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OG Plan: welfare concern

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AbeNeedsAnswers Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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OG Plan: welfare concern

Post Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:48 pm
Plan: Concerned about the welfare of its senior citizens, the government of Runagia decided two years ago to increase by 20 percent the government-provided pension paid to all Runagians age sixty-five and older. Result: Many Runagian senior citizens are no better off financially now than they were before the increase. Further information: The annual rate of inflation since the pension increase has been below 5 percent, and the increased pension has been duly received by all eligible Runagians.

In light of the further information, which of the following, if true, does most to explain the result that followed implementation of the plan?

(A) The majority of senior citizens whose financial position has not improved rely entirely on the government pension for their income.

(B) The Runagian banking system is so inefficient that cashing a pension check can take as much as three weeks.

(C) The prices of goods and services that meet the special needs of many senior citizens have increased at a rate much higher than the rate of inflation.

(D) The pension increase occurred at a time when the number of Runagians age sixty-five and older who were living below the poverty level was at an all-time high.

(E) The most recent pension increase was only the second such increase in the last ten years.

C

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elias.latour.apex Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:15 am
The first step in critical reasoning questions is to read the question carefully. Do not read the text until you know what your task is.

In this case, the question stem indicates that we must explain something. In these problems, we must identify the two contradictory (or seemingly contradictory) facts and determine how they conflict. Then we brainstorm possible explanations before going to the answer choices.

In this case, our two conflicting facts are:
1. The government has increased retired pensions by 20%
2. Those receiving the pensions are no better off financially.

Immediately we might think that if people are getting more money, but are not better off financially, then obviously things have become more expensive. However, the text mentions that the general level of inflation is below 5 percent.

Nevertheless, that does not demonstrate that things are not more expensive. Perhaps inflation is low, but medical care costs are skyrocketing. Somehow this extra money is being drained from the senior citizen's bank accounts.

With this insight, we can see that C is the best answer.

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Elias Latour
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