QUESTION TEXT: Which one of the following most accurately…
DISCUSSION: Main point and primary purpose questions are very similar. In both cases you need to ask yourself “why is the author telling me this”.
The primary purpose is: a discussion of why the economists are wrong.
The main point is: The economists are wrong because their method ignores detection ratios. True penalties would have to be so high they’d destroy businesses. We should assign moral weight instead.
The answers are long, but if you have that basic description in your head you should be able to sift through them quickly.
- This is just a subsidiary point. The author was saying that economists’ ignored this answer, and so their penalties, by their own method, were too low. See lines 34-39.
However, the author disagrees that we should do that. In the final paragraph, they argue that instead of high penalties we should assign moral weight to crimes.
- This is very similar to A. In the final paragraph, the author disagrees that detection ratios are the only thing missing. They think the penalties would be too high under such a method.
In the final paragraph, they argue for “moral weight”, instead.
- Not quite. In lines 43-47, the author criticizes the cost benefit approach by saying the penalties would be too high: companies would be destroyed and jobs would be lost. That’s a different reason than is given in this answer.
In lines 49-50 it seems the author thinks community morals should be taken into account. But it doesn’t follow that it’s unjust to ignore community morals. That’s a very specific accusation and requires specific evidence.
- Actually, if you read paragraph 3 carefully, the proper reckoning of cost and benefit does include detection ratios. See lines 34-35.
- CORRECT. This describes 34-39 and the fourth paragraph. Those sections were the main point of the passage. The rest was setup. The author described the economists’ views, then attacked them in the sections this answer references.
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