Monday, March 10, 2014
It is no insight that people do not understand large numbers. Many can't grasp a million, fewer still a billion and at best, a handful, a trillion. So, what is the import of $100 trillion of indebtedness? Journalists and communicators would strain almost any analogy to explain that. Using deep space distances would be as unreal to the average individual as the number of times dollar bills would stretch around the earth. The size strains imagination. Yet, that is what the world owes in debt. Perhaps the question should be, "How is the globe going to pay for it?" What does $100 trillion mean in terms of individual indebtedness and where is the money going to come from unless governments print it? The implications for inflation are there as well as economic collapse for some countries. To make the number real, it should be expressed in terms of "What it means to me?" Even then, an individual can't quite understand a debt of $14,000 for every one of seven billion people on earth.