Speed of Light ..

It’s  fairly common knowledge nowadays that the government has spent upwards of 7 trillion dollars in combating the latest terror to our society called the CoVID-19 corona virus.  In my last blog I suggested that this viral attack could have been overtly sent to this country as a biological warfare attack.  I reiterated the description of warfare that my ROTC professor gave to me and my classmates in his long ago lecture.  As a young student at the time, I couldn’t see how biological warfare would work, but I left out what the professor said in the rest of his lecture.  He made it clear that you would win a war if you could obliterate the enemy army in the field, or if you could nuke the civilian population off the map or make the war so ghastly with chemical or biological agents that the enemy would throw in the towel.  I don’t think that he discussed more subtle ways to defeat the enemy … but we are today being subjected, either overtly by a diabolical enemy or just accidently by a demonstration of subtle biological warfare.  This viral attack may have already and irretrievably brought the United States of America to its knees and defeated us economically without one bullet having been fired.  If the Chinese, our avowed enemy, did it intentionally it is genius; if not, it is a tremendous lesson to us if we survive … economically, that is.

I need not go into the ridiculousness of trying to point out that the virus is airborne and as such will come into contact with all of us, nor to point out that the best filter masks that I know of are of the HEPA variety.  These masks are much too porous to filter the tiny virus … if you cough the virus into your mask, the virus will pass right on through and therefore go right on through the handkerchief that your neighbor is wearing.  It is useless to point out that we don’t have data enough to accurately computer model the effects this disease or even to point out that it will be our own body’s antibodies or “herd” immunity that will ultimately be what protects  us.  But I can point out the clear and present danger of economic ruin.

I think the biggest problem about money, government spending and economics is that the general population cannot comprehend the enormity of the amount of money we are spending to combat this chimera.  A trillion dollars is a million million dollars.  That is $31,250 for every man, woman and child in America.  The national debt is now approaching 23 trillion dollars or $718,750 for each and every one of us.  We can state it but how can we quantify this enormous amount of money so that we can understand it?

A friend of mine, Scott, did a pretty good job of it the other day, I thought.  He said “Lee, what is the speed of light?”  Quickly, from my steel trap mind I replied, “186,000 miles per second,” adding,” it takes 8 minutes for light from the sun to reach us … a bullet fired at that speed would go around the Earth 7 times in a second.”  So then he said, “How far does light travel in a year?”  At that point  my steel trap mind went blank, but after some consultation with my handy dandy hand calculator, I found the answer … it is 5.87 trillion miles  This is a numerical result, a number, somewhat less than the 7 trillion that we are spending on the corona virus.  So, to quantify what we are spending on this problem, let’s look at it this way.

If we wanted to pay the bill for this virus in a year we would have to spend in excess of 186,000 dollars every second … that is for 31 million 536 thousand seconds.

Since at the beginning of this debacle the national debt was about 23 trillion, it is now approaching 30 trillion.  The government doesn’t tell us what the interest on the debt is (I suppose it is “variable”) or where or to whom it goes.  The Federal Reserve Bank has never been audited, but let’s just suppose it is 6%.  6% of 30 trillion dollars is 1.8 trillion dollars or about 40% of our national budget.  You may say that 6% is too high, but what ever the rate is, it is of no benefit to the American taxpayer. 

The other day I bought an ice cream cone for $3.00 dollars … the same as one I bought when I was a boy for 10 cents.   The purchasing power of our money has deflated to one thirtieth of what it was in the brief period of time from my boyhood to now.  60 years ago Zimbabwe, when it became a nation, adopted the Zimbabwe dollar as their national currency and it traded on the international currency markets at $0.60 American, but since then they have printed money without end … they have recently printed a 100 trillion dollar bill that was worth $0.40 in depreciated American dollars.  We are, in my estimation, like Weimar Germany in the 1920’s or Zimbabwe, speeding with a stuck accelerator toward a runaway inflation in this country that will rob all of us of the value of our assets, ostensibly to stop an unstoppable terror that only mother nature can and will stop.  No Social Security, No retirement, No value in property …  Why? Hysterical terror! 

Maybe, because we are coupled with our clueless and profligate Congress, we may have already lost this war to a virus!  One thing for sure … we can’t pay the national debt, it is too large and if we try to pay the interest, we will have to borrow more money to do it … an economic “death spiral.”  It seems to me that to try would just harm us more.  Such is the specter of biological warfare … terrorizing the enemy into committing suicide.  As the comic strip character of long ago, Pogo, said, “we have met the enemy and it is us!”

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