Saturday, March 6, 2010

Some Serious Math

Recently, we have been amazed at the ineptitude of those in government and other large organizations for their math skills. I fully realize that there is a challenge inherent in handling sums which heretofore have only existed when computing the number of angels stacked on the head of a pin. Apparently, the United States Travel Association does not have a computer capable of entering twelve digits.

They recently reported that our numbers of visitors had declined since 2000 by some 2.4 million. They then estimated the financial loss from that shortfall at $509,000,000,000.00.

That’s a pretty hefty chunk of change, especially when you compute the per capita amount of the loss: $212,083.33 each. Let’s see, that comes to $424,166.66 per couple or $848,333.32 for a family of four. It is the best argument I have ever heard for leaving your mother-in-law at home.

Not to worry though, they have a sure-fire solution. It is their intention to charge $10.00 a head at the point of entry to offset the loss. Just exactly who would be the beneficiary of this boon was not mentioned. Let’s see now; $10 times 50.5 million in record setting 2008 would have produced 505 million and would have made a dent of 0.0992% in the reported losses. It just goes to show that a sawbuck doesn’t go as far as it used to.

In a nation of reported unemployment of 10%, and more likely 15% plus, this purported revenue generator of .0992% seems unworthy of any particular excitement. More important, the foreign travelers actually decreased by a mere 4.8%. Las Vegas fared worse than that at the hands of Obama running off at the mouth about parsimonious travel. Sources also reported that out of the $505 million collected, a mere $100 million would go to the travel agency.

Interviews from foreign agencies promoting US travel have reported the downturn is partially caused by fear of overbearing officials and inconvenience in air travel. What is remarkable is that the 2008 figures were an all time high after the world became convinced that the US is not a death trap in spite of 9/11 fears. It is possible that in the absence of a “cowboy” in the White House, they foresee terrors to come with an administration totally concerned about advancing a socialist agenda instead of “minding the store.”

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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