Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New York Times Discusses 'Fair' Tax, Promotes Innumeracy

The New York Times' Tom Redburn asks, "Huckabee's Tax Plan Appeals, but Is It Fair?" A good question. A better question: "Tom Redburn can write an article, but can he do basic math?" Or maybe, "Has the need to be 'fair and balanced' made it impossible for a reporter to simply admit to knowing things that were once eminently knowable?"

The offending passage is this one:

It is not the same as a normal sales tax, however. Under the proposal, the tax is included first. That means a $100 item would cost $130, or 30 percent more. The plan's supporters say that works out as a 23 percent rate because $30 is 23 percent of $130.
What? Has the field of mathematics ceased to exist? Are numbers no longer the sum, total, count, or aggregate of a collection of units? Unless a new style of algorithm, founded on pixie dust and horse manure, has just been invented, there cannot be two answers to this calculation!


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