Tallulah Gorge

What is a TRILLION?

There has been much talk about huge numbers lately. Some of these numbers have not been used before except when discussing the distance between stars or galaxies in outer space.

National Debt of the USA stands at over $16 Trillion at this writing. Some say there is an Unfunded Liability beyond this that may reach $150 Trillion. There is a Derivatives Crisis looming that amounts to as much as 1.5 Quadrillion Dollars.

We hear Millions, Billions and Trillions casually tossed about when discussing National Budgets, Deficits and Debt.   For a way to understand the difference in these terms, try thinking of it this way:

One Million seconds from now will be about a Week and a Half. (11.57 Days or 1.65 Weeks)

One Trillion seconds from now will be about Thirty−Two Thousand Years. (31,688.09 Years)

Light travels at a speed of 186,212 miles per second. It takes light Just Over a Second (1.28 Seconds) to get here from the Moon, and Just Over 8 Minutes (8.31 Minutes) to get here from the Sun. However, it takes light Over 2 Months (62.16 Days) to travel One Trillion Miles!

A friend and I went to buy a used appliance, and I had the $100, cash, in twenty−dollar bills. Before we went into the store, I had him try to put them in my hand at a rate of one per second. It took him four tries, but he did it. I then told him that if he could do that for about a minute, he could pay his rent and utilities for the month. Then I told him that he would need to do that day and night, year after year, century after century, for about 27 thousand years (26,935 Years) to pay−off the National Debt of the USA as it stood at the time. Did you get that − one $20 Bill, every second, for the next 27,000 years ?

The National Debt is expected to be about $20 Trillion by the end of the term of the current occupant of the office of the President of the US. If so, the following example of expansive distances in outer space would be applicable...

There are LESS THAN 6 Trillion miles in a LIGHT-YEAR... Since a PARSEC is about 3.26 light-years, that means it is about 19.16 Trillion miles. If you could fly the speed of light though space, and drop a dollar bill every mile while doing so, you would need to fly about a PARSEC (about 3.26 years) in order to lose as much money as the US gvt. owes in National Debt by around 2016 as we are discusing.

BTW, the term, PARSEC, stands for, "parallax of one arcsecond." It's the length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle, whose short leg is the distance between the Sun and the Earth (approx. 93 Million miles) when the angle between that leg and the other long leg is one arcsecond .

Pasec To figure an ArcSecond is to divide a circle into almost 1.3 MILLION pieces. You got to be really far away for this calculation to workout for just ONE PARSEC, or 19.16 Trillion Miles...

Concerning "the Derivatives Timebomb," you may wish to read this article:


Using my example of laying out money every second, you would need to lay out a $100 bill every second for 4,753,213 years to cover all the potential exposure in this Derivatives Crisis mentioned above!

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