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A History of Teaching Math Date of Joke: Saturday, 15th September, 2007

Teaching Math in 1950:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5
of the price. What is his profit?
Teaching Math in 1960:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5
of the price, or $80. What is his profit?
Teaching Math in 1970:
A logger exchanges a set "L" of lumber for a set "M" of money. The
cardinality of set "M" is 100. Each element is worth one dollar. Make 100 dots
representing the elements of the set "M". The set "C", the cost of
production contains 20 fewer points than set "M". Represent the set "C" as a subset
of set "M" and answer the following question: What is the cardinality of the
set "P" of profits?
Teaching Math in 1980:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80
and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.
Teaching Math in 1990:
By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20. What do you
think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after
answering the question? How did the forest birds and squirrels feel as the logger
cut down the trees? There are no wrong answers.
Teaching Math in 2000:
By laying off 402 of its loggers, a company improves its stock price from $80
to $100. How much capital gain per share does the CEO make by exercising
his stock options at $80. Assume capital gains are no longer taxed, because
this encourages investment.
Teaching Math in 2010:
A company outsources all of its loggers. They save on benefits and when
demand for their product is down the logging work force can easily be cut
back. The average logger employed by the company earned $50,000, had 3
weeks vacation, received a nice retirement plan and medical insurance. The
contracted logger charges $50 an hour. Was outsourcing a good move?
Teaching Math in 2013:
A logging company exports its woodfinishing jobs to its Indonesian
subsidiary and lays off the corresponding half of its US workers (the higherpaid
half). It clearcuts 95% of the forest, leaving the rest for the spotted owl,
and lays off all its remaining US workers. It tells the workers that the spotted
owl is responsible for the absence of fellable trees and lobbies Congress for
exemption from the Endangered Species Act. Congress instead exempts
the company from all federal regulation. What is the return on investment of
the lobbying costs?

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