Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What's wrong with America

This morning I awoke to the sound of country music on my radio. No! That's not what's wrong with America. That's just what is wrong with me.

And then the morning show hosts, Pete and Coleen, began what appeared to be an entirely serious conversation about the cost of the financial sector bailout package. Their gripe: That the bailout package is going to cost $625,000 per taxpayer (they figured about 112,000,000 of us). Yup, that was the number they kept repeating: $625,ooo.

The bailout is estimated to cost $700,000,000,000 dollars. For 112 million taxpayers, that works out to $6250 per taxpayer. Or, as the mainstream media has regularly pointed out, about $2300 per American. Taxpayer or not, there are about 300 million of us.

Now, Pete did say that his math might be off. A little.

A little?

Try by a factor of one hundred. Like he didn't know how many zeroes are in billion and how many zeroes are in million.

And this is what is wrong with America:

  1. people who cannot do a simple arithmetic computation
  2. people who don't see a number like $625,000 per taxpayer and immediately wonder if they might have something wrong here
  3. people who have radio shows as a platform for their ignorance
  4. people who so studiously avoid the mainstream media -- the evil New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal (for God's sake) -- that they haven't yet encountered an actual accurate estimate of the cost per taxpayer or American

These are the same kinds of people, by the way, who take out adjustable rate mortgages and then express surprise -- no, shock! -- that their monthly payments recently went up.

Studied and prideful ignorance is what is wrong with America today.

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