The great phony numbers game
If it wasn’t so serious, it would be funny. I’m talking about how politicians play what I call “the great phony numbers game.” They toss around “governmental numbers” as carelessly as carefree 3-year-olds toss around Lego blocks.
Let me explain. The number “million” has essentially disappeared from the government lexicon. “Million” has been replaced by “billion,” and “billion” is rapidly being replaced by “trillion.”
Presidents, senators, congressman and congresswomen, Federal Reserve chairman, treasury secretaries, esteemed economists, journalists, and candidates of all stripes all seriously use the above numbers casually — like they expect the average Joe Blow to believe them.
I recently read an article, “Game Over For The Fed,” penned by some observant feller named Nick Giambruno, that lays out the premise for the phony numbers game pretty succinctly. Here’s the crux of what he wrote;
“A trillion dollars is a massive, almost unfathomable number. The human brain has trouble understanding something so huge. If you earned $1 per second, it would take 11 days to make a million dollars. If you earned $1 per second, it would take 31 and a half years to make a billion dollars. And if you earned $1 per second, it would take 31,688 years to make a trillion dollars. So that’s how enormous a trillion is. When politicians carelessly spend and print money measured in the trillions, you are in dangerous territory. And that is precisely what the Federal Reserve and the central banking system have enabled the U.S. government to do. It took over 227 years to print its first $6 trillion. In just a matter of months recently, the U.S. government printed more than $6 trillion. During that period, the U.S. money supply increased by a whopping 41%. In short, the Fed’s actions amounted to the biggest monetary explosion that has ever occurred in the U.S. The truth is that inflation is out of control, and nothing can stop it. The U.S. federal government has the biggest debt in the history of the world. And it’s continuing to grow at a rapid, unstoppable pace. Today, the U.S. debt has gone parabolic and is over $30 trillion.”
Now, I didn’t bother to check Mr. Giambruno’s math or statistics. I took him at his word. But, regardless, he made a salient point that no current political or economic discussion even comes close to the expressing the enormity and reality of dealing with trillions of dollars of federal debt — with every dollar of that debt growing inexorably, and unseen, through compound interest rates.
I digressed from my normal aggie base and wandered into the quagmire of politics and economics because every bit of debt and “the great phony numbers game” have a direct impact on U.S. agriculture and every farmer and rancher.
I won’t even throw out a possible solution to “The Great Phony Numbers Game.” But, I know, beyond a shadow of doubt, how we got ourselves into this debt morass. We, The People, elected into office every single one of the politicians who’ve, for decades, taken us blindly down this dead-end debt trail.
Shifting from the serious to the inane, here are some “facts and observations” that at least have a tangential, and hopefully humorous, relationship to agriculture.
With the NFL and college football seasons kicked off by the time you read this column, did you know that it takes at least 3,000 bovine hides to manufacture the footballs for a year’s supply of NFL footballs?
And, did you know, the weight of the world’s termites is significantly larger than the weight of all the world’s humans? (I’m trying my best to get humans back in the weight race.)
Do you know that are 178 sesame seeds on the average sesame seed hamburger bun?
Did you know that, pound for pound, a hamburger costs more than a new car?
Did you know it’s possible to lead a cow upstairs, but not downstairs (don’t know who proved this one)?
Did you know that 10% of the Russian government’s income comes from the sale of vodka? Perhaps this statistic explains a lot of things.
Have you ever wondered why your bank charges you a fee for “insufficient funds” on money it knows you no longer have?
Have you ever considered how come you drive your vehicle over underpasses and under overpasses?
Have you ever wondered why vegetarians, who think folks should never eat animals, have never protested that animals are made of meat?
If you’re into esoteric thinking, have you ever considered what “time” is? Well, “time” is what keeps everything from happening simultaneously. But, consider this, too: Time is the best teacher, but it kills all of its students.
In spite of protests about prayers in schools, the odds are good that prayer will continue in public schools as long as tests are given to students.
Just for safety’s sake, whenever you do a good deed. Get a receipt — just in case heaven is like the Internal Revenue Service.
Words of wisdom for the week: “Every mechanical device is doomed to eventual failure — usually at the most inopportune, most expensive time.” Have a good ‘un.
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