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# The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago,

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07 Sep 2005, 07:15
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The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago, first-class letter delivery cost only three cents. Since then, the price has increased nearly tenfold, with an actual decrease in the speed and reliability of service.

Each of the following statements, if true, would tend to weaken the argument above EXCEPT:
(A) The volume of mail handled by the postal service has increased dramatically over the last forty years.
(B) Unprecedented increases in the cost of fuel for trucks and planes have put severe upward pressures on postal delivery costs.
(C) Private delivery services usually charge more than does the postal service for comparable delivery charges.
(D) The average delivery time for a first-class letter four decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today.
(E) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years.
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07 Sep 2005, 09:10
C?

a, b, e provide alternate causes for the postal services high cost or slow delivery (increased volume, higher costs or general inflation). D seems to indicate that the postal service is actually better than in the past.
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07 Sep 2005, 09:42

We need something that agrees (ie strengthen the argument) with the author.

A - volume has gone up (increasing time)
B - fuel has gone up (increasing price)
C - Fedex/UPS is more expensive
D - Avg 1st class time has improved
E - Consumer prices increased overall.

Next to each answer put a S for strengthn or a W for weaken.

A = W
B = W
C = ?
D = W
E = ?

We are left with C and E. E seems out of scope. W/ POE I chose C.

ywilfred wrote:
The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago, first-class letter delivery cost only three cents. Since then, the price has increased nearly tenfold, with an actual decrease in the speed and reliability of service.

Each of the following statements, if true, would tend to weaken the argument above EXCEPT:
(A) The volume of mail handled by the postal service has increased dramatically over the last forty years.
(B) Unprecedented increases in the cost of fuel for trucks and planes have put severe upward pressures on postal delivery costs.
(C) Private delivery services usually charge more than does the postal service for comparable delivery charges.
(D) The average delivery time for a first-class letter four decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today.
(E) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years.
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08 Sep 2005, 01:30
Between C and E, i will go for E.
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08 Sep 2005, 07:21
I am on C

Rest of the choices weaken the statement
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08 Sep 2005, 07:31
I wud go for C.

Its the only statement which doesnot have any comparision based on time.

Krishna
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08 Sep 2005, 07:32
All except E. E actually support or strngthen the argument.
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08 Sep 2005, 07:40
Hi Himalaya,

what makes you think that E strengthens the argument. Let me try to write down things:

Conclusion : Postal service is badly mismanaged.

Reason : Increase in the price of A class letter delivery and delay in service.

Assumption : Increase in price of the delivery is only due to mismanagement.

If we observe E, E says that over the past 40 years, the cost of living has increased 300 times.
Hence, there shud be an increase in the prices as well. Hence, from E, we can infer that the rise in the price of delivery is not due to mismanagement but due to incease in cost of living as such.
Hence, its weakening the argument.

Plz let me know if I'm wrong

Krishna
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08 Sep 2005, 10:49
C for me too. E also says more than 300 percent. There's a lot left to interpretation...I think
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08 Sep 2005, 15:01
I will go with C as well.
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08 Sep 2005, 15:38
Definitely C. I've seen this one before.
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08 Sep 2005, 19:12
E.

Consumer prices up by 300%
Postal prices up by 1000%

So this supports the argument that the prices are higher than actual inflation supporting the argument.
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08 Sep 2005, 21:12
E

for C
(C) Private delivery services usually charge more than does the postal service for comparable delivery charges.

=> Postal service is BETTER than private delivery services.

The point we are trying to weaken: The postal service is badly mismanaged.

So it does weaken the point, therefore disqualified.
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08 Sep 2005, 21:45
I like E... I really don't see how C "strengthen" the argument, plus it sounds a little out of scope to me

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08 Sep 2005, 22:37
crisnas wrote:
Hi Himalaya, what makes you think that E strengthens the argument.

if the inflation (the average level of consumer prices) has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years, then it is reasonable to increase the the price of the postal serviceby 10 folds. in general, inflation is the measure of increase in consumer price level.

Quote:
The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago, first-class letter delivery cost only three cents. Since then, the price has increased nearly tenfold, with an actual decrease in the speed and reliability of service.

Each of the following statements, if true, would tend to weaken the argument above EXCEPT:
(E) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years.
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09 Sep 2005, 04:28
I will go with E.
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09 Sep 2005, 06:53
the conclusion is that mail service is mismanaged. What strenghtens the argument is D) IMO
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09 Sep 2005, 07:22
*LOL* That's funny, my first instinct was to say A.

After all, an increase in volume to a certain point should decrease prices by increasing economies of scale, right?
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09 Sep 2005, 10:35

C: just says Private delivery services are also mis-managed (in terms of increased pricing). This does not have any impact of Mismanagement at "The postal office" referred in argument.

E. Weaken as hinting another possible reason (other than mismanagement) for service price rise.
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10 Sep 2005, 05:29
OA is E.
10 Sep 2005, 05:29
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