Thursday, January 1, 2009

It's Only A Number

Reflecting on 2008, I thought that was the strangest year ever in my life. Think about it, the price of gas dropped by over 50% in just a few months. Retirement and investment accounts drop significantly. In summary, the bubble burst.

We listened to the presidential candidates debate how they would fix the economy and watched in amazement as our government leadership determined that the solution was to provide over $700,000,000,000 to fix the the bubble. I got to thinking about that number. Just how big is 700 billion?

So, I did a little research. I found an interesting analogy on the Internet that said a one gallon milk jug would contain about 1 billion grains of sand. OK now I can wrap my mind around the size of "1 billion". So the government decided to provide 700 milk jugs. Now that is a lot of milk jugs. When I was in the store the other day, I decided to count the number of one gallon milk jugs on the milk rack. On one shelf, I found 16 milk jugs lined up 4 across and 4 deep so that shelf contains the equivalent of $16,000,000,000. There were 5 shelves on the rack or the equivalent of $80,000,000,000. It would take 9 racks like that to hold 720 milk jugs. That is a lot of milk.

As I drove past Academy, the other day, I noticed they had BBQ grills made from oil drum containers. A barrel of oil holds 55 gallons. It would take 13 barrels to hold $700,000,000,000. Now I am getting somewhere. So there, I've settled it in my mind. I can visualize 13 oil barrels.

Anyone want to help me fill those oil barrels with sand now? I have a spare shovel.