City council member: Despite the city's desperate need to exploit any available source of revenue, the mayor has r...

Henleys on March 27, 2020

What’s the main difference between A and B?

This one stumped me. I had it down to A and B and I thought they both were saying the same thing. I went with A.

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Skylar on March 27, 2020

@Henleys, happy to help!

First, let's break down the passage:

P: The city is desperate for revenue.
P: The mayor has repeatedly blocked legislation imposing real estate development fees.
C: The mayor is sacrificing city interests to personal interests.
P: The mayor cites research showing the real estate development fees would result in a revenue loss to the city.
P: The mayor's family is involved in real estate development/has a personal financial interest in the matter.

The question is asking about the flaw in this passage. We may notice conflict between the conclusion and the third premise we identified. How can we conclude that the mayor is prioritizing personal interests when the mayor shows that he/she is acting in the best interest of the city? We can't, so we should look for this as we proceed to the answer choices.

(A) "the issue of the mayor's personal interest in the proposed legislation is irrelevant to any assessment of the mayor's action with respect to that legislation"

This answer choice is essentially saying that the mayor's personal interest is irrelevant to our evaluation of his/her actions. In other words, it claims that we should consider the mayor's actions and not the mayor's reasoning. This is too narrow and unsupported- the mayor's personal motivation is definitely relevant in our evaluation. Moreover, this does not account for the flaw we found above. Therefore, (A) is incorrect.

(B) "the mayor's course of action being personally advantageous is not inconsistent with the mayor's action being advantageous for the city."

This answer choice points out that the plan to impose fees is both bad for the mayor and for the city. Therefore, the mayor's interest in personal finances and in city wellbeing are consistent, and we do not have enough information to claim that the mayor is prioritizing one above the other. This is the flaw we discussed above, and (B) is correct.

Does that make sense? Please let us know if you have any other questions and best of luck with your studies!