Sunday, August 06, 2017

One plus one...


     Every so often, on social media sites, someone posts a mathematical problem similar to this:

1 + 4 = 5
2 + 5 = 12
3 + 6 = 21
8 + 11 = ?

Apparently the challenge is to figure out how the answers were derived in the first three equations and then using the same method to arrive at the answer for the fourth problem. Of course, 1 + 4 = 5, but to make 2 + 5 = 12, and 3 + 6 =21, you need to multiply the first two numbers and then add the first number to that answer. That works for 1 + 4 = 5 too. And by extension and using the same logic, 8 + 11 = 96.

            I won’t argue that (2 x 5) +2 = 12, or that (3 x 6) +3 = 21, but 2 plus 5 always has and always will equal 7, just like 3 plus 6 equals 9, and 8 plus 11 equals 19.  There’s an old saying that two wrongs don’t make a right, just like getting a couple of problems wrong doesn’t change the answer of the next one.

            Shortly after our country was founded, the government started getting involved in areas of our lives it shouldn’t be involved in. Article 1, Section 8, of the United States Constitution lists the powers Congress and the federal government have been given. There are about 30 specific duties along with a few amendments that have been added over the years. They’re involved in a few more than that now.

            The intrusions were few and far between for the first 100 or so years, but shortly after the beginning of the 20th century, every congress seemed determined to outdo the last congress. From taxes to welfare to retirement funding, every time the government gets involved, we can pretty well depend on the next session getting even more involved.

             A few years ago they got involved in our health care. A few years later they got involved in our health insurance. A few years after that they got even more involved in our health insurance. It’s turned out to be a good deal for some people, and a not so good deal for other people. When the Republicans took over from the Democrats they thought they could improve it by tweaking some of the rules and regulations associated it. They never considered that it was wrong for the government to get involved in what should be our personal business to begin with, and simply changing some of the details wouldn’t right that wrong.

Our government has made a lot of mistakes over the years. Those mistakes can’t be used to justify more mistakes.

            It just doesn’t add up.

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