Liberal Arts Blog — How Only Mathematical Civic Literacy (MCL): Can Save Democracy in America (Part II)
Liberal Arts Blog — Monday is the Joy of Math, Statistics, Shapes, and Numbers Day
Today’s topic — How Only Mathematical Civic Literacy (MCL): Can Save Democracy in America (Part II)
Only mathematical civic literacy can save democracy in America because if you don’t understand the math of the fraud you just don’t get it. And it’s tricky math. It’s not really that hard, but it’s tricky. You have to focus on the important numbers. You have to appreciate the order of magnitude of the fraud. Today, three reminders. First, on the political fraud of gerrymandering. Second, on the economic fraud of the reported debt of the United States. Third on the legal myth of the power of judges and juries in America. If you don’t connect all the dots, you can’t possibly see the whole picture. If you don’t see the whole picture, you don’t get it and you are a patsy at the poker table of American so-called democracy. The only fix to this triple fraud is rigorous training program in thinking citizenship which should be the backbone of social studies curricula from kindergarten through college. See first link below from a somewhat out-of-date website on what a thinking citizenship curriculum would look like. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
THE POLITICAL FRAUD — LESS THAN 40 COMPETITIVE SEATS OUT OF 435
1. This fraud is bipartisan and pervasive.
2. It is not the exception. It is the rule.
3. JS Mill argued that without proportional representation there is no democracy. He was right.
NB: Gerrymandering kills proportionality of representation. Citizens unaware of this fraud are civic zombies. As I was until last week, when the real significance of this fraud finally sank in — age 68.
THE ECONOMIC FRAUD — THE REAL DEBT IS 10X THE REPORTED DEBT OF $30 TRILLION
1. Headlines recently have screamed alarm over the record $30 trillion in federal debt.
2. The real number is over 10X that hidden by the use of accounting standards that would put a private sector accountant behind bars. These very convenient, loose standards take real debt — like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid off the books!!!!
3. The real debt of the United States is the net present value of the unfunded liabilities of the United States. That number is in the hundreds of trillions not the tens of trillions!
NB: If you don’t understand the math and the accounting, you have absolutely no idea what the economic reality is. And Harvard does not even teach accounting to Harvard undergraduates!!!!!
THE LEGAL FRAUD — THE REAL POWER IS IN THE HAND OF DISTRICT ATTORNEYS NOT JUDGES OR JURIES
1. Students are taught that the big legal decision makers are judges and juries. This is not true.
2. In the era of plea bargaining, 95% of decisions are made by negotiations between district attorneys and defense attorneys.
3. I did not learn until recently that district attorneys are usually an elected office!!!!!
NB: How many Americans know this? How many Americans give much thought to whom to vote for in elections for district attorney (also known as chief prosecutors)? 47 of 50 states have elections for chief prosecutor!!!!! Who knew? I didn’t until a few weeks ago. Should they be elected? Conservative historian John Steele Gordon argues in the last link below that district attorneys should not be elected. I totally disagree. What we need is an informed citizenry.
Legal Fraud — how silently the exception (plea bargaining) has swallowed the rule of a judge and jury based system and how the most powerful players (district attorneys) are selected.
#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20
Please share the coolest thing you learned this week related to math, statistics, or numbers in general. Or, even better, the coolest or most important thing you learned in your life related to math.
This is your chance to make someone else’s day. And to consolidate in your memory something you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.