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Identify Conclusion

This topic has 1 expert reply and 3 member replies

Identify Conclusion

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I have finding it hard to understand the correct conclusion of below argument :



Quote:
The current administration and Congress have once again practiced bad public policy in failing to increase Pell grants or at least limit their reduction for next year’s budget. Pell grants improve access to higher education for those who have historically been disadvantaged in our society by financial or other life circumstances, thereby helping recipients elevate themselves to the middle class. Without that access, the gap between the rich and poor in this country will continue to widen, increasingly straining the stability of our democracy.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the conclusion of this argument?
A. Total spending on programs targeted at improving access to higher education for disadvantaged students will increase in next year’s federal budget.
B. The neediest candidates for Pell grants often lack information about their eligibility for such grants.
C. Congress recently authorized a bill that will increase after-school programs in urban communities.
D.On average, an individual Pell grant funds less than 15% of the full cost of attending a four-year college or university.
E. Federal spending on education for next year will increase as a percentage of the total budget.
I can say "The current administration and Congress have once again practiced bad public policy therefore the gap between the rich and poor in this country will continue to widen, increasingly straining the stability of our democracy"

Or

"The gap between the rich and poor in this country will continue to widen, increasingly straining the stability of our democracy therefore The current administration and Congress have once again practiced bad public policy"

This question is from Manhattan CAT

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answer should be B. As the argument emphasized the importance of Pill grants in improving the acccess to grants for disadvantaged students . But B simply rebuked this argument by saying that most neediest students dontt even know their eligibility to receive such kind of grants.

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IMO: A
The conclusion is "The current administration and Congress have once again practiced bad public policy".
Reason is, they failed to increase the Pell grants which supports higher education for disadvanted students.

What if, the congress allotted more budget to some other programs that targeted at improving access for disadvantaged students. If this is true, then the conclusion that congress have practised bad public policy is weakened. Option 'A' correctly defines this.

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Here is the explanation from MGMAT staff: http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/post17125.html#17125
-----------------------------------------

The conclusion is that current admin has practiced bad policy.

The logic of the argument is:
1. Current admin has weakened pell grants
2. Pell grants provide access to higher ed for disadvantaged
3. Access to higher ed is nec to elevate to middle class
4. Elevation is nec to make democracy stable
5. Therefore, admin has practiced bad policy

I can see why B would definitely be tempting. But it is not as good an answer as A. We are told as fact that "Pell grants improve access to higher education for those who have historically been disadvantaged in our society by financial or other life circumstances" (stmnt 2 above). So even if the neediest often lack information (as in B), we can still presume that enough people use the grants to make a difference. There is nothing inconsistent about those facts. Therefore, this doesn't weaken the conclusion too seriously.

Choice A weakens it badly. Choice A gives us an alternate route to 3. Once we accept A as true, it no longer matters whether the Pell grants have decreased. The only problem with reducing Pell grants (decreased access to higher ed) is no longer a problem, since access to higher ed will be better funded, not more poorly funded.

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i received a private message about this thread.

gauravgundal wrote:
I can say "The current administration and Congress have once again practiced bad public policy therefore the gap between the rich and poor in this country will continue to widen, increasingly straining the stability of our democracy"
this is backward.

Or

Quote:
"The gap between the rich and poor in this country will continue to widen, increasingly straining the stability of our democracy therefore The current administration and Congress have once again practiced bad public policy"
this is correct.

just ask yourself which statement is the reason for which other statement.
the point of the argument is that the congressional decision is bad public policy because it will cause the gap to widen. (it makes no sense to say that the gap will widen because the decision is bad public policy.) therefore, interpretation #1 is wrong and #2 is right.

analogy:
your decision to leave home at 5 p.m. was a bad one. at that hour, there will be tons of traffic.
same thing going on here.
there will be lots of traffic; therefore, your decision was a bad one --> correct interpretation
your decision was a bad one; therefore, there will be lots of traffic --> nonsense interpretation

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