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Critical Reasoning: Conclusion Weakening Questions

In an area that is both agricultural and residential in nature, nursery owners involved in the growing of decorative garden trees and plants complained to authorities of an average decline of approximately 25% in profits caused by a lack of water which resulted in irrigation problems, and the consequent loss of merchandise. To provide assistance to the nursery owners, the authorities plan to induce water rations upon residents in the area since if less water is used by the residents, more will be available to the nursery owners.

Which of the following points to the most serious logical flaw in the plan devised by the authorities?

Incorrect.

This answer choice states that the authorities will earn less if the plan is executed. This is irrelevant, because the plan aims to help the nursery owners, not to avoid spending money. The fact the plan may cost the government money doesn't mean that it will not be successful in helping the nursery owners.

Remember, this is not a Conclusion Weakening question where any possible negative aspect of the plan will do; here you are asked to locate an inherent (existing) flaw in the plan, i.e., a reason why the plan will not achieve what it set out to do.

Incorrect.

This answer choice introduces a negative side-effect of the plan - residents might react badly to it, losing respect for the authorities. Still, this potential negative side-effect does not mean that the plan will not work.

Incorrect.

We have no data that would lead us to believe the 25% figure is incorrect or improbable. Technically, irrigation problems could cause a nursery to lose all its plants, so there is nothing illogical here.

Notice that unlike Conclusion Weakening, you are not required to choose new data that undermines the conclusion - you are required to find the answer choice which best reflects the flaw already apparent in the plan.

Incorrect.

This answer choice highlights a negative outcome of the plan. However, the authorities aim at helping the nursery owners. Therefore, even if property values drop, the plan could still be thought of as effective.

Terrific!

This answer choice tells us that the rationing could also directly affect the revenues earned by the nursery owners. If residents need to cut down on water usage, they will probably stop watering their gardens, and even more likely, not want to purchase additional plants.

Since the rationing of water by residents will result in lower payments for water by residents to the authorities, the plan will most likely be detrimental to the revenue earned by the local government for such services.
By punishing the residents for financial difficulties experienced by agricultural business owners, the authorities risk harming the way they are perceived by the residential population, affecting future endeavours.
It is not probable that 100% of the 25% decline in the profits earned by the nursery owners was a direct result of the irrigation problems and the damage caused to the merchandise by them
Because most of the residents in the area are not homeowners, but instead rent their apartments, the water rations, creating the need to save water, will give rise to the infrequent cleaning of apartments and buildings, lowering the market value of the area's residential properties.
The introduction of water rationing to the area will improve the status of the nurseries' goods at the expense of the revenues they earn since, due to the need for irrigation entailed in the care of such products, residents will cease to purchase garden plants.