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Complete Question Explanation

Strengthen—PR. The correct answer choice is (B)

The political theorist from this stimulus asserts that new laws should be repealed only under dire circumstances, based on the fact that long term benefits are not always clear in the short term. The author clearly believes that the pain in the short term is justified by prospective long term benefits.

The question stem requires us to find the answer choice which strengthens the political theorist's argument. Only correct answer choice (B), if valid, significantly bolsters the theorist's assertion. If the primary consideration should be the long-term consequences, then this lends support to the assertion that short term pain is acceptable, in the name of long term benefits.
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Hi Can you provide me with the explanation of A, C , D and E that they are incorrect ?

Thank you
 Lucas Moreau
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A is incorrect because it is too broad. The stimulus does not say that the voters' opinions about the law's consequences is totally irrelevant, but rather that their short-term opinions should be insulated against by a period of immunity. The fact of that period's expiration means that the voters' opinions once again become relevant.

C is incorrect because there is no statement as to the difficulty of the passage of a law, nor is it shown that enacting this period of immunity would make the repeal of a law "at least as difficult" as passage.

D is incorrect because it says "the short-term consequences of any statutory change are likely to be painful", and repeal and passage both count as statutory changes. It makes no distinction between repeal and passage in that respect.

E is incorrect because the stimulus does not speak to how beneficial the short-term or long-term consequences of a law should be, but rather how beneficial they are (or at least seem to be to the fickle electorate). The stimulus says that short-term consequences are likely to be painful, and that long-term benefits tend to be obscure, but not that one should be better than the other.

I hope this helps!
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Could you explain what makes answer A incorrect? Maybe one of the reasons is that it says voters instead of people as in the stimulus, but is there any other flaws here? Since the stimulus mentions both what people's reactions would be to the short term and long term consequences, this was a very attractive answer to me.

 David Boyle
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lday4 wrote:Could you explain what makes answer A incorrect? Maybe one of the reasons is that it says voters instead of people as in the stimulus, but is there any other flaws here? Since the stimulus mentions both what people's reactions would be to the short term and long term consequences, this was a very attractive answer to me.


Hello JD,

Answer A doesn't address the idea of long-term benefit that the stimulus does, so B is a much better answer.

Hope this helps,
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Is the entire first sentence the conclusion? The conditional indicators threw me off throughout the stimulus.
 Jonathan Evans
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Yes, JGray, absolutely. The first sentence is the entire conclusion. It's what the political theorist believes and attempts to support with her premises.

She argues:
  • New laws can be repealed only if dire circumstances.
    1) Short-term consequences are likely painful.
    2) Long-term benefits often obscure.
In other words, the author believes that bad short term consequences are insufficient reason to repeal a law, and laws must be given a chance to demonstrate whether they have long-term benefits. So how could we strengthen this argument? We could back up one of these assumptions. Either show that painful short-term consequences do not justify repeal or that allowing time for long-term benefits justifies delaying repeal.

Answer Choice (B) provides a good match for the second possible prephrase. Does this help? Thanks!
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Hi Dear LSAT masters:
I have a question regarding the diagram.

While I understand that B is the correct answer choice, this is the second time that I ran into a multi conditional relationship diagram.

My diagram are as following:

repeal only if dire. R :arrow: D.
because short term consequences are painful, since ppl are not accustomed to it, while long-term benefits are obscure, because ppl require time.. all of these are all sufficient conditional indicators. So should I diagram it as A, B, C, D :arrow: (Repeal :arrow: D)?

My second question is regarding question [28-1-20] It says if the economy is weak, then the price remain constant although unemployment rises. So my diagram goes "weak economy :arrow: price :longline:. But Nikkie, the genius LSAT instructor had her diagram as Weak Economy :arrow: (price constant + unemployment goes up) Please help me understand how to better diagram confusing conditionals. Thank you!
 Francis O'Rourke
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Hi Gen!

The initial premise that this political scientist offers is not a great candidate for diagramming. Remember that we want to diagram statements that tell us that there exists a definite relationship between two things or ideas; if one thing occurs, then another also must occur.

The initial premise discusses what is merely likely to happen. We can understand the theorist as stating the following:

If there exist short-term consequences, then over 50% of those consequences must be painful.
..... ..... ..... ..... or
consequences ..... :longline: (likely) :arrow: ..... painful

Diagramming the premise in this way does not help me much, since it is difficult to make inferences across probabilistic statements.

The only other statement that could be understood conditionally is that the "long-term benefits are initially obscure." This statement does tell us something definite, but because it tells us that something is definitely only for a certain period of time (intially), it is not easy to diagram this well.

Remember that statements which express a definite relationship between two things can always be diagrammed. Statements that express probable or likely relationships and statements that express time-dependent relationships complicate matters to such an extent that they can often be dealt with more easily by not diagramming them.

If diagramming a statement diminishes your understanding of the idea expressed, you should not diagram.

I hope this helps! :)
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Cool, Fransis. Thank you! I actually found diagraming a whole lot easier for me to understand the relationship in the passage because English is my second language. But LSAT has so many variations of how to test students, hence I need to be extra careful when diagramming with the hope that it will eventually allow me to speed up.

I took a second took at the passage, and realized all of the reasons/premises are not really good for diagraming as you instructed. Thank you so very much, can't make any progress without you geniuses' help!

Thank you!!

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