Unexpectedly Intriguing!
September 22, 2009

In June, we entered PJTV's Generational Theft contest. In August, we had made the first cut and went into the second round of judging. Yesterday, PJTV announced the winners: Hartford, Connecticut-based Trinity College's senior Gavin Romm and professor Edward Stringham.

From what we know from the contest administrators, our entry came in second place overall.

But we don't feel bad about that! Here is the spreadsheet they created, here are sample screen shots of their basic results and here is PJTV's Allen Barton's video interview of the contest winners (click the image to access PJTV's web video):

PJTV Generational Theft Contest Winners

From the interview, we believe we can tell where our entry likely fell short in the final point count: we simplified the user input too far.

Here, in creating our web-based tool, we took all the different stimulus and bailout-driven debts the government has taken on since 2008 and condensed it into a single figure, while also embedding it directly in our tool's programming code for the sake of keeping the user interface very simple. This approach, combined with our analysis, allowed us to simplify the data entry portion of our tool to just two elements: a 2009 college graduate's starting income and a year for which to project the personal impact of all the government's massive new spending.

While that's an advantage for a web-based tool, this approach de-emphasizes the individual components of that debt, which we believe became a deciding factor in the contest judges criteria for the winning entry. Contest winners Romm and Stringham's Excel spreadsheet, makes each of these components more visible, although with the trade off of greater complexity. Plus, the choice of using Excel allows for graphs to be part of their tool's output, which we think also gave Romm and Stringham an edge in the judging.

For their efforts, Romm and Stringham have each won $10,000, to which we say: Congratulations!


About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

Thanks in advance!

Recent Posts

Stock Charts and News

Most Popular Posts
Quick Index

Site Data

This site is primarily powered by:

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

CSS Validation

Valid CSS!

RSS Site Feed

AddThis Feed Button


The tools on this site are built using JavaScript. If you would like to learn more, one of the best free resources on the web is available at W3Schools.com.

Other Cool Resources

Blog Roll

Market Links

Useful Election Data
Charities We Support
Shopping Guides
Recommended Reading
Recently Shopped

Seeking Alpha Certified

Legal Disclaimer

Materials on this website are published by Political Calculations to provide visitors with free information and insights regarding the incentives created by the laws and policies described. However, this website is not designed for the purpose of providing legal, medical or financial advice to individuals. Visitors should not rely upon information on this website as a substitute for personal legal, medical or financial advice. While we make every effort to provide accurate website information, laws can change and inaccuracies happen despite our best efforts. If you have an individual problem, you should seek advice from a licensed professional in your state, i.e., by a competent authority with specialized knowledge who can apply it to the particular circumstances of your case.