At least he didn’t say it was a quantum leap

From the New York Times, wealthy suburban parents in full revolt against paying for schools:

Some residents argue that the town should be more businesslike, cutting other costs to offset the outlay for smaller classes. Peter P. Pulkkinen is one. A 40-year-old investment banker, he and his wife, Sarah, moved here in 2004 from the Upper East Side and their two oldest children are now in the first and third grades. He wants small classes for them. But rather than raise taxes, he would restrict teacher compensation— particularly their benefits.

Displaying a sheaf of charts and projections that he and a friend prepared for a school board meeting, Mr. Pulkkinen said in an interview that if property taxes continued to rise in Bronxville at roughly the trajectory of the last decade, they would double by 2020 — and by 46 percent in the unlikely event the “austerity budgets” of the last two years continued through the decade. “I think it is a false paradigm to have to choose between radically diminished services or exponentially higher taxes,” he said, “without first addressing the structural issue of teacher compensation.”

I would advise against investing any money with a banker who doesn’t know what”exponentially” means.

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7 thoughts on “At least he didn’t say it was a quantum leap

  1. nichole says:

    Amen. (“Sea change” is another one that gets me.)

  2. Well, at least “sea change” has some literary backing, and is — I think — quite a beautiful image.

  3. valuevar says:

    What is “sea change” supposed to evoke? A change in the tide? (We get at least two such critical points per 24-hour interval.) A change from the White to the Red Sea?

  4. JSE says:

    No, it means the change things undergo when resting under the sea. It’s from The Tempest:

    Full fathom five thy father lies;
    Of his bones are coral made;
    Those are pearls that were his eyes;
    Nothing of him that doth fade,
    But doth suffer a sea-change
    Into something rich and strange.

  5. valuevar says:

    Oh. I knew that, but never thought that as an origin of the phrase. “Sea change” did suffer a sea-change from something rich and strange into a cliche.

  6. nichole says:

    Isn’t it a pretty image? Valuevar, I think you’ve pinpointed the source of my cringe. “Sea change” is so often misused to describe a swift, significant change (like, oh, I don’t know, the tide) instead of a gradual transformation.

    I wonder, do tidal changes and sea changes imply similar degrees of predictability? Permanence?

  7. Santo says:

    Diane Ravitch was on The Daily Show last Thursday, and Jon Stewart did a very nice job of contrasting the strident calls to curb the “exorbitant” salaries of teachers with the lame justifications for the lack of regulation of the outrageous salaries of Wall Street criminals.

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