[Math Lair] A "Proof" That You Never Go To School

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You may have once seen a "proof" that you never go to school (or work), all appearances to the contrary notwithstanding. It might have gone something like this:

But (assuming you're a student) you do go to school, so what's gone wrong? The problem is that many of the times that you aren't at school are counted multiple times. For example, a summer Sunday is subtracted when accounting for Sundays and again when accounting for summer vacation.

The above was just for fun, but there is a real world lesson to be learned here. Sometimes you'll see in the news some claim that shoplifting, or mental illness, or goofing off on the Internet at work, or something else costs some enormous sum of money, or that some new government spending programme will create some enormous number of jobs. You can probably bet that, just like the example above, there was a lot of counting things twice, three times, or even more.

See also logical fallacies and mathematical fallacies.