Bernie Sanders

Powerball Meme Mathematical Illiteracy Illustrates Bernie Sanders’ Appeal

Politics suffer from a lack of numeracy among the public, and politicians.

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BernieSanders.com

Bernie Sanders is experiencing a bit of a surge in the polls as the presidential campaign season heads toward the first primary contests next month, in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. He's held the lead in New Hampshire since December 3, and has pulled to within 12 points of Hillary Clinton in national polling. In an interview this Sunday with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week, Sanders said he was the most electable candidate on the Democrat side.

Sanders previously experienced a bit of a surge in the polls over the summer but that didn't get him past Clinton. Nevertheless, Clinton has been tacking leftward toward Sanders even before the summer surge, and Sanders' "democratic socialism" may represent the future of Democrats. Sanders has built his popularity almost exclusively on promises to spend more money not just on the poor but not on everybody, without even a hint that he understands why that would only exacerbate the "wealth inequality" he rails so often against.

Sanders hasn't been specific about where the money would come from, mentioning only one transaction tax on Wall Street. Such a tax, by itself, wouldn't come close to funding Sanders' promises—his plans require massive tax hikes not just on the rich but on the middle class, meaning his efforts at offering everyone an education could not only increase inequality (since richer people are, in general, more likely to take advantage of entitlements like a "free education") but also actually redistribute wealth upward.

Sanders' success despite this is due to America's mathematical illiteracy and today on social media, among all the tributes and pictures and videos of David Bowie, one meme went so viral as to merit a response from Snopes.com just an hour ago.

Here's the meme:

The math is way off. Divided among 300 million Americans, the $1.2 billion Powerball jackpot, even before taxes and the cut taking it as lump sum (as most people do) comes with, would amount to just $4.00 per person, not $4 million. That's not a minor error, it's off by six orders of magnitude. And it's not an uncommon one. Snopes.com brought up a similar meme from last year, which I remember seeing, that thought $317 million of Obamacare spending was enough to just give every American about $1 million each.

How much would it actually take for the government to "give" every American a million dollars? $300 trillion. If the government spends about $4 trillion a year, it would take 75 years of federal spending to give every American alive today $1 million. By then there would be millions if not a billion more Americans.

There's a relevant Richard Feynman quotes about big numbers. "There are 1011 stars in the galaxy," Feynman once said. "That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers." That was at least three decades ago—the annual deficit is at about a trillion now.

People have trouble conceptualizing numbers as big as a thousand, let alone a million, billion, or trillion. They listen to Bernie Sanders and come to the conclusion if only government took more money from "billionaires" it could fund everything for everyone.  Appeals to reason and math are discounted as right-wing propaganda.

Here's another fun meme about this:

Share your own favorites below.

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402 responses to “Powerball Meme Mathematical Illiteracy Illustrates Bernie Sanders’ Appeal

  1. Four bucks, four mil, what’s the diff?

    1. Just stamp a series of Krugman $trillion Krugcoins and everything is tip-top. Nobody could make change, so it all goes online…and all the 32-bit computers become actual Y2k problem, sun burns out, and everyone gets early retirement from global warming being solved and all. Ta-dah, Progtopia!

      1. Krugcoins cost time, money, and work to stamp out or create in some fashion or another. So I have one even better: Declare all turds (dog, human, cat, what-have-you turds) to each be worth a trillion dollars! NO effort spent creating them, they are all around us, and we and our animals make new ones every day!!! RICH-RICH-RICH, all of us!!! All we need is just one new law…

        1. If wishes were fishes, we’d all have a fry.
          If horse turds were biscuits, we’d eat ’til we die.

      2. Just give everyone babysitting credits!

      3. Oh, Sweet Meteor of Death – we beseech thee!

    2. What difference does it make at this point?

    3. $4 is what our $4mil will be worth when this administration and the leftists in this country are done destroying it 🙂

      1. It’s not far from that now. . .

        If you had $4 million in 1913 – it’s only worth about $72,000 today

  2. Sanders is an idiot. The people that support him are bigger idiots.

    1. Said it before, but half the people who think Trump is an idiot will pull the lever for Bernie if they get the chance and congratulate themselves on their intelligence.

      1. I’ve said that Jeb vs. Hillary would prove how corrupt the system is while Trump vs. Sanders would prove how idiotic it is.

        1. Soooo Trump & Jeb vs. Hilldog & Bernie is Idiotic corruption?

          1. More along the lines of corrupt idiocy, I would say.

          2. Not Hilldog, Hilldabeast 🙂

        2. I’ve always preferred stupid to evil. Trump/Sanders 2016! Derp for the derp god!

          1. Yeah, I could look evil in the eye, pump a few rounds into him, and go to lunch.

            Stupid I would rather slap around to get him to stop and lose interest.

          2. Stupid is a lot more expensive. Trillions in waste vs Millions in graft.

          3. Stupid is way worse. Evil will at least try to maintain the status quo, because it needs servants and prey.

            1. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do..

              Clik This Link inYour Browser….

              ? ? ? ? http://www.workpost30.com

          4. Best case, I’ve heard thus far.

        3. Damn, you’re not only smart, you’re succinct.

          Bravo.

      2. It’s idiots all the way….

        Oh, never mind.

    2. But they are useful…

      1. It takes a village…

    3. Wow. The staggering intellect that must have required to write such a well-thought out and nuanced post like this.

      1. It could have gone without saying, but nuance certainly wasn’t necessary. Sometimes the truth is pretty easy to say.

      2. Why waste a thousand words to state an obvious truth?

        Bernie Sanders is, in fact, an idiot, and those who support him are likewise idiots.

  3. …would amount to just 4 dollars per person, not four million.

    Way to ignore the multiplier effect, Krayewski.

    1. Your sarc is going to be used against us. Traitor.

      1. Lulz all around!

    2. This is my favourite comment on this website.

    3. Its the trickle-down effect of IQ.

  4. “”Sanders said he was the most electable candidate on the Democrat side.””

    ‘Electable’ seems to be the most bullshit adjective since ‘proactive’

    Don’t get me started on how ‘modest changes to the status-quo’ now means, “Surging”. I blame you, GW Bush!

    1. False, the most bullshit adjective (I should know as I’m in academia) is “problematic” (cf. “problematize”). Literal translation: “the French School something something something look how smart I am!”

  5. The amazing thing about people who are this mathematically illiterate is that they’re proud of it. It makes no sense, but they are actually proud of being mathematically retarded. So when you point out how fucking stupid they are, it just eggs them on. Math is apparently a sinister plot to make logic and reason win out, or something. But they’re onto you, Math! You can’t pull the numbers over their eyes!

    1. It’s not just math. Economics, history, science (I mean actual science, not simply agreeing with self-proclaimed experts), and so on and so forth. Ignorance is a badge of honor for the left. It means they’re not corrupted by stupid right wing ideologues. They feel that they are right, and that’s all that matters.

      1. But… they fucking love science!

        1. Consensus. They love consensus. Science, as in repeatable experiments, is for right wing idiots.

            1. There will ALWAYS be a 1% to pay for Bernie’s largess. Bernie says so.

              so THERE

              1. Mathematically, that’s true. There will always be a 1%.

                They just might not have enough money to pay for anything.

          1. Well, think of it this way: In general, they have the writers, artists, creative types.

            But those they don’t have? They either never give a shot to, work around, or destroy. A few stick around- Eastwood- but generally only because they are very talented and stay quiet until they are established.

            Same with academia.

      2. I was originally amused by the stupidity of the lottery posts… the failure at math, the failure to even remotely understand the scale, the failure to understand that if a system actually worked like that it wouldn’t be sustainable, etc…

        But the sad part was the responses by people who had the error pointed out to them. Almost every single one that I saw responded by saying, “Don’t ruin it for me.” That’s the f’ing problem. They hate it when someone wrecks their fantasy with reality. That’s fine when they’re watching a movie. The economy is a different story.

        1. Sad and true.

          If I’m clearly wrong about something (some matter of fact), I want to be corrected. It’s nice if people aren’t dicks about it, but I don’t want to go around convinced of objectively incorrect things. I just can’t understand the mindset.

          1. They are emotionally invested. Believing is stupid shit makes them feel good. Doesn’t matter if it is actually correct or not. The feelings are what matters.

            1. All these truth bimbz make me feel angsty

              1. *bombs

                *sigh

      3. But I agree with “self-proclaimed experts”, fucking love science!

        1. I am a Racist.
          Ergo, everything I say is wrong …

      4. I’ve yet to receive a Democrat fund raising letter with any substance.

        “My opponent voted to defund Planned Parenthood! Sign here to show how outraged you are!”

        (with no attempt to justify why PP needs government funding, it’s just an article of faith)

    2. You Know Who created Math, economics, geometry, reason, logic, history, science? Greeks! Greeks are white. Therefore Math, economics, geometry, reason, logic, history, science are Racist.

      1. I see the white devil’s schools have duped you too.

      2. The Greeks got all that stuff from the Egyptians, who were all black. So they’re all right, after all, but they can’t properly be understood except by black people, so black mathematicians, economists, etc, are all a bunch of racist whitesplainers.

        1. Cultural appropriation!!

        2. Martin Bernall’s “Black Athena” literally argues exactly along those lines. I shit you not.

        3. The Greeks got all that stuff from the Egyptians, who were all black.

          Seems like about time for some reparations, doesn’t it?!!

      3. Indians, Arabs and Persians contributed quite a bit to mathematics. Greeks didn’t have good enough number systems. And because language barriers are relatively easy to overcome compared to many other fields it’s long been a pretty multicultural undertaking.

        1. Zip it, Hellenophobe, Greeks rule!

          Now, can I have a couple billion Euros for bus fare?

      4. Actually, the Greeks got all that from North Africa and Persia.

        1. Meh….the North Africans and Persians stole it from the gentle hill people of the Appalachians.

        2. For the sake of your handle I hope you’re joking – Don’t tarnish a great work of literature with a silly and debunked ‘Greeks took it from Africa’ comment

    3. They don’t know that shit! They’re keeping it real!

    4. Math is apparently a sinister plot to make logic and reason win out, or something.

      Math, logic, and reason are racist concepts invented by privileged white men in order to sustain TEH WHITE MALE DOMINATED PATRIARCHY and continue the system of oppression. /DERP

    5. I have a Facebook friend, a bookstore owner, who was all for a $15 minimum wage. When I pointed out that her wage expenses would go up a lot, she said it would be OK, because so many people would be better off, that she’d have more business to compensate. I guess she imagines the minimum wage residents of Berkeley spending their extra money on books.

      How someone can run a business with that sort of thinking is beyond me. Though maybe it’s not mathematical illiteracy, so much as wishful thinking.

      1. Though maybe it’s not mathematical illiteracy, so much as wishful thinking.

        A little from column A, a little from column B.

      2. She runs a bookstore in the digital age. Either she’s wealthy and doesn’t mind eating losses, a romantic, innumerate, or some combination of the three.

        I have found many small business owners to be among the most idealistic and willfully economically dim people I’ve ever encountered.

        1. Well, it kind of explains why they are small business owners in some ways, ya know?*

          *Not to shit on any small business owners here. Know you guys work your asses off, but one does wonder about some of these stories you hear…

          1. Well, it kind of explains why they are small business owners in some ways, ya know?*

            That, and:

            – They are exempt from a lot of the rules due to small size
            – They don’t pay all the taxes they are supposed to
            – Their business isn’t very important, either to them or to other people
            – They’ve never been hit by a crippling lawsuit or regulatory penalty

            You see the same stupid attitudes start to pop up on the other side of the spectrum, when people have made so much money off their business that they are completely insulated from the day-to-day realities of running the business.

            1. I think entrepreneurs also tend to get a lot of the “Top Man” conceits as well. They’ve done relatively well doing things “their way”, so if everyone would just do it the same way, the world would be better.

              1. There’s that, and there’s also the people who got by on a lot of luck arrogantly condescending to those who haven’t had much. As though IRS audits, regulatory inspections, EEO hearings, lawsuits, etc. are always and everywhere applied equitably and proportionally.

              2. Had this posted to me on FB today, by a former owner of a small business

                “The best way to learn about Democratic Socialism is watch videos by Bernie Sanders on youtube. Pick any of them. Then, check out his voting record and you’ll see that he was right. If the country had followed his votes we would be in much better shape today.”

                1. The best way to learn about Democratic Socialism is to move to Venezuela and never come back.

          2. A lot of people don’t want a large business. Not all ambition goes in that direction.

            Of course there are plenty of dopes too.

            1. A lot of people don’t want a large business. Not all ambition goes in that direction.

              Indeed, but then you shouldn’t go around saying that you know what’s best for all businesses.

          3. It takes a few years before it becomes obvious that running a small business is a sucker’s game, unless you are gaming the shit out of the tax code.

            1. “Gaming the shit out of the tax code” is one of the best (and most funnest) bennies of owning a small business. It’s why the government basically hates small business, even as Our Betters proclaim their love of the heroic entrepreneur. IRS would much rather deal with a big bureaucratic behemoth that has a tax department and comfy offices to lounge around in. I always tried to hide the IRS guy/gal in the basement, next to the loading dock. Preferably in a cold place with a concrete floor.

        2. The guy who runs Borderlands Books, the last science fiction bookstore in SF (and who has been interviewed by Reason TV), was nearly driven out of business by the minimum wage hike here. He announced the store would close, but a bunch of supporters coughed up $100/each and allowed them to stay in business. In his latest newsletter, he reiterated that he remained a “strong supporter” of minimum wage laws….

        3. I’ve got a friend (Syrian guy who runs a coffee shop in Tallahassee, FL) that said the following to me after asking me who I voted for in 2012:

          “Romney? I don’t trust that guy, is he going to just wave a magic wand and create jobs from nothing? I think not.”

          The irony of those sentences from the mouth of an Obama voter took my breath away.

    6. But they Fucking Love Math, bro! They love it so much that they turn it into a verb.

      1. Now all they have to do is “science the shit out of the problem”!

    7. Anything that lifts the scales from your eyes and allows you to see the world as it is- is dangerous for their world view.

      Scientists, mathmaticians, economists…

      Hell, why do you think they must attack and destroy the artists and writers who don’t fall in line? Because those people could show people how bullshit the proggie ideas are.

      Look, they believe that their is no Truth or Reality. People who assert that it is or that truly illuminate the world and the human condition will always be the fly in the ointment, to them.

    8. Math is white male privilege writ large, Epi.

    9. +1 C.P. Snow.

  6. When I saw this meme the poster admitted that “yeah the maths wrong but it still makes a good point.” We’re Fucked folks.

    1. Well, it does make a good point – that in order to give every American a shitload of money would require “redistributing” more wealth than actually exists, and therefore anyone pushing redistributionist horseshit is a moron – but I don’t think that’s the point the poster thought he was making.

      1. Not to mention the unaccounted for cost of redistribution. After all the virtual red tape and real labor has been factored in, your $4.33 would end up a bill for a buck o’ five. Economic freedom!

    2. I call that the “but still” phenomenon.

      “Everything you just said was wrong.”

      “Yeah, but still…”

      1. Sounds like somebody is holding his butt still while pounding into it and he just hasn’t noticed yet.

        1. CaitlynJenner?

    3. “Fake, but accurate”

    4. Posts like that are what happens when that last 2% of the population achieves functional literacy.

      Facebook has made me long for the days of 80%, no, 60%, literacy.

      1. I long for the days of 40% literacy.

        CSU/UC system published an article in 2012, explaining that 70-75% of all high school graduates are illiterate (the 5% waffle is the range dependent on state/locality of their primary education), and that a full 80% are innumerate.

    5. I think the point was that an awful lot of $ goes into lotteries.

    6. Where do they imagine this money came from in the first place?

  7. Let’s see. A billion is a thousand millions. Hm. Only a complete retard could believe that meme. Which means most on the left are convinced.

    1. Even if it was the other kind of billion (million million), it would still only be $4000.

  8. Holy cow, that’s fucked up. Most people can do math better than that without a calculator of pencil and paper. Right?

    1. I would have thought so. Maybe people just turn off their brains when they see numbers that big. I suppose people who haven’t done a lot of math or science might not consider that it’s just like dealing with small numbers, you just knock off some zeros.

  9. Sanders’ “democratic socialism” may represent the future of Democrats.

    Huh?

  10. How about this Berntard. 800 billion government bailouts of banks and industy instead divided up among the people. Oh, you don’t have a problem with those. I see.

    1. You should really check out Bernie’s stance and record on economics and our banking system. He voted against the bailouts. He has long been in the fight against the corruption of wall street and big banking. Check him out you might really like what you see. I would suggest you start at looking at his campaign finance history on opensecrets.org

      1. Yeah a libertarian is really going to find a lot to like in a half wit authoritarian who fails to understand the most simplistic economic concepts and thinks deodorant makes children starve.

        1. Yeah, that was funny. Apparently the Sanders campaign has surfers to educate the web.

          Thinking that a bunch of pro-freedom rabble-rousers at a libertarian site are going to be swayed by appeals for campaign finance restrictions is delusional.

  11. Is this Evidence of the libertarian moment? Or Gillespie’s Ernest Thalmannesque levels of delusion?

  12. This thread from the Snopes article is amazing.
    http://imgur.com/gallery/CBRUP#q6y7cQu

    1. That is unbelievably funny. I love that he just cannot get it no matter how many times it is explained to him.

    2. Oh my God, and at one point he does the math right and then immediately contradicts himself! This is brilliant stuff.

      1. Even better comment, further down:

        You have to distinguish between linear millions and square millions.

        Now that’s funny!

    3. My gawd, I know most American are retard level stupid, but WTF?

      1. What about Canadians! I demand fair time on the retard scale!

        1. Well, Canadians just elected Zoolander for president, I guess that deserves fair time on the retard scale. But do keep up, please, Americans are becoming more difficult to out retard.

    4. Jesus tap-dancing Christ. If there was a poster boy for school choice…..

    5. That was funny stuff

    6. I don’t if I should laugh, cry, or just shoot myself in the head because there’s clearly no hope if this dumbfuck is representative of the population at large. Holy fucking shit, what a retard.

      1. *…know if I should laugh…*

        EDIT BUTTON!

        1. If they don’t edit their own pieces…

    7. It is truly amazing that people don’t get it even when it’s explained. Most of the time, people recognize a brainfart when it’s pointed out.

      One time in high school, a girl I had a crush on, normally bright, wondered out loud: “Wouldn’t a melting ice cube warm a room, because it’s giving off its heat as it melts?” I laughed and pointed out that melting ice is gaining heat, and she got it immediately.

      1. I once purchased a concert T-shirt and asked out loud to my friends why there was a pink splotch of ink on it. The band? The Legendary Pink Dots.

        It happens to the best of us.

      2. You’re supposed to say, “you’re the only one giving off heat, baby.”

      3. Your girlfriend didn’t have a strong desire to believe that ice looses heat as it melts.

        Progtards are completely different.

  13. The problem with progtards is that they don’t have a grasp on reality, they don’t think about things, they just emote.

    So spare us the libertarian moment bullshit, go tell the progs it’s a progressive moment. They’ll believe you and go dance in the streets to declare victory. 1000 year Democrat majority!

    1. The Libertarian Moment is just warmed over Victorianism. You know the Inevitability of History and the Whig Theory of History just with a libertarian coat of paint over it.

    2. For a while Jerry Doyle’s talk show was available for the drive home (I really liked his show) and he put it very well. He described the difference between reacting and responding. Reacting is a reflex. There is no thought involved. As opposed to responding, where the gears in the brain turn a bit before the mouth opens. Leftists react. They don’t respond, except maybe after they reverse engineer some rationale for their initial reaction. In my opinion they’re not even worthy of being called human beings. They’re human animals, because they’re no different than a dog or a lizard, reacting to stimuli without engaging the reasoning part of their brain that is supposed to make us superior to animals.

      1. So, not a fan of progressives, I gather? Your comment was vague on the subject

        1. Sorry. I’ll be more explicit next time.

        2. Is this a good time to discuss my plan to euthanize all the progressives?

      2. you insult dogs my friend.

      3. Sentio, ergo sum – I feel, therefore I am.

        When Feel becomes the arbiter of what is real and what is not – one has just declared themselves to be a lower life form. . . like a toad.

  14. Oh, I see what happend. In some latin languages, they say mil instead of thousand. That’s what he meant, he really meant 4.3 thousand.

    1. I though it is billion instead of trillion? And Thousand Million instead of billion?

      1. Wut? I dunno. In Portuguese, you say ‘mil’ instead of thousand, sounds like ‘meel’ and Milhoes sounds like ‘meelyois’ instead of million. That’s what I meant.

    2. “thousand” in

      French = mille
      Spanish = mil
      Portuguese = mil
      Italian = mille

      “million” in

      French = million
      Spanish = mill?n
      Portuguese = milh?o
      Italian = milione

      Only an idiot would be confused about what “million” means in English.

      1. Yeah, the only excusable confusion would be the English “billion” versus the French “billion” which means trillion in English.

      2. A MILLI, A MILLI, A MILLI

      3. Mille Miglia…the famous 1000 mile race from Brescia to Rome and back again. There I used it in a sentence.

  15. They listen to Bernie Sanders and come to the conclusion if only government took more money from “billionaires” it could fund everything for everyone. Appeals to reason and math are discounted as right-wing propaganda.

    I suspect Bernie is listening to his supporters.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zmji36q8E4o

    1. To Keely: ( wtf kind of a name is that? I can’t even take this story seriously now!)

      Dear Keely, I 100% guarantee you that you can get a lot smarter than you are right now, and don’t let me understate that, I am talking a LOT smarter, like VASTLY fucking smarter, without ever stepping foot on a university or college campus and without spending a dime. Can you read? That is a serious question.

      1. The best part was that the chick turned out to be a rich kid with an activist proggy father.

        1. Ok, so she says that her friends if they earned a million dollars would be happy with paying 90% taxes? That would leave them $100,000. Um, no, sorry Keely, you have no friends who earn anything, let alone a million dollars. Or maybe she just has Bernie level math skills and really does not understand what she’s saying at all.

          1. Or maybe she just has Bernie level math skills and really does not understand what she’s saying at all.

            Ding, ding, ding! Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

    2. It’s no coincidence that “science” was invented by white men to benefit other white men.

  16. A co-worker mentioned, when it was a little over 500mil, that the winner could almost pay off the national debt with that much…I typed that into google, and the result is you could pay off a bit under 3 thousandths of a percent… .003%….yep, almost paid off! Only 18.7t, oh shit, it’s back up where it was…nevermind.

    1. + 1 infinite supply of zeros

    2. A trillion is a million millions. Or a thousand billions. Just for perspective.

      1. Fun fact: in the British world, a billion used to mean a million x a million.

        1. Oh, and a trillion used to be a million million million.

    3. It’s possible your friend was confrused between the national debt and the national deficit.

      1. National deficit is still a few hundred billion

        1. Look, I’m trying to help. I’m throwing any lifeline I can.

      2. My sister in law’s husband proudly declared that the debt has been cut in half by Obama. After wasting 5 minutes of my life fruitlessly attempting to explain the difference between the annual deficit and national debt, he finally responded to a cbo calculation of the debt projections for the next couple decades. I guess the hockey stick graph struck a cord.

        1. Well, *my* sister in law’s husband earned $100,000 in one day working on the computer, using this one weird trick!

          itmayhavebeeninzimbabwedollars.com

        2. The only reason the deficit has gone down is that some idiots gave the guy 800 billion in his first year to stimulate the Democrat campaign donors economy but the givers haven’t repeated the process.

    4. Your coworker is an idiot.

  17. *facepalm* Good. Fucking. God. We’re so fucked if people are really that stupid.

    I propose using that meme as a sort of test to filter out your facebook feeds. Post that meme, and then anyone who “like” it, block them. Maybe then you’ll stand a chance of de-derpifying fb.

    1. But what if a true friend likes it for the lulz?!

  18. Even supposing that the math were correct, this “meme” ignores the fact that some people just spend money in extremely stupid ways. I think every single person knows a poor person who is poor solely because of their idiotic financial decisions, yet they forget that these people exist when it comes to economics. The creator of that “meme” assumes that if only you gave poor people more money, they would suddenly become wise purchasers and scrupulous savers. They ignore the fact that some people, instead of saving or investing, will just blow the money on sports cars, big-screen TVs, and $200 bar tabs every weekend.

    This is why if you look at the spending on “social welfare” programs along with how many people are on said programs, you’ll see that would be cheaper to just cut everyone a check for a $10,000 or so – because the problem is not that insufficient money is being given to the poor, but rather, that some poor people are basically black holes (no racist pun intended) who will piss away every dollar that is given to them.

    You will not “solve” poverty until you can somehow make people think of long-term benefits instead of short-term gratification. In other words, never. This is what “progressives” fail to grasp.

    1. And without logic and reason there is little hope for anything getting better, it’s easy to sell people on the idea that someone’s life would be made better by giving them $10,000/year; It’s tangible, finite and simple to understand… the idea that giving someone $10,000/year will mean that they’ll ask for $19000/year next year isn’t. People are baffled by non-linear systems.

      It’s the same reason people don’t put money into savings, are willing to carry massive amounts of debt, and are baffled by anything associated with the fields of science, statistics, economics and engineering.

    2. I honestly don’t know anyone who’s poor for that reason, nor anybody who got rich by shifting consumption to saving.

      It reminds me of the story Daddy told about someone who met an old acquaintance who was smoking a cigar on the street corner, and started telling him about how much he must’ve blown on cigars. “If you didn’t smoke all those cigars, by now you could probably afford to own this bldg.” When he finished his cigar, he answered, “I do own this bldg. And that one, & that one….”

      I wouldn’t go so far as to say spending a lot makes you rich, but they do seem to correlate.

      1. Depends on what you are spending it on. Depends on what you are saving for.

        My friend complains all the time about not having money yet he is going to taco bell, mcds, chik Fila and spending 12 dollars a pop each time..at least 10 times a week

      2. “I wouldn’t go so far as to say spending a lot makes you rich, but they do seem to correlate.”

        Don’t you think that this correlation is easily explained by the fact that once someone becomes rich, they probably want to enjoy the more expensive luxuries that they previously couldn’t afford?

        1. It’s a retarded, unreal story. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to illustrate–that the way to get rich is by spending? Sounds like backwards Keynesianism and magical thinking. Or it could be some leftoid bedtime story meant to imply that wealthy, successful people don’t have to think or work, and all they do is loaf around smoking cigars all day. “I loaf around all day too, and I don’t have shit!” says the stupid leftoid.

          BTW, I see this kind of sentiment expressed all the time by people who are ostensibly seeking to better their lot in life. It’s usually some meme with a quote by Robert Kiyosaki or some other self-help financial guy; they all seem to imply that working, producing, saving, investing, succeeding are old-fashioned in this enlightened day and age; enlightened spirits know that you get rich by borrowing and spending, nobody has to produce anything.

          1. No, the story illustrates a few things. One is that busybodies rarely know what they’re talking about. Another is that rich people tend to be quiet about it. The last is that saving is not a path to prosperity.

            Think about the amounts involved. You could never save enough on cigar $ or other “high living” to buy a bldg. Rich people had hi income, not low spending, to get that way. Poor people had low income, not hi spending, to get that way.

        2. Of course. But that means that when you see people w lots of consumption goods or consuming otherwise, it’s more likely that they’re rich. I just don’t see the opposite pattern.

          However, I think there’s also a subtle causative effect the other way that results in more $ flowing back to people who spend or give away more. It’s been referred to as the gebo principle. The rune gebo, which looks exactly like “X”, has a name meaning “gift”, but is symmetric, implying exchange?that is, what’s flowing 1 way is compensated equally by a flow the opposite way. I don’t know if it’s a psychologic effect or what, but it does seem that the mere fact of spending or giving stuff away encourages income.

  19. How many children die from gun violence very year in the US? 10,000? What was the figure from a few years back, 50,000 young girls in the US die from anorexia every year? And before that, how many homeless were there in the US? 20 million? If you just think about it for a bit and have a little common knowledge, you know these statistics are fantastic.

    Innumeracy really is a big problem in that in so many people their brain just shuts down when they see numbers, it’s a foreign language to them. They really have no idea because they refuse to think. I’m trying to teach the little one here that “I have no idea” is not an acceptable answer, you do have some idea if you think about it rather than just giving up.

    How many gallons of water are there in the Pacific Ocean? “No idea” implies you would find 3 and 753 million quadrillion to be equally plausible guesses. If you know, as you should, at least roughly how big the planet is, roughly how big the Pacific Ocean is in relation to the size of the planet, roughly how deep the ocean is, how many gallons there are to a cubic foot and how many feet there are in a mile, and how to calculate volume you do have a reason to guess 3 and 753 million quadrillion are equally implausible guesses.

    1. 9×10^21 gallons? What do I win?

    2. Look, no one wants to take your guns. We just want common sense gun control. How can anyone be against it. It’s common sense!

      1. Ex-act-ly! When Uncle Sam put a uniform on me he required that I learn how to use both a handgun and a select fire assault rifle and made me carry one just about everywhere I went.

        Now that I am even older and over decades have proven myself to be a reliable father and taxpayer it only seems to be common sense that I can have either of those firearms at my disposal. Ammarite?

        1. I think you meant to type Armalite 😉

    3. How many children die from gun violence very year in the US? 10,000?

      Not nearly that much; it’s closer to a couple hundred or so. 10,000 is more than the total number of homicides committed with a gun (which in 2014 was 8,124, according to the FBI).

      1. He was pointing out the bullshit statistics that are often floated around. For instance during the height of the Satanic Panic, Nightline had a guest on who declared that 50,000 kids a year were being kidnapped by cults to be used in sacrifices. This proclamation went unchallenged.

        1. My favorite was Pat Pulling, Satanism “expert”:

          Pat Pulling stated, in a Style Weekly article, she “conservatively estimates that about 8 percent of the Richmond [VA]-area population is involved with Satanic worship at some level.” A Richmond News Leader article notes this would be roughly 56,000 people, “more than the number of United Methodists in the Richmond area and nearly the entire population of Hanover County.”

          In an interview for that story Mrs. Pulled redefined “Satanic worship” as “occult” and said it included “dabbling in witchcraft and such New Age activities as channeling.” She went on to say that she had gotten the 8% figure by “estimating 4 percent of the area’s teenagers, and 4 percent of the adults, were involved. She added the figures.”

    4. I read an amusing liberal take the other day that included the probably true stat that gun accidents involving toddlers shooting themselves or someone else happen on average once per week in the U.S.

      Needless to say, it didn’t sound so scary if placed in an appropriately sarcastic (but correct) numerical context. “This ranks toddlers with guns as a threat to our health just a hair above E.R. visits involving hammock accidents, which also occur about once per week in the U.S.”

  20. The media doesn’t help,How many times have you seen a report that EVIL CORP made x billion in profit and leave out the fact that their profit margin was ,oh,3%. and their payroll was xxxx billion.

    1. They just write it all off! Do you know what a write off is?

      1. Yeah,it’s called an expense..You have no clue ,do you. Write off is a team people use to say businesses aren’t paying much in taxes.It’s not like getting a pay check.The cost of employing a person is factored into their wage.

        1. BTY ,an employer has to pay federal matching taxes on their employees wages,and worker comp and unemployment. In WV that’s about 10 cents on the dollar.

        2. I take it you’re not a Seinfeld fan.

          1. Mail Order Pornography ring!

            1. Don’t give the hipsters any ideas.

          2. I didn’t get the Seinfeld reference either, but I thought you were just doing a parody of how “progressives” always accuse corporations of using “tax loopholes” to get out of “paying their fair share”.

    2. My brother n law thinks oil companies have no right to multi billion dollar profits. I pointed out that they only clear that much because they are such large companies and their actual profit margins are typically single digit percentage wise. He didn’t really grasp that. Not surprisingly, he scrapes by in his landscaping design business even though he is talented and does good work. He has no business sense whatsoever and pretty much gives away his labor so he doesn’t “rip anyone off”.

      1. Being in the construction business most of my life I see a steady churn of young guys coming into the business, learn the trade, see how much their boss charges for their services and decide they can get rich going out on their own and under-cutting the boss. Takes them a year or two to go broke living off cash-flow but in the meantime they’re hurting everybody else’s business by selling below cost. They really have no idea of all the costs involved and that “reserves” requirement kills them. Sure you can make good money installing an $X piece of equipment for $2X – until you remember you forgot to add in the price of the doohickey that doesn’t come with the equipment, the customer has a problem and you gotta re-install the equipment a second time for free, and you drive the truck into a ditch on the way to her house. Suddenly that just became a $3X piece of equipment you installed for $2X. Sooner or later you’re going to have accidents and mis-calculations and various stupid decisions that have to get priced into your costs if you expect to stay in business long enough for there to be a later. Buying apples for 50 cents and selling them for a buck sounds like a solid business plan, but what happens if you wind up with a half-bushel of rotten apples because you misjudged the market for dollar apples? Somebody’s gotta pay for those rotten apples and if it’s you instead of your customers you’re not really in the business of selling apples, are you?

        1. It gets worse in China. Ever wonder how their stuff can be so cheap?

          There was an interview with an exporter in China who was bemoaning the yuans rise.

          He was saying that he only had a 2 or 3% profit margin, and he couldn’t pass on the currency change.

          2 or 3% is a very scary low figure for such a business. It was then I realized why China is so competitive: a lot of people doing crazy low profit business (plus cheap labor.)

          Office chairs were another crazy industry – $50 items, and the factory was making 50 cents per chair!

          I later found out the prices were so low because a big importer went around switching factories and then not paying for a final huge order: guess how low you can sell something for if you don’t plan on paying the supplier?

          1. Sometimes I suspect China’s economic policy is entirely oriented toward the goal some weird statistical pride in the size of their trade surplus. They sell everyone shit tons of cheap stuff with their deflated currency, and barely enrich their people at all in the process. It would almost be sad if so many Americans didn’t see this and suddenly catch this idiotic trade balance fetishism that makes them want to do the same thing with America.

            1. Like a Five Year Plan perhaps?

          2. Price wars rule China and seemingly the Chinese culture. Wonder why Chinese restaurants are always so cheap compared to their counterparts? They try to grab market share by pricing out their competitors.

            My dad runs a company in Shanghai and received a call maybe a year or two ago. It was a potential large scale customer so he brought two of his brightest engineers with him for the initial meeting. In the meeting, the head of the other company praised this other mega corporation in China for their business model. It was basically to sell their product at cost (while squeezing their suppliers) to grab market share and push the other competitors out of business. Obviously, the company isn’t making any money despite their volume. On the way back from the meeting, my dad basically told his two other engineers “Sorry for wasting your guys’ time, but we’re not going to work with someone who has no interest in a profitable business model. No customer is going to squeeze me to a 0% profit margin.”

        2. In his case, he has that blue collar chip on his shoulder where he thinks everything should be cheap. He was also raised in a Jehovah’s Witness family, and according to my sister, he has it ingrained in him subconsciously that he should do nothing but work and suffer. Thankfully, she has taken over the business end of things. Handling how much he charges and dealing with collections and other back office functions. My sister likes having money and not being broke.

    3. Oh yeah! And back in 2003 when throngs of Eurotrash were screaming “no blood for oil!” nobody pointed out that less than 5% of oil from the middle east was going to the US. The vast, lion’s share of middle east oil was being sent to Europe.

  21. My take: the Kochs and Joos are keeping me from winning the lottery with their special math power.

    Those bastards!

    1. Don’t forget the Illuminati or are the one in the same.

      1. The illuminati are pushovers when they compare to Big Math. Those guys…the power they have…

    2. The CFR and the Tri-Lateral Commission and…The Cabal!

  22. The only reason it appears that the gulf is widening between the rich and poor is that the middle class is being fucking decimated by government. That’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

    1. I was watching one of the interviews Reason did with John Mackey and he made the point that one reason the middle class is not seeing any real wage/salary increase is because of the increasing amount of money that employees have to spend on each employee to meet government mandates. So, the amount of money an employer spends on each employee has gone up but not much of it is found in wages/salary.

      1. That reminds me of my communist aunt. In one breath she goes in about forcing those “big corporations” to pay their employees more. In the very next breath she rails on about how those corporations also need more regulations and costs levied on them.

      2. When I was young and not even out of college, I used to think like most people do who complain that greedy corporations are just greedy and that’s why they don’t pay more. Once I had worked on a few enterprise level applications and finally saw the true cost of each employee for a company, I was shocked right into reality.

    2. Some of that is people moving up, too.

      For some certain income level, they are also losing out to global competition.

      I saw a chart where incomes were growing globally except at the 75%-85% level.

      Those are the people’s who’s jobs can be done in China or India, for now.

    3. or that the rich have a better work ethic and education and more skills, which allows them to grow their income & wealth at a greater annual rate than the poor who don’t have as good of education and skills.

      A widening gap between rich and poor is a feature of a growing economy. The only thing that’s important is how many people at the bottom are unable to care for themselves

  23. Reminds me of the Maddox Article, ‘Math Doesn’t Suck, You Do’

    1. “Math Doesn’t Suck” but I can hope she does
      http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q…..3KZ05XL_DO

  24. You see, when Bernie said no one needs 23 choices of deodorants, he actually meant 23 million! He’s right!

    1. As long as one of them is Polo and smells like high school and desperation, count me in!

      1. Ah…the sweet smell of underpotent pheremones…

  25. I think I can make the math work if I jump back and forth between using short and long billions, confuse expense with subsidy, and conflate wealth and income…

  26. Sorry to breakup the pseudo-intellectual masturbation fest, but as someone working in economic development with a masters in international developmental economics, this article is wildly inaccurate and misleading. Free markets do not exist in practice. They never have and never will due to economies of scale, consolidation, and monopolistic competition. Sanders policies have the backing of nobel laureate political economists joseph stiglitz and paul krugman. Clinton’s secretary of labor, robert reich wrote sanders’ economic policies. If you want a ‘free market’ paradise, lets look at countries that fit that bill, India, Philippines, and most of the African continent. There is next to no regulation or government involvement in many parts of these nations. What happens? Companies literally have to build infraatructure for their employees housing, garbage disposal etc. There was a great article in the ny times a few months back explaining this in detail. How about our own history? The us during the robber barron/gilded age era woth mass social unrest and poverty from 1870-1920s. Not exactly the high points moments of social progress.

    1. Troll Level: NUCLEAR!

      1. When someone’s first post is about the degree they have and then they start cut and pasting links from HuffPo, you think troll? No, say it isn’t so!

      2. No man. It is speaking the truth. I am sick of reading nonsense of people that do not understand their own history. Read what I put down and use critical thinking skills. Travel outside of the states also. It will radically change your perceptions…

        1. Read what I put down and use critical thinking skills.

          Here’s a puzzler for you, champ.

          Savings rates are at historic lows and debt ratios are at historic highs. Yet “economists” say the solution to our problems and the key to returning to the halcyon days of yore is that we’re not spending enough.

          How can we not be spending enough when we are quite literally spending more than ever before?

        2. If you’re exalting Krugman as a credible authority, you have no critical thinking skills.

        3. That you think India or African nations are free market economies is the giveaway.

          1. Somalia did have economic success when under “anarchy.”

            Its quite impressive reading about the innovation, for example, in electricity pricing.

            “In an article published in 2007, libertarian economist Peter T. Leeson argues that the Somali state was predatory, and that its collapse has improved the economic welfare of its citizens, with 14 out of 18 key development indicators being more positive in the period 2000-2005 than in 1985-1990.[18] Similarly, economists Benjamin Powell, Ryan Ford and Alex Nowrasteh argue that Somalia’s economic performance, relative to other African states, has improved during the period of statelessness.[13] Ersun Kurtulus states that Leeson and Powell, Ford and Nowrasteh’s articles provide “the most unequivocal evidence to indicate that Somalia has been faring far better under anarchy than it did under Barre’s regime”. “

          2. That’s their new angle. Free-markets are a myth.

            No shit, given it’s people like him that prevent or crush it.

        4. India has a government.

          1. I’m also not sure African dictators having their private militaries stake out major roads and seize any valuable goods being shipped on those roads and occasionally shooting the transporters constitutes economic non-interventionism. But far be it for us to interfere with TIm’s vivid imagination.

        5. *yawn*

          I speak two Asian languages fluently, and have lived overseas for more than 20 years of my life.

          Countries that have exited poverty have all used capitalism. Its really quite boring.

          You do need some institutions, but libertarians are okay with courts, etc.

          p.s. Chinese factories sometimes literally have to provide roads, dorms, etc. for their workers. OMG.

    2. someone working in economic development with a masters in international developmental economics

      1. Yeah, that’s a thing.

        my girlfriend went to SIPA and got her MIA in development. No one who’s been within 100 miles of one of those programs would ever phase anything like that. And the level of actual econ required isn’t any better than what i did as an undergrad. I did her homework. This cat’s a phony and a retard.

    3. As someone who recognizes appeals to authority, I can tell you to fuck off.

    4. Wow, you outed yourself in the very first sentence, Tulpa.

    5. If you want a ‘free market’ paradise, lets look at countries that fit that bill, India, Philippines, and most of the African continent.

      Lol, you ignorance is astounding.

      1. I got a chuckle out of that too.

        1. Look if we don’t have people jump through hoops to register their recreational drones and getting the proper permits to sell things, society will instantly collapse and we would become Somalia.
          /Settled Science that would be taught in public schools if it weren’t for the damn Koch brothers.

          1. I always tell porgies that Kochtopus is gonna get ’em. I liken it to teasing small children about the Boogeyman. Both groups having similar cognitive processes.

    6. as someone working in economic development with a masters in international developmental economics, this article is wildly inaccurate and misleading.

      Before you got into that, you were a Navy Seal trained in gorilla warfare with over 300 confirmed kills, right?

      1. gorilla warfare

        Feces flinging?

      2. He neglected to tell us his IQ is 183 too. I mean 193.

    7. “Sanders policies have the backing of nobel laureate political economists joseph stiglitz and paul krugman. Clinton’s secretary of labor, robert reich wrote sanders’ economic policies.”

      *blows vodka out of nose*

      This has to be parody. No sane person would think that is an endorsement.

      1. Damn vodka snarfing has got to hurt!!!

    8. Did you really cite Paul krugman and Robert Reich lol? Their whole purpose now is to make money off the stupidity of their followers.

      A person who majored in economics would understand that the Bern has no clue on economics

      India, the phillipines and Africa all have governments…what are you talking about?

    9. Stiglitz. The guy who said Fannie and Freddie could never go bankrupt.

      1. Now, now, progtards fail UPWARDS.

    10. You cite India a a “free market” country. You need to do some more reading on India. Historically, it has been a bureaucratic hell hole where you have to pay off (read bribe) many levels of paper pushers in order to open a business. Where it might take two to three weeks to open a small business in the States, it may take six months or more in India. Their regulations strangle businesses.

      It has become less so, but it is not a “free market” paradise.

  27. http://www.commonwealthfund.or…..ranks-last

    What about sanders is unelectable? For the causal person who stumbles upon this Johns Hopkins Study on healthcare costs and outcomes of universal healthcare systems vs. our privatized system and looks at it rationally, it will shock them and could possibly change their mind for the better. Even with the most modest estimates, the savings to the us economy taking up the HR676 medicare for all bill, which is heavily promoted by the Progressive Caucus and Presidential Candidate Senator Sanders, would nearly cover the entire budget of today’s unaudited DoD, saving the US economy $500 billion dollars. It gives me chills to think of what that would do for our society.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..43062.html

    1. It gives me chills to think of what that would do for our society.

      Does it send a tingle up your leg, too?

    2. The per capita public spending per capita by itself of the United states all but exceeds 2 or 3 other countries in the oecd both private and public. This doesn’t even include private per capita. And those 2 or 3 is just barely above.

      The spending per capita private does not magically dissapear with single payer. It is just converted to public. Single payer does not address costs.

      Vermont scrapped their single payer due to how much it would cost (where we’re all the wonderful savings?) and the VA sucks.

      Single payer would be shitty and cost a lot

    3. What would it do for society exactly?

      1. Well it would give TOP. MEN. The opprtunity to lead their comrades into the glorious future whilst furiously stroking their control-boners…

    4. Dude, we get it. You own a government anal dildo. Move on.

  28. “Monetarism/Liberatarianism/Lazze Faire/Reganomics/Free Market Economics” to the causal person is quite compelling. It is why in practice, economics is far from commonsense… Only after years of study and experience in econometrics,working in economic development on multiple continents, do I truly appreciate the massive farce. Keynesian theory is by far the most accurate model of international economics. The debate is over between monetarism and keynesian theory, like climate change. For example, political economists and public policy economists have a consensus of 91% in how to deal with crisis using keynesian/new deal principles, the question is over the degree fiscal stimulus needed.

    http://freakonomics.com/2012/0…..conomists/

    1. Are you trying to write “casual” person in your comments? There is only one Causal Person, my friend – the man upstairs.

      1. That’s right. The “casual” person upstairs is Herb. He works in accounting.

        1. Fuckin’ Herb.

    2. Lazze Faire

      Is that some kind of carnival? Is proper spelling no longer one of the intellectual disciplines?

      a consensus of 91%

      Man, you’re not even trying. Mugabe could get 95% in his sleep. Kim Jong-un can get 99% and all he has to do is feed the occasional dissenter into an AA gun.

      1. The “consensus=science” is such a threadwinner it has moved beyond climate science and into economics.

        1. I suppose they think that in the Middle Ages, the Earth truly was flat since there was a consensus on it. They wouldn’t dare to argue with the consensus, would they? Of course, nowadays there’s a consensus that the Earth is round… So the logical conclusion is that the Earth was flat, then it morphed into a round shape over a century or two.

          SCIENCE

          1. Sorry to be a pedant, but the world was considered round since antiquity (ancient Greeks) and possibly before.

            1. +1 Eratosthenes

    3. Filthy causals!

    4. Well shit. He cited Freakonomics. The Debate *Truly* Is Over!

      1. Lol. Feel tha Bern!

    5. How many months ago did you get your Masters. I can pretty much guarantee it’s got to be less than a couple of years old. Got news for you, Skippy, that might impress the undergraduate coeds, but it really isn’t doing that much for the rest of us. About the only thing Keynesianism is good for is channeling wealth and power to the assholes working in international development. Anyone who’s done even a modest amount of econometric analysis can tell you the numbers go ass wild. Hell, Taylor even showed that the Keynesian multiplier was less than one. And Ricardian equivalence has shown your bullshit stimuli do less than nothing. And rounding up a trade economist to discuss fiscal policy is a joke.

      Try going back to school and doing straight macro. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll learn how deeply and utterly full of shit you are.

      1. My girlfriend screams ” Ricardian Equivalence ” in moments of passion, and she isn’t even an economist. I’m beginning to think it may have another meaning.

    6. “Keynesian theory is by far the most accurate model of international economics.”

      This alone shows the troll to be ignorant of Keynesian and probably econ in general. Keynesian econ has never been applied; like communism, it requires an impossible condition.
      Communism requires the “new soviet man”; a society of humans who ignore their own welfare for the benefit of others. Keynesian econ requires a government which reduces taxes in good times to roughly balance the added expenditures during bad times.
      Neither is to be found in nature.

      1. Also, Keynesianism is not a model of international economics. There’s nothing ‘international’ about it. This guy is just throwing in big words to make himself soud smarter,

    7. Wait I thought free markets didn’t exist? How is reaganomics laissez Faire or free market?

      1. What is reaganomics exactly?

        1. Something my retired commie aunt still bitches about?

      2. You mean, “Lazze fair” you troglodyte!

        /sarc

    8. This is just a local troll.

      Engage it if you have nothing better to do.

      Check your toenails.

      Do they need clipping ?

    9. I’m begging to think this guy and Mama are simply waffles fucking with us all. Well done, waffles!

      1. *beginning

        Goddamn you, auto correct.

  29. The lottery’s only useful purpose is to illustrate how giving capital to idiots misdirects resources.

    1. I’ve been troll sandwiched.

      1. read. If you want to criticize, find evidence not the troll nonsense. This is for someone curious and potentially is open to a point of view based in econometric evidence as opposed to ron paul sweet talking.

        1. Don’t start your anonymous post with a logical fallacy and maybe you’ll get a better reception.

        2. Paul Krugman said the sequester would lead to a recession, because cuts to government spending reduce demand.

          However, the actual results after sequester were stronger growth and lower unemployment.

          Explain how this can happen if Keynes was right.

      2. My condolences.

  30. There is also an enormous difference in education between a financial economist vs. microeconomist vs. a political economist/international development economist. Those with a public policy background are much much more informed. Pundits set the economics in this country, not the experts. Even a magazine like Forbes is entirely inaccurate when giving its macroeconomic take on events like the 2008 crash. They recently blasted film ‘The Big Short’ arguing that the government stepping in to support the economy is why it crashed. This goes against the consensus of economists and is factually inaccurate. They would like the government to not step in in a similar situation…We have several models of this policy they advocate: The crashes of 1837, 1873, 1893, panic of 1907 and 1913. President Hoover completely followed the economic precepts of Forbes prescribed policies emphatically denying the fact that the market at times does not correct. It drastically worsened the crash from 1929-1933. There is no debate if the New Deal of FDR helped.

    1. Stop. You’re just embarrassing yourself. And anyone who’s actually worked in economics. The 2008 crash was a direct result of keeping interest rates artificially low for an extended period of time. No one who understands a thing about interest rates and financial economics disputes that. Moreover, anyone who actually worked in financial markets over that time period can tell you the stories of investors chasing yield. Just quit while you’re behind.

      1. Don’t waste your time, bro. It’s went to college and got itself a degree that sounds important. It has no experience, but ‘thinks’ it knows stuff. And there’s no one haughtier and more full of shit than someone with no experience who ‘thinks’ they know something. It’s like interviewing engineer candidates right out of school. They know lots of theory, but when you ask them what they would do in certain real life scenarios on a project, they don’t have a fucking clue how to answer the question.

        1. I find it’s stupidity and zeal amusing. Mostly because I know that when the masses have had enough progressive bullshit that Tm and his buddies will meet a horrific end.

      2. “Stop. You’re just embarrassing yourself. ‘

        Seriously. This is someone who failed high-school economics playing catch-up by copy-pasting chunks of shitty arguments they found on Daily Kos.

      3. I am increasingly being persuaded to the position that it was actually the fault of city and state governments restricting housing development, driving up housing prices and rent to unsustainable levels in many of the biggest cities, and that this was the root cause of the housing crisis: shortage of supply. See Kevin Erdmann’s blog ‘idiosyncratic whisk’ for if nothing else an interesting perspective on housing markets.

    2. Hoover started the new deal and fdr doubled down on it.

    3. Krugman called for a housing bubble back in 2001. Of course he now says he was joking.

    4. So what’s the excuse for downturn of 1937?

      1. and 1857 ?

  31. The debate is whether more fiscal stimulus/government programs were needed, different trade policies or the full adoption of fiat currency would have averted the economic downturn in 1937. I would argue for all three, yet most significantly that more stimulus was needed to help stabilize the deflation, revamp the economy and lead to a healthy level of inflation. We received that extra stimulus, although not by the most effective means with the enormous spending and largest government program in the history of the United States, WWII. Simply summarized by mainstream economic consensus, during bad times more spending on investment (government and cooporate investment in capital) and necessary consumption (disposible income for poor people spending) is needed. When there are surpluses such as the late Clinton admin. mostly due to a technological supply shift, not clinton’s policies (a continuation of reagan)… investment and paying down the debt should be emphasized if it is higher than historically in the Debt to GDP ratio.

    1. You know, you could save a lot of typing by just creating Facebook memes.

      1. It’s not typing. That’s cut and paste trolling right there.

        1. I have to agree.

  32. Bernie’s appeal has nothing to do with math illiteracy, or even his programs, or anything other than the revulsion many voters feel when they think of voting for anyone onstage at those Republican clown-fests, then they consider Hillary, and while their head is spinning in despair they see this wild-haired guy and, and——–the nausea subsides a bit. He does not seem to be mouthing-sound bites. He seems to actually believe what he is saying. Who cares what the hell he is saying, the fact is, he is actually speaking instead of ranting or lying.
    When was the last time you saw any other candidate do ANYTHING other than rant or lie?

    I’m not “feeling the Bern”, will probably throw my protest vote at Gary Johnson, again, but I DO understand why my son and his friends like Sanders. It’s because they want to vote and be involved but absolutely cannot stand a single Republican, or Hillary. And they don’t even know about any other options, as if they would matter anyway.

    Most voters do not vote FOR, they vote AGAINST. I think that there will be a large number of voters this time voting against Hillary, and whatever the GOP coughs up.

    1. I still imagine Sanders in his rightful place. Screaming his ideas at a garbage can in an alley in NY. Before he goes to sleep in said alley, in a pile of garbage. Like the other hobos.

      1. LOL.

  33. US and UK administrations shied away from keynesian economic policies (new deal consensus) in the mid-1970’s due to increased lobbying pressure of corporate interests who always abhorred the new deal, a few terrible supreme court decisions regarding corporations and money, and a negative supply shock (the two oil crisis) that caused inflation. This fear, temporary instability and ironically a generation of immense economic growth and prosperity allowed for the economic salesmanship and neoliberal Reaganism. Look to the revolution J-curve in sociology to understand the pattern. This is modern economic history in a nutshell. This why corbyn was elected minority leader in the uk. Labor has lost its way since tony blair as the dems have lost their way since clinton forgetting the past as the party of fdr. Now the correction is happening after forty years ofeconomic falsehoods and “mistruths” , and can begin in america with a Sanders presidency.

    1. This is modern economic history in a nutshell

      Modern economic history in a nutshell:

      The failure of planned economics is entirely predictable but it nevertheless will be repeated ad nauseum because morons like you think money comes from the ether.

      1. No.

        It is repeated because useful idiots always make huge profits for their employers

    2. No the U.S. and U.K. abandoned Keynesianism because the economy was producing consistent stagflation, something the Keynesians said couldn’t happen.

      Seriously, I hope you’re full of shit about that Masters. Because no one with one should be saying things as idiotic as you are.

    3. “US and UK administrations shied away from keynesian economic policies (new deal consensus) in the mid-1970’s due to increased lobbying pressure of corporate interests who always abhorred the new deal, a few terrible supreme court decisions regarding corporations and money, and a negative supply shock (the two oil crisis) that caused inflation.”

      There is not a single fact anywhere in this pile of buzzword blargh.

      (scans above)

      this person seems to come from a background where throwing lots of terms around impresses the ignorant lefty hoi polloi.

      “after years of study and experience in econometrics,working in economic development on multiple continents, do I truly appreciate the massive farce.’

      Then he quotes a blog entry @ Freakonomics. Big Thinking, much experiences.

    4. “due to increased lobbying pressure of corporate interests who always abhorred the new deal”
      Read: because over a decade of high unemployment and serious inflation and all-round economic malaise caused by Keynesian economic policies, governments changed their policies, resulting in the end of the stagnation of the 60s and 70s.

  34. The best I’ve personally encountered was a facebook discussion on the WSJ analysis a few months back that Bernard’s proposals would amount to around $18 trillion. One of Bernard’s faithful goes “pfft…that’s one tenth of the defense budget!”

    When I pointed out that Gross World Product is about 75 – 80 trillion dollars and that the US defense budget would be $180 trillion dollars according to him, I was met with silence.

    1. You realize that the economist from UMass Amherst who wrote the academic paper that was inaccurately cited by the WSJ vehemently criticized the misquote. Read the academic paper for yourself. It is available online. HR676 would save a minimum of $500 billion per year.

      1. Do you realize that you know nothing at all and just parrot what other people tell you?

      2. For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re right. You realize this guy and most supporters of St. Bernard are still innumerate? He wasn’t challenging it, he accepted the numbers and did that math anyway.

      3. How would single payer save 500 billion? Banning people from healthcare?

        Why did vermont scrap their single payer with a liberal governor?

      4. You realize Obamacare just copied the Swiss system, right?

        Did we achieve Swiss healthcare costs yet?

        No.

        We also have public schools just like Europe, but we spend more and get worse test results.

        Explain this. We copied Europe with public education, but we don’t get the savings. Why not?

        1. Harun|1.11.16 @ 11:46PM|#
          “You realize Obamacare just copied the Swiss system, right?”
          Cite missing.

  35. Holy batcow, this thread has been trolled to death. Movin along.

  36. There’s a relevant Richard Feynman quotes about big numbers. “There are 1011 stars in the galaxy,” Feynman once said. “That used to be a huge number. But it’s only a hundred billion. It’s less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.” That was at least three decades ago?the annual deficit is at about a trillion now.

    I know which libertarian podcasts Ed has been listening to lately…

  37. “democratic socialism”

    Two words that shouldn’t be in the same sentence.

    1. A distressing number of people seem to think “democracy = majority rules” despite the obvious contradiction therein.

    2. I think they prefer their socialism to be more…….national.

  38. “Sanders hasn’t been specific about where the money would come from”

    And now for my next trick, watch me print money out of my ass!

  39. “Big numbers, just like big corporations, are the barriers to social justice!”
    — innumerate progtard

  40. Ben & Jerry’s Created a New Ice Cream Flavor Just for Bernie Sanders

    http://news.yahoo.com/ben-jerr…..ts-postbox

    You have a right to free Ben & Jerry’s – any flavor.

    1. There are some choice comments:

      Why do great companies sell out to conglomerates like this? The products get adulterated to make bigger profits and until what’s left is a shadow its former self. I heard that the Koch brothers just acquired NPR. So who put NPR up for sale? I thought it was a “public” entity.

      I didn’t know Unilever had bought them. My last pint of Ben and Jerry’s.

      1. I heard that the Koch brothers just acquired NPR

        From your lips to God’s ear. Even Lew Rockwell would crack a smile.

        1. Conservatives and libertarians should take over all media outlets and cleanse them of progressives.

        2. Yeah, that’s funny. “I heard”. Well, I heard that aliens are among us and the Joos drink the blood of gentile children.

      2. Know how I found out? When I visited their facility in Vermont because my daughter wanted to go. It was mentioned in their hippie-but-sell-out video.

        I chuckled at that and nodded my head. People musta wondered what was wrong with me. Not the Russian couple next to me though. Fucken commies.

    2. Do you really need more than one flavor of ice cream?

      1. Not if the only choice is Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla.

        1. You definitely have a point there, OneOut.

  41. We moved away from Keynes in the 70’s?

    1. Yes, but only in the sense that Keynes himself disavowed “Keynesian” economics.

      1. Did he really?

        1. Hmm, I have read that Keynes once said “I am not a Keynesian” but on closer inspection, it looks apocryphal. Keynes was a bit more heterodox than the average Keynesian economist, although the same could be said of Paul Krugman if one were to focus on his scholarly work before he became a NYT columnist.

          1. Keynes did turn back on a lot of his depression era ideas upon hearing valid criticism of them. Ironically, Krugman is probably a more dogmatic Keynesian than Keynes was.

    2. Keynes was a homsexual libertine with no children.

      His motto was ‘Live for Today”.

      1. He also didn’t have any qualms about profiting from what today would be considered insider trading in his dealings with the British government.

  42. About the math.

    Yeah.

    It’s a MASSIVE inconvenience to the narrative hence they live in a pretend world where everything around their idealism has to bend for it. You can do that for a while – with smoke and mirrors – but that shit catches up to you.

    It always does.

    It wouldn’t surprise me either if they actually think math laws are malleable and thus can be changed to fit their needs. It just takes the right top man to do it. Looks like in this case Sanders.

    1. The problem is when it does catch up to them it is the greedy capitalists fault!

  43. “…his efforts at offering everyone an education could not only increase inequality (since richer people are, in general, more likely to take advantage of entitlements like a “free education”) but also actually redistribute wealth upward.”

    Who knew rich people wanted public education (the free state college). Virtually none of the richest use public high school as it is now…

    And that’s all the effort I’m going to put into this. Half of it is about an unrelated meme, which is a stretch in the first place. Because mathematics. Like, duh… /s ha

  44. This is a comment I just came across reading something about cuts in TV/radio up here.

    Keith Rowe
    July 31, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Unfortunately that’s the tragedy of capitalism- when a company or corporation has no more use of your talents, u are disguarded like an old pair of boots? They do not take into account of robbing an individual’s livelihood, what matters to them is the bottomline!!

    Yes. Because keeping redundant people on board to not be mean is a swell option for the viability of a business moving forward. Apparently, if I understand this guy, people should be able to keep a job for life ‘just because’ and not capitalist.

    1. REPOST.

      This is a comment I just came across reading something about cuts in TV/radio up here:

      “Keith Rowe
      July 31, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Unfortunately that’s the tragedy of capitalism- when a company or corporation has no more use of your talents, u are disguarded like an old pair of boots? They do not take into account of robbing an individual’s livelihood, what matters to them is the bottomline!!”

      Yes. Because keeping redundant people on board to not be mean is a swell option for the viability of a business moving forward. Apparently, if I understand this guy, people should be able to keep a job for life ‘just because’ and not capitalist.

      1. Are you sure that isn’t satire?

        1. Not from the site I pulled that from it is.

    2. And most people who get laid off don’t end up in the garbage or on some bum’s feet.

    3. “when a company or corporation has no more use of your talents, u are disguarded like an old pair of boots? They do not take into account of robbing an individual’s livelihood, what matters to them is the bottomline!!”

      That’s not a tragedy of capitalism; that’s just reality. When a relationship is no longer beneficial to one party, that party will terminate the relationship.

      Also, what the fuck does “disguarded” mean?

      1. Clemson’s defense on that long touchdown run…

  45. I’ve got to play contrarian here: There’s absolutely no evidence that the morons who fell for this meme disproportionately support Bernie Sanders. Let’s not stoop to their level by making baseless assumptions.

    1. Purely anecdotal but my FB news feed suggests they are. After they figured out the math was way off they immediately went to the “yeah, but if the government actually did this poverty would indeed be solved” argument. I’m not an economist by any stretch of the imagination but even I understand that if such a thing were to occur hyper-inflation would commence the next day. That was completely lost on them.

      Feel the Bern.

    2. MasculineOfCenter|1.11.16 @ 10:24PM|#
      “I’ve got to play contrarian here: There’s absolutely no evidence that the morons who fell for this meme disproportionately support Bernie Sanders.”

      Was such even suggested? I didn’t see it; please copy/paste example.

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  47. So the connection between this meme and Bernie Sanders is that they’re both proposing the redistribution of wealth. Sure, they are thematically related, I’ll give you that. So the fact that the meme is mathematically erroneous, means that Bernie Sanders’ propositions are economically inviable? This is what is called a ‘Non Sequitur’.

    1. Well, no.
      Nothing in there was ‘if-then’, it was using the comparisons between ignorant loto players and ignorant ‘Bernies’ to illustrate the point that neither is arithmetically possible.
      Do you get it now?

    2. Nope. there was no connection to his economic policies. All the article is saying being mathematically illiterate and not understanding basic concepts highlights why bernie sanders is appealing. his supporters dont think things thru. Bernie Sanders econ policies are the equivalent of creationism

    3. I get these all the time on Facebook – “if we only cut this bomber the Pentagon doesn’t want, we’d have enough money to pay for everyone’s college education.”

    4. “We have more than enough money for everyone, but…
      1) The 1% is hoarding all of it, not paying their fair share
      2) Republicans spend trillions on Boosh’s wars
      If only we could defeat the Koch Brother and have our Top Men run things, no one would ever be poor or unhappy again”

  48. If everyone in this country had 4 million dollars (let’s not it wouldn’t be untaxed), the price of sandwich bread in this country would go up to about, oh I don’t know, 100 dollars? Paper currency would go the way of the dodo because you wouldn’t able to carry the amount of physical money necessary to purchase even a few household items. Unless the 100 dollar bill becomes the de facto 1 dollar bill.

    “The problem…… is SOLVED!”

    These people have unchecked power to elect one of their own every 4 years. They also thank Obama online for the low gas prices, even though even the MSM credits surplus oil and increased production for that. They’re cultists. They’re almost the exact image of the deranged, uneducated right wingers they claim to despise.

  49. This is pure idiocy. The kid is a nobody. So let’s label every person that supports Bernie as one and the same. Meanwhile, plenty of you dumb fucks couldn’t add Seven-Eights and Twelve-Sixteenths and come up with the correct answer of one and three eighths.

    1. I hope you did the arithmetic wrong on purpose.

    2. 14+12=26. 26/16 is 13/8, or 1 and 5/8. Retard.

      And yeah everyone who supports Bernie at the very least is an idiot when it comes to basic economics. Sure, they may be good at other stuff, just like some scientologists may be great programmers.

    3. The problem is that lots of people thought is was clever and made a point. The guy who made it is irrelevant.

      I love it when people come around claiming to be smarter than everyone and immediately makes a colossal fuckup. Or was that a joke?

      1. Yup. Basically the point of the article is to highlight that the their way of “thinking” if you want to call it that is the reason Bernie Sanders is so appealing. His economic policies are based on emoting and not rational thought

    4. 1 + 1 = 11

  50. There are two definitions of a ‘billion’: a thousand million and a million million.

    By the second definition, the meme is mathematically correct, though the PowerBall jackpot announcers may have used a different definition.

    And, whoever wrote this meme has absolutely nothing to do with the Sanders campaign — so the leap to that connection is hardly an exercise of ‘reason’.

    Reading this post, and the comments on this post, I can only conclude that the writers and readers of this rag are really more interested in bullying with false claims of mathematical prowess than actually demonstrating any.

    1. Doesn’t have to do with Bernie sanders. Just saying the logic used to determine that splitting powerball ends poverty is the same as what makes Bernie sanders appealing….that a wand can be waved and poof utopia

  51. By the second definition, 1.3 million million divided by 300 million is still not 4.3 million.

    Thanks for playing.

    1. Mr. Andolini – very highly likely European, perhaps oldish French guy, I’d guess – is likely using the so-called long scale version of naming big numbers, where billion is a million million (10^12 instead of 10^9). European. And the word mil is one thousand (million means a big thousand, because it’s a thousand thousand). So Mr. Andolini is correct if you begin with his definitions. My first take was that he simply misunderstood the word billion in US news accounts. But to a gringo audience it’s gibberish.

      1. Interesting! And fair enough. But critical thinking skills should have told him that there must be a misunderstanding here, as his result is self-evidently unreasonable.

      2. Careful, wasn’t Andolini Vito’s original surname?

  52. What is hilarious to me is the stupidity and deliberate ignorance of the writer of this article and a majority of the posters. It’s itonic really…how insulting the posters are when calling everyone stupid… When in fact the writers of said insults truly are without a shred of intellectual credibility. Not a shred of evidence or any honest journalism… Not an ounce of honest insight or thought. I get it everyone has an opinion… But come on the level of dishonest and misinformed rhetoric here is staggering. And the projection… Staggering. Inform yourselves… Maybe find non corporate media? Think for your selves… Quit being sheeple who spew Fox News talking points all day. It’s too bad really… That you all can’t read what you wrote from a different pov and learn from your mistakes.

    1. Lulz.

    2. You realize this is a libertarian website? The amount of hardcore Fox News watchers here is pretty low.

    3. You’re stupid.

  53. Very weak article. I’m more concerned with this gentleman’s lack of journalistic ability than the mathematical idiocy on Facebook.

  54. Imagine if the government simply gave everyone millions of dollars, and we all just up and quit work!!! That would like totally solve all our societal problems and stuff.

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  59. Another absurdity of this meme is that millions of people (low to middle income earners or welfare recipients) pour 1.4 billion into a lottery. The government takes half, and they want to redistribute the remainder to the entire population including all the middle and upper income earners. Talk about redistribution fail.

  60. Complaining about mathematical illiteracy?

    Sorry, but the “Free Market” *loves* mathematical illiteracy. Even if you ignore the industries that explicitly thrive on such (the lottery, every casino ever, anyone giving you “hot tips” for the stock market), move industries rely on it sooner or later. Whether you’re talking about pricing men and womens products differently, to a grocery store under-cutting on staples but bumping the price on other goods, to permanently having something on “sale” but having the “normal” price at twice the list price… that’s the Free Market.

    So it’s kind of weird to see Reason whining about people that are bad at math. If more people were good at math the Powerball wouldn’t exist. What you got against someone making a buck (by scamming out millions of people)?

    1. There’s the free market, and there’s “free market” that exists in the heads of soft socialists. You’re thinking about the latter.

      You’re going to pay more for a marquee NBA game than a WNBA game. All the wealthy libs would rather pay for front side seat at a losing Lakers game than go to a woman’s soccer game. That’s just called supply and demand.

      the “staples” are cheap perishable items. Loss leaders are designed to encourage customers to purchase more pricier items that turn more profit. Ralphs can’t afford their union workers if all people bought were sodas and chips. And they’re not the primary decision maker on setting the prices on items.

      No one forces you to play powerball (which is ran by the state to fund education) or gamble. The free market doesn’t acknowledge the math in those endeavors, it merely allows individuals to risk their money at long odds without penalty. An entire state runs on gambling.

      Japan outlaws most gambling, but that doesn’t stop pachinko machines from selling out and some players find ways to convert prizes to cash.

    2. Doesn’t the government run Powerball? Only the government can allow gambling so they run all the lotteries. If there was private competition, I guarantee you the bettors would get better payouts.

    3. What you got against someone making a buck (by scamming out millions of people)?

      What do you have against morality or ideas of right and wrong? Too restrictive for you? Fraud is just as bad as violations of the NAP and essentially for the same reasons.

    4. EscherEnigma|1.12.16 @ 2:29PM|#
      “Sorry, but the “Free Market” *loves* mathematical illiteracy. Even if you ignore the industries that explicitly thrive on such (the lottery, every casino ever, anyone giving you “hot tips” for the stock market), move industries rely on it sooner or later. Whether you’re talking about pricing men and womens products differently, to a grocery store under-cutting on staples but bumping the price on other goods, to permanently having something on “sale” but having the “normal” price at twice the list price… that’s the Free Market.”

      Poor little shit, always scammed by the kids smarter than you, right? Bought your house at the peak of the market? Keep buying Rolexes that turn out to made in China?
      Always looking for that main chance and always taking it in the shorts; poor little shit.
      Oh, and you’re not helping yourself by whining.

  61. When you look at this, it becomes pretty obvious why a $20 trillion debt doesn’t scare Democrats, they don’t understand the concept anyway and, hell, if you got a billion and a half you got enough to make the whole country a millionaire. Whoda thunk it.

  62. Wow this was pretty cool. That a lot of people would believe that is amazing and it makes you think if you hit one billionaire, problem solved. When you have 10’s of millions of people on entitlements, that’s numbers billionaires can’t come anywhere near in terms of supporting. It’s really important to hammer his overall point home. I read somewhere that if you confiscated all the wealth (net worth not income, and if you did that tax revenue would drop a lot going forward) of the top 1% that would be ~7 trillion. This pay off less than half the national debt so we already spent what they have.

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  68. Powerball allows non-american citizens to play so that math is even more off.\

  69. I believe the GOP deserves to lose to Bernie. It would give my libertarian vote 20 times the law-changing power instead of the usual 10X. Two choices would remain: either they tar, feather and lynch all their Prohibition Party and Tea Party antichoice infiltrators or we get rid of them wholesale and replace House and Senate with LP legislators.

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  71. Public education in action!

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