to the top

#24- Politician: Every regulation currently being proposed

PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
Posts: 6648
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:19 pm
Points: 3,321

Please post your questions below!
LSAT Master
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:31 pm
Points: 114

I'm confused on this question. After reading it many times I couldn't really understand what was exactly wrong with it.

All I knew was that the trade deficit is so large that it weakens the he concludes that the regulations that would help trade deficit WOULD HELP the economy. So I see that theres a jump between something weakening... and the opposite of a large deficit leading to helping the economy.

But what is D exactly saying? Isn't this a flaw question that asks you what's wrong with the question...cause D seems like it's just weakening it by saying if you do consider a regulation, that regulation may reduce trade deficit but have other effects that wouldn't necessarily "help" the economy. Is this right? If so, how is it a flaw?
LSAT Master
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:31 pm
Points: 114

Can anyone help answer this?
LSAT Apprentice
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:20 pm
Points: 8

1. Proposed Regulations ---> Reduce Trade Deficit
2. Large Trade Deficit (our country) ---> Weakened Economy (our country)
C. Proposed Regulations ---> Help economy (our country)

(D) is the only answer that addresses the argument. We know the regulations being proposed will reduce trade deficit. Next. we find out the large trade deficit has caused a weakened economy. The author concludes that the proposed regulations would help the economy. My prephrase was: we don't know to what degree the regulations will reduce the trade deficit. We don't know how reducing the trade deficit affects the economy. We know a large deficit weakens, but that doesn't give us proof for how the economy will react to a reduced trade deficit (especially if we don't know to what degree the deficit will be reduced). I didn't find an answer that matched this prephrase, but with that idea in my mind, (D) was the only choice remotely close to my analysis. Just because we know the regulation will have one effect (reducing the trade deficit), it could also carry other consequences that counteract (offset) the strengthening of the economy. For example, assume the regulation significantly reduces trade deficit resulting in a trade deficit that is not large. This would certainly "help" the economy. However, the Regulations might also result in increased in taxes leading people to spend less money, which could have hurt the economy more or equivalent to the amount the economy was "helped" by the reduced trade deficit, resulting in no net benefit. We only know a large deficit can weaken the economy. Thus, we cannot assume the effect of the reduced trade deficit will necessarily result in a strengthened economy.
LSAT Master
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:31 pm
Points: 114

Right, I see. My intial prephrase after reading this was what I stated... that theres a jump between a large deficit weakens the economy... and says reducing trade will HELP the economy. It's basically incorrectly negating the well as creating a chain that isn't there.

Like you said, we know what a large trade deficit does to the economy but we can't conclude we know what will happen to the economy with a smaller trade deficit.

So I saw that...and D does make sense now. But i'm trying to find a way, seems POE is the best option, of how to get to D when a question like this comes up again under time. With time now, I see how D works well. And overall all the other answers do suck and don't address this issue, time or untimed. However, I can see myself really struggling to chose D on a timed section just because it needs more of my focus to be like, "what effect is it talking about that will offset others".

B C are stupid, E is talking about part to whole and A is bringing up an assumption it claims the author makes (that he doesn't) and theres only D left. But is this the best way to get to the right answer?
Jon Denning
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
Posts: 854
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:36 pm
Points: 1,118

A student emailed me recently to ask about this question (specifically for help deciphering (D) and eliminating (B) and (E)), and I thought my reply might help others who're struggling with this one. So I'm posting it below:

This is a tricky question, but I think we can get to the bottom of it. Honestly, when I read it the first thing that struck me was the disconnect between reducing the trade deficit, which we know weakens the economy, and directly helping the economy. There’s a gap there! That is, changing the cause of some other effect doesn’t guarantee that the effect itself will be altered in a predictable way, since introducing that new element could theoretically lead to other issues related to the effect. I’ll translate that: the trade deficit hurts the economy, but introducing regulations to reduce the deficit (lessen the cause) doesn’t guarantee that the economy will improve as a result, since we don’t know the relationship between those regulations and the economy itself.

It’d be like someone saying that smoking cigarettes causes health issues, so removing a smoker’s lungs, or replacing their cigarettes with sticks of dynamite, to prevent them from smoking will improve their health. Probably not, right? Same deal here: the regulations might remove the cause of some negative thing, but without knowing how they might directly affect that end piece we can’t say for sure what outcome we’ll get!

And that’s (D) in a nutshell: one effect of regulations is to reduce the trade deficit, but that positive outcome (deficit reduction) could be offset by other effects of those regulations and thus leave the economy no better than at present. That’s the gap I mention above.

(B) and (E) on the other hand both fail for the same reason: neither is an accurate depiction of what the argument says! At no point does the author indicate that reducing the deficit is “the only means” of strengthening the economy (it’s just noted as something that weakens the economy and improving it is thus believed to help) so that gets rid of (B), and the entire argument is dealing with individual regulations, not the whole set: “every regulation” and “each of the proposed regulations,” so we never go from the whole group to then treating them individually, and thus (E) is out.

I hope that helps!

Finally, khodi to your question about solving by process of elimination: yes, that is often the most powerful way to attack questions, particularly in the latter portions of an LR section where questions are at their toughest! The right answer doesn't have to be something that's ideal for you or that you would have supplied if given the simply has to be a better choice than the other four. And in this case answer choice (D) most certainly is!
Jon Denning
PowerScore Test Preparation

Follow me on Twitter at
My LSAT Articles:
LSAT Novice
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:32 pm
Points: 4

Hi all,

Not sure if this answer would be still relevant but thought I'd add my two cents on how I eventually got to D (after struggling with B and E).

I think thinking in terms of another analogy could help. For instance, "having a cold" (=trade deficit) weakens our "overall health" (=economy). Taking some "cold meds" (=regulation) could help with the cold, but what if you are allergic to some chemicals in the meds? What if the side effects are so great (lol) that taking meds ultimately make your health worse?

Mods, feel free to correct me if the above analogy works, but this is basically how I ultimately got D.
James Finch
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:06 pm
Points: 616

Hi Janie,

That's actually a great analogy, as the idea of side-effects is exactly what the stimulus is going for. Because we don't know any other potential effects of any of the proposals, or anything about them for that matter, we have no idea what they will do except lower the trade deficit. And one way to lower the trade deficit could be to stop trading altogether, which probably wouldn't be good for the economy overall; similarly, with your analogy, another way to stop suffering from a cold is to die. Obviously not the best result for that person's overall health, however.

This is also an interesting question because it is topical, as many LSAT questions are, and thus written to be as neutral as possible. So with questions like these, be careful about outside knowledge leading to assumptions; instead, try and think about all sides of an issue, in order to help understand all possibilities. Here, you could think of potential tariffs leading to retaliatory tariffs, which in turn reduce total amount of trade and a smaller economy.
LSAT Apprentice
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:21 pm
Points: 19

I'm still struggling with E on this, can someone please help. I see how D could be the correct answer and got stuck between D and E, ultimately choosing E.

P: The argument states that EVERY regulation currently being proposed by the COT will reduce trade deficit.
SC: Our trade deficit is os large that it weakens the economy.
C: Therefore each of the proposed regulations would help the economy.

My thoughts here were "well there may be some reason why the regulations don't accomplish that other words, what if the regulations counter each other in some way or what if the reduction of the economy requires additional factors"

This placed me between D and E. I can see how D is correct, but I also don't see what is wrong with E.

"If Every regulation in a set will have the same effects as a set of regulations as a whole" - then it seems to me that this would support the same assumptions that D rests on. In fact the two answers seem like jointly, they would support each other. If our assumption is that nothing negative will occur when all of the regulations are applied to the economy, then the author would be assuming that no individual regulation would counteract the other? But this also sounds a lot like the assumption that EVERY regulation in a set will have the same effects as a set of regulations as a whole- E sounds like a broader principle version of D.

Now, I know this is wrong per the book, but can someone please help me find the holes here?
Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
Posts: 2540
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:01 pm
Points: 2,354

The problem with this analysis, coralconsulting77, is that the author never considers the set as a whole, and never draws any conclusions about it. At no point does this argument claim that adopting ALL of the regulations (the set) would have a positive impact. The author only claims that EACH and EVERY regulation would be good, and that means on its on and not necessarily in combination.

Additionally, even if the author did conclude that because each regulation is positive, adopting all the regs would have a positive impact (a part-to-whole flaw), answer E describes the opposite flaw - whole-to-part. That would be if the author said "this package of regulations is, as a whole, positive; therefore regulation X, which is included in the package, must have a positive effect."

Since the author never deals with a combination of regs, but only with each of them individually, we can discard answers about part-to-whole or whole-to-part.
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
Follow me on Twitter at