Archive for June 2009

The tragedy of mathematical education

June 20, 2009


You see the fruits of the problem when you teach students material that uses math to solve problems and express ideas. They freeze up and want recipes rather than seeing beneath the surface to the ideas.

But to be fair, some people only get the ideas by working through the recipes. I never understand anything until I work through all the steps myself, writing the recipe in my own words.



This seems like another alternative to a credit card option to me

June 18, 2009

Is This The Beginning of the End of Free Checking? – Real Time Economics – WSJ

You pay $20 per month to the bank for the checking account, but the account does not charge any overdraft fees for overdrafts up to $500.  And you get a debit card.

You therefore pay $20 per month for the ability to have a short term ‘interest-free’ loan of $500. 

That works out to an interest rate of 4% per month, or 1.04^12-1=60% yearly interest, in the best case.  And that is if you borrow the $500 each month.  Surely you can find a lower cost credit card? That is, get a no-fee credit card for those $500 short term loans.

‘Crowding out’

June 3, 2009

is the idea that people offset increased government spending by increasing private savings.  It is happening, at least partially:

Americans are saving more money – Top Stocks Blog – MSN Money