Sunday, October 09, 2011

Wait a second...

On more than one occasion, I've brought up how most people lose perspective when the discussion of numbers advances from millions to billions to trillions. One of my favorite comparisons is that a million seconds amounts to about 11 days, while a billion seconds amounts to about 32 years, and a trillion seconds amounts to about 317 centuries.

I think that is why most of us have a hard time comprehending the $15 trillion debt the federal government is spending towards, or the $100 trillion or so in unfunded liabilities that the government has to try to come up with eventually.

Money comes and goes pretty fast when the government is involved, and usually goes out faster that it comes in. The other day I read that the government is going to take about $2 billion from Apple CEO Steve Job's estate. It will go through it in about 48 minutes. That takes a second to comprehend.

I take a great deal of comfort in the fact that when my time gets here, my estate taxes won't sustain the government's spending for a nanosecond.

That's a billionth of a second, if anyone's counting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The picture you posted next to your about me paragraph might be confussing to your readers as it is a picture of western film star Rex Bell who passed away in the 60's.

9:21 PM  

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