If You Think Numbers Are Fun then you’ll Just Love Percentages!

11 Sep


If You Think Numbers Are Fun then you’ll Just Love Percentages!


Of all the U.S. students in the graduating class of 2009 who had advanced skills in math, only six percent performed at the advanced level. Maybe this is why.

My bank gives me .1 percent interest on the money that I keep in my checking account. I keep it in my checking account because let’s face it, I never get to keep my money for very long before it’s headed someplace else.  They used to pay me 6 percent interest when I was little but that was a long time ago when banks had way less money than they have now and could afford giving me more interest…wait a minute…is that correct? Unfortunately it is. Anyway, 6 percent is another way of saying .06 and .1 percent is another way of saying .001

As far as numbers go .06 and .001 don’t look all that much different do they, but .06 is actually 60 times more than .001. That means that the bank cut my interest by 60 times! They are now giving me 60 times less interest on my money then they were giving me when I was a child. Boy, I sure wish that banks had more money today than they used to when I was a kid…oh wait…they do!

Anyway, back when I had 1 million dollars in the bank and was getting that 6 percent interest I would make 60 thousand dollars every year just for keeping it in the bank. Today the bank only gives me 1 thousand dollars a year for keeping my 1 million dollars there. But wait! I don’t have 1 million dollars. I lost some in the Savings and Loan scandal and then lost some in the Enron Scandal and then lost some more in the latest banking scandal (Did they name it yet? Perhaps they can call it the Bernie Madoff Did It All By Himself and Nobody Else in the Whole Wide World Could Figure it out but Him so Only He Was Punished scandal)  when the banks lost most of their money too (which they then got back from the government I think, even though I didn’t get any of my money back) but I am getting .1 percent interest from the bank for doing me the favor of holding onto my money before they lose it.

Anyway, that .1 percent looks an awfully lot like 1 percent doesn’t it? But it is actually 10 time less. That’s the power of the percentage point. So now the 10 thousand dollars that I have left in my account gets me an additional 10 dollars a year in interest which I can use to drive myself to the poor house…As long as it’s no more than 3 gallons of gas away!)

Perhaps this is why kids in the United States don’t like learning math. Math is just too sad…but I will say this: If we use math wisely and apply it to our daily lives, troubles, problems and deficits, we can solve all of our problems! When will we learn what every math teacher already knows? Just do the math!

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