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The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from mili

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The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from mili  [#permalink]

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The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from military contractors is determined by a pricing method called “historical costing.” Historical costing allows contractors to protect their profits by adding a percentage increase, based on the current rate of inflation, to the previous year’s contractual price.

Which of the following statements, if true, is the best basis for a criticism of historical costing as an economically sound pricing method for military contracts?


(A) The government might continue to pay for past inefficient use of funds.

(B) The rate of inflation has varied considerably over the past twenty years.

(C) The contractual price will be greatly affected by the cost of materials used for the products.

(D) Many taxpayers question the amount of money the government spends on military contracts.

(E) The pricing method based on historical costing might not encourage the development of innovative weapons.


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Originally posted by sagarsabnis on 07 Jan 2010, 13:29.
Last edited by Bunuel on 08 Oct 2018, 04:46, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2018, 05:18
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We need to find the answer choice that is the best basis for a criticism of historical costing as an economically sound pricing method for military contracts. Before we do that, let's make sure we understand what exactly "historical costing" is:

  • "The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from military contractors is determined by a pricing method called 'historical costing.'"
  • Historical costing allows contractors to add a percentage increase (based on the current rate of inflation) to the previous year's contractual price. In other words, instead of simply charging last year's price, the contractor's can charge the government last year's price PLUS a percentage increase to adjust for inflation.
  • "Historical costing allows contractors to protect their profits." - For example, if they charged a certain price last year and since then there has been significant inflation, charging the same price would actually mean lower profits for the contractors. Instead, the contractors can charge last year's price PLUS an extra amount to make up for the inflation.

Historical costing clearly protects the contractors profits from inflation. But does that mean that historical costing is an economically sound pricing method for military contracts? We need to find an answer choice that could serve as a basis for a criticism of historical costing as an economically sound pricing method for military contracts. In other words, we need something that suggests that historical costing might NOT be an economically sound pricing method for military contracts.

Quote:
(A) The government might continue to pay for past inefficient use of funds.

What if last year's contract was a bad deal? For example, what if the contractor used inefficient methods and thus included unnecessary costs when determining the prices? Without historical costing, the use of more efficient methods should drive down this year's prices. But with historical costing, even if the contractor uses more efficient methods, prices will increase with inflation.

Thus, the government might continue to pay for past inefficient use of funds. (A) represents a possible problem with historical costing, so keep this one.

Quote:
(B) The rate of inflation has varied considerably over the past twenty years.

With historical costing, the percentage increase is based on the current inflation rate. It doesn't matter whether the inflation rate is changing. The changes to the prices will reflect the variations in the inflation rate. Choice (B) does not represent a problem with historical costing, so eliminate this one.

Quote:
(C) The contractual price will be greatly affected by the cost of materials used for the products.

Of course the contractual price will be affected by the cost of the materials. If the cost of the materials increases with inflation, historical costing will allow the prices to increase accordingly. Choice (C) does not describe a problem with historical costing, so eliminate this one.

Quote:
(D) Many taxpayers question the amount of money the government spends on military contracts.

Whether a pricing method is economically sound does not depend on how taxpayers feel about government spending on military contracts. The government might use the most economically sound methods, and taxpayers could still question the total amount that the government spends on military contracts. Choice (D) is irrelevant and can be eliminated.

Quote:
(E) The pricing method based on historical costing might not encourage the development of innovative weapons.

Just because a contractor's profits are protected by historical costing does not mean there is no incentive to innovate. Contractors would still have incentive to come up with new and better weapons. If they don't, their competitors certainly will.

More importantly, the passage specifically talks about standard weapons, not innovative weapons. The government might use historical costing for standard weapons contracts and other pricing methods for innovative weapons. In that case, it wouldn't matter whether historical costing encourages the development of innovative weapons.

Choice (A) is the best answer.
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Re: The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from mili  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2010, 15:14
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sagarsabnis wrote:
The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from military contractors is determined by a pricing method called “historical costing.” Historical costing allows contractors to protect their profits by adding a percentage increase, based on the current rate of inflation, to the previous year’s contractual price.

Which of the following statements, if true, is the best basis for a criticism of historical costing as an economically sound pricing method for military contracts?

(A) The government might continue to pay for past inefficient use of funds.
This correctly shows that bad deals in the past will continue to affect contracts in the future. Pick A.

(B) The rate of inflation has varied considerably over the past twenty years.
if the rate of inflation varies, it will still increase the cost either by a little or alot. this doesnt say anything about historical prices.

(C) The contractual price will be greatly affected by the cost of materials used for the products.
Out of scope. question asks about the affect of historical pricing, not cost of materials

(D) Many taxpayers question the amount of money the government spends on military contracts.
Using opinions for an argument when these opinions weren't mentioned in the stimulus is wrong.

(E) The pricing method based on historical costing might not encourage the development of innovative weapons.
The development of new weapons is not at issue.

please can anyone try this

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Re: The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from mili  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2010, 21:38
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The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from military contractors is determined by a pricing method called “historical costing.” Historical costing allows contractors to protect their profits by adding a percentage increase, based on the current rate of inflation, to the previous year’s contractual price.

Which of the following statements, if true, is the best basis for a criticism of historical costing as an economically sound pricing method for military contracts?

(A) The government might continue to pay for past inefficient use of funds.
- Clearly defines why it is not economically sound pricing

(B) The rate of inflation has varied considerably over the past twenty years.
- It does not criticize the method. Just gives us extra information

(C) The contractual price will be greatly affected by the cost of materials used for the products.
- Nothing is mentioned about cost of material used

(D) Many taxpayers question the amount of money the government spends on military contracts.
- Nothing is mentioned about tax payers

(E) The pricing method based on historical costing might not encourage the development of innovative weapons.
- Development of innovative weapons is irrelevant.
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Re: The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from mili  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2012, 19:04
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sarb wrote:
The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from military contractors is determined by a pricing method called 'historical costing'. Historical costing allows contractors to protect their profits by adding a percentage increase, based on the current rate of inflation, to the previous year's contractual price.

Which of the following statements. if true, is the best basis for a criticism of historical costing as an economically sound pricing method for military contracts?

The government might continue to pay for past inefficient use of funds.
The rate of inflation has varied considerably over the past twenty years.
The contractual price will be greatly affected by the cost of materials used for the product.
Many taxpayers question the amount of money the government spends on military contracts.
The pricing method based on historical costing might not encourage the development of innovative weapons.


Premise: Price determined by historical costing
Premise: Historical costing to protect profits
Conclusion: None

What needs to be done: Criticize historical costing

The government might continue to pay for past inefficient use of funds. - This is what we want. It will be grounds to criticize the point of historical costing.

The rate of inflation has varied considerably over the past twenty years. - If you understood the passage then this is an automatic eliminate. Inflation necessitated the need for historical pricing.

The contractual price will be greatly affected by the cost of materials used for the product. - Now this is out of scope. And of course, this won't criticize.

Many taxpayers question the amount of money the government spends on military contracts. - This is also out of scope.

The pricing method based on historical costing might not encourage the development of innovative weapons. Ah! This is a very tempting answer choice. But what makes it wrong? Read it carefully, it says "INNOVATIVE WEAPONS." The passage, in contrast, just talks about "STANDARD WEAPONS." This is a trap! This goes to show how ONE WORD COULD MAKE OR BREAK an answer choice.
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Re: The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from mili  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2012, 00:08
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Ankit04041987 wrote:
Can any one elaborate why option a is correct and option b is incorrect


question is: Which of the statements. if true, is the best basis for a criticism of historical costing as an economically sound pricing method for military contracts?

so we are looking for a option that will criticize historical costing.

for option A :The government might continue to pay for past inefficient use of funds.
explanation: If the initial pricing itself was wrong then the Govt will continue to pay for its past error in the future because of historical pricing this is weakening point. this point is criticizing the historical pricing method, this is what we are looking for.

for option B: The rate of inflation has varied considerably over the past twenty years.
explanation: is this point criticizing historical pricing? NO. rather this point is supporting historical costing

hope it helps :)
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Re: The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from mili  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2012, 07:34
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Agreed, Option A is the correct answer, however consider B for a moment.

Option B is attractive because the question mentions "economically sound pricing". Option B states that the rate of inflation "has varied considerably". Hence something varying can't be deterministic or sound eg. Stock prices. Aren't we criticizing historical costing this way, since the inflation prices factor in determining the current price ?? (from the q- "percentage increase, based on the current rate of inflation, to the previous year's contractual price")



sarb wrote:
Ankit04041987 wrote:
Can any one elaborate why option a is correct and option b is incorrect


question is: Which of the statements. if true, is the best basis for a criticism of historical costing as an economically sound pricing method for military contracts?

so we are looking for a option that will criticize historical costing.

for option A :The government might continue to pay for past inefficient use of funds.
explanation: If the initial pricing itself was wrong then the Govt will continue to pay for its past error in the future because of historical pricing this is weakening point. this point is criticizing the historical pricing method, this is what we are looking for.

for option B: The rate of inflation has varied considerably over the past twenty years.
explanation: is this point criticizing historical pricing? NO. rather this point is supporting historical costing

hope it helps :)
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Re: The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from mili  [#permalink]

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New post 02 May 2013, 10:32
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sagarsabnis wrote:
The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from military contractors is determined by a pricing method called “historical costing.” Historical costing allows contractors to protect their profits by adding a percentage increase, based on the current rate of inflation, to the previous year’s contractual price.

Which of the following statements, if true, is the best basis for a criticism of historical costing as an economically sound pricing method for military contracts?

(A) The government might continue to pay for past inefficient use of funds.
(B) The rate of inflation has varied considerably over the past twenty years.
(C) The contractual price will be greatly affected by the cost of materials used for the products.
(D) Many taxpayers question the amount of money the government spends on military contracts.
(E) The pricing method based on historical costing might not encourage the development of innovative weapons.

please can anyone try this



replying to a PVT message here I am

Now breaking down the argument


Quote:
The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from military contractors is determined by a pricing method called “historical costing.”


In a few words that means: the gov pay the industry based on the contract stipulated in the first ionstance. here, suddenly something must jumps at the top of my head

- the negative side is that I (goverment) pay the contract indipendently of whatsoever happens

- positive side is that the contract - maybe - is not influenced by the change of inflaction or other factors that comes up

Quote:
Historical costing allows contractors to protect their profits by adding a percentage increase, based on the current rate of inflation, to the previous year’s contractual price.


Basically that means: the situation is freeze, always


(A) The government might continue to pay for past inefficient use of funds.

This is what Im looking for: if the contract by the gov is suscibed (right or wrong) we HAVE TO pay, anyway

(B) The rate of inflation has varied considerably over the past twenty years.

The rate is out of scope

(C) The contractual price will be greatly affected by the cost of materials used for the products.

The cost of material is NOT the key point of the argument. We care ONLy about of the dynamic of the contract itself

(D) Many taxpayers question the amount of money the government spends on military contracts.

Out od scope

(E) The pricing method based on historical costing might not encourage the development of innovative weapons.

Out of scope

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Re: The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from mili  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2013, 21:41
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I was trying to pick between A and B. I picked A.


The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from military contractors is determined by a pricing method called “historical costing.” Historical costing allows contractors to protect their profits by adding a percentage increase, based on the current rate of inflation, to the previous year’s contractual price.

Which of the following statements, if true, is the best basis for a criticism of historical costing as an economically sound pricing method for military contracts?

(A) The government might continue to pay for past inefficient use of funds. - This means if the past price was more than the practical estimate, it would affect future prices as well. Correct choice.

(B) The rate of inflation has varied considerably over the past twenty years.- This choice confused me. But, say the rate was lower and lower for the past 20 years, it still makes sense to add some delta value to the price quote. I am assuming that the increase was +ve. But A sounds better as the price did not have any basis in the first place. Also, the more important fact is that it cannot be a basis for criticizing the method

(C) The contractual price will be greatly affected by the cost of materials used for the products.
(D) Many taxpayers question the amount of money the government spends on military contracts.
(E) The pricing method based on historical costing might not encourage the development of innovative weapons.
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Re: The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from mili  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2013, 14:50
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Hi naaangerleyanyetei.
I'm happy to help.

ANALYZE THE STIMULUS:

Fact: The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from military contractors is determined by a pricing method called “historical costing.”
Fact: Historical costing allows contractors to protect their profits by adding a percentage increase, based on the current rate of inflation, to the previous year’s contractual price.
Conclusion: “historical costing’ is an economically sound pricing method for military contracts

KEY formula is: BEGINNING PRICE + ADJUSTMENT = NEW PRICE

Assumption: For new price to be correct, we need BOTH beginning price and adjustment MUST be correct. The argument assumes that both sources of information are correct.

ANALYZE EACH ANSWER:

(A) The government might continue to pay for past inefficient use of funds.
Correct. A shows that the “beginning price” may be wrong, so even though the adjustment is correct, the final price is still wrong.

(B) The rate of inflation has varied considerably over the past twenty years.
Wrong. SHELL GAME. It does NOT matter how much the rate of inflation has varied, because when it change, the “new” adjustment immediately will be added to the new price.

(C) The contractual price will be greatly affected by the cost of materials used for the products.
Wrong. Out of scope. The Cost of material ONLY makes the price go up and down. But the contractors can protect their profits because their final prices are correctly calculated.

(D) Many taxpayers question the amount of money the government spends on military contracts.
Wrong. Out of scope 100%. Nothing about “taxpayers” here.

(E) The pricing method based on historical costing might not encourage the development of innovative weapons.
Wrong. Out of scope. We only talk about “price” and how to calculate it correctly. Nothing about “innovative”.

Hope it helps.
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Re: The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from mili  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2014, 07:26
In this question, we are looking for a basis with which to criticize historical costing as being economically sound.

a) This is correct. If the government made a blunder and overpaid one year, then this pricing practice will force the government to continually overpay every year (adding an inflation percentage to an already bloated figure). This is by definition not economically sound.

b) This is why this practice is being utilized, and doesn't make it economically unsound. Wild inflation encourages the use of this practice in order to protect the contractors from inflation. This is the purpose of this practice.

c) The base contractual price can changed based on different materials, but this policy will hold the price of these materials constant + adding inflation. This does not make it economically unsound. Just like ordering more materials will increase the price, so will the cost of those materials.

d) This is very out of scope. We are not discussing whether taxpayers' agree with the money being spent overall

e) Again, out of scope. We are simply focused on whether this one practice is economically sound, not on any other ramifications of it.

I hope this helps!!!
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Re: The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from mili  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2014, 15:35
sagarsabnis wrote:
Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review, 2nd Edition
Practice Question
Question No.: 4
Page: 117
Difficulty:


The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from military contractors is determined by a pricing method called “historical costing.” Historical costing allows contractors to protect their profits by adding a percentage increase, based on the current rate of inflation, to the previous year’s contractual price.

Which of the following statements, if true, is the best basis for a criticism of historical costing as an economically sound pricing method for military contracts?

(A) The government might continue to pay for past inefficient use of funds.
(B) The rate of inflation has varied considerably over the past twenty years.
(C) The contractual price will be greatly affected by the cost of materials used for the products.
(D) Many taxpayers question the amount of money the government spends on military contracts.
(E) The pricing method based on historical costing might not encourage the development of innovative weapons.

please can anyone try this


The conclusion is it is economically unsound to pay the contractors by adding an amount to the previous year's price

We should strengthen this.

Negate the conclusion: it is NOT economically unsound to add an amount to the previous year's price

Since this is a strengthen question the choice should be such that it refutes the negated conclusion.

Choice A does it best because it says it would indeed be unsound because the use of funds in the past may have been inefficient and is not corrected.
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Re: The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from mili  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Dec 2017, 09:24
The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from military contractors is determined by a pricing method called “historical costing.” Historical costing allows contractors to protect their profits by adding a percentage increase, based on the current rate of inflation, to the previous year’s contractual price.

Which of the following statements, if true, is the best basis for a criticism of historical costing as an economically sound pricing method for military contracts?

(A) The government might continue to pay for past inefficient use of funds. -Correct. The government is continuing to make bad deals

(B) The rate of inflation has varied considerably over the past twenty years. -Incorrect. Even if it has varied, it will still increase

(C) The contractual price will be greatly affected by the cost of materials used for the products. -Cost of material is out of scope

(D) Many taxpayers question the amount of money the government spends on military contracts. -Out of scope

(E) The pricing method based on historical costing might not encourage the development of innovative weapons. -the argument is talking about standard weapons
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Re: The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from mili  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2018, 22:56
What is the type of this CR question? Is it a "Weaken the Argument" question?

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Re: The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from mili &nbs [#permalink] 23 Oct 2018, 22:56
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