# Stamp Stuff

## THE MAIL

To the Editors of The Crimson:

In your article of October 1, on page 6, about the "Postal Rate Hike," you claim that a change from 6 cents to 20 cents represents a 333 per cent increase. While it is true that 333% x 6 is 20, the same reasoning would mean that a change of 6 cents to, say, a modest 8 cents would represent a 133 per cent increase! Such reasoning is obviously fallacious, as would have been plainly apparent given the briefest thought.

There are actually two acceptable methods for calculating a percentage of increase. One uses the difference between the new price and the original price as a percentage of the original price. The other uses the difference as a percentage of the new price. Notice that neither method allows for using the new price as a percentage of the original price. By the former and, incidentally, more common method, the change from 6 cents to 20 cents represents 233 per cent increase. However, by the latter method, which, by the way, is the one used (knowingly or not) when in the same sentence it is stated that an increase from 15 cents to 20 cents is one of 25 per cent, the change from 6 cents to 20 cents works out to be a 70-per-cent increase. That is a far cry from 333 per cent! Perhaps the Core Quantitative Reasoning Requirement should be stiffened for the benefit of those students who are ordinarily otherwise preoccupied with more literary endeavors. Stephen Apfelroth '83