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Understanding the deficit
Old 04-03-2009, 12:15 AM   #1
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Understanding the deficit

I ran across this today. It made me think about the way I've been tossing "billion" and "trillion" around in conversation.

What does one TRILLION dollars look like?
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:09 AM   #2
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Thanks, harley. That does sort of put it into perspective. The only way I could make sense of it was to divide the roughly 300,000,000 people in the US into a trillion and get (now let's check the math here, yep) $3,333 for every man, woman and child.

Now, I wonder who has that kind of money just lying around. Oh, yeah. It's those of us who actually saved something for a rainy day. (Think I see some dark clouds on the horizon.)
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:23 AM   #3
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When I think of the current deficits being rung up, two words come to mind:

Inflation and destitution.
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:29 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
Thanks, harley. That does sort of put it into perspective. The only way I could make sense of it was to divide the roughly 300,000,000 people in the US into a trillion and get (now let's check the math here, yep) $3,333 for every man, woman and child.
well multiply that by about 11 since the national debt as of 16 mar 2009 is a little over $11 trillion (per wikipedia) making the per capita figure ~$36,314 (same source)
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:40 AM   #5
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Here's another way to visualize it. Since one of those $10,000 bundles of $100 bills is approximately one-half inch thick, and one trillion $ is 100,000,000 bundles, the height of a stack of bundles totaling $1 trillion wouuld be:

100,000,000 x 0.5 in x (1 ft / 12 in) x (1 mile / 5280 ft) = 789 miles

Think it will fall over?

BTW, this year's government budget ($3.5 T) will literally span the US - New York to California
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Lawrence of Suburbia View Post
When I think of the current deficits being rung up, two words come to mind:

Inflation and destitution.
You've got it. One basic reason empires fall is because they debase their currency.

I have no doubt that it will happen here.
The questions are:
when
will I be smart enough to know how to survive it.
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