Tuesday, September 04, 2012

What is $16 Trillion?

Today, 4 September 2012, the US National debt climbed past $16,000,000,000,000 (sixteen trillion dollars).  What is that?  How can you come to grips with a number like that?  Maybe this will help.

$16 buys a good lunch
$160 buys some nice shoes
$1,600 buys a very nice TV
$16,000 buys a small car
$160,000 buys most people in the Southern US a house
$1,600,000 is more than what most people make in their entire lifetime of 40 years of work
$16,000,000 is about the cost of one F-16 fighter aircraft or a platoon of 5 M1 Abrams tanks
$160,000,000 (one hundred sixty million) is what the 2008 Obama Inauguration cost
$1,600,000,000 (1.6 billion) is about the GDP of the Republic of Burundi in Africa, population 9 million people
$16,000,000,000 (16 billion) is about what it cost to design, build and fit the latest and greatest US aircraft (USS Gerald R. Ford, still in the docks being made, next to the new USS JFK)
$160,000,000,000 (160 billion) is the total value of the most valuable corporation in the world, Apple Computer.
$1,600,000,000,000: (1.6 trillion) The total goods and services in the state of California per year (GDP), the 8th largest economy in the world, with a population of 37.7 million people (and an unmanageable debt of its own...but that's a different story.)
$16,000,000,000,000: (16 trillion) That’s 1,000 fully equipped brand spanking new top of the line aircraft carriers.  Or, that’s $51,000 for each and every one of the 311 million US citizens.

Here's an article if you want to read the Boston Globe's report on the news.

The world is watching the EU's debtor nations pull the Euro community off a cliff.  With debt levels like this, and growing constantly, how long will it be before the US falls into the same abyss?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fallen Heroes / Cheaters

Now, today, it's Lance Armstrong.  Recently it was Joe Paterno, Barry BondsMark McGwire, Rod BlagojevichYears ago it was Pete Rose.  And many others.  I'm sure everyone can name a few.

Why?  Why do people that grew up to become iconic figures have to achieve it by cheating and in the process, betray us...the fans, the followers, the believers, the public, the country, the world.  And why do we and the press that promotes their achievements fall for their dishonesty time after time?  And despite the overwhelming evidence everyone can see which publicly convicts them, they continue to deny, to deflect, to request reconsideration.  To ask for our trust yet one more time.  Liars all, I think, at least certainly not heroes.  (I borrowed all these pictures from Internet sites.)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

On Joe Paterno

Today Joe Paterno, the (now tarnished) legend, died. Of course, I did not know the man personally. I do not know what was in his heart. I did not know his way of thinking.

But i do know that he spent over 60 years at Penn State. I do know that he deserved more than a phone call from a board member to fire him. The treatment of Joe Paterno brings shame to Penn State. After 62 years and a record 409 wins (before the NCAA took away 11 seasons) Joe deserved a retirement party and a gilded stadium seat for he and his wife, Sue. There are many respectful and classy things Penn State could have done to say goodbye to Joe with grace. They elected not to. And their choice to degrade Joe Paterno has not righted any of the awful wrongs that might have been done by Sandusky.

May God be with you Joe. Thanks for all the dedicated years of service, teaching, and a fantastic program. Joe's death marks the end of an era. And, probably the end of Penn State football.

Update: We've now learned that Joe, probably intentionally, gave Sandusky a pass on his criminal behavior for Joe's own benefit and for the benefit of his friends and for Penn State.  I am, and I'm sure many others are, gravely disappointed.

Update, 17 Jan 15: Yesterday the NCAA re-instated Penn State's and Joe Paterno's full record and restored him as the coach with the most wins in NCAA Football with 409 rightful wins.  Posthumous congratulations Joe.  The NCAA screwed up in their original meddling in a matter of law.  I think they probably changed their decision to protect themselves from Joe's son Jay's civil suit against the NCAA for their defamation of Joe Paterno and Penn State.  Now, Penn State, put his statue back up and show the man the respect for his coaching success he deserves.