amount of funding offered by Pell grants is irrelevant. You are given in the premises that Pell grants "improve" access to higher education and what will happen without this access. We don't need them to completely cover the costs.

(E) Federal spending on education for next year will increase as a percentage of the total budget.

Total spending on education is irrelevant. The argument is concerned with "access to higher education" only.

Answer (A)
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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Re: The current administration and Congress have once again practiced bad  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2018, 19:30
Skywalker18 wrote:
Though I chose the correct answer, reading the answers of experts such as Ian made me think otherwise. I found the below from MGMAT forum-

https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/foru ... t4492.html

1. It was raining, therefore Tom's shoes got wet.
Here, the word 'therefore' shows causality. There isn't actually any argument here.

2. Tom's shoes are wet, therefore it must have been raining.
Here we have an argument (I'm making a claim and supporting it with evidence).

PROPOSITION A: BECAUSE "The current administration and Congress have once again practiced bad public policy" THEREFORE "the gap between the rich and poor in this country will continue to widen" - This is causality, not an argument.

PROPOSITION B: BECAUSE "the gap between the rich and poor in this country will continue to widen" THEREFORE "The current administration and Congress have once again practiced bad public policy" - Here, the argument is supporting a judgement of the government's policy with a claim about it's consequences.


AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , mikemcgarry , egmat , RonPurewal , DmitryFarber , MagooshExpert , ccooley , ChiranjeevSingh, GMATGuruNY , VeritasKarishma , other experts-- please enlighten

Hi Skywalker18!

This is not a case of simple causality. The claim here is that the bad policy will have specific consequences. Those consequences do not necessarily follow from the policy (which is exactly what we are asked to address). So this definitely an argument. The conclusion of the argument is:

Quote:
Without access to Pell Grants, the gap between the rich and poor in this country will continue to widen


That's what we're trying to call into question.

I hope that helps! :)
-Carolyn
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Re: The current administration and Congress have once again practiced bad &nbs [#permalink] 09 Oct 2018, 19:30

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