The Ten Year Old

Ten years. As of today, my oldest son is ten years old. Unbelievable to think about that little nothing ten years ago growing into the remarkable child that he is today.

Him: There’s someone at my school that I’m 7 minutes older than.
Me: Really! Who is it?
Him: It’s Francisca Eason.
Me: Huh. How about that.
Him: Actually, she almost got expelled. She’s really annoying, and they wanted to expel her because she’s so annoying, but her Mom is some kind of boss at the school so she’s still there.
Me: They don’t expel people for being annoying.
Him: Hey, I have my theories.

The Tyranny of the Innumerate

At a company event, there was a quiz question to win a prize. How much revenue did we make with product X in 2012? Closest guess wins (you can go over).

My guess was 9.6 million dollars. The other guesses were $100,000, $150,000, $170,000. The actual answer was 3.3 million dollars. Naturally the host gave the prize to the $170,000 guesser. After all, they were off by 3.2MM, and I was off by 6.3MM, twice as much.

However, anyone with a science or math background would see that I was off by only 200%, and the next closest guesser was off by almost 2,000%! Despite my well-supported case, I chose not to pursue the point. Sometimes it’s not worth it.

The GOP Gets Generous Media Framing

From today’s New York Times.

The party’s deficit-cutting agenda relies heavily on reducing taxes for the wealthy, which irks middle-class voters, and cutting spending on government programs, like Social Security and Medicare, that are popular with many voters.

This has it exactly backwards. The party’s agenda is not deficit-cutting that chooses reducing taxes for the wealthy as a means to achieve that end. The party’s goal is reducing taxes for the wealthy, and uses deficit-cutting as a political game to achieve that end. Whenever there has been a conflict between the deficit and the rich in the party’s actions, the rich have won.

Consider the estate tax. The GOP was more than happy to add hundreds of millions to the deficit with no offset of any kind. Why? Because the benefits all went to the rich.

Or consider the recent fiscal cliff insanity. Remember what going over the cliff meant. It meant greatly reducing the deficit. Increase revenue (through taxes) and decrease spending. If the GOP’s goal was truly deficit reduction, this would have been a dream proposal, they would have happily sailed off the edge. However, because it contained increased taxes for the wealthy, they had to be against it. And note how the estate tax was one of the elements in the bargain, even though it would seem to be a minor part of the issue.

The modern republican party is based around one idea. That idea is consolidating more and more of the national income and assets to the wealthy.