Governments have only one response to public criticism of socially necessary services: regulation of the activity of providing those services. But governments inevitably make the activity more expensive by regulating it, and that is particularly troublesome in these times of strained financial resources. However, since public criticism of child-care services has undermined all confidence in such services, and since such services are socially necessary, the government is certain to respond.

Which one of the following statements can be inferred from the passage?

[A]. The quality of child care will improve.
[B]. The cost of providing child-care services will increase.
[C]. The government will use funding to foster advances in child care.
[D]. If public criticism of policy is strongly voiced, the government is certain to respond.
[E]. If child-care services are not regulated, the cost of providing child care will not increase.
Answer: B

Rearranged, this stimulus becomes a simple logical chain, starting with the last sentence: child-care services are socially necessary and are being publicly criticized, therefore the government must respond. The government has only one response to criticism of socially necessary services, and that response is to regulate the activity providing that service. (Therefore, we can infer that the government will regulate the provision of child-care services.) Every time the government regulates an activity, it inevitably makes that activity more expensive. So finally, we can infer (B): the government will make the provision of child-care services more expensive.

(A) The stimulus makes no reference to any difference in the quality of services regulated by the government.

(C) We know the government will regulate child-care services, but we can’t be sure that means “fostering advances” in child care. Moreover, it’s not clear to what “funding” (C) refers; the stimulus never spoke of funding.

(D) goes beyond the scope. The stimulus said that the government inevitably responds to criticism of socially necessary services by regulation. The stimulus never referred to government response to criticism of policy in general.

(E) We know that if child-care services are regulated by the government, then their price will increase. Logically, we can’t simply negate both terms and infer that if the services aren’t regulated their price won’t increase.

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