Law School Discussion

LR question, 2003 Dec Section II Question 17

student

LR question, 2003 Dec Section II Question 17
« on: April 26, 2005, 01:06:13 PM »
Politician: Some of my opponents have argued on theoretical grounds in favor of reducing social spending. Inestead of arguing that there is excessive public expenditure on social programs, my opponents should focus on the main cause of deficit spending: the fact that government is bloated with bureaucrats and self-aggrandizing politicians. It is unwarranted, therefore, to reduce social expenditure.

A reasoning flaw in the politician's arguemnt is that the argument

(a) does not address the arguemnts advanced by the poitician's opponents.
(b) make an attack on the character of opponents
(c) takes for granted that deficit spending has just one cause
(d) portrays opponents' views as more extreme than they really are
(e) fails to make clear what counts as excessive spending

The correct answer is (a). But is the following not addressing the arguments of the opponents?

"Inestead of arguing that there is excessive public expenditure on social programs, my opponents should focus on the main cause of deficit spending"

mcleod13

Re: LR question, 2003 Dec Section II Question 17
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2005, 01:19:21 PM »
I am confused as well, I picked C. GRRRRRRRRRRR

Re: LR question, 2003 Dec Section II Question 17
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2005, 01:47:38 PM »
The politican never talks about the evidence presented by the opponents to demonstrate why their argument is flawed. He simply says there are better ways to address the budget deficit than reducing social spending. What evidence do we have that the opponents' argument had to do with budget deficits? Their argument could be very compelling even if it had no impact on the deficit. For example, they may have argued gov't spending is at the correct level, but the funds are misallocated between various programs.

bluetooth

Re: LR question, 2003 Dec Section II Question 17
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2005, 06:24:30 PM »
But is the following not addressing the arguments of the opponents?

"Inestead of arguing that there is excessive public expenditure on social programs, my opponents should focus on the main cause of deficit spending"


No, it's not addressing the arguments. The politician says nothing more than the following:"my opponent is wrong, I'm right. Period."

withj

Re: LR question, 2003 Dec Section II Question 17
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2005, 09:40:59 PM »
Your main clue to why (a) is the correct answer is that the opponents' arguments are theoretical, not tied to some practical reason like a shortfall of monies. Even if there was enough money, the opponents would presumably still be opposed to social spending, since the ground of their opposition to it is theoretical, i.e., small government is good government, government-sponsored social programs suppress initiative and/or drive out other non-governmental providers, etc. So you see you can safely assume his opponents' arguments don't even address deficit spending. Therefore, he hasn't addressed their arguments by focusing on the causes of deficit spending.