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 Henry Z
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Henry Z wrote: Wed May 18, 2022 2:52 am
katehos wrote: Tue May 17, 2022 12:04 pm Hi Henry!

When we look at answer choice (E), we can see that if the ruling party didn't come to power until 1996, then policies enacted at any point prior to 1996 were not enacted by the ruling party from 1996-2004! So, to answer your first point, it doesn't matter if the policies were enacted in 1900 or 1970, since no matter what, those policies weren't enacted by the party in question.

To your second point, we could certainly say that policies prior to 1996 may be 'mismanagement' of the economy, but not by the ruling party the opponents are referring to. So, answer choice (E) does weaken the opponents' claim by shifting the blame from the party from 1996-2004 to another party entirely!

I hope this helps! :)
Thanks for your reply, Kate. I can see why (A) is correct. But I'm still confused about how (E) "directly counters" the opponents' explanation. To me, it's like when someone today criticizes the White House for their economic mismanagement, the White House replies:"The biggest economic mismanagement was during the Great Depression!" That's a bad counter-argument.

To clarify, my first point is meant to point out that (E) only says "before" 1996, but doesn't specify how long ago. If the policies and the consequent decreases were a long time and multiple administrations ago, say in 1900, then those things are minimally irrelevant [*] by 1995. It could well be a booming economy when the party took over in 1996. So I don't think the point is whether the ruling party themselves enacted the bad policies, but whether those policies still have consequences when the party came to power. To make (E) a weakener (and thus a wrong answer), we have to assume that those policies are recent enough, like in 1995. I don't see how we're allowed to make such an assumption.

My second point is that just because another party mismanaged, it doesn't mean the ruling party from 1994 to 2004 didn't mismanage. I can't see how by pointing out there was a mismanagement prior to 1996, (E) just shifts "the blame from the party from 1996-2004 to another party entirely!" Isn't this kind of whataboutism a classic flaw in LSAT? Why should we see it as a legit weakener here?
minimally relevant*
 Adam Tyson
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The opposing position here is that the drop in average income was entirely the ruling party's fault. They didn't use the word "entirely," but that's the clear implication of their assertion. Answer E says that it was mostly someone else's fault. That's a pretty direct counter! It's not a case of "but other people also did something bad," which is the whataboutism you mentioned. This is "no, it was not due to their mismanagement, it was due to something else that was outside their control."
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Hi, I'm not sure whether i understood (B) correctly. Below is my understanding of (B). Is it correct?

For noneconomic reasons: FEWER families had multiple incomes at the end of the period than at the beginning.
From above, can we conclude that MORE & MORE families had SAME OR LESS incomes at the end of the period than at the beginning?

If yes, then we can safely say that overall average will lower in 2004 than in 1996. Hence weakens.

I am sure, this is what (B) meant!!
 Luke Haqq
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Hi ashutosh_73!

I'm not entirely sure I followed your reasoning, but it sounds like it got you to the right end point: (B) weakens the opponents' explanation. Since this is a weakens/except question, we can therefore eliminate that answer choice.

To unpack (B) a bit more, what it seems to do is cabin itself off entirely from the economy ("for noneconomic reasons"). Fewer families had multiple incomes at the end of the mentioned period of time, and this was because of reasons other than the economy. This thus weakens the conclusion that it was specifically mismanagement of the economy by a given political party that accounted for the decrease in average family income.

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