Oct 15

A number of my posts reference innumeracy. Innumeracy is to numbers what illiteracy is to reading and writing. There are two distinctions, however. First, when reading, one can keep a dictionary handy, and at least work their way through the passage or book. It can’t work quite that way with numbers. Second, when I read a poorly written piece, I am usually able to gather its meaning or intent. When someone simply offers me bad numbers, it often takes a bit of research to find the mistake.

Now, to my point, and observation. There are numerous emails (and blogs posts) out there who claim the $700 billion bailout package is $250,000 per individual, or $450,000 per family. This number is mind boggling and wrong. Let’s set the record straight. We have about 305 million people in our country. Using that number, we can easily see that a billion dollars is $3.28 per person. So $700B is $2295 per person. So for sake of hyperbole, we can call it $7000 per household or $4-5000 per adult, but while those numbers are a disgrace, it’s not the $450,000 per family that is spreading around unquestioned. If you such get an email, please reply back to the sender and set them straight.

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Oct 06

The allusions to pork in every bill congress votes on often makes me want to swear off bacon for good. I’m sure that Friday’s bailout was no different. 451 pages? That right or was I reading an article that tried to make reference to Farenheight 451? One bit of tastey pork that someone slipped into the $700 Billion Bailout package was an extension of the solar energy credit. Back in June in my post Bad Energy Mojo, I complained that congress let the credits for wind and solar expire. Now it’s back and better than ever, a 30% credit with no limit. More details available from the SanFrancisco Business Times article Massive Solar credit Ok’d with Bailout.
I talked some numbers in April’s Waiting for the Sun, where I offered that a 1KW system would cost about $9500 installed, and give the user $360 worth of power each year. Now, with a 30% credit, the cost is down to $6650, and that $360 of electricity is a 5.4% return, an attractive rate given the alternatives. I remain optimistic that this snowballs into a competitive alternate energy source, ultimately offering the US energy independence.


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Oct 03

Between the market, and lack of sleep due to JaneTaxpayer 2.0 getting her braces and being uncomfortable, it’s been quite a week. The highlight of this week was being invited to offer a guest post at the Fraud Files blog on some of the math behind my pet peeve, the Money Merge Account. I received one of the kindest complements there I could hope for, “Joe is possibly the most active and effective person warning the public about the Money Merge Account. His points are well-written and in a calm tone, and completely bulletproof.” This makes writing worthwhile for me.

But I digress. We seem to back to the vote on the bailout package that may pass later today, but meanwhile I found yet another primer on the origin of the mess we are in which I will add to my Subprime Meltdown links, titled “Great Depression 2.0: Tracing the Meltdown“. A good, brief, clear, explanation.


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