to the top

#23 - Candidate: The government spends $500 million more

Administrator
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 6578
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:19 pm
Points: 3,253

Complete Question Explanation

Parallel Flaw. The correct answer choice is (B)

The reasoning of this stimulus is flawed because it makes some false assumptions. The reasoning is as follows:

    1. ..... Government spends more money on highway than antismoking

    2. ..... Smoking kills more people each year
Thus, Government would save lives by shifting money from highway to antismoking

This reasoning is flawed because it assumes that:

    1. ..... Spending more on antismoking would actually save lives, and

    2. ..... Shifting money away from highways would not lead to such an increase in highway deaths that it outweighs any lives saved from a better antismoking campaign

Again, this represents flawed reasoning.

Answer choice (A): This answer choice is fairly similar to the stimulus' reasoning, although there are some important differences:

    1. Government enforces speed limit more closely on freeways than tollways

    2. Freeways accidents kill more people each year

Thus, Government would save lives by shifting funds from freeways to tollways.

This answer choice is incorrect for three reasons. First of all, it contains the same subject as the stimulus (government spending, saving lives, highway). Secondly, to correctly parallel the reasoning in the stimulus, premise 2 of this answer choice should state "Tollways accidents kill more people each year" instead — otherwise, why would we even consider shifting funds away from freeways? Finally, the conclusion also does not correctly parallel that of the stimulus: the stimulus states that since it is spending more money on highways than antismoking, the government should shift some funds from highways to antismoking. To parallel that, this answer choice should say that since the government is enforcing the spend limit more closely on freeways than tollways, it should shift some of its attention/resources to enforce the speed limit more closely on tollways instead, and not funds since this answer choice was never talking about spending money.

Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. It parallels every part of the stimulus:

    1. ..... Musician spends more time on guitar than saxophone

    2. ..... Saxophone brings in more performances

Thus, shifting time from guitar to saxophone would bring in more performances

It is a flawed reasoning because it incorrectly assumes that:

    1. ..... Spending more time on saxophone would actually have positive results (perhaps she is at a stage where she would not really benefit from any extra practice)

    2. ..... Spending less time on the guitar would not lead to such a decrease in guitar playing engagements that it outweighs any increase in saxophone playing engagements there might be

Each part of this argument, as well as the flawed assumptions and the conclusion, parallels the stimulus correctly, this it is the credited answer.

Answer choice (C): This answer does not parallel the stimulus. It does not set up the situation as the stimulus does. To correctly parallel the stimulus, the argument should begin with "______ (somebody) drives on residential streets much more than on highways". The first line of the answer choice also contains information that is irrelevant to the argument, and does not properly parallel the stimulus' reasoning.

Answer choice (D): This answer choice is tempting because it matches the parts of the stimulus' reasoning except for one small bit. The reasoning of this answer choice is that:

    1. ..... Swim team spends more time on backstroke than breaststroke

    2. ..... Breaststroke's lap times are much better

Thus, swim team would win more swim meets by shifting practice time from backstroke to breaststroke

The conclusion of this answer choice, however, makes an extra assumption that if the lap times are better, then the swim team would win more swim meets, which the original stimulus did not make. Thus this is an incorrect answer. To properly parallel the stimulus, the conclusion of (D) should state:

Therefore, swim team would have much better lap times by shifting practice time from backstroke to breaststroke

Answer choice (E): Like C, this answer choice does not set up the situation as the stimulus does. The last two lines of this argument states that:

    Borrowers borrow larger sums at low rates

Thus, banks would be more profitable shifting loans from high rates to low rates

As we can see, then, in order for the first line to parallel the stimulus properly, it should state that "The bank is currently offering more loans at high rates than low rates". The first line of the answer choice, as it is, does not parallel the stimulus correctly.
kenswil
LSAT Novice
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:46 pm
Points: 0

I simply cannot understand why its B and not D.
Lucas Moreau
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:17 pm
Points: 228

Hey, Ken,

This stimulus is a bit tricky. The key of the flaw is assuming that more money being spent on either highway safety or combating cigarette smoking directly correlates to more effective results - i.e., more lives being saved. This may not necessarily be true. For instance, doubling the amount of money spent to combat cigarette smoking will probably not double the number of lives saved through those efforts. The principle of diminishing returns comes into play here - you get less and less results for every additional dollar you spend, after a while.

For answer choice (B), the same disconnect between the urged activity and the results is present. The musician is urged to spend more time practicing the saxophone, but there is no guarantee that more time spent practicing the saxophone will lead to more playing engagements. It is possible that more time spent practicing the saxophone will make the musician better at the saxophone, which will eventually lead to more playing engagements; but it is far from certain.

By contrast, answer choice (D) does not have the same disconnect. Lap times determine the outcome of swim meets much more directly than practice hours determine the amount of playing engagements, or than government spending determines the amount of lives lost to various problems. So it makes sense for the swim team to focus on their breaststroke, since it will more likely lead to them winning than focusing on the backstroke. The flaw from the stimulus is not present.

Feel free to follow up if I need to explain anything else. 8-)

Hope this helps,
Lucas Moreau
PowerScore
Blueballoon5%
LSAT Master
 
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:22 am
Points: 127

Administrator wrote:Answer choice (A): This answer choice is fairly similar to the stimulus' reasoning, although there are some important differences:

    1. Government enforces speed limit more closely on freeways than tollways

    2. Freeways accidents kill more people each year

Thus, Government would save lives by shifting funds from freeways to tollways.

This answer choice is incorrect for three reasons. First of all, it contains the same subject as the stimulus (government spending, saving lives, highway). Secondly, to correctly parallel the reasoning in the stimulus, premise 2 of this answer choice should state "Tollways accidents kill more people each year" instead — otherwise, why would we even consider shifting funds away from freeways? Finally, the conclusion also does not correctly parallel that of the stimulus: the stimulus states that since it is spending more money on highways than antismoking, the government should shift some funds from highways to antismoking. To parallel that, this answer choice should say that since the government is enforcing the spend limit more closely on freeways than tollways, it should shift some of its attention/resources to enforce the speed limit more closely on tollways instead, and not funds since this answer choice was never talking about spending money.


Could someone please help me understand the bolded sentence above. The explanation states that answer choice A, if correct, should have something like "Tollways accidents kill more people each year" for premise 2. However, this seems very similar to what answer choice A already has. Answer choice A reads, "... But many more people die each year in auto accidents on freeways than die in auto accidents on tollways." Isn't this the same meaning?
ted
LSAT Novice
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:45 am
Points: 1

Answer A reads: "But many more people die each year in auto accidents on Freeways than die in auto accidents on Tollways"
= Freeways have more deadly accidents than Tollways.

What it should read instead: "Tollways accidents kill more people each year"
= Tollways have more deadly accidents than Freeways.

According to the stimulus, funds are being shifted from Freeways to Tollways so the former sentence makes no sense.
Sky Brooks
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:32 pm
Points: 18

Hi BlueBalloon5%,

So we are trying to determine whether two statements are synonymous or opositional.

1. Tollway accidents kill more people each year.

2. Many more people die each year in auto accidents on freeways than die in auto accidents on tollways.

In statement 1, it says that tollways are more deadly. They kill more people. When it says "more people" it is referencing the text and the comparison of tollways and freeways.

The second statement says freeways are more deadly. "More people die each year in auto accidents on freeways".
It is the opposite of statement 1.

I hope this helps clear up any confusion regarding these statements and how they pertain to the correct answer choice (B).

Sky Brooks
PowerScore