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Cindy Ecksol @CindyEcksol
, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
This “paying down the tariffs” thing sounds nuts to those of us who have worked with big numbers especially in the mathematical context. We understand that $50 billion in tariffs is a drop in the bucket compared to a $20 trillion debt growing at $1 trillion per yr 1/
But to the average person it seems perfectly reasonable. This is the thing about most of Trump’s proposals. They have a “true core” but but if you have enough background to follow the idea to its logical conclusion, it is nonsense. 2/
Most people don’t have the ability to do that independently or to understand an explanation. Especially true with big numbers. I still remember when someone who had $1 million was really wealthy. $50 million in increased government spending was a LOT 3/
Today $1 billion seems like peanuts and everyone on the Forbes list is a billionaire. $50 billion doesn’t seem like that much. But $1 billion is 1,000 times bigger than $1 million. And $1 trillion is 1,000 times bigger than that. 4/
These numbers are simply too large for most of us to imagine. Seriously, what would YOU do with $1,000,000? Ok, how about $1,000,000,000? Apple is now capitalized at $1,000,000,000,000. See how different it is with the zeros written out? 4/
I trained as a mathematician and did work on ideas about very large numbers. I mean like infinity-sized numbers, the kind where it makes no difference if you add two of them together - the result is still infinity. 5/
Today billion and trillion have become like that. We don’t make a distinction between $1 trillion and $20 trillion. So Trump‘s rhetorical tricks work. But they are SO dangerous! Hate to say it, but our collective mathematical illiteracy is making the crash certain. And soon. 6/6
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