Saturday, December 6, 2008

How about some perspective?

In my November 24 rant about the CEO's of the big 3 auto-makers, I spent some time talking about unemployment figures and the frightening estimate that the nation might lose 350,000 jobs in the month of November alone.

Well, today's Boston Globe has the final figures. We actually lost 500,000 jobs in November - the most in single month since 1974.

And of course this news has prompted lawmakers to move to pass a rescue package/bail-out for the auto industry that now exceeds $34 billion.

That brings the total cost of federal bailouts to well over $4 trillion.

That's "trillion." With a "T".

That's 4,000,000,000,000.

How much is 4 trillion? Phil Plait from the blog Bad Astonomy offers these comparisons...

=4 trillion is roughly 600 times the number of human beings on earth right now.
=4 trillion is about 20 times the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
=4 trillion is about how many days separate us now from the Big Bang.

So, 4 trillion is a lot.

In fact, at over $4 trillion, this bailout is going to cost more (in inflation adjusted dollars)than the Marshall Plan, the Louisiana Purchase, the moonshot, the Korean war, the Vietnam war, the Iraq war, the S&L crisis, the New Deal and NASA's all-time budget - combined!

(Click on the image to embiggen.Thanks to the Voltage Blog for the nifty pie charts.)

I don't know if we really need to do all this or not, but I do know, I know it in my bones, that you're getting screwed and I'm getting screwed and our kids are getting screwed and their kids are getting screwed...

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