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Author Topic: Find the flaw!  (Read 422 times)

giveme170

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Find the flaw!
« on: November 05, 2007, 09:01:02 PM »
It is not correct that the people of the United States, relatively to comparable countries, are the most lightly taxed. True, the United States has the lowest tax, as percent of gross domestic product, of the Western industrialized countries, but tax rates alone do not tell the whole story. People in the United States pay out of pocket for many goods and services provided from tax revenues elsewhere. Consider universal health care, which is an entitlement supported by tax revenues in every other Western industrialized country. United States government health-care expenditures are equivalent to about 5 percent of the gross domestic product, but private health-care expenditures represent another 7 percent. This 7 percent, then, amounts to a tax.

The argument concerning whether the people of the US are most lightly taxed is most vulnerable to which one of the following criticisms?

A) It bases a comparison on percentages rather than on absolute numbers.

B) It unreasonably extends the application of a key term.

E) It sets up a dichotomy between alternatives that are not exclusive.


Could someone break down the argument and explain why each answer choice is right/wrong? I did understand the argument, but do not find a drastic flaw with it. Thanks in advance.  ;)

dubsy

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Re: Find the flaw!
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2007, 09:29:13 PM »
Reiterating that my brain is mush right now but I'll give this a shot. Please feel free to revise/reject.

A) Percents vs. numbers isn't an issue. The argument is consistent with %s, and absolute #s aren't necessary.

B) the word "tax" is thrown all over the place like whoa

C) i could be wrong but i don't really see any dichotomy here, or any purported exclusivity.  just a series of examples as to why people are supposedly not the most lightly taxed in the U.S.
seeing king midas everywhere.

eventually

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Re: Find the flaw!
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2007, 05:38:09 AM »
what's is a correct response??

TurtleSandwich

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Re: Find the flaw!
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2007, 06:29:30 AM »
It's B.

Lindbergh

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Re: Find the flaw!
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2007, 07:29:31 AM »
It is not correct that the people of the United States, relatively to comparable countries, are the most lightly taxed. True, the United States has the lowest tax, as percent of gross domestic product, of the Western industrialized countries, but tax rates alone do not tell the whole story. People in the United States pay out of pocket for many goods and services provided from tax revenues elsewhere. Consider universal health care, which is an entitlement supported by tax revenues in every other Western industrialized country. United States government health-care expenditures are equivalent to about 5 percent of the gross domestic product, but private health-care expenditures represent another 7 percent. This 7 percent, then, amounts to a tax.

The argument concerning whether the people of the US are most lightly taxed is most vulnerable to which one of the following criticisms?

A) It bases a comparison on percentages rather than on absolute numbers.

B) It unreasonably extends the application of a key term.

E) It sets up a dichotomy between alternatives that are not exclusive.


Could someone break down the argument and explain why each answer choice is right/wrong? I did understand the argument, but do not find a drastic flaw with it. Thanks in advance.  ;)


P1:  Americans are not the most lightly taxed.

P2:  While we have lower tax rates, we also have to pay for things like health care ourselves.

Conclusion:  this extra private spending on health care amounts to tax. 


The problem with this argument is obvious.  It calls private expenses a "tax", without any valid basis for doing so.  (Yes, it's an expense, but a tax is a specific cost imposed by a government, not a general expense.)

This is why B is correct -- it unreasonably extends the application of the key term "tax". 

No reason the others would be correct in this context.

giveme170

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Re: Find the flaw!
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2007, 10:37:12 AM »
Thank you all for the help! I like Lindberg's explanation in particular.  :)