Math Isn’t Subjective (And That’s a Good Thing)

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12 Responses

  1. Man, great post here – right on!

    I especially dig the title. Math like this really isn’t subjective. There’s just no other way to build wealth.

    For kicks, though, here’s a subjective math thing: Are 1 and 0.999… equal? Proof they are: Take both values and divide by 3. You end up with 0.333… and 0.333… It’s one of those infinity things that kinda bends your mind.

    Thanks for the good read.

    • Joe Freedom says:

      Thanks for the visit FL and the comment! As for the brain-teaser, that sounds like a question at the end of a chapter in a college math (or finance?) textbook … you have more experience there so I’m not touching it. (Are we crossing over into asymptotes?)

      And sorry for the delayed approve … I may need to spend a little less time on your site and more on my own!

  2. I agree with this post. Math doesn’t lie. If you spend more than you earn, you will have a deficit of money. If you earn more than you spend, you’ll have a surplus, and that surplus will grow if that money earns money that earns money etc. It is crazy that so many people choose to ignore this, or play victim in the financial situation.

  3. Good post. Objectivity is good for math, lest the whole universe collapse into itself.

    That LA Times piece you referenced seems to be making the argument that it’s easier to get rich if you already have some money (like in the example of starting a small business, or the janitor not being able to save $300/month). Those things are true, of course. The questionable conclusion that the writer and others reach, though, is “…so why even bother trying?” The system is certainly not always fair, but that’s no reason to give yourself excuses not to work toward financial security.

    • Joe Freedom says:

      Thanks for the visit Matt! And thanks for the thoughts on the LA Times article. My problem with the argument in that piece is that the author sets up false premises and then proceeds to knock them down in support of his “don’t even bother” conclusion. I don’t believe that the TMND data indicated that a large proportion of the successful group started out with significant “family resources” as argued here. And then for the janitor story, the writer looked to an analysis on an economics blog that concluded “oh, no janitor on earth would have been able to afford saving $300 a month.” That analysis reminds me of the old economist joke that goes something like “If you see a dollar lying on the sidewalk, don’t bother bending over to pick it up because if it were really there, someone would have taken it already.” The problem with the “no janitor could do that” argument is, well, he DID do it. I’ll take historical fact over economic theory every single time! So when the LA Times author says that “it’s hard to know what life lessons one should draw from [the janitor’s] experience,” I say how ‘bout this: Work hard and don’t spend all your earnings on consuming stuff so you can have some to invest and grow and become financially successful.

      But there is also no denying the other truths that you point out: it is easier if you start with something as opposed to nothing, and some will have systemic advantages that others will not. That’s why I think stories like the janitor’s are so important—he’s one that started with nothing and faced systemic disadvantages … and he still got there.

  1. November 18, 2016

    […] mentions: Trapped In Work reminds us that math isn’t subjective, Zaptitude reminds us that life is made up of moments, not things, and lastly, Chris Istace asks […]

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