Consumer advocate: There is no doubt that the government is responsible for the increased cost of gasoline, because ...

Jesse on March 12, 2018

A or B

Could you explain the difference between A and B, and why A is correct and B incorrect? Thanks!

5 Replies

Mehran on March 13, 2018

Of course! Let's take a closer look.

The conclusion of the stimulus is, "There is no doubt that the government is responsible for the increased cost of gasoline . . . "

Why?

"Because the government's policies have significantly increased consumer demand for fuel, and as a result of increasing demand, the price of gasoline has risen steadily."

This is a Strengthen with Necessary Premise question so we are looking for an answer choice that (1) strengthens the argument and (2) is necessary to the argument.

(A) says, "The government can bear responsibility for that which it indirectly causes."

This clearly strengthens the conclusion that "the government is responsible" for higher gas prices because its policies significantly increased consumer demand for fuel, which in turn, resulted in higher gas prices.

The government indirectly caused gas prices to increase.

Now let's negate (A) to make sure that it is also necessary to this argument.

The negation of (A) is:

The government cannot bear responsibility for that which it indirectly causes.

This destroys the conclusion of the argument, so (A) is also necessary. As such, (A) would be the correct answer.

Now let's take a look at (B) which states, "The government is responsible for some unforeseen consequences of its policies."

The problem with (B) is "unforeseen consequences." Nothing indicates that higher gas prices are an unforeseen consequence of increased demand.

In fact, higher prices are entirely foreseeable when demand increases (e.g. the ticket prices of any popular concert or sporting event).

Hope that helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

on May 30, 2018

Why is C wrong?

Dhishal on September 7, 2018

Also curious as to why C is wrong @Mehran

Oscar on September 22, 2018

Hello why is C wrong?

Mehran on September 24 at 02:02AM

@meisen @djayasinghe @OQ (C) is incorrect because while it does strengthen, it is not necessary to this argument and this is a Strengthen with Necessary Premise.

(C) is an S & N statement, so we would want to diagram and then show sufficient can exist without necessary to negate it.

We know "without" introduces necessary and negates sufficient (just like "unless") so we would diagram (C) as follows:

CDGI ==> GPI

The negation would be:

CDGI ==> not GPI

So it is possible to have the consumer demand for gasoline increase but the price of gasoline to not increase.

Okay great. It is possible. Makes no difference to this argument because in this situation, the increase in consumer demand resulted in the price of gasoline steadily rising (it is explicitly stated in the stimulus).

For this reason, (C) is eliminated.

Hope that helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions.