[Vision2020] Schools and tools for financially illiterate Americans

Kenneth Marcy kmmos1 at verizon.net
Sun Mar 2 23:29:32 PST 2008

On Sunday 02 March 2008 21:34, Donovan Arnold wrote:
>   Americans are 'financially illiterate' - survey
> Tuesday February 26, 12:42 pm ET 
> By Catherine Clifford, CNNMoney.com staff writer 
>     Americans don't understand debt, which may be one reason that they 
have too much of it, according to a survey released Tuesday. <snip details>

This is hardly news. Consider this quote from H. L. Menken:

No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence 
of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public 
office thereby.  -- H. L. Mencken, Notes on journalism, Chicago Tribune, 19 
September 1926

If the survey is to be believed, perhaps not much has changed in the eighty 
and more years since Menken remarked. Of course, four human generations 
later, today's great-grandchild of Menken's contemporary adult has less 
excuse for ignorance, financial or otherwise.

Today at least four of five people graduate from high school, and one of 
five graduate from college, whereas in Menken's day not half graduated high 
school, and not one in five had a single year of college, much less 
graduated from it.

Another reason the great-grandchildren of Menken's generation have less 
excuse for financial folly is that handheld computing convenience is 
readily available for financial (and other) matters. For example, the 25th 
Anniversary Edition of the Hewlett Packard 12c Platinum Financial 
Calculator is able to accomplish most of the financial arithmetic anyone 
might practically need, and the device can be stored in a shirt pocket, and 
hand-held while in use.

Here is a link to the HP product page for the HP 12c:

Here is a list of links to guides for using the HP 12c for real estate:

Educationally, mastery of the HP 12c could be suggested as an entrance 
requirement for high school, where the typical age of student is such that 
he or she is beginning to contemplate purchases requiring credit payments.

So, though not news as such, many people still need to know of the HP 12c, 
or some other brand of calculator with similar abilities convenient to use.


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