Infinity and finance

Tyler Murphy

I’ve been reading a lot lately on just how much money people owe. The nation debt is about 52 trillion and I didn’t calculated the math but a BBC website told me that for every man women and child currently living in America we’d all have to pay $80,000 to get our country square with the house again.

Want a real challenge try searching for who we exactly owe all this money and its building interest too … you’d think that information would be a little more comprehensive and easier to find… hmmm.

Anyway I read that New York State has almost made it to the 50 billion dollar debt level and that Wall Street accounts for roughly 20 percent of our income. (Again BBC info) If that is true I think it’s about time I moved to a different state because being in one of the highest taxed and bureaucratic states in the union particularly from a region basically shunned by the down state money makers I’m starting to see the greener grass.

I found an image that supposedly shows what a trillion dollar bills looks like stacked together. The pile, according to the chart, is the size of a couple of sky scrapers.

Whenever I start reading about these huge sums of cash it’s lost on me. It takes me back to a time in science class when we learned about astronomy. The infinite depth of the universe, the 200 billion stars in the Milky Way and the width of celestial objects that stretch for light years. It’s sad that the only thing I can compare our finances to is the enormity of the cosmos.

The human mind has some logistical limits and our debts have exceeded our capacity to rationally conceptualize them. Maybe that’s why it’s so easy not to care about the 700 billion dollar bail out or the 1.5 trillion dollar Iraq War. Sometimes though I feel my inability to understand the complete effect of these drastic expenditures may revisit us in the future with a stern education of harsh reality.