January 17, 2007


What $1.2 Trillion Can Buy (DAVID LEONHARDT, 1/17/07, NY Times)

The human mind isn't very well equipped to make sense of a figure like $1.2 trillion. We don't deal with a trillion of anything in our daily lives, and so when we come across such a big number, it is hard to distinguish it from any other big number. Millions, billions, a trillion -- they all start to sound the same.

The way to come to grips with $1.2 trillion is to forget about the number itself and think instead about what you could buy with the money.

Here's the easiest way to wrap your mind around it: for about 10% of one year's GDP we liberated Afghanistan and Iraq, democratized Palestine and brought about elections everywhere from Egypt to Saudi Arabia. It'd be interesting to hear the Left make an honest argument that Arab Muslims aren't worth even such a minor investment.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 17, 2007 9:05 AM
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