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#25 - Editorial: Any democratic society is endangered by

Lsat180Please
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Hi! I found this question a bit complex and would appreciate a breakdown of the question, maybe a good prephrase or what to think coming off of the stimulus, and then some help attacking the answer choices. Thanks!!
Claire Horan
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Hi LSAT180Please,

First let us know how you approached and analyzed the problem. If you got it wrong, which answer choice did you choose and why? If you got it right, what was your reasoning? That will help the staff member tailor an answer for you. Thanks!
Boudreaux
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the questions stem for this question states "would most strengthen the reasoning in the editorial." I picked E. The credited AC C just seems like a restatement of the first part of the last sentence. Would someone please let me know where I'm going wrong with this?

Thanks,
Nick
James Finch
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Hi Nick,

This a typical topical stimulus that relies upon careful reading of the language to understand what the author of the question is looking for. Here, we have two related but distinct concepts: outcome (actual level of inequality) and opportunity (potential for individual economic improvement). A quick reading can lead to a conflation of the two ideas, but we are being asked to link opportunity to outcome in this case, as that's the logical gap in the argument:

Premise: Economic inequality bad for democracy

Premise: Economic expansion leads to more economic opportunity

Conclusion: Democracies should promote economic expansion

Economic expansion, from what we know in the stimulus, could do nothing to alleviate inequality, or even exacerbate it. So the correct answer choice must show that economic expansion alleviates inequality, as (C) does by saying poorer people do proportionately better than richer people when the economy is growing.

Hope this clears things up!
MrMola
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Greetings. I eliminated C because I found it too specific and went with B because the stimulus spoke about political divisions, and I thought that B closed that hole. Why is B wrong? Thanks!
Malila Robinson
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Hi MrMola,
I would agree that Answer B might be helpful to the stimulus if we are talking about democratic societies that already had factions, but what about the ones that didn't? In that case Answer B would be irrelevant.

Additionally Answer B says that the factions are "sometimes willing" to overlook past splits, which is not necessarily very strong language. The argument is saying that economic expansion policies are the way to go, but if factions may not look past their differences then the expansion policies would likely not work. Since Answer B leaves too many holes in the argument, Answer C becomes the best choice to strengthen the argument for the reasons James stated (above).
Hope that helps!
-Malila
mscalzo11
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I chose E and I think that is because I think when I was doing the PT I approached this questions more like a necessary assumption question than a strengthen. Can someone explain why E is wrong though; is it just that C is better/stronger?

As for C, I see how the argument James made works for that answer choice and I agree conflation of outcomes with opportunity will be problematic on this question. One issue below though:

James Finch wrote:
Premise: Economic inequality bad for democracy

Premise: Economic expansion leads to more economic opportunity

Conclusion: Democracies should promote economic expansion


However, the first premise is that "segmentation into classes of widely differing incomes between which there is little mobility" is bad for democracy. If you are missing the underlined part then yes that would just be inequality but since that part is there in the stimulus, the sentence clearly reads that the lack of of income mobility is the issue.

Then, the stimulus goes on to establish that economic expansion provides "people more opportunities to improve their economic standing." This second premise provides solid support for the conclusion that democracies should promote economic expansion and you do not need to prove that economic expansion actually results in solving inequality of outcomes (answer choice C). I definitely see how C strengthens the argument but not quite required as James said.

For E, if we add this as a premise then I think we also help the conclusion that democratic societies need to promote economic expansion. Adding this to the first sentence results and we get: the divisive political factions that result from a lack of mobility threaten economic expansion are an additional obstacle to economic expansion itself. This is a positive feedback loop, albeit for a negative outcome. Thus. we need the democratic society itself to adopt policies that ensure economic expansion so we avoid this positive feedback loop.

I'm not trying to state a personal opinion here but real-world examples help and I think this fits almost perfectly with Jerome Powell's recent comments / reasoning for a likely upcoming cut to interest rates. He's saying we should adopt (or rather, he'll enact) a policy to ensure economic expansion so that people have more opportunity to improve their economic standing, such as through low interest rate loans to go to law school or get a car/house/business/etc.