Holy Crap! I didn't have a good opener and wanted your immediate attention. Also, my brain hurts! Yes, my exploding head is trying to wrap itself around what a "trillion" really is. Try it, then take 2 aspirins, drink plenty of liquids and wake up on another planet tomorrow, just don't call! This is when the drama starts. The reason being, quite frankly, we are in a whole 'nother galaxy concerning our little country and our staggering, shameful national debt that is approaching 20 trillion dollars!! That's trillion for those of you that have passed out temporarily. Also, I am talking about America's multi-trillion dollar debt.
Ok, to fathom this number and lend some relativity to this unbelievably insane amount here is an historic timeline. 3200 years ago the ancient Sumerians gave us the first written records in the form cuneiform clay tablets. It's postulated that the original Sumerian writing began as a system of record keeping. It laid the foundation for many other cultures writing and as writing evolved it unfortunately became extinct in the second century A.D. Along with it, the knowledge for deciphering the text was lost. Time marched on.
About a one half to two million cuneiform tablets have been discovered. One million seconds ago is 12 days and two million seconds ago would be roughly almost a month, around 24 days. It took scholars all the way up to the 19th century, somewhere in the middle to late 1850's to get a handle on what the ancients were trying to communicate. Interestingly, it is now believed that these were records of checks and balances for trading. This is quite apropos to the topic at hand. Why? Well, fast forward to 2016 where it was reported that North America now has a trade deficit of 502 billion dollars. Now, 1 billion seconds is 31 years ago. Doing the math, 502 billion dollars [Converting "dollars" into seconds for perspective] would be 15,500 years ago. That is 12,300 years before recorded history.
Coincidentally, on the above comparison, an archaeological dig from Texas A&M University found artifacts placing humans in America 15,500 years ago (I'm not making this up) in Texas and reported this in the journal Science in 2011. Yes, Texas, it had to be Texas, because let's face it; we all know Texas could be its own country, we respect that. According to Texas A&M University, this is the only "credible" site in North America where tools were found, blades, scrappers a "mobile took kit" if you will, and reference was also made to "finding the Holy Grail!" Hallelujah! Everything is bigger in Texas. Because there is no written record, we can only conjecture they were making stuff and had trading partners. I think we could, tongue in cheek, with the absence of written records, rightfully blame Texas for perhaps the beginning of trade deficits. We would, of course, wait for the expert opinions on that subject. Just keep that in the back of your minds.
What is the trade deficit you ask? According to Investopedia.com the "trade deficit is an economic measure of a negative balance of trade in which a country's imports exceeds its exports. A trade deficit represents an outflow of domestic currency to foreign markets." Is this deficit due to just choosing the wrong trade "partners"? I wonder if the clay cuneiform tablets of 3200 years ago showed any deficits, something to think about, however that news has not leaked out to my knowledge anywhere in history. In our modern reporting it would be a breaking newsflash: "This just in, according to experts deciphering ancient records, the cuneiform tablets definitely show that trade deficits have been going on since the beginning of recorded history" seriously! Yep, we're all in this together folks, the in charge just doesn't know that yet!
Why can't trade be fair and even, darn our diverse cultures and partners! The mainstream and alternative news could unite. Finally, we can all blame history for our financial troubles. "Well, that's the way it's always been, who are we to try to change it now"? Eraser phrases, you just have to love them.
Going back to the brain twister on what will lead to understanding the national debt of nearly 20 trillion dollars; that is the debt that is public and intergovernmental owed by the federal government, so pay attention. For those of you still following, let's continue on to just what exactly is one trillion. One trillion seconds is 31,709 point blah blah years ago. There was no written or recorded history. Now, a light year is the measurement that it takes to travel between two points in space in one earth year of 365 days. According to NASA that is 6 trillion miles (actually a little less, 5 trillion something rounded up to 6 trillion). Working eight hours per day at a rate of one number per second it would take two hundred thousand years to get to almost 6 trillion!
A trillion is a thousand billion and a billion is a thousand million. Think of seconds to dollars. I million seconds is 12 days ago. I billion seconds is 31 years ago. I trillion seconds is that number in the above paragraph, 31,709. . . It's easy to now realize that our trade deficit and national debt is truly "out of this world". It appears we have nearly 20 billion dollars of national debt piled up. Yet, according to some brainiacs out there this is a manageable amount, as long as we eventually get long-term entitlement spending under control. Notwithstanding, according to Forbes we have "41 straight years of trade deficits yet America still stands strong." So much for the people and we're the majority! Do we really need "money"?
I'm at the airport landing this plane, so wake up but stay in your seats until we come to a complete stop. Evidentially, nothing needs fixed because all our debt, national and trade have no written records of how it came into existence, except the usual head in the sand, don't pay any attention to the man behind the curtain and, my favorite, the very proverbial and useful delete key.
I think we need to go back to Old Testament times, back before anyone was contemplating billions much less trillions and just take a goat out to the edge of DC (a.k.a the village, corporate headquarters, the money pit, center of the universe, etc.) put all our "sinful debt" on it then kill it. Done and exonerated. Gosh times were simpler back then and you could get on with worrying if you had enough food stored up before a drought or flood.
I hope this article has offered the common man a perspective on the hugeness that a trillion really is and levels the knowledge field between the in charge and the not, soon to be in charge, (that would be us, THE PEOPLE!!). Also, this author suggests strongly (and NASA may be working on this as I write, we probably wouldn't be informed though) that we might need to start thinking about forming outer space alien partnerships just in case things blow up here on planet Earth.
Obviously we know how to calculate long galactic distances. It seems we are completely capable of playing with very large numbers and that is sure to impress our new highly advanced alien trade partners amongst the 300 billion other galaxies in the Universe. Only 300 hundred billion that seems so small doesn't it? Oh, I forgot, just the ones we know about. . . so far.
Who knows, tomorrow we could discover there is close to a trillion galaxies out there. Try to keep an open mind. Most of all, please make note that a trillion of anything is huuuge!
Commentary on "Trillions" 09/15/17 © Jade Anjoun