I Used to Think a MILLION Was a Lot!

By The Reader's Turn
The Reader's Turn
The Reader's Turn
December 5, 2021 Updated: December 5, 2021

I am writing about something that is food for thought.

We turn on the news, and a term that I have not heard used frequently, in the last 74 years of my life, is being tossed around, like a football!

The term that I am referring to is “TRILLION.” Most common folks don’t ever deal in a trillion anything, let alone a trillion dollars!

So let us all learn how to get to a trillion: Start with $1 (one dollar), then add a zero, $10 (ten dollars); then add another zero, $100 ( one hundred dollars); add another zero, $1,000 (a thousand dollars); then $10,000 (ten thousand bucks—a good month’s pay); then, $100,000 (one hundred thousand dollars—a good year’s pay); then, $1,000,000 (one million dollars—a small fortune in times past); then, $10,000,000 (one million); then another zero, $100,000,000 (one hundred million dollars—that is some real money); add one more zero, $1,000,000,000 (one billion dollars—very few people ever see that much money); then, $10,000,000,000 (ten billion dollars); then, $100,000,000,000 (one hundred billion dollars). That is a lot of zeros and a lot of money! But let’s do one more final zero, to get $1,000,000,000,000 (one TRILLION DOLLARS). WOW!!

The U.S. debt is quickly closing in on $30,000,000,000,000—THIRTY TRILLION DOLLARS.  This is ABSURD! Professional politicians have our country in a deep, deep hole that we cannot dig out of for generations, if ever!

But now at least you know how to get to a TRILLION (twelve zeros—crazy!). How can an average citizen comprehend how large a number a trillion really is? Unless you are learned in math or as a child you were taught to count, the word trillion may not be a vocabulary word of yours. I bet if you ask one hundred people on the street to write $1,000,000,000,000, probably two or three could actually write the number. Of course, those are the two or three that have read this editorial!

 

Paul Bloom

Georgia