Benson: In order to maintain the quality of life in our city, we need to restrict growth. That is why I support the ...

Yitzchok on February 3 at 03:44PM

Answer E

Why can’t E be right?

1 Reply

Ravi on February 5 at 01:49AM

@jayw,

Great question.

The stimulus is a debate between Benson and Willett. Benson supports
zoning restrictions to maintain the quality of life in their city.

Willett opposes these restrictions, stating that an identical argument
was used ten years ago and five years ago. He says that in those
instances, the city council was justified in declining to restrict
growth. Then, he finishes by saying there's nothing new in the idea of
restricting growth.

The question asks, "Which one of the following most accurately
describes a way in which Willett's reasoning is questionable?"

Willett argues that based on previous decisions where the city council
was justified in voting not to restrict growth. However, the problem
with Willett's argument is that he's stating that there is nothing new
in this idea of restricting growth. However, there could have been
major changes in the city's situation that have occurred within the
last five years that now make restricting growth something that makes
sense.

You're asking why (E) can't be right. (E) says. "It overlooks the
possibility that the city council of ten years ago was poorly
qualified to decide on zoning regulations."

This answer choice takes aim at the qualifications of the city council
from ten years ago. Willett does need to rely on the city council's
past judgment of ten and five years ago in his argument since he says
that they were justified in not restricting growth ten and five years
ago, so if (E) were true, it would definitely weaken the argument.
However, we have zero evidence from the stimulus for us to have any
reason to have doubt about the city council's qualifications at any
point in time, let alone ten years ago, and in order for (E) to be
correct, we would have to have been presented with evidence supporting
a reason to have doubt about the city council's judgment. Since we
have no evidence to support this, we can eliminate (E).

(C) says, "it ignores the possibility that the new reasons for
restricting growth have arisen in the past five years."

(C) describes the flaw we found in our analysis of the stimulus before
looking at the answer choices. There very well could presently be new
reasons why the city should restrict growth, and these reasons could
have arisen within the last five years since the city council's
previous vote. This answer choice describes this, so it's our correct
choice.

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have any more questions!