From the mere sight of this problem, if you have not been regularly practicing algebra, solving it may prove to be a daunting task. The fearful would turn a blind eye; they would allow this problem to go unsolved. Those with a bit more courage, and a general idea of how to solve the problem, may look at all of the X’s and cancel them out leaving just the numbers behind. The X’s are the terms. If one were to cancel out the terms, they would be left with a numeric fraction for an answer. Both of the preceding techniques, however, are fruitless and incorrect.
To see a problem and being afraid to tackle it gets you nowhere. To see a problem and having courage enough to make an attempt, but doing so incorrectly, is valiant but vain. The wise person would study the expression and find commonalities. These commonalities are called factors. The sharp scholar would tackle these first to simplify the problem, and with calculated technique, he will find that problem beginning to solve itself. “You cannot cancel terms; you can only cancel factors” (PurpleMath.com).
Daily in our Nation, we are besieged with such problems; tough problems that from the mere sight are seemingly too hard to solve. 2009 proved to be the year of challenge on many fronts. The year opened with an economy marching in a dismal recessional. Banks, one by one, were springing of the diving board of bad fiscal responsibility into the pool of failure. Lines at unemployment offices continued to extend as far as the eye could see. We have multiple wars on multiple fronts that seemingly have no end. But the most deplorable of our Nation’s surmounting problems, in a land full of plenty, is seeing our fellow countrymen losing the keys to their homes.
According to RealtyTrac.com, in the third quarter of 2009, 937,840 properties were foreclosed as a result of “default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions.” This figure, of almost 1,000,000 properties, was up 5% from the second quarter and up 23% from the third quarter of 2008. Mothers, fathers, children, seniors, veterans, and so many of our fellow countrymen, due to all matter of circumstances, are homeless because of foreclosures.
When you stand back and look at all of the problems facing our Nation, especially foreclosures, it is a lot to take in. The fearful, in many cases, see that something needs to be done but don’t offer solutions. From another perspective, there is an overwhelming effort to solve these issues with legislative and executive band-aids like bank bailouts, Wall Street bailouts, stimulus checks, “Cash for Clunkers,” tax credits, surges, health care reform, and a gamut of other initiatives and programs. All of these efforts are valiant in that there are people courageous enough to tackle the problems, but they are canceling terms, and as a result their efforts, in time, will prove to be vain. The wise person would look at all of our Nation’s problems and find the greatest common factor…the dollar. If we...