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Between 1971 and 1975

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Between 1971 and 1975

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Between 1971 and 1975, the government office that monitors drug companies issued an average of 60 citations a year for serious violations of drug-promotion laws. Between 1976 and 1980, the annual average for issuance of such citations was only 5. This decrease indicates that the government office was, on average, considerably more lax in enforcing drug-promotion laws between 1976 and 1980 than it was between 1971 and 1975.

The argument assumes which one of the following?

(A) The decrease in the number of citations was not caused by a decrease in drug companies violations of drug-promotion laws.

(B) A change in enforcement of drug-promotion laws did not apply to minor violations.

(C) The enforcement of drug-promotion laws changed in response to political pressure.

(D) The government office should not issue more than an average of 5 citations a year to drug companies for serious violations of drug-promotion laws.

(E) Before 1971 the government office issued more than 60 citations a year to drug companies for serious violations of drug-promotion laws.

What is wrong with Options B & E?

OA A

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The conclusion: The government office was more lax in enforcing drug-promotion laws between 1976 and 1980 than it was between 1971 and 1975.
The evidence: Between 1971 and 1975, the government office issued an average of 60 citations a year, and between 1976 and 1980, the annual average for issuance of such citations was only 5.

This argument clearly assumes that the reason for the drop from 60 to 5 citations was because the government was lax. Perhaps there was a different cause. For example, maybe there were simply fewer actual violations. This is what Choice A, the correct choice, takes care of. It says that the decrease was NOT because of a drop in actual violations. This strengthens the claim that, instead, the government was lax.

You asked about Choices B and E. Choice B is irrelevant. It says that there was a change in the enforcement of drug-promotion laws without saying what that change was. Were the laws more strictly enforced? Less strictly? The fact that this change did not apply to minor violations doesn't matter either.

Choice E is an "other" choice. Why does it matter that there were more than 60 citations a year prior to the period that is relevant to the argument. It doesn't.

I'm available if you'd like to follow up on this question.

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EconomistGMATTutor wrote:
The conclusion: The government office was more lax in enforcing drug-promotion laws between 1976 and 1980 than it was between 1971 and 1975.
The evidence: Between 1971 and 1975, the government office issued an average of 60 citations a year, and between 1976 and 1980, the annual average for issuance of such citations was only 5.

This argument clearly assumes that the reason for the drop from 60 to 5 citations was because the government was lax. Perhaps there was a different cause. For example, maybe there were simply fewer actual violations. This is what Choice A, the correct choice, takes care of. It says that the decrease was NOT because of a drop in actual violations. This strengthens the claim that, instead, the government was lax.

You asked about Choices B and E. Choice B is irrelevant. It says that there was a change in the enforcement of drug-promotion laws without saying what that change was. Were the laws more strictly enforced? Less strictly? The fact that this change did not apply to minor violations doesn't matter either.

Choice E is an "other" choice. Why does it matter that there were more than 60 citations a year prior to the period that is relevant to the argument. It doesn't.

I'm available if you'd like to follow up on this question.
Thanks a lot!

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