Now, look. I know that not all of you are accountants or economists or mathematicians or engineers. But let’s suppose I said to you that in 2003 the United States GDP was around 11 trillion and that is was expected to grow at an average rate of 4% or less over the next 20 years. You could get out a spreadsheet and come up with a reasonable upper bound of $327 trillion for the total GDP over those 20 years, right? Many of you could probably even do the rough estimate in your head that on average over those 20 years, it couldn’t be more than $20 trillion a year so that the total would be $400 trillion or less.
The (Iraq) war will certainly cost more than the $60b and change that the President is asking for. But it is not going to run us several trillion dollars (though even if it did, that would work out to less than 0.1% of GDP over the next 20 years.)
You’d register that “several trillion” means something like 3-4 trillion or more and say “nope, you mean 1% not 0.1%”, right? And if you yourself had made the 0.1% estimate and someone told you, nope, you’re wrong, it’s 1% and then explained to you in painstaking detail why several trillion is about 1%, not 0.1%, of $327 trillion, you would understand, right?
Because you know how to follow a link and operate a fucking calculator right?
Don’t be afraid to say that no, you couldn’t do any of this, that you can’t follow what it means to divide 4 by 400 and you have no fucking idea why 3-4 trillion is 1%, not 0.1%, of 400 trillion. Because if you can’t perform these simple calculations, then you too can be the Business and Economics Editor of the Atlantic, you too can earn close to 200K a year, and appear on shows like NPR’s Marketplace.
I realize this is my second post on this not-very-important topic. I’ve talked about this enough and I’ll shut up now.