Situation: In the island nation of Bezun, the government taxes gasoline heavily in order to induce people not to drive. It uses the revenue from the gasoline tax to subsidize electricity in order to reduce prices charged for electricity.
Analysis: The greater the success achieved in meeting the first of these objectives, the less will be the success achieved in meeting the second.
The analysis provided for the situation above would be most appropriate in which one of the following situations?
A library charges a late fee in order to induce borrowers to return books promptly. The library uses revenue from the late fee to send reminders to tardy borrowers in order to reduce the incidence of overdue books.
A mail-order store imposes a stiff surcharge for overnight delivery in order to limit use of this option. The store uses revenue from the surcharge to pay the extra expenses it incurs for providing the overnight delivery service.
The park management charges an admission fee so that a park’s users will contribute to the park’s upkeep. In order to keep admission fees low, the management does not finance any new projects from them.
A restaurant adds a service charge in order to spare customers the trouble of individual tips. The service charge is then shared among the restaurant’s workers in order to augment their low hourly wages.
The highway administration charges a toll for crossing a bridge in order to get motorists to use other routes. It uses the revenue from that toll to generate a reserve fund in order to be able one day to build a new bridge.
Explanation for Question 8
This question presents an analysis of a situation and asks you to select, from among the options, another situation for which the analysis is appropriate. The analysis states that the two objectives described in the original situation are related in such a way that more success in the first objective, the reduction of driving, will result in less success in the second, a reduction in the price of electricity. To see this, suppose that the gasoline taxes mentioned in the passage prove successful in inducing people not to drive. This would mean that people would have a diminished need to purchase gasoline, since they do not drive as much. Since less gasoline is being purchased, there is less revenue from taxes on gasoline purchases. There is therefore less revenue from the gasoline tax with which to subsidize electricity. With less of a subsidy, there will be less reduction in the prices charged for electricity. Among the options, (E) is the one that presents a situation that fits the analysis in the same way. The more motorists there are who begin to use other routes, thus reducing bridge traffic, the less toll money there will be for the new bridge fund. Thus (E) is the correct response.
Response (A) is incorrect. Two devices are named, late fees and reminders, but they share just one objective, which is described in two ways: to get “borrowers to return books promptly” and to “reduce the incidence of overdue books.” Success in one is success in the other.
Response (B) is incorrect. This situation has two objectives: to limit the use of overnight delivery service and to offset the extra expense of the overnight delivery still requested. However, these objectives are related in such a way that success in the first, a reduction in overnight delivery, would contribute to success in the second by lowering the extra expenses incurred by the service.
Response (C) is incorrect. We cannot infer that more success in achieving the first objective—getting park users to help keep up the park—will cause less success in the second objective—keeping the fees low. It is conceivable that success in the former would enable the fees to be lowered; after all, if there were enough park users paying the fees (i.e., contributing to the park’s upkeep), then the park management would not have to charge a high fee—fifteen park users paying $1.00 generates more revenue than one park user paying $10.00. Furthermore, there is nothing in the passage that functions like the statement in (C) that management does not finance any new projects from admission fees.
Response (D) is incorrect. The two objectives in this situation, sparing customers an inconvenience and augmenting restaurant workers’ wages, are not necessarily related in such a way that more success in the former would cause less success in the latter. Adding a service charge might very well augment the restaurant workers’ wages more than they would be augmented if no service charge is added, if the proceeds from the service charge are greater than what the workers would have received from individual tips.
This was a difficult question, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT.