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Hi, GBLSU,

@GBLSU posted:

Is it as simple as they failed to use their time and wealth to build world-class vehicles but they succeeded in rewarding CEOs and the 1 percent at the top fabulously? (source)

Is the first <as> adverb?

Then is the second <as>  a conjunction or a relative noun?

I've never stopped to analyze the components of comparative "as ... as," but my impression is that the first "as" is clearly an adverb while the second one seems to be a conjunction. I think there is ellipsis of a verb introducing a "that"-clause after "as":

- Is it as simple as (saying / considering that) they failed to use their time and wealth to build world-class vehicles but they succeeded in rewarding CEOs and the 1 percent at the top fabulously?

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