Monday, November 26, 2012

NUMBERS TELL THE STORY


When talking about various things, money in particular, people throw numbers around that are so large we can’t even comprehend how big they are. Here are some examples: if you were counting at a rate of one number per second it would take you 11 days, 13 hours, 46 minutes and 50 seconds, of continuous counting, to count to a million.
            Counting non-stop, again, at one number per second, again, it would take you 31 years, 251 days, 7 hours, 46 minutes and 39 seconds to count to 1 billion. A trillion is 1000 billion so approximately 31,000 years from now you’d be closing in on the end of counting to a trillion. If you didn’t stop, that is.
            Now that we have a little perspective on the massive size of these numbers I’ll give you some statistics that I’ve recently read.
            The National Hockey League’s estimated revenue for the 2011 season, after the Stanley Cup playoffs, was around 3 billion dollars. No wonder these guys are fighting it out to the last greedy little nickel when these are the kind of numbers that they are negotiating over. To me, the problem is that there’s no revenue for anybody to squabble over while there’s a lockout and it shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone that their Collective Bargaining Agreement was running out, you know? But, then again, what the heck do I know? They’re the smart ones, aren’t they?
            The NHL’s revenue is chicken feed compared to the kind of bucks being collected by the National Football League, though. Their revenues were an estimated 7.6 billion dollars in 2007, (or roughly 245 years of continuous counting). In 2011 the revenue had increased to 9.5 billion and leaked documents from the league’s office have revealed that they are shooting for 25 BILLION dollars in revenue by 2027. You can do the math on that one!
            Now, in the category of …HUH?? The United States Government is 16.3 TRILLION dollars in debt, at the very moment that I am writing this, and that number is growing every second. Who do they owe it to? Your guess is as good as mine and it’s so convoluted that I am not sure if you gathered the smartest mathematic and economic wizards and geniuses from around the world and put them into one room you’d ever get a straight answer from any of them either.
            In comparison, Canada’s current national debt is $594,944,869,323.47. Five-hundred-and-ninety-four billion, nine-hundred-and-forty-four million, eight-hundred-and-sixty-nine-thousand-three-hundred-and-twenty-three-dollars and forty-seven cents. Whew! Five-hundred-and-ninety-five-billion dollars is almost nothing compared to the Americans’ debt! We’re barely half-way to a trillion dollars.
            Again, when Rocco and Bubba come a calling to collect on our debt, and I’m not exactly sure who they’d be collecting for and, again, some financial wizard will probably have it all figured out as to what goes where and who gets what, that’s if anyone was ever going to pay anybody back because, at this point, how could you? You know, pay it back. But now I’m just starting to hurt my head here so I’d better close this thing out.
            Numbers, statistics, millions, billions and trillions…bantered about willy-nilly like so many pennies in a jar. Confusing, confounding, incomprehensible but always informative…numbers.
            “It’s clearly a budget. It’s got a lot of numbers in it.”- George W. Bush 43rd President of the United States of America. (1946-).

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