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Question
QuickView
Choices
Curve Question
Difficulty
Psg/Game/S
Difficulty
Explanation
PT90 S4 Q21
+LR
PSA - Find the rule +PSAr
A
23%
155
B
12%
157
C
1%
151
D
1%
149
E
63%
164
147
156
164
+Harder 148.293 +SubsectionMedium

This is a PSA question.

The stimulus says the builders of the Glen Veil apartment complex will not complete the complex unless a road connecting it to the town of Sierra is built. “Unless” is group 3 which means negate sufficient, so for the builders to complete the apartment complex, it is necessary that the connecting road be built (complete complex → road built). This is the first claim, and it is a conditional claim.

The next claim is a causation claim, not a conditional claim. It says the completed apartment complex would strengthen Sierra’s economy, and a stronger economy would benefit every Sierra resident. So I would write:

complete complex —cause→ strong economy —cause→ every resident benefits

And the prescriptive conclusion is that the residents of Sierra should vote to fund the construction of the proposed road.

Before we get into the answer choices, can you state in very general terms the descriptive-premise (P) → prescriptive-conclusion (C) we are looking for? It is something like if a construction project is necessary to another construction project whose consequence is a strengthened economy or some benefit to everyone, then residents should vote in favor of the first construction project. Obviously, it does not have to be this exact wording, but you are looking for some variant of this P → C. But watch out for C → P.

Which is the recurring trap that shows up in Answer Choice (B). It says the residents of a town should not vote in favor of a local tax to fund the construction project unless that construction project will produce results that benefit all of those residents. “Unless” is negate sufficient. If residents should vote to fund the construction project, then every resident benefits. You can bet money all day long that they will give you the right content but in the wrong logical order in PSA questions.

(B) should say if the construction project will produce results that benefit all residents, then the residents of the town should vote for it. The construction of the road is necessary for the construction of the apartment which benefits every resident, so you can say that the construction of the road will also produce results, albeit indirectly. This is not logically airtight, but you will see later on in (E) why this could work in the context of a PSA question.

Answer Choice (A) is also wrong, but for a different reason. (A) says if a construction project is necessary in order to strengthen a town’s economy, then the residents of the town should vote in favor of a local tax to fund that construction project.

While (A) is capable of delivering the desired conclusion, the premise does not trigger (A)'s sufficient conditions. We were never told of any necessary conditions to strengthen a town's economy. Building the road is necessary for the apartment complex which in turn would strengthen the economy, but that doesn't mean building the road is necessary for strengthening the economy. There may well be plenty of other ways to strengthen the economy without having to build that road.

One way you could fix (A) is by fixing the stimulus. The stimulus could say that in order for our economy to be strengthened, it is required that the apartment complex be completed. You could also fix (A) itself. If a construction project is necessary for another construction project whose consequence is that of a strengthened economy, then the residents should vote to fund it. This would trigger our stimulus.

See if you can come up with an analogy. Here's one. For me, wearing running shoes is necessary in order to go for a long run. Going for a long run results in me feeling better. (A) wants to claim that wearing running shoes is necessary for me to feel better.

Correct Answer Choice (E) says anyone who would benefit from the results of a construction project should vote in favor of a local tax to fund that project. First of all, (E) has the premise and the conclusion in the right location. If you would benefit, then you should vote in favor. This is the P → C.

You might object to (E) by pointing out that the construction project referred to in (E) could be the construction of the apartment complex. Yes, but there is nothing in (E) that forces only this interpretation. We could have just correctly identified the construction project as the building of the road.

You might also point out that building a road is only a necessary condition for the apartment complex, and the benefits to every resident are consequences of the apartment complex, not the road. You might say that we do not know the benefits of the road since it is just a necessary condition.

But this is not a Sufficient Assumption question. This is a PSA question. In context, the result of building the road cannot be nothing. The stimulus said the apartment complex will not be completed unless the road is built, so it seems reasonable to say that the result of the road being built is that the apartment gets completed, which has its attendant benefits, some of which can be attributed to the road.

I admit this is not logically airtight, but we are in PSA territory and we're dealing with causal logic. It is much more reasonable to make this argument as opposed to one required for (A), where we would have to say that just because the apartment complex would result in a strengthened economy, there is no other way to strengthen the economy. Meanwhile, (E) is only asking us to say that the consequences of the apartment complex can accrue to the road as well, given the relationship between the two projects.

Answer Choice (C) says whenever a town funds a construction project, it should do so by means of a tax rather than a debt. Nobody is contemplating a debt. If I was trying to argue that a town should fund its projects with tax and not with other sources, then maybe (C) would contribute. But as it stands, (C) is totally useless.

Answer Choice (D) says only those residents who will benefit from the results of a construction project should be required to pay a tax. The rule here sets us up for contraposing in order to yield the result that certain residents shouldn't be required to pay a tax. That's not what we want. We are only trying to argue that residents should vote in favor of a tax. The details of the tax and who specifically is paying for it are not what the argument is concerned about.