QUESTION TEXT: Policy analyst: Increasing the size of a…
QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Parallel Reasoning
CONCLUSION: The city should not increase the size of the police force to deal with rising crime rates.
REASONING: More police officers will only address the symptoms of increased crime. They won’t eliminate the cause.
ANALYSIS: This is a bad argument: increasing the size of the police force might be a good short term measure. In the long run, it’s better to address root causes. But lack of crime may be an urgent issue and it could make sense to deal with it by hiring more police.
So hiring police could make sense as a short term strategy even if it isn’t the best long term strategy. Also, there’s no evidence police make things worse in the long run.
- This is a good argument. Overly demanding rules make things worse in both the short run and long run.
- Dams prevent floods in the short run but make floods worse in the long run because they dry up swamps. So dams may not make sense even as a short term strategy. This is a decent argument.
- This is a good argument. On balance, security alarm systems save the most money, because security guards are expensive.
- CORRECT. The drug presents a short term benefit and no long term harm. Therefore it may be a good idea to take it. The argument is wrong and makes the same mistake as the stimulus.
- This isn’t really a good argument. We might be able to reduce criminal activity even if we never fully understand the causes. But this doesn’t make the error of confusing lack of long term advantage with lack of any advantage.
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