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June 2007, Logical Reasoning 2, Question 19


Question 19, question 19 is a strengthened question. No big surprise there, it says the word strengthen in the question stem. On a strengthened question, your job is to support the argument's assumptions, which you can't do until you understand the argument. Which means breaking it down into conclusion and evidence, and then thinking about the gaps in between.

This argument's conclusion is found right after the word thus. Thus, government intrusion into the lives of voters will rarely be substantially reduced over time in a democracy. The evidence for this starts in the first sentence. All the first sentence is mostly setup. Many candidates say that if they're elected, they're going to reduce government intrusion.

The rest of the evidence forms a cause and effect chain. But voters actually elect politicians who promise to solve their problems. Solving their problems requires money. Money requires taxes, and taxes are a form of government intrusion. That's why they say the government intrusion is going to go up. Voters want politicians who promise to help.

Help means money. Money means taxes, taxes means intrusion. Now it might be hard to spot the gap in the evidence here. It comes at the very beginning. Politicians promise more government assistance if they get elected. It doesn't say that they actually provide that assistance.

If they do, then that unbroken chain would lead all the way from the beginning to the conclusion. Politicians make promises, they follow those promises. That means more assistance, which means more taxes, which means more intrusion. So we're gonna be looking for something in the answer choices that will strengthen the idea that politicians who promise assistance will actually provide it.

So we take a look at answer choice A. And there we find exactly what we're looking for. Politicians who win their elections usually keep their campaign promises. So they promise assistance, they provide it, and then the chain happens. This is exactly what we wanted, bridging the gap between what they say and what they'll do.

So we can take a cursory glance at the other answers just to see why they're wrong. Answer choice B is wrong because it would weaken the argument. if politicians never promise what they really intend to do, then they won't provide that assistance and the train won't happen. Answer choice C is wrong because it confuses the idea that assistance needs money with the idea that the assistance they require is actually financial assistance.

Further specifying exactly which problem is irrelevant to the argument, since we already know that any problem requires money, not just financial problems. Answer choice D, it's wrong because it talks about non-democratic countries. And this argument is only about what happens inevitably over time in democracies. And answer choice E is wrong, because ironically what politicians actually believe is irrelevant to the argument.

It's just about what they'll do. Will they do what they promise? So the answer was answer choice A

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