Why Quantation Is So Important

Apr 2, 2012

Sometimes a clear presentation of numbers can really put things in perspective, and the absence of such a clear presentation can cause us to lose sight of what’s important. Put another way, good quantation can not only enlighten us, but first it simply makes us more aware.

I can think of no better example than the fiscal predicament facing the U.S. federal government right now, which can only get much worse over time unless it is addressed in one way or another. This predicament is driven by the fact that by all estimates, as things are now the following three expenditures will continue to increase relentlessly over time:
  • Medicare
  • Social Security
  • Interest on the federal debt (not only as the size of the debt increases, but if interest rates increase from their current levels)

While plenty of mud is being slung from both sides of the aisle as we slog through this election year, I have yet to see a cogent, coherent description of the predicament from any of the candidates, on either side of the aisle.

Please understand that I am not advocating any particular resolution to this predicament, but I am hopeful that clear quantation will bring it into much sharper focus. If enough of the electorate on both sides comes to grasp this issue, perhaps they will come to demand that their candidates address it, rather than bleating away about issues like birth control, border fences, oil prices, manufacturing jobs, and all the other issues that are sideshows, at least by comparison.

I can assure you that such a presentation can be made – consider it one of my campaign promises that it will appear on this website in the coming weeks.

“Painting with Numbers” is my effort to get people talking about financial statements and other numbers in ways that we can all understand. I welcome your interest and your feedback

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