September 28, 1986 |
Recently, I confessed my inability to conceive of phenomena that are either very large or very small. Even as relatively small an amount as a trillion dollars, which we have already surpassed in our national debt, is beyond me. As I noted, if you spent it at $1 a second it would take you 31,688 years to spend it all. I am also humbled by the news that IBM has generated light pulses so short that as many of them could be crowded into a single second as there are seconds in 30 million years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 13, 2001
Re "California May Not Deserve Utility Refund, Referee Says," July 10: Federal mediator Curtis L. Wagner opined that California's claims against out-of-state electricity providers and marketers should be balanced against unpaid debts. Oh, absolutely! Let us seize their assets, add up the fair cost before the manufactured crisis, plus what is owed to them. Then subtract. Overcharges since last spring, check. Calculated cost of personal and business bankruptcies due to "gamed" market, check.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 1985
David S. Broder's column (Editorial Pages, Feb. 10), "It's Not Nice, but Someone Has to Say It: Raise Taxes," hits the nail squarely on the head, but it doesn't drive it all the way home. He reminds us of the fact that compound interest increases exponentially, and proposes tax increases to cure the deficit problem. He doesn't seem willing to recognize that tax increases alone cannot cure the disease. The economy is relatively healthy at the present time. It is in good times that we must achieve surpluses, not just smaller deficits.
June 2, 1996 |
With a standard calculator, you have to compute interest for each year successively. It's much faster to use a present-value calculator, which has special keys to speed the process. You can usually use such calculators to solve other problems with statistics, annuities and mortgages. (One basic present-value calculator is the Texas Instruments BA-35, which retails for about $20 at discount office stores.
October 20, 1991
This is in response to Benny L. Kass' discussion ("Cost Argues Against Shift to 15-Year Loan," Sept. 29) on the shift from a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan, on a small condo, for a 45-year-old first-time home buyer. One of the factors the questioner addressed was the approaching retirement age, with a 15-year, age 60, loan payoff. While Kass may be "biased" against the 15-year loan as compared with the 30-year loan, this situation begs for the shorter one. Using Kass' figures, $100,000 at 9%, a 15-year loan, principal and interest, will have a total outlay of $182,568.
December 2, 2012
Re "Risky bonds tie schools to huge debt," Nov. 29 While reading the article about school districts selling bonds that saddle them with massive amounts of debt, I thought of those interest-only loans issued during the housing bubble (but here, not even the interest is paid for a while). And we all know how that turned out. Albert Einstein is said to have declared compound interest the universe's most powerful force. All the districts had to do was consult a middle school math teacher to see the long-term costs.