Idiot Commentary On Bailout

A friend forwarded along an article by someone opposed to the $85B bailout of AIG which basically devolves into a lengthy rant over why we should give all that money to everyone 18 and older in the US and let them do some good with it.

Author estimates around 200 million adults, and $85B split between them is $425,000 apiece - you could pay off your mortgage, your school debt, take care of your parent’s health insurance, set up a college fund for your kids, other wonderful things. Rather than letting the government squander the money.

I do agree with some of the indignation the author expressed and I certainly would rather have everybody with a little extra cash in their savings than us having to bail out a financial institution that set their business plan to “All Ahead Lunacy”.

However I’d find his article far more convincing if the idiot could actually do some freakin’ math.

$85B divided by 200 million adults is $425 per adult. Not $425,000. Which sinks every high-minded idea the guy has - nobody is paying off their mortgage, their college loans, buying grandma a new hip or putting their kids through Harvard with $425.

That guy at least could spend his share on some math classes at the local community college.

I didn’t get the email, but I saw it copy-and-pasted on another forum. Someone also ended up pointing this out relatively soon after the initial post.

Economic ignorance or fanaticism I can understand, even forgive.

Ignorance of basic math, I cannot.

I got one of those, corrected the math and sent it back to the guy. I’m fairly sure he isn’t going to check any future crap emails before he forwards them.

Possibly this is from somebody with a British background, where they use the term ‘billion’ to mean a million millions (what we call a ‘trillion’ in America)? Because if you use the British definition of ‘billion’, his math is right – $425,000 per person.

The British have largely gone over to US terminology with regards to “billions” and so forth, particularly to avoid such confusion in this globalised business world, and anyhow the AIG bailout is definitely not 85 trillion. Jeebus - that’d be one big company.

Damn it. For a minute I thought I was pretend rich.

It’s still common to hear “X thousand million” where the US billion could be used. I’ve not heard someone use the British billion in a long time though, probably to avoid confusion as you point out.

The difference between $425 and $425,000 is really not all that great. The former won’t do much for me. If we all get the latter, then the tide will be raised, inflation will spiral out of control, and we’ll all be worse off than ever.

If the US government really wants to make a difference, they should send all $85,000,000,000 to me personally. That money will trickle down through the economy via liquor stores and escort services. It shouldn’t take more than a year.

OK, two years. I’m try to exercise restraint.

Great plan. Would you like a new bestest friend?

Sure. What does she look like?