Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Numbers Nirvana

An Economist in Columbus mentioned a web site that only Economist and Statisticians would love - www.usdebtclock.org.   Full of numbers changing each second, with demographics, dollars and ratios.  Just looking at the site is mezmorizing.   It even has a "time machine" allowing you to transport the numbers forward and backward.  It is DATA OVERLOAD!!!   Like Willie Wonka in the Chocolate Factory. 

The US Public Debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion is projected to be hit on August 2.  You can use this web site as the countdown - now $14,289,684,000 and counting (8:18am EDT).  The jokers in Congress are focusing on the wrong number. The three numbers to focus on are GDP, Total National Assets, and US Population and their growth rates.

In 2000 on this day the Total National Assets per citizen was $192,589 and today it is $242,521 (a 2.12% Compounded Annual Growth Rate.  GDP per citizen was $33,586 in 2000 and $47,446 today which is a 3.19% CAGR.  So the population is growing at 0.91% and our assets and income is growing faster (this analysis is slightly flawed as it does not take into account inflation).

We should focus on growth rates and productivity - not debt, taxes and spending.

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