I was out of lunch meat, so Garry went to the deli. It was Monday and the deli was out of everything except (sigh) turkey breast. Not my favorite, but I’m betting today is a delivery day. Garry asked the newest lady at the counter for 3/4 of a pound of turkey breast. Like a deer caught in headlights, she was lost. She could probably “do” a pound — or half a pound. But what was 3/4? She obviously didn’t recognize it as 75% of a pound (which is 100%), or even that it’s likely the line between the half pound and full pound markers.
Schools don’t teach math in any way that might be useful to those they have taught. They have gotten into systems so complicated that no one under 40 can do any math in their head. They need a calculator. Even to subtract one number from another. Oh, and they can’t count on their fingers. Eventually, the boss stopped what he was doing and came over to rescue her. Garry came home. He commented that there’s a scale and surely the young women (in her 20s) could tell that there was a line between half a pound and one pound and that would be the three-quarter, right?
Wrong. She doesn’t know that 3/4 (of one) = 75% (of one). Have you ever tried to explain to a clerk how to turn 99-cents into a dollar?
“Look, I’ll give you a penny and you can give me a dollar.”
“It says 99-cents.”
“So that means that if I give you a penny, you can give me a dollar.”
“It says 99-cents.”
This is because she doesn’t know that 100 cents (pennies) equal one dollar. We are worried that our “below age 40” youngsters aren’t going to vote. I’m beginning to worry that they can’t think. Apparently, thinking is no longer taught in school. If you don’t get a head start at home with the whole “thinking” thing, you’re doomed. You’ve got to wonder if folks who don’t know that 99-cents plus a penny (one cent) equals a dollar, how can we expect them to have a grip on the issues? Or even know what kind of government we have or might want?