OPINION | No, really, prominent people on the Left cannot do basic math

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THIS is pretty astounding. Both MSNBC’s Brian Williams and his guest Mara Gay of the New York Times seem to believe that if you split the $500 million that Mike Bloomberg spent on television advertising among 327 million Americans, every American would receive a million dollars. This isn’t an offhand, doing-the-math-in-their head comment; they do a whole segment around this argument.

Five hundred million dollars, divided by 327 million people, comes out to roughly $1.52. To make everyone in America a millionaire, you would need $320 trillion (with a “tr”). The total world gross domestic product — that means the total value of every good and service generated by every human being on the planet for an entire year — is about $92 trillion.

Meaning for the statement of Williams and Gay to be true, Bloomberg would have to spend the value of absolutely everything created, built, grown, mined, assembled, programmed, served, constructed, printed, drilled, and pumped, everywhere on the planet, since late 2016. As Frank J. observes, “No wonder so many idiots rant about billionaires; they basically think they have magic superpowers.”

National Review’s Charles W. Cooke makes a really good point, that innumeracy is at the core of the worldview of the Democratic Party and progressives. The moment you comprehend the scale of these numbers, the more you realize what they’re proposing cannot work — at least not the way they claim it will:

“This, right here, is why so many left-leaning Americans think that ‘the billionaires’ can pay for everything. It’s why Elizabeth Warren was enthusiastically boosted by the media despite her ridiculous pretense that she could pay for a series of gargantuan initiatives without raising taxes on anyone but the extremely rich. It’s why Democrat after Democrat promises not to raise ‘middle class taxes’ while promising programs that require the raising of middle-class taxes. How did this bad tweet make it onto TV to be endorsed? Why did Mara Gay agree with it? Why didn’t Brian Williams notice? Because the people involved in this clip thought it was true. This is how they see the world.”

The current edition of the Republican Party is no better.

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