Additional Math Pages & Resources

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Yesterday we talked about deficit. That implies overspending and subsequent need for credit, use of math to justify an unbalanced budget, etc.

Today we'll investigate the opposite term, surplus.

In my imagination, that implies khaki-colored stuff piled on tables in a warehouse. Some jackets. Some tents. Some pipes and brackets and un-definable hardware. Like this:

Of course, we don't get surplus stuff without some one, some where, at some time, having bought too much, which leads to a deficit (in their budget) and a surplus (in this store).

Surplus also implies discounted prices. Somebody (first the army, now the store owner) has more than they want, and they lower the prices to motivate us to buy (more than we need or otherwise want).

We often call this urge to get a good deal "being thrifty" but it can lead to the opposite - buying more than you need because the price is attractive. That leads to a deficit in the family budget.

Did you ever notice people buy more at a "thrift store" because things are so cheap?

In California Curriculum Standard #60042 we (publishers and teachers) are required to teach "thrift, fire prevention and humane treatment of animals and people."

Exactly why thrift, fire prevention and humane treatment are linked together I cannot say. I only have to worry about the math portion of this assignment.

PS The definition of thrift is extended to include avoiding waste and/or littering.

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