Letter to the editor: You say that if the government were to confiscate a portion of the wages of convicted burglars ...

Kath on November 16, 2019

AB difference

Could you tell me what is the difference between A and B?

1 Reply

Skylar on November 16, 2019

@Kath, happy to help!

(A) states, "Money stolen from a burglar should be given to that burglar's victims."
(B) states, "Burglars are obligated to provide compensation to the same individuals they victimized."

The main difference between these two answer choices is that (A) is advocating for the diversion of the burglar's wages as stolen/confiscated by the government, whereas (B) is only saying that burglars are mandated to pay. In (B), the government does not necessarily need to take from the burglar's wages, as it is vague enough that the burglar could provide compensation to their victims by paying out of pocket with their savings or loaning money, for example. One could also make the argument that (A)'s use of the would "should" differs from (B)'s use of the word "obligated" in that the latter is synonymous with "forced" and perhaps what one is forced to do is morally wrong and not what one should actually do.

In this case, (A) and (B) are similarly unconcerned with the question of if stealing wages is justified and focused instead on the details of where the money goes. The fact that the answer choices are the same in this sense is not concerning, because it alone is enough to determine that neither is correct.

Does that make sense? Let us know if you have any additional questions!