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

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14 Jun 2006, 20:27
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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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14 Jun 2006, 20:43
I think i will go with E,because it is unrelated to the present context.

Rest of the sentences provide a reason as to why costs are higher or why the speed and reliabilty factor cannot be considered for reasons of bad mgmt.

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14 Jun 2006, 21:04
Conclusion: The postal service is badly mismanaged

Each of the following statements, if true, would tend to weaken the argument above EXCEPT: so we are looking for the possible alternative causes that would weaken the mismgmt argument, which would be wrong anwers

(A) weakens, since volume might have became a reason instead of mismgmt

(B) cost of fuel increased causing delivery costs to rise... alternative cause, weakens the mismgmt

(C) this one is my 1st choice, because it compares postal rates that are lower than those of competitors you have to infer that postal service is in competition with those private firms

(D) if delivery time is shorter today, then it is a good thing... meaning that mismgmt caused the positive thing... can't be so since mismgmt is to blame for the higher costs and longer delivery...

(E) again, another reason not to think that it was mismgmt that is a problem... if prices overall rose, then those of postal service might be to blame on this fact

Last edited by u2lover on 14 Jun 2006, 21:07, edited 1 time in total.

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14 Jun 2006, 21:05
I would go with A.

Here are my 2 cents:

The author is trying to argue that postal service is badly mismanaged by citing that the service's price has increased tenfold, decrease in speed, and decrease in reliability of service.

B states that price increase is due to increase in fuel cost not mismanagement and therefore weaken the argument. (weaken)

C states that private services actually charge more for comparable services and therefore not due to mismanagement. (weaken)

D states that the service was actually longer four decades ago so the postal service actually improved not decline and therefore weaken the argument. This choice corresponds with the decrease in speed citation. (weaken)

E states that the level of consumer prices has increased >300% over the last forty years. Since the price of the services by postal service actually increase x10, postal service is actually doing pretty well and therefore weaken the argument. (weaken)

A seems to state something that is not directly linked to the passage and therefore should be the right answer.

Last edited by BCC145 on 14 Jun 2006, 21:08, edited 1 time in total.

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14 Jun 2006, 21:06
C it is
Because E tells that the CPI increases dramatically so the cost of delivery also must be higher than before.
C has no relation to the main problem here

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14 Jun 2006, 21:55
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.

Weakens: This is the reason of inceasing the price.

(B) Unprecedented increases in the cost of fuel for trucks and planes have put severe upward pressures on postal delivery costs.

Weakens: This is the reason of inceasing the price.

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

This is the one that is not weakening.

(D) The average delivery time for a first-class letter four decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today.

Weakens: This says that the facts given above are not correct and services are better now than what they were forty years ago.

(E) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years.

Weakens: This says that prices are bound to increase because of inflation.
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14 Jun 2006, 22:09
I will wait for atleast a day to post OA..
Its not "C" btw.. I also marked "C" and got it wrong.

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14 Jun 2006, 23:04
Its E.

A - The increase doesnot necessarily mean mismanagement. It amy lead to slowless but mismanagement is far fetched.
B - This may give a reason for high prices.But doesnot say anything about management or about service.
C - Compares the postal department with private players. doesnot say anythign about speed or reliability of service hence inadequate.
D - Basically means the service are better than before hence weakens
E- Basically says that the overall cost for all services increased . It could mean mismanagement as the cost associated is eliminated.

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14 Jun 2006, 23:23
I marked (C).
But after going thru the discussions, think will go with (A).
Im pretty sure its not (B), (D) or (E).

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15 Jun 2006, 07:25
I will go with A.

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15 Jun 2006, 07:47
I'll go with D.

D strengthens by restating evidence in the passage.

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15 Jun 2006, 08:01
The argument - Postal service is messy and badâ€¦ charges and delivers a bad jobâ€¦

Question :- If true, would support the argument and reiterates postal service is more messy

(A) â€“ Postal service (PS) has more work to doâ€¦hence the delay

(b) freight charges have increased ( operation costs for delivery is high) hence the price hike

(c) â€“ PS is better than its competitorsâ€¦

(E) â€“ Avg consumer price has increase 300 times whereas PS only 10 times. Very well manages..

(D) â€“ Avg DT for a first class letter four decades was actuall slightly longerâ€¦
Despite all the four other possibilities..the DT has delayed a bit (only) Good job PS

So (D) is the winner

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15 Jun 2006, 09:56
OA is E.
I guess we are trying to relate the CPI with the increase in postal prices, but if we look at it, there isno explicit mention of that and therefore it serves as a neutral argument . Rest of the choices explicitly weakens the argument.

Note that *not* weakening the argument is not same as strengthening the argument.

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15 Jun 2006, 11:35
(E) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years.

My answer wasn't within the time limit..

Explanation:
Going for answer E as the postal rates have increased 900% where as consumer prices have risen only 300%

This does not weaken the argument...

This took me a long time though.

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15 Jun 2006, 11:59
What's the OE for why C is wrong?

I also fell for the trap answer..

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15 Jun 2006, 14:57
haas_mba07 wrote:
Going for answer E as the postal rates have increased 900% where as consumer prices have risen only 300%.

How did you get 900% ?

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15 Jun 2006, 16:12
900% = (30-3)x100/3 = 2700/3 = 900

selene wrote:
haas_mba07 wrote:
Going for answer E as the postal rates have increased 900% where as consumer prices have risen only 300%.

How did you get 900% ?

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15 Jun 2006, 17:13
zoom612 wrote:
I think i will go with E,because it is unrelated to the present context.

Rest of the sentences provide a reason as to why costs are higher or why the speed and reliabilty factor cannot be considered for reasons of bad mgmt.

sgrover wrote:
OA is E.
I guess we are trying to relate the CPI with the increase in postal prices, but if we look at it, there isno explicit mention of that and therefore it serves as a neutral argument . Rest of the choices explicitly weakens the argument.

Note that *not* weakening the argument is not same as strengthening the argument.

... Weakening is not strengthening It could be anywhere between these two as well... GOT IT...

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15 Jun 2006, 17:14
sgrover 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.

OK stem says postal bad because prices have increased and delivery time decreased.
A - volume of mail increased which could have contributed, so it could explain another reason - weakens
B - fuel costs increased, so this explains that it may not be mismanagement - weakens
C - postal service still cheaper - however, does not weaken the statement
D - weakens
E - weakens

So C should do it
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15 Jun 2006, 17:16
ok i see i got it wrong, good lesson
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15 Jun 2006, 17:16

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

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