QUESTION TEXT: Politician: Over the next decade, our city…
QUESTION TYPE: Argument Evaluation
CONCLUSION: It is a waste of money to replace our street signs with more readable ones.
REASONING: The replacement will happen over the next decade. No one is complaining about the current signs.
ANALYSIS: “Over the next decade” is a long timeframe. The politician is ignoring the possibility that the city might be switching the old signs out only when they were already set to be replaced.
Most cities gradually replace their street signs over time, as signs need updates or fall into disrepair. So, switching to a more readable version may cost nothing extra, since the replacements would be happening anyway.
- Who cares? This is a consideration for designers. We just care about the cost of replacement.
- This is somewhat helpful, but it doesn’t hit at the core of the argument. The issue is the replacement itself. The politician thinks we are throwing away perfectly good signs in order to put up new ones.
So, even if the new signs were cheaper, the politician still thinks it’s a waste to replace them. Because we don’t need to spend money on new signs. We already have signs!
- CORRECT. This is significant. If the city replaces 10% of its signs annually due to maintenance, then over a decade we would expect 100% of signs to have changed. In that case, the replacement cost happens anyway, so we can put in the new design gradually, as replacements happen.
- Who cares what other cities do? They might be foolish, and wasting their money. We need to know about the actual effect of replacement.
- This doesn’t say what the experts would have been consulted about. For instance, if they were consulted about design (and not cost) then that would be irrelevant.
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