0558: "1000 Times"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
Sungura
When life gives you banananas, make bananana bread
Posts: 3917
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:32 am UTC
Location: AL

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby Sungura » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:13 pm UTC

heehee this is an awesome comic. I rather enjoyed it especially after the Verizon math fail (I am so glad that was in the alt text!). The stereotyping of Americans that has gone on thus far is sadly true for a lot...stereotypes usually have some basis in truth after all. But I think every American here most likely does not fall into any of these categories so you are preaching to the choir so to speak.
"Would you rather fight a Sungura-sized spider or 1000 spider-sized Sunguras?" -Zarq
she/<any gender neutral>/snug

etho
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 7:12 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby etho » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:20 pm UTC

165 million is a drop in the bucket relative to the size of the entire bailout, sure. And I do think this whole situation has been blown out of proportion. Ultimately it's something like the auto executives taking private jets to beg for bailouts. It's stupid and ugly and looks bad and will cause people to have the opposite of sympathy for you. And the fact remains that the people getting bonuses are receiving them as part of their contracts, and to not pay them would be a breach of contract.

So basically it's a little stupid thing that has been made by the media (Right? Or congress? I'm not sure who's really behind it, but "The Media" feels right.) into a gigantic evil thing.

There is one thing I don't understand. On NPR there was a financial analyst guy defending the bonuses, and talking about why these people are receiving them, and he went into the contracts in a little more detail. He said that standard practice is for employees of this type to get contractually assured bonuses based on the amount of money they made for the company. That absolutely makes sense to me, and I think it is a perfectly good compensational model. However, as AIG has only really lost money in the last year, how are these recipients getting these contractual bonuses, since they can't have made any money for the company?

The other problem with the bonuses is that, since they are being given to people that have already failed, there is no reason to think the money spent on them is doing anything to help revive the company, and that was the point of the bailout to begin with. It's a relatively small drop in the rather large bucket, but wasn't the bucket supposed to be used to put out the fire? If so, why are we taking drops out so some people can have Kool-Aid?

Bleh, it's another little mess, but when the entire economy is a huge hobo clusterfuck, things are bound to get messy.

Ozyman
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:28 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby Ozyman » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:39 pm UTC

FYI, I saw a claim that the bonuses were raises, they are not:
AIG struck a deal with these employees. It guaranteed them, for 2008 and 2009, the same level of incentive-based compensation that they received in 2007 (except for senior executives, who took a 25 percent haircut).


If you are interested in understanding the reasoning behind giving these bonuses (yes there are some good reasons), these posts on 538 are a good place to start:

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/03/ ... nuses.html
http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/03/ ... haivo.html

User avatar
tsevenhuysen
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:37 pm UTC
Location: BC, Canada
Contact:

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby tsevenhuysen » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:41 pm UTC

Funny *and* poignant!

Solid.
Image

susanron
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:38 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby susanron » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:47 pm UTC

Has nobody noticed the rollover error? ($.002 vs. .002 cents)

Isn't it .002 dollars and .0002 cents?

ttremblay
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:26 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby ttremblay » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:52 pm UTC

Go check out:
http://media.putfile.com/Verizon-Bad-Math

and you'll get the alt-text

Poposhka
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:20 pm UTC
Location: So. Cal.
Contact:

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby Poposhka » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:53 pm UTC

The only thing I know is that if I blew my money on hookers and drugs and couldn't afford rent i'd be thrown out on my ass..

But then, I didn't give campaign contributions to Obama and Hillary.

lylebot
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:53 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby lylebot » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:54 pm UTC

I don't really get it. I mean, I get the point about relative scales, and I agree. But to imply that $165 million is just a drop in the bucket seems wrong. The question is, what else could we do with that money? Assuming I had all the time in the world, I could use $165 million to see about 1,000 grad students through their PhDs, and what they give back to the economy over the course of their careers would be worth far more than $165 million. Can ~100 people who are already very rich contribute the same?

Geekoid
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:06 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby Geekoid » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:58 pm UTC

People realize that 165 Million is a lot of money to be giving out from a failed company.
And it is, they are also outraged at the principle of the thing. People know there is a large difference.

And the tests is creepy. Was it meant to sound incestuous?

Geekoid
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:06 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby Geekoid » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:08 pm UTC

Ralith The Third wrote:
BlastOButter42 wrote:How is that dishonest? Do you really think most people don't realize that a million is 1/1000 of a billion?

"They're the american voters."

Yes, and as a whole they understand that a billion is a thousand millions.

"These are the people who don't care what the policy is as long as the president is dressed nice."

Based on event he most casual glance shows that is not true.

"These are the people who voted in a democrat during an economic crisis."
Yes, becasue the republicans got us there. They have been cutting regulations for years.
Not to mentioh the republicans keeping interest rates artificially low. The republicans haven't really been fiscal conservative for 20 years.


"These are the people who need warnings to keep running chainsaws away from their testiculars!"

Did you mean testis?


No, we don't. We do have corporations that let there legal dept. have too much power.

User avatar
arkady
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:39 pm UTC
Location: Sheffield, UK
Contact:

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby arkady » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:42 pm UTC

I must say I found the comic-text (not the alt-text) in rather poor taste, given today's headline.

For those who haven't heard (and I don't know if it made the news in the USA): Josef Fritzl is an Austrian, who locked up his daughter for 24 years in his cellar, raping her regularly, and fathering several children by her.

This morning he was convicted and sentanced to life imprisonment.
I spent most of my money on fast cars, expensive guitars and women. The rest I just squandered.

e+1 = 0

*DISASTER AREA* Universe Tour. [Backstage pass]

User avatar
athelas
A Sophisticated Plagiarism Engine
Posts: 584
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 2:37 am UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby athelas » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:44 pm UTC


User avatar
athelas
A Sophisticated Plagiarism Engine
Posts: 584
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 2:37 am UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby athelas » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:53 pm UTC

Another thought: If you are outraged about the bonuses, you should be approximately 1000x as outraged about the counterparty bailouts. Both the execs and the counterparties profited from risky behavior, privatized the risk and socialized the costs. If this does not describe your emotional state, you are probably suffering from an anthropic bias, trying to find a human-like bad guy to blame rather than reasoning from actual ethical principles. (As much fun as it is to hate on big corporations that aren't Apple, Starbucks, or Google, it just ain't the same.)

sexyjake
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:58 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby sexyjake » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:00 pm UTC

No clue when this comic was written, but this news story is serendipitously ironic--daughters and gin and whatnot.
http://www.kansascity.com/115/story/1096770.html

User avatar
jc
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 5:48 pm UTC
Location: Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
Contact:

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby jc » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:09 pm UTC

Luthen wrote:To remove confusion I propose the use of SI prefixes: The bailout was G$170 and the bonuses M$165. Or alternatively scientific notation: bailout $170x109, bonuses $165x106.

Well, you can propose such things, but can you enforce them? Here in the US, we have a First Amendment that protects both the press and speech. This means that people who want to play games like this to trick their readers or listeners have the legal right to do so, and will continue to abuse this right as the cartoon shows.

About the only situation where there are legal controls on such things is when you're dealing with commercial operations, in which case there are laws against fraudulent misuse of numbers and measuring units to trick suckers (i.e., customers) out of their money. But the bad examples that the cartoon is based on are primarily political writings and speech, so the First Amendment will certainly protect the perpetrators against attempts to enforce clear and unambiguous notation on them.

drazen
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:35 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby drazen » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:30 pm UTC

Here's a question: do the principles in United_States v. Carlton (the 1994 decision declaring retroactive tax increases to be constitutional, despite the "no ex post facto law" provision of the Constitution!) also apply to the current legislation to tax these AIG payments?

I ask because, as unhappy as I am about the whole situation, when the government can step in and slap you around retroactively, well, I have a hard time finding that to be "liberty and justice for all." Or for anyone!

User avatar
Belgand
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:51 am UTC
Location: San Francisco

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby Belgand » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:40 pm UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote: I know this has become an ironic catchphrase here, but NOT COOL, NOT FUNNY, NOT A GOOD COMIC.


The phrase was originally used on the Achewood forums as a response to a strip there where someone was overly sensitive and got their panties in a twist. It's a popular phrase there. AFAIK it was popularized here by sje46 who is a regular poster on both sites.

H2SO4 wrote:What we could do to avoid this problem is to not have use the words "million" or "billion" or "trillion", but instead say $170,000,000,000 as "one-hundred-and-seventy zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero dollars." Or at least have it displaced in numerical form (170,000,000,000 instead of "170 billion").


Because the human brain starts to zone out as soon as you move above the thousands. Hence the usage of scientific notation. I certainly agree with the rest of what you said, but this is just a very poor way to do it. Using "million" and "billion" is entirely appropriate and I think that the majority of people know the difference.

They do, however, perhaps fail to get that it's a small amount of the money, but that doesn't matter. When you've just lost your job because of this, when you're graduating into this job market, or, like me, when you've been unemployed and looking for work for a few years already $165 million is quite a lot of money. $50,000 would be rather a lot for you to get personally, but (if we're going with the claimed 44 recipients of this money) $3.75 million per person is more money than you'll likely ever make in your entire life (i.e. a fairly normal $45,000/year salary would equal that after around 85 years). Regardless of your position within the company and your personal responsibility for the failure when you have to be bought out by the government to stay afloat getting that much money when other people are losing their jobs is pretty galling. If you need a million-plus bonus to stay with your current job then I suspect most of us would prefer it if you'd leave. You're not worth that much. We'd probably prefer it if another fifty some-odd people got to keep their jobs and you maybe had to do without and only take home your rather generous salary.

User avatar
Okita
Staying Alive
Posts: 3071
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 7:51 pm UTC
Location: Finance land.

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby Okita » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:46 pm UTC

Belgand wrote:They do, however, perhaps fail to get that it's a small amount of the money, but that doesn't matter. When you've just lost your job because of this, when you're graduating into this job market, or, like me, when you've been unemployed and looking for work for a few years already $165 million is quite a lot of money. $50,000 would be rather a lot for you to get personally, but (if we're going with the claimed 44 recipients of this money) $3.75 million per person is more money than you'll likely ever make in your entire life (i.e. a fairly normal $45,000/year salary would equal that after around 85 years). Regardless of your position within the company and your personal responsibility for the failure when you have to be bought out by the government to stay afloat getting that much money when other people are losing their jobs is pretty galling. If you need a million-plus bonus to stay with your current job then I suspect most of us would prefer it if you'd leave. You're not worth that much. We'd probably prefer it if another fifty some-odd people got to keep their jobs and you maybe had to do without and only take home your rather generous salary.


Again, New York Times is citing it as 463. That's a lot more than 44.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/20/nyreg ... ge.html?hp
"I may or may not be a raptor. There is no way of knowing until entering a box that I happen to be in and then letting me sunder the delicious human flesh from your body in reptile fury."

User avatar
XbHW_TestEngr
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:29 pm UTC
Location: Kirkland, WA
Contact:

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby XbHW_TestEngr » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:56 pm UTC

Great comic - great forum! (All over the map as usual ... geez! Since no one else said it ... "Hitler vs. Unix vs. MS")

I think honest should read:
$170.0 BILLION
$0.165 BILLION

Bailout money is now in European Banks as they cashed in their CDSs (Credit Default Swaps) when the CDOs (Collateralized Debt Obligations) went bad.
A contract is a contract ... they needed these people to help unwind some of the CDS agreements.
The "tax legislation" being worked on right now will get struck down - this is "just for show" by the congress.
The whole $165 Million in bonuses is just a distraction to keep us focused on a "non-issue" while our wealth disappears (to European Banks).

This American Life has done some shows on the Economic Crisis:
1) What got us here ... The Giant Pool of Money (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1242)
2) The Crisis ... Another Frightening Show About the Economy (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1263)
3) Banking Issues ... Bad Bank (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1285)
These are about an hour long each. Worth the time spent listening.

Five Minute Videos about the different "vehicles" in the crash of the economy. MBOs, CDSs, CDOs, etc. Easy to understand:
Marketplace Money videos on Vimeo (http://www.vimeo.com/marketplace/videos). These are really good. (I never knew economics could be so entertaining ... and the champagne bottle ... who knew it all was caused by a champagne bottle?)

Verizon reference - epic.
My daughter reference - not so much.
(*thinks to self ... I need a human hand in jar. I can tell all suitors "That's from the last guy who touched my daughter wrong.")
... and there will be cake.

I have traveled from 1960 to be a member of the unofficial Council of Elders. Phear M3

benbald72 wrote:I feel connected to the author and therefore appreciate the comic, regardless of whether or not I understand the joke ....

explodingbbq
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:20 am UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby explodingbbq » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:57 pm UTC

#1: As someone already pointed out, what they're proposing in Congress is fairly clearly a bill of attainder and is unconstitutional. It's possible that they could dress it up all pretty and pretend that it's not, but we all know that it is in spirit.

#2: This is a perfect example of why people throughout most of history thought that democracy was a bad idea. It is disgusting.

cburke
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:58 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby cburke » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:03 pm UTC

arkady wrote:I must say I found the comic-text (not the alt-text) in rather poor taste, given today's headline.

For those who haven't heard (and I don't know if it made the news in the USA): Josef Fritzl is an Austrian, who locked up his daughter for 24 years in his cellar, raping her regularly, and fathering several children by her.


I didn't read the comic that way. I read it as a night with *your* daughter as opposed to his own daughter.
The other reading didn't occur to me at all until I saw a bunch of comments about it on reddit.

If that was intended, then, yeah, that would be a little sick, and badly timed to boot.
I prefer the way I read it.

GodShapedBullet
Posts: 686
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:59 pm UTC
Location: Delaware
Contact:

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby GodShapedBullet » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:19 pm UTC

XbHW_TestEngr wrote:Great comic - great forum! (All over the map as usual ... geez! Since no one else said it ... "Hitler vs. Unix vs. MS")

I think honest should read:
$170.0 BILLION
$0.165 BILLION

Bailout money is now in European Banks as they cashed in their CDSs (Credit Default Swaps) when the CDOs (Collateralized Debt Obligations) went bad.
A contract is a contract ... they needed these people to help unwind some of the CDS agreements.
The "tax legislation" being worked on right now will get struck down - this is "just for show" by the congress.
The whole $165 Million in bonuses is just a distraction to keep us focused on a "non-issue" while our wealth disappears (to European Banks).

This American Life has done some shows on the Economic Crisis:
1) What got us here ... The Giant Pool of Money (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1242)
2) The Crisis ... Another Frightening Show About the Economy (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1263)
3) Banking Issues ... Bad Bank (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1285)
These are about an hour long each. Worth the time spent listening.

Five Minute Videos about the different "vehicles" in the crash of the economy. MBOs, CDSs, CDOs, etc. Easy to understand:
Marketplace Money videos on Vimeo (http://www.vimeo.com/marketplace/videos). These are really good. (I never knew economics could be so entertaining ... and the champagne bottle ... who knew it all was caused by a champagne bottle?)

Verizon reference - epic.
My daughter reference - not so much.
(*thinks to self ... I need a human hand in jar. I can tell all suitors "That's from the last guy who touched my daughter wrong.")


Oh man, if everyone just listened to NPR everything would be clear to everyone.

itsalljustaride
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:45 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby itsalljustaride » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:52 pm UTC

My dad has worked in this job for nearly my entire life, and if this motion in congress passes, him, and a bunch of other people will be stripped of their salaries, and jobs. He doesn't have a backup job, he's not really sure where he could get a job at all, given his skillset. I'm going to be screwed college-wise if his job goes under.


So Evilagram, let me get this straight:

Your dad made buckets of money at AIG for "nearly his entire life", such that he is now pissed at only having to take a measly 250,000 a year as a paycheck. because of this, your college future is threatened?

Seems your family has its priorities bass-ackwards and didn't put money into a savings account for your college.

Also, how does he not have a clue where he could get a job? If he is a programmer then he should be able to find work somewhere. Maybe not making anything close to that 250,000 that he finds so unpalatable, but certainly not a life-threatening crisis. Guess you guys might just have to downgrade your lifestyle a bit. Woe is you. The whole country is doing so now.

User avatar
phillipsjk
Posts: 1213
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:09 pm UTC
Location: Edmonton AB Canada
Contact:

Devil's advocate

Postby phillipsjk » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:55 pm UTC

The AIG executives deserve the bonuses because they were able to secure Billions in bail-out money!

Not every buisiness is able to claim they are "too big to fail"!
Did you get the number on that truck?

User avatar
Steve the Pocket
Posts: 705
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:02 am UTC
Location: Going downtuuu in a Luleelurah!

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:07 pm UTC

Evilagram wrote:I find this comic freakishly scary/true/funny because my dad is a former programmer for AIG Financial corp (AKA, the guys who did it). He is now technically employed by the government after they seized the company during the dissolution. He has a contract guaranteeing him work for 2 years (one now), but he told me this morning that this may be his last day on the job.

Apparently they are limiting his yearly salary (which paid out at the end of the year just recently) to $250,000, an arbitrarily defined number, apparently based on a notion that the employees are earning too much and need to earn less for their greedy actions. They're also thinking of taxing the amount he just earned, 100%, meaning that he earns nothing for the last year's worth of work he did. The motion is being voted on today by Congress, and my dad says that they're already heavily in favor of taxing the entire company's salaries completely! Apparently Congress instated a president within the company that is basically a puppet for them to make sure the company doesn't do anything drastic until the issue is resolved. If my dad tells any of this information to a reporter today (apparently he's being questioned), he's fired. End of story for him. But if this doesn't get out somehow, my dad, and all the employees in the company are screwed!

That sucks. I'd hate to think the same government that funded the bailout in order to save the jobs of the hard-working people on the lower rungs of the banks' ladders would turn around and demand that those same people be denied their due salaries. Exactly why the kind of reactionary thinking I myself displayed on page one is best left to Internet discussion forums rather than the halls of government.

That said, if your dad was making significantly more then $250 grand a year, I should certainly hope he's got a hell of a savings plan built up, or at the very least, that his mortgage is paid off. I'm not incapable of sympathizing with anyone who makes a lot of money, but knowing they've been managing it wisely certainly helps. Especially knowing that it's people being wasteful with their money that got us into this mess.
cephalopod9 wrote:Only on Xkcd can you start a topic involving Hitler and people spend the better part of half a dozen pages arguing about the quality of Operating Systems.

Baige.

User avatar
Quendor
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:39 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby Quendor » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:10 pm UTC

I've not seen the Verison thing until just now but, wow, I think my head would explode.

Is one dollar the same as one cent? No? Then how is .002 dollars the same as .002 cents?

Granted I'm smarter than the average bear (so I've been told) but this isn't... anything. It's just dumb.

wintermute
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 5:19 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby wintermute » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:39 pm UTC

balrog0517 wrote:Having said that, if I understand the Constitution correctly at all, this 90% tax rate bill that is now working its way through Congress is an unconstitutional "Bill of Attainder" and will, if we are in fact still governed by said document (a proposition that seems more dubious every day), be struck down by the Supreme Court.


You do not understand the Constitution correctly. A bill of attainder is when you accuse someone of a crime and deny them due process. Taxation is not and cannot be a bill of attainder. A 90% tax rate is hardly unprecedented in America, and the Supreme Court has never had a problem with it before.

Evilagram wrote:He also claims that his salary should not be arbitrarily defined on a notion of earning too much or too little, but instead on free market forces. ... [H]e's not really sure where he could get a job at all, given his skillset.


So, his salary as decided by market forces, should be $0?

wintermute
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 5:19 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby wintermute » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:43 pm UTC

H2SO4 wrote:It's like this. There are two guys, Fred and Bob. Fred has an item and wants money. Bob has money and wants the item. The two willingly exchange. Who won, who lost? Trick question. They both won. Now, same situation, except there's a third guy let's call him....Guv. So Guv comes into the deal, grabs Bob's money and demands Fred changes his item so it will have certain features. Then the money is exchanged. Who won, who lost? Another trick question. Everyone lost. Since Fred had to change his item, the cost of it went up so Guv took more money from Bob to pay for it. Not only that, but Bob didn't even want the features that Guv demanded. If Bob did, he would've found an item that did have the features. If enough people actually wanted those features, Fred wouldn't have had a business if he kept selling the item without the features and would've changed his item if he was smart.


So, before government regulation, no-one wanted children's toys that didn't have lead in them, or non-poisonous medicine, or cars designed to keep the driver alive in the case of a crash? I mean, if people did want those things, people would have been selling them even before regulation, and the people selling the lethal stuff would have been out of business, right?

Unless, somehow, consumers can't magically find products that no-one wants to go to the added expense of making, or producers are able to somehow mislead consumers as to what they're getting. But neither of those could be true, could they?

Yorn
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:43 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby Yorn » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:51 pm UTC

I registered an account just to post here because this is the first comic I take issue with.

The fourth estate's job is to hold entities accountable to their actions, be it persons, corporations, religions, governments, or even themselves. They are doing that here.

It is equally dishonest to use 170,000 million and 165 million when what they are really talking about is:
AIG Bailout: 170,000,000 thousand dollars
AIG Bonuses: 165,000 thousand dollars
My yearly salary: 56 thousand dollars

Sorry Randall, your interpretation can be argued to be equally dishonest given the context as it applies to the rest of us.

Again, I registered here just to post this comment because I think it's an important one given the context in which you are making it.

EDIT: I just noticed the top-rated comment on the Reddit link to the comic has basically the same theme. Sorry for the duplication.

Invertin
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:08 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby Invertin » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:20 pm UTC

Image

(I apologise for the out-of-place font.)

itsalljustaride
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:45 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby itsalljustaride » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:30 pm UTC

Here's an interesting way to look at this:

165 million divided by 100,000 (the average amount being reported as a bonus amount) = 1650 people getting bonuses (I know, apparently it's less, but this is just a thought experiment here).
Now, take those 100,000 bonuses and instead think if we made 1650 loans to people looking to buy homes (which was what the bailout was supposed to stimulate, lending). So, 1650 loans at $100,000 each, at a 6% 30 year fixed mortgage rate ultimately = 297 million in interest that wasn't earned and put into the economy because it was given out as bonuses. I guess you could argue that the people who got those bonuses just might spend that money and thus put it into the economy, but people who get $100,000 bonuses are probably more inclined to save it rather than spend it.

Invertin
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:08 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby Invertin » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:46 pm UTC

Just to avoid anger- I only posted that comic edit after I noticed people complaining about the comic being unfunny because it was talking about something that is currently going on. You guys continue with the debate/arguement/discussion, but the comic itself is fine.

Prinny
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:29 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby Prinny » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:47 pm UTC

Evilagram wrote:I find this comic freakishly scary/true/funny because my dad is a former programmer for AIG Financial corp (AKA, the guys who did it). He is now technically employed by the government after they seized the company during the dissolution. He has a contract guaranteeing him work for 2 years (one now), but he told me this morning that this may be his last day on the job.

Apparently they are limiting his yearly salary (which paid out at the end of the year just recently) to $250,000, an arbitrarily defined number, apparently based on a notion that the employees are earning too much and need to earn less for their greedy actions. They're also thinking of taxing the amount he just earned, 100%, meaning that he earns nothing for the last year's worth of work he did. The motion is being voted on today by Congress, and my dad says that they're already heavily in favor of taxing the entire company's salaries completely! Apparently Congress instated a president within the company that is basically a puppet for them to make sure the company doesn't do anything drastic until the issue is resolved. If my dad tells any of this information to a reporter today (apparently he's being questioned), he's fired. End of story for him. But if this doesn't get out somehow, my dad, and all the employees in the company are screwed!

My dad pins blame for the failure of the company on the change in the way taxes are recorded. In 2007 they implemented new standards for recording the taxes of a very liquid financial process that does not have a definite tax value. He also claims that his salary should not be arbitrarily defined on a notion of earning too much or too little, but instead on free market forces. My dad has worked in this job for nearly my entire life, and if this motion in congress passes, him, and a bunch of other people will be stripped of their salaries, and jobs. He doesn't have a backup job, he's not really sure where he could get a job at all, given his skillset. I'm going to be screwed college-wise if his job goes under. The entire thing is a gigantic, horrible mess!

I'm not sure if I have all the information here, all that I'm sure of is that we're in a shitload of trouble for something that we didn't do (he's a programmer, not a banker). I think it's terrible that Obama (My dad is blaming Obama, and the rest of senate and congress, we are democrats, we voted for him) is focussing on punishing a "wrong doing" (my dad claims that even the sub-prime mortgage ordeal was going good before the changes in tax records) instead of making more jobs for America. They're seriously focussing on taking away some people's salaries and jobs (some innocent, others perhaps not so innocent) as a scapegoat for the rest of our damn economy!

I'm sorry for going so off-topic, just I need to say this somewhere, because it's all I can do to save my dad.

If I mixed anything up, please tell me, I want to know. I don't want to spread misinformation. I just want to help my dad.


I'm no expert, and of course I don't know all the details of y'all's financial situation, but it doesn't sound to me like you've really got much you need to worry about there. That whole 100% tax thing is just political grandstanding so they can say they ("they" being the politicians trying to pass it) tried to do something; it's never gonna pass muster in court (if it somehow did we'd all have way more to worry about than our jobs).

I can't really comment on the $250,000 a year thing objectively, as that's more than eight times my family's income and far more than I think most people make, but I'm pretty sure it won't mess up your college. I'll be going soon too--out of state even--and we don't really see any troubles ahead on that front, despite the fact that our intended method of paying was messed up by Katrina. I know and am sorry that it sounds like I'm playing a tiny violin for myself here, but I just wanted to put that number in a bit of perspective.

I don't mean to be unsympathetic, and I'm sorry if I come across in such a way. I'm just saying that, based on what little I know, I think you'll turn out fine.

EDIT: Oh, by the way, forgot to mention.
@the people blaming this crap on democracy: Please just don't forget that royalty wasn't any better at handling money. Remember the French Revolution, and how one of its causes was the people's anger at Marie Antoinette for wasting huge amounts of money, sending France deep into debt, and then trying to pay it off by raising taxes
Last edited by Prinny on Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:50 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

junko
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:40 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby junko » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:49 pm UTC

interesting comic.. so would the following be a more honest use of numerical context?

bonuses: $165 million
amount of tax money AIG now wants back after $170,000 million bailout: $306 million

courtesy of slashdot.

User avatar
zerohero
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:05 pm UTC
Location: Up (yes, up)

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby zerohero » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:20 pm UTC

Tell me, do I have some sort of mental illness? I've known for a long time that 170 billion (170,000,000,000) is the same as 170,000 million (170,000,000,000).
(I know that $0.002 isn't 0.002 cents though, I'm not that silly)

I know that this is some joke, but I honestly don't get it.
.narfNET - http://narf.byethost16.com
This is a personal site of mine catering to console emulators and other things of interest
.narfNET forums - http://narf.byethost16.com/forums
Give us a visit! We're always happy to accept new members

primate
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:38 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby primate » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:41 pm UTC

I think that the title of the comic should have been "30dB".

This would have captured the ratio and rewarded those of us with a touch more math/physics/engineering background with an extra smirk. It also would have guaranteed that the media would never be forwarded a copy...

hthall
Posts: 95
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:40 am UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby hthall » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:42 pm UTC

I thought this was a nice illustration of the difference between a million, a billion, and a trillion dollars:

http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/index.html
Look at me, still talking when there's Science to do.

Jirin
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:18 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby Jirin » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:46 pm UTC

Yeah, you know what else?

"The Dow is down 50%" is different from "The market is 50% smaller." The Dow is just a measure of the investing confidence people have in a handful of supposedly 'representative' companies! Rumors, unfounded anxiety, etc can lower the Dow. Heck, the Dow going down can lower the Dow!

And I've met people who are annoyed at this bonus thing, but 'outraged'? Cable news stations have turned into glorified tabloids. Or, lately, glorified 'Nuts on the street corner screaming the apocolypse is nigh'.

Also, people are blaming deregulation for this crash. No, it's because big companies have been taking advantage of regulations like the 'personhood' of corporations that protect employees from the consequences of their actions. And now people are talking about regulating for regulation's sake. If there were laws saying you could do whatever you wanted but it all had to be completely transparent, and corporations weren't treated as 'people', companies would be forced to behave better in order to compete. The only regulation I would add is illegalizing monopolizing suppliers. So you can't make a contract that says 'You can charge us more, but only if you agree not to do business with any other company'. That way you put the consumers back in control of the market. You can only get customers by giving them better deals and better service than everywhere else, not by making sure nobody else can sell your product.

User avatar
Entropy
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:40 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby Entropy » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:46 pm UTC

Code: Select all

$170 billion bailout
$165 million bonuses

- somewhat dishonest

Code: Select all

$170,000 million bailout
    $165 million bonuses

- better, same units

Code: Select all

$170,000,000,000 bailout
    $165,000,000 bonuses
         $30,000 your annual salary

- best

User avatar
Darth Eru
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 10:52 pm UTC

Re: "1000 Times" discussion

Postby Darth Eru » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:47 pm UTC

zerohero wrote:Tell me, do I have some sort of mental illness? I've known for a long time that 170 billion (170,000,000,00<wbr>0) is the same as 170,000 million (170,000,000,00<wbr>0).
(I know that $0.002 isn't 0.002 cents though, I'm not that silly)

I know that this is some joke, but I honestly don't get it.


From context, I'm assuming that there's a big kerfluffle in the news that $165 Million of the bailout money is going into "bonuses" for the head honchos of some company. The news is comparing this number to the $170 Billion of total bailout money. The point of the comic is to protest that this is spinning the story to say that a huge amount of the bailout money is going to unnecessary bonuses, and a more honest way to report it is to show that the two numbers are actually wildly differing amounts, and the bonus money is really a small percentage of the total bailout. It's not really a joke, more social commentary. If it were trying to be funny, I'd say the alcohol/sex with daughters thing is the punchline. And of course the alt text.
Signature:
This is a block of text that can be added to posts you make. There is a 255 character limit

There are 2 types of people in the world: those who know hexadecimal, and those who don't.

Dvorak > QWERTY


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: orthogon and 49 guests