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

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30 Jan 2008, 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.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
If you have any questions
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Re: CR 1000 D 8 [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2008, 15:08
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OA is E as explained below:

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..it is volume of mail and not mismanagement
(B) Unprecedented increases in the cost of fuel for trucks and planes have put severe upward pressures on postal delivery costs.weakens..it is fule cost and not mismanagement
(C) Private delivery services usually charge more than does the postal service for comparable delivery charges.weakens
(D) The average delivery time for a first-class letter four decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today.weakens
(E) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years.strengthens..consumer prices only increased 300% whereas mail prices increased 10 fold..which is a 900% increase..thus it must be mismanagement
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26 Jul 2009, 08:49
noboru 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.- provides an alternate explanation for increase in prices and therefore weaken the conclusion
(B) Unprecedented increases in the cost of fuel for trucks and planes have put severe upward pressures on postal delivery costs.- reason for increase in the price rise thus weaken the conclusion
(C) Private delivery services usually charge more than does the postal service for comparable delivery charges.- this is comparing private and postal delivery charges and thus does nothing to the conclusion-
(D) The average delivery time for a first-class letter four decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today. this shows that postal services have improved the speed and thus weakens the argument.
(E) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years.
- this also weakens the argument as it provides reason for price rise.

correct is C
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26 Jul 2009, 09:39
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I'll vote for E

The question is asking for an option, which doesn't weaken the argument and its option E.

(A) The volume of mail handled by the postal service has increased dramatically over the last forty years. -Weakening the conclusion about mismanagement of postal services
(B) Unprecedented increases in the cost of fuel for trucks and planes have put severe upward pressures on postal delivery costs. -providing reason for the "price has increased nearly tenfold", hence weakening this evidence.
(C) Private delivery services usually charge more than does the postal service for comparable delivery charges.-weakening the claim that "price has increased nearly tenfold". If private sevices are charging even more, that means Postal services are still well-managed as compared to other private services
(D) The average delivery time for a first-class letter four decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today. -Directly hitting the claim that "with an actual decrease in the speed "
(E) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years. -Correct. The option says that other prices has increased by 3 times, whereas Postal service prices has increased by 10 times. Hence strengthening the conclusion that Postal services are badly managed.
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26 Jul 2009, 12:26

It is claimed that postal service is bad. So anything that provides an excuse why postal service is doing a bad job, is out of the question. The poster above mentioned that "E" is a right answer. It is not, because it provides an excuse; if the prices have gone up it made everything more expensive.

Hence, it is C, because it says pretty much that postal service is better (cheaper) than private delivery service.
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26 Jul 2009, 13:32
I agree with E.

E can strengthen or weaken. We cant say that it weakens for sure. Notice that "average level of consumer prices" have increased. We don't know whether 'postal service' prices specifically increased or decreased. If it increased then it weakens the argument, if it decreased then it strengthens the argument.

C definitely weakens the argument because it specifically mentions that for "comparable delivery charges" others charge more.
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26 Jul 2009, 13:51
Economist wrote:
I agree with E.

E can strengthen or weaken. We cant say that it weakens for sure. Notice that "average level of consumer prices" have increased. We don't know whether 'postal service' prices specifically increased or decreased. If it increased then it weakens the argument, if it decreased then it strengthens the argument.

C definitely weakens the argument because it specifically mentions that for "comparable delivery charges" others charge more.

The argument says that the "postal service" prices has also increased. This is evident in line "Forty years ago, first-class letter delivery cost only three cents. Since then, the price has increased nearly tenfold,"
But the problem is that, the increase in postal service prices are at a much higher rate than the increase in average consumer prices.
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26 Jul 2009, 14:01
Agreed. thanks for pointing !! But somehow I could smell the wrong answer choice with some keywords
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27 Jul 2009, 00:45
between C and E .... whats the OA ??
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27 Jul 2009, 06:56
C.

E weakens the argument, basically stating that 10x increase is exaggerated.

Since comparison is between two time periods (and definately not between private vs smth service), C does not weaken the argument.
noboru 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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27 Jul 2009, 16:14
noboru 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.

I vote for E. E's confirming that the price in first-class letter delivery has increased at ~3.3x the rate of inflation, i.e. siding with the argument. I don't see how E weakens the argument at all. A and C are probably the "weakest" weakeners, however.
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28 Jul 2009, 02:39
There seems to be an ambiguity.

Can't fully agree with E. It says consumer prices has increased by 300 percent but 'more' than 300 %. In that case can we say E with certainity?
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09 Sep 2011, 09:55
I went with E, which actually strengthen the argument.
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11 Sep 2011, 06:54
I go for D.. It actually strengthens the conclusion ..
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11 Sep 2011, 07:10
edited the post... on second thought i think C

The conclusion is the postal service is badly managed.

cannot be D because D saysit takes lesser time now... that means the postal service has improved over the last 40 years...

E says other stuff increased more than 300 %.. so it could be greater than 10 times or could be less.. one cannot conclude.. so E is close

C does not appear to impact the argument much..

eager to know the OA
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Re: CR 1000 D 8 [#permalink]

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26 Sep 2011, 14:55
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.Weaken

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

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

(D) The average delivery time for a first-class letter four decades ago was actually slightly longer than it is today.Well this answer to slightly weakening the stimulus

(E) The average level of consumer prices overall has increased more than 300 percent over the last forty years.Aha the correct answer, this one has no impact on the stimulus...This is what we are looking for....
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29 Sep 2011, 21:16
bholakc 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.

IMO D. dramatically increased volume, Unprecedented increases in the cost of fuel, less charge for comparable service are the evidences that the postal service may present to argue against the conclusion of the Stimulus, leaving D & E.

At first, when I didn't recognize the the stem ends with "EXCEPT," I picked E as the most weakening statement.
When overall consumer prices increases over 300%, which we call an inflation, we can easily infer that the the wages of postal workers, which is the cost of the postal service increase. 300% increase of consumer prices doesn't parallel with 1,000% increase of postal charge, but when added with other reasons such as dramatically increased volume, unprecedented increases in the cost of fuel, etc., the increased consumer prices may lead to 1,000% increase of postal charge.
Thus E is weaking.

D could be understood such that "Althought it takes slightly less than it used to be, the speed basically hasn't changed for the past 40 years." No substantial change of speed, then no change of substantial price. How much faster is "slightly faster" for 10 times of price? 20 minutes?

Thus, IMO D.
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05 Oct 2011, 00:12
OA is E.

It would really be nice if original poster could post up OA together with the questions each time...

I chose C initially.

---
I figured this is how it should be -
Premise: increased price by 10x; decreased efficiency and reliability

A - weakens. Gives postal service an excuse to say it's not their fault for increased price n decreased efficiency/reliability
B - weakens. again, not postal services' fault! It was circumstantial.
C - weakens. Over here, it tells us, hey...comparatively, postal service charges less --> good management!
D - weakens. Increased efficiency! --> good management!
E - strengthens. Across the board, consumer prices increased only 3-folds. Postal service increased 10x!! Mismanagement!!

bholakc 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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01 Jun 2013, 00:15
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:

(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.

I think it is important to understand here whether to Strengthen or Weaken the Conclusion.
Conclusion: The postal service is badly mismanaged
Weaken: Not Mismanaged
Except: It is mismanaged.

E does the job. Rest all weakens the mismanagement claim.
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03 Feb 2014, 06:40
bholakc 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.

Yeah after reading the above answer choices E looks good, I have to admit I overlooked it when I first did this question. Thing is that A doesn't quite convince me at all. The volume increased dramatically, so what? It happens, can the company step up and deal with this? Apparently not, MISMANAGED!

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Re: The postal service is badly mismanaged. Forty years ago,   [#permalink] 03 Feb 2014, 06:40

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