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

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25 Mar 2006, 15:35
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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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25 Mar 2006, 18:37
I think A - Volume has increased but that does not tell us anything good or bad
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25 Mar 2006, 19:26
A
Rest actually weaken the argument.
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26 Mar 2006, 11:18
I think its E.
Conclusion-- Postal service is mismanaged.

Argument - price has increase, and reliability and speed has decrease.

E says that inflation has increased to 300(3 fold), but postal service's price has increased to ten folds. hence its support the conclusion.
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26 Mar 2006, 12:49
I agree, E.. Inflation 3 times.. Prices have risen 10 times.. So, postal service is mismanaged..
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26 Mar 2006, 13:09
Agree with gmat_crack and bewakoof. It should be ^ E ^
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26 Mar 2006, 20:15
Agree with E.
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27 Mar 2006, 03:24
I would go with A.
If volume of letters increase, we would expect price per letter to go down. Not up.
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27 Mar 2006, 03:57
A
Conclusion :The postal service is badly mismanaged.
Argument :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.

We are looking out for a stmt which does not weaken the argument.
A: it just says ,the volume of mail handled by the postal service has increased dramatically over the last forty years. This does not weaken the argument

E: The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years.
This supports the argument and the conclusion ( prices of postal service went up by 10 ten fold when compared .This does not weaken the argument)

So according to me, A does not weaken

Whats the OA?
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27 Mar 2006, 04:28
E it is.
gmat_crack nic explanation.
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27 Mar 2006, 04:44

E is a classic answer choice, that will lead you away from the correct answer. E says that the average level of consumer prices has increased by 300%. You cannot assume, that postal goods and services were affected by this increase. For all you know the postal service is not impacted by any increase or decrease in consumer goods. And even if it were, isn't 300% = a threefold increase, whereas the postal service has increased 4 times. E does not explain this discrepancy

If according to A, the volume of mail has increased dramatically, then an increase in the price will help offset the increase in volume.
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27 Mar 2006, 04:51

If according to A, the volume of mail has increased dramatically, then an increase in the price will help offset the increase in volume.

I can not agree with you.
A is not the correct answer as it weakens the conclusion - "The postal service is badly mismanaged."
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27 Mar 2006, 05:13
I didn't elaborate on my answer. I will still stick to A. If there is a dramatic increase in postal volume, then there must have been a corresponding decrease in speed and reliability of service. A is the only one that supports the conclusion. All other answer choices weaken the conclusion.

I am sorry, I didn't stress this point more clearly.

M8 wrote:

If according to A, the volume of mail has increased dramatically, then an increase in the price will help offset the increase in volume.

I can not agree with you.
A is not the correct answer as it weakens the conclusion - "The postal service is badly mismanaged."
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27 Mar 2006, 10:39
OA is E. I think the important thing here is to realize that 10 fold increase is more than 300% increase.

Sorry I do not have OE. The source of the question is CR-1000.

- Vipin
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27 Mar 2006, 14:46
D. Other talk about prices majorly but D weakens it from the point of view of service.
27 Mar 2006, 14:46
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# The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago,

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