My respect for professors has plummetted

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
Great Bustard
Forum ProPosts: 23,223
Re: Can you work a math problem for me?
In reply to Walking Dead, 11 months ago

Walking Dead wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

Walking Dead wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

Walking Dead wrote:

Brian wrote:

Maybe books have changed from a hundred years ago, but looking at my sons calc and physics books, they have changed little in the past 25 years.

The price certainly has though. I paid around $50 for my physics and calc books. my son is getting soaked for $200 for the calc and $220 for the physics book. Tuition at the school since I went is up 80% but books are up 200+%. You can't tell me it cost that much more to publish a book. A book that basically hasn't changed in 50 years.

Brian, if the books were $50 each, 25 years ago, and now they are $200 and $220 each now, they have been going up an average of about 6% a year (compounded). This is pretty much in line with what inflation has been overall in the US. Some years it was higher, and in lower in others.

In other words, the books have basically stayed the same in price when you factor in inflation.

You're just getting old, and looking at what things cost in your 'days'. Maybe your son or you should take a class in business finance/management.

In my case, when I was attending college, the tuition and room and board was about $4000 a year. Today, some 40 years later, it is $42,000 a year. It seems like a lot, but when you break it down, it comes out to about 6% compounded a year.

Another way to look at it is to remember the story of how the Dutch settlers bought Manhattan Island for $24, worth of beads and trinkets in 1626, some 387 years ago. If the American natives had put the $24 into an account paying 6% interested a year, and it was allowed to grow for 387 years, that $24 would be worth $149,135,522,178.17, today. That's not too shabby.

The magic of compound interest.

...that's double the actual inflation rate over that time period:

From 1973 to 2012, the average inflation rate is 4.38% a year.

It's 2013 right now, right? So what was the date 25 years ago? When I worked it out (and, yes, I did use a calculator), I didn't get 1973. In fact, I got 1988. So, since we were talking about books costing $50 twenty-five years ago, which would be 1988, I'm not sure why we'd include inflation figures from 1973-1988. I must be missing something.

Anyway, the way I was thinking, which must be wrong because you told me I was, was that if we looked at the inflation rate from 1988 to 2013, we would find that it averaged under 3%. So, could you please work me through where I did the math wrong?

Great Bas-tard...

Cheap insults -- the last refuge of those who are caught.

...apparently, you missed the part of my earlier post about when I went to college some 40 years ago.

Look at the bold text at the top of this post. What does it say? Now let's quote what you said in response to it (right below the bold text):

Brian, if the books were $50 each, 25 years ago, and now they are $200 and $220 each now, they have been going up an average of about 6% a year (compounded).

That's very curious, isn't it?  Seems like you were computing the inflation for a book that cost $50 twenty-five years ago, but using double the average inflation rate over the last 25 years.

Huh.  What are we to make of that?

Suggestion, try looking at the post that is in the middle. I can help you with math, buth you're going to have to teach yourself how to read.

I'm thinking that neither the math nor the reading comp are my problem here.  In fact, the evidence, all contained in this post, clearly points to...

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