Opinion: Pet Peeves

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Numbers Guy

By Mark Crantz

I’m not a numbers guy. Math was never my strong suit. And as readers know, language wasn’t either. This was not a good hand to be dealt, if your goal was to be the next literary giant with a big bank account. However, now in my cataract induced twilight years, I see the folly of trying to amass a pile of money because in retirement I see the effort it takes to keep the pile away from others who want it. These others are generally people who are less gifted than me in math, but believe they are idiot savants when it comes to language. “Give me because, well, I don’t know, just give me. I need it. I’ll know better what to do with your money than you. You’re an idiot. I’m a savant.”

It’s a strong argument.  “One of the noisiest among them is Uncle Sam. So I say, take my money. Do something great with it. I sure as hell have no idea what to do.” Thanks to people like me, who are not good at math and language, Uncle Sam has been living large and then some. This year alone, Uncle Sam is $3.2 trillion in debt. He’s recently double downed.

So it was a breath of fresh Covid-free air, to hear the city council vote down pay raises.  Mayor Bob Whalen said, “I do think we need to set an example at the top in terms of this.  We don’t know where we’re going to be headed with our various labor negotiations.”   The City Council reported revenues were down $7 million for the March to June period.  This loss was better than the city’s budgeted $12 million dollar shortfall.

Bad news for sure, but it could have been worse. It could have been $5 million dollars worse. Wow. My simplistic math skills encourage me to replace Uncle Sam with Uncle Bob. Bob would make a much better fiscally-sound relative. Imagine Christmas with Uncle Bob. “No Virginia, there isn’t a Santa and Macy’s will be gone soon enough, too.”

Crantz tells the Indy that readers may want to give Uncle Bob their vote come this election. It would be an early Christmas present for all of us. Now Uncle Donald is another relative, altogether. He’s wishing for another four years and a $4 gazillion dollar present to retire his $400 million worth of past Christmases’ debt. And yes Virginia, there’s $8 gazillion dollars worth of asset valued golf courses to be used as collateral.  It’s the new math. Don’t even try to figure it out. You’re probably like me. We don’t get the math, old or new.



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