Math is Hard

Math is Hard

I can’t believe it, Save Jerseyans, but your Blogger-in-Chief needs to begin this post by defining the word “proportional”:


/prəˈpɔrʃənl, -ˈpoʊr-/ Show Spelled[pruh-pawr-shuh-nl, -pohr-] Show IPA


1. having due proportion; corresponding.

2. being in or characterized by proportion.

3. of, pertaining to, or based on proportion; relative.

4. Mathematics:

a. (of two quantities) having the same or a constant ratio or relation: The quantities y and  x are proportional if  y/x = k, where  k is the constant of proportionality.

b. (of a first quantity with respect to a second quantity) a constant multiple of: The quantity y is proportional to  x if  y = kx, where  k is the constant of proportionality.

Got it?

Good! You’re one full grade level ahead of a prominent New Jersey journalist (at least in terms of mathematical knowledge).

He interviewed New Jersey State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff for the latest installment of NJTV’s On The Record; at one point, Mr. Aron insisted that the Governor’s proposed 10% across-the-board income tax cut appeared disproportionate on its face. The Treasurer patiently and articulately tried to explain to his interviewer how (A) 10% of a larger sum in necessarily bigger than (B) 10% of a relatively smaller sum; unfortunately, a couple of minutes in to this particular segment, the Governor’s numbers man gave up. It wasn’t sinking in!

Fast forward to the 6:30 mark:

Watch A Conversation with NJ State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff on PBS. See more from NJTV Series.

I’m not trying to beat up Michael Aron, Save Jerseyans. I’ve heard he’s a nice enough dude. Never met him.

I am suggesting that we (the taxpayers) could obviate the need for extended debate on something as simple and common sense as a modest, 10% income tax cut if the folks reporting said proposal to the public had a better grasp of basic civics and mathematics!

Just a thought. I’m full of them as you’re well aware.


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