Teaching Math in…

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

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 1996:
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 1997:
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 1998:
A logging company exports its wood-finishing jobs to
its Indonesian subsidiary and lays off the
corresponding half of its US workers (the higher-paid
half). It clear-cuts 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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