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The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago,

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12 Oct 2005, 16:10
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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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12 Oct 2005, 17:03
All other choices imply that the postal services are not mismanaged!
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12 Oct 2005, 18:00
I think it is C. Comparison with private services is irrelevant. Definitely doesn't weaken the argument.

All others weaken the argument.
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12 Oct 2005, 18:20
A for me
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12 Oct 2005, 21:12
D for me
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12 Oct 2005, 23:20
This is a great problem to demonstrate how scope shifts mislead many of us. We are trying to weaken the conclusion, not the evidence.

The conclusion comes at the beginning. So the answer is a fact that will contradict it, which D clearly does.
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12 Oct 2005, 23:23
I will go with C because it is irrelevant. A still weakens the argument by providing a possibility that it's not bad management but dramatic increase in volume for increase time. But C goes out of scope. There are no criteria mentioned for comparison between Private companies and postal service.
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12 Oct 2005, 23:25
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12 Oct 2005, 23:26
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12 Oct 2005, 23:42

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13 Oct 2005, 00:34
A is the only choice that does not weaken the argument. If the postal service failed to implement measures to handle the higher volume of mail, then clearly, it is not well managed.

The other choices all suggests there is nothing wrong with the management of the service.

B - tells that the increased cost has nothing to do with the management. It's a variable that is beyond their control

C - tells us the postal service still provides a cost-efficient service.

D - actually suggests that speed of delivery is in fact faster today. So clearly the postal service is doing its job

E - is quite out of scope. It does not provide a fair means for comparison
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13 Oct 2005, 00:55
go E go....

by 'normal' inflation rates, postal rates should have increased 300%, but they have increased 1000%!! It clearly 'strengthens' the argument...
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13 Oct 2005, 01:53
mohish wrote:
go E go....

by 'normal' inflation rates, postal rates should have increased 300%, but they have increased 1000%!! It clearly 'strengthens' the argument...

E does not allow a fair comparison, as different businesses have different costs and to compaer a postal service with say, a clothes retailer does not allow a fair comparison to be made.
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13 Oct 2005, 02:27
OA/OE plz
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13 Oct 2005, 06:47
Going with A.

Look for the answer that strengthens the conclusion that the postal service is mismanaged. I didn't see one that jumps right at me, but I did POE. All of the choices except A weaken the conclusion.

gmacvik 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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13 Oct 2005, 11:21
Good one. By POE it is A. OA/OE please
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13 Oct 2005, 11:24
OA is E but I don't have any OE for this. The answer choice goes over my head but only solace I have is that we all are in the same boat. May be the answer is wrong. The source of this question is 1000CR.
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13 Oct 2005, 14:47
I think E actully weaken the argument. it says that consumer price index goes up by 3 fold, so there is no justification for the postal price to go up 10 folds.
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13 Oct 2005, 23:52
ywilfred wrote:
mohish wrote:
go E go....

by 'normal' inflation rates, postal rates should have increased 300%, but they have increased 1000%!! It clearly 'strengthens' the argument...

E does not allow a fair comparison, as different businesses have different costs and to compaer a postal service with say, a clothes retailer does not allow a fair comparison to be made.

The reason I chose E was because while it is true that different businesses have different costs, it is the 'sum total' ('average' if you will) that is portrayed as 300%. So, it kinda evens out the uneven-ness between various businesses. However, postal rates have increased 1000%. Hence it berates the postal department (aka strengthens the argument)...that was how I interpretted it...may be if the original poster posts OE, it will become more clear...
13 Oct 2005, 23:52
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