Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Not in A Million Years

What's the difference between a million, a billion, a trillion?

A million has 6 zeros (1,000,000)
A billion has 9 zeros (1,000,000,000)
A trillion has 12 zeros (1,000,000,000,000)

A million seconds is 11 days, 13 hours, 46 minutes and 40 seconds.
A billion seconds is 31 years.
A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.

The United States of America has not existed for a trillion seconds.
No civilization -- Western, Eastern, or Middle Eastern -- has been in existence for a trillion seconds.
Recorded history has not existed for a trillion seconds.

A million minutes ago was 1 year, 329 days, 10 hours and 40 minutes ago.
A billion minutes ago was over nineteen hundred years ago -- just after the time of Christ.

A million hours ago was in 1894.
A billion hours ago, man did not exist -- regardless of what "Origins of Man" theory you adhere to.

A million dollars ago was five seconds ago at the U.S. Treasury.
A billion dollars ago was late yesterday afternoon at the U.S. Treasury.
A trillion dollars ago, we were halfway into the current "War on Terror."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are an estimated 300 million people in this country.

If Bob Herbert's New York Times editorial is to be believed, the current war our Fearless Leaders have waged in the Middle East will cost this country (read: us) at least $2 billion.

The war in Iraq will ultimately cost U.S. taxpayers not hundreds of billions of dollars, but an astonishing $2 trillion, and perhaps more...

On Thursday (Feb. 28, 2008), the Joint Economic Committee, chaired by Senator Chuck Schumer, conducted a public examination of the costs of the war. The witnesses included the Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz (who believes the overall costs of the war — not just the cost to taxpayers — will reach $3 trillion), and Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International.

Which means, if you do the math, that 3 hundred Million people will bear the financial burden of at least 2 TRillion dollars.

To the tune of $6,667 per person.

Did I authorize that expenditure? Hmmm....

Not in a Million Years.