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Things are bad all over. Two examples

1. Teachers are taking dozens of free pens at conferences because their school districts no longer have the money to provide pens to their students. Pens!

2. Ken Lay takes a bath on his Aspen house. He only got $5.5 million for it. Hopefully he got more for his other three houses in Aspen.


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Comments (4)


Okay, I'll bite. Oh the horror of it. Students are going without supplies. They don't have any pens. What are we going to do? The world is coming to an end.

Do you really believe this crap? Where are the parents? You can buy pens at any discount store for 10 cents apiece and cheaper in bulk. Who can not afford this amount of money? Even for "poor" people it is in the noise level. Since we all know that poor people are more likely to be overweight because they eat so much fast food, the simple solution is for them to eat just one less McDonalds Happy Meal. Think how many pens you could buy for that one meal. (However, though I am a heartless conservative, even I would not suggest that they not buy a LeBron James model basketball sneaker for $150 dollars. That would indeed be going beyond the pale.)

This story of teachers spending an average of $589 for supplies for their class is an urban legend. That would be over $25 per student. Do you know how many supplies you can buy for $25, especially when bought in bulk? Walk into a Staples some time and you will find out.

Partha Mazumdar:

Ignoring the Lebron James sneaker comment...

$589 divided by (1 teacher times 5 classes a day times 30 students a class) equals $3.93.


Thanks Partha. I was waiting for you to make a dumb comment and you didn't disappoint me. Your numbers are 30 times too high!

Ignoring the fact that there are not 30 students in a class in most schools, do you not think that a student could use a pen in more than one class? An elementary school teacher has between 20 and 25 students in the class for the whole day. Thus if you divide $589 by the number of students you get a value of $23.56 to $29.45 per student. If we are talking about middle school or high school then each student has 5 different teachers a day, but he only sees the teacher for 1/5 of the day.

However, that is only part of the analysis. Do you really believe that every child in public school can not afford to buy supplies. So according to you, there are no affluent children in the schools. There are no upper middle class children in the schools. There are no middle class children in the schools. There are no lower middle class children in the schools. Every child in every school is so poor that if they had to buy a few pens and paper they would starve to death. Right? Well, I don't think that even you would believe that. So let's go back to your math. What percentage of the students are below the poverty line? I just looked it up and I got a value of 16% for the year 2000. Now just because they are below the poverty line, does not mean that they cannot afford to buy a pen, but for the sake of the argument, lets use that number. Thus only 16% of the children need to get supplies. Doing the math that means that the teacher spends an average of between $147 and $184 on each needy child. I guess they must be buying them these http://www.cartier.com/" rel="nofollow"> pens .

All I know is we had to buy our own pens when we were in school.


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