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#15 - Jessica: The budget surplus should be used only to

jlam061695
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I think I understand the reasoning behind E, but can someone just clarify for me why that is the correct answer? Also, is C incorrect because it mentions "when there is a choice" and Jessica does not address the fact that there is more than one option)? I chose C because even though Jessica did not directly establish that there is another option aside from increasing government payments to the unemployed, one can infer that since that is the only choice she gives, then that must mean that any other choice, including a public works project, ought not to be chosen.
David Boyle
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jlam061695 wrote:I think I understand the reasoning behind E, but can someone just clarify for me why that is the correct answer? Also, is C incorrect because it mentions "when there is a choice" and Jessica does not address the fact that there is more than one option)? I chose C because even though Jessica did not directly establish that there is another option aside from increasing government payments to the unemployed, one can infer that since that is the only choice she gives, then that must mean that any other choice, including a public works project, ought not to be chosen.



Hello,

Answer E riffs pretty directly off of what the speakers say; Jessica says, "The budget surplus should be used only to increase government payments . . .", and Marcie says, "A better use of the money would be for a public works project . . ."
As for answer C, we don't know if there's a choice, and choice isn't especially an issue in the stimulus; and in any case, "the latter should usually be chosen" is a pretty flabby answer, since "usually" waffles a lot.

David
mN2mmvf
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Hi,

I agree that "usually" makes (C) a "flabby" choice, but why is (E) correct? Marcie clearly agrees that there is a better way to use the surplus, but we don't know that Jessica disagrees with this. Jessica argues just that the surplus should be used in only one way; she doesn't say that way is better or best. There could be many reasons why a surplus should only be used for one thing even if that thing is not the "best" use...e.g., a law.
Claire Horan
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Hi mN2mmvf,

I see what you are saying and you make a logical point, but you may be viewing these Point at Issue questions a little too robotically. What I mean is, these questions represent a conversation between two people. They have points of view that we can decipher from their speeches. We can read a little bit between the lines even where a computer maybe could not. And for this type of question, we are not trying to find flaws in their arguments or point out how they could have been clearer. We are just trying to understand what they agree on and what they don't agree on.

I'm not suggesting you start making huge inferences based on what the speakers say. But if someone tells me that I should spend my money a certain way, I will naturally believe they are saying they believe that is the best way to spend my money, in the absence of additional information that would suggest otherwise.