Millions, billions…..

The results have been unprecedented, with a growth rate of approximately 10% that has lifted 566 billion people over the $1.08 \”extreme poverty\” threshold set by the World Bank.

Sigh, yes, of course, it\’s just a typo.

But that these get through is more than just a mistake. It\’s evidence of the near innumeracy of the arts graduates that infest the newspaper business. No, I\’m not saying that everyone has to be able to do calculus (I\’ve certainly gratefully forgotten how to) but at least a vague idea about the relative sizes of various numbers would be a good idea. They don\’t have to be accurate, just vaguely so.

There\’s about 60 million in the UK, something over a billion in China, 7 billion on the planet. Average income here is about £25k, GDP is some £1.4 trillion, US GDP is $14 trillion. Just rough ideas, at least intimations of the correct order of magnitude for this or that number would be helpful.

So that we don\’t get something like that, which seems to indicate that China\’s recent economic growth has lifted more people out of poverty than have actually existed since the dawn of our species.

3 thoughts on “Millions, billions…..”

  1. “the near innumeracy of the arts graduates that infest the newspaper business”: ha! See today’s Telegraph front page where two journalists reveal that they believe that the Dutch making 50% more than the British on their pensions savings means that the British make only 50% of what the Dutch make. You’d have to be dim to make that mistake when you were twelve.

  2. dearieme: In fairness to the Torygraph hacks, it isn’t clear that they’re making that blunder. They may be, but it’s more likely that they are referring to the comparison, further into the article, between industry estimates of a typical saver’s fees, at £248,650, and the FSA’s estimate of that saver’s pension pot net of fees, at £248,453.

    However, the copy is clearly so badly mangled that you can’t actually tell which of the two it is. Given their job is wordsmithing I expect hacks at the very least to write clearly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *