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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Eleven Plus Inflation

A. E. Housman had the right idea in 1896:

"When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
'Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free.'
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me."

He knew all about the value of money.

We need to move forward to Joan Wheeler in 1932 – her `New Home Encyclopaedia’ was by Odhams Press. The book suggests that while a list of disbursements tells the spender how much he or she spends during a period, it does not really explain how the money is spent.

Some words do stand out on the page: “Systematic accounting prevents the mysterious melting away of cash, and the inward questions as the fate of the five pounds which was so recently available.”

It is almost as if an eleven plus question is coming up. “If the rate of inflation between 1932 and 2013 has a factor of about 16, then what is the 1932 £5.00 worth today?” (That bit is easy your eleven plus child will do that in his or her head.)

The second part of the questions will read: “Taking into account fluctuations on the currency market, what is a range of value we can rely on?”

Your properly prepared eleven plus child will announce: “It is likely that the range will be between £80.00 and £90.00.

A BBC News article reported on children who were good at maths.  

( Good mathematicians will earn more money in later life.

Based on the early parts of the question, if your child can now estimate the possible value of money in 20 years’ time – when they are around 30 years old – then you know you have a tiger in your family!

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