# Thread: What's a Trillion? and do we have an Echo Forum?

I was under the impression that US had simply "skipped" a step ahead.
That 10^6 = million, 10^9 = billion (should be milliard), 10^12 = trillion (should be billion), etc.
Dang US and UK for using such stupid scales :/
I say long rules and short falls short. Well, that's just my opinion anyway...

I think I am going to use numerical representations instead of alphabetical in the future... It's the only thing that's standardized.

2. Originally Posted by Elysia
I was under the impression that US had simply "skipped" a step ahead.
That 10^6 = million, 10^9 = billion (should be milliard), 10^12 = trillion (should be billion), etc.
That's right.

Or better, you can think of it in powers of 1,000, rather than powers of 1,000,000 as long scale.

Code:
```Short Scale

1,000                  1,000 x 1,000 ^ 0
1,000,000              1,000 x 1,000 ^ 1
1,000,000,000          1,000 x 1,000 ^ 2
1,000,000,000,000      1,000 x 1,000 ^ 3
1,000,000,000,000,000  1,000 x 1,000 ^ 4

Long Scale

1,000,000              1,000,000 x 1,000,000 ^ 0
1,000,000,000          1,000,000 x 1,000,000 ^ 0.5
1,000,000,000,000      1,000,000 x 1,000,000 ^ 1
1,000,000,000,000,000  1,000,000 x 1,000,000 ^ 1.5```
I do believe the use of decimals in the long scale is sense enough to recognize an issue.

The fact is, the English language (and many, many other languages) don't have a designated word for "one thousand million."

Some countries use milliard (with distinct words, you might as well assume a power of 1000), but many countries use "one thousand million" or their local variation (mil million, etc). Why they do this is beyond me... so as long as we're speaking in English, a language that generally uses the short scale and lacks the vocabulary for the long scale... you should really assume the short-scale regardless of what your own country uses.

3. I have to assume short-scale, and with this new information, the world is now dark. The fact that they use the short-scale means the words cannot be directly translated due to some stupid oversight in the numbering system.
Why does there have to be two numbering systems!?! Of everything there are so many variants.
Well, I object. Math is international, so that it what I will use, and what I urge everyone else to use.

4. Originally Posted by Elysia
Math is international, so that it what I will use, and what I urge everyone else to use.
So does every modern education system from the age of 5.

5. Originally Posted by Elysia
I think I am going to use numerical representations instead of alphabetical in the future... It's the only thing that's standardized.
Except when it comes to grouping thousands: comma versus period

6. >> For a bit there the Dems were talking of raising taxes as they usually do.
Technically, Obama (the democratic nominee)'s plan was to lower taxes for most people. It did include higher taxes for a few, but when the severity of the financial crisis became clear he quickly removed that part of the plan. So again you really have nothing to worry about here.

>> not one politician has even suggested as to how we are going to pay this back and what it is going to take to pay it.
I am very curious as well what the plan is to pay this stuff back, although I won't assume no politician has addressed it (I don't think it's safe for you to assume that either). My impression is that higher taxes and budget cuts will have to be made once the economy recovers.

It is possible to have a good economy and a balanced budget or even a surplus. That was happening just fine about a decade ago. Again, my guess is that the hope is to return to such a situation and use that surplus to pay off the debt accumulated now.

What I sense from you though is that you are worried about things like increased taxes and how the debt will be paid off, but you don't seem too concerned about the half million jobs lost last month and the half million jobs lost the month before. My impression is that the people in government, and especially the executive branch, feel that it is critical to stem the rise in unemployment and get people working again. I think they're keeping in mind the ramifications of what they're doing now, but feel it is worth the expected cost. What I haven't heard from opponents of the stimulus package is how the current crisis can be solved without increasing the debt.

>> So all this is change we can believe in?
While the congress seems to be business as usual on both sides of the aisle, there is definitely a major change (that "we can believe in") in the White House.

>> The only change I see is in the amount of red ink in the budget.
Look closer.

7. Originally Posted by Elysia
I have to assume short-scale, and with this new information, the world is now dark. The fact that they use the short-scale means the words cannot be directly translated due to some stupid oversight in the numbering system.
Why does there have to be two numbering systems!?! Of everything there are so many variants.
Well, I object. Math is international, so that it what I will use, and what I urge everyone else to use.
The metric system is based on scales of 1000 (milligram, gram, kilogram...) so in that respect, I'm surprised it isn't the U.S. that's backwards and the rest of the world should all be using the "short scale".

Which countries don't use the short scale, and why?

8. My country, for example. Why? Who knows why? I didn't even know of short and long scale before today.
And the metric system at least is standard...

9. Originally Posted by laserlight
Except when it comes to grouping thousands: comma versus period
I don't see what the fuss is about. If Americans were better at fractions we'd learn to say "one-two-thousandth" (for example) rather than "point" something most of the time, removing the cultural bias. I'd expect scientific notation to be used with larger numbers especially since you'd only see them carried to several places in math and science. So there really is one area where this matters: financials, and that's simply a matter of dollars and cents, or whatever you people use. Language worked around that holy war.

10. The CEO of my company went to see Paul Kruger (the Nobel Prize winning economist) at a local auditorium a few weeks ago. He recounted the lecture to us.

Kruger's general attitude about our current economic situation is pessimistic, to say the least. His opinion is that a proper recovery package is going to be more like \$2.5 trillion to \$3 trillion. He was also confident that even though lawmakers might balk at such numbers right now, they will have to come around eventually. The alternative is complete economic collapse.

Just one guy's opinion, but he's the sort of person that legislators listen to, and he did win the Prize... And he's not the only economist saying such things.

11. ...and he did win the Prize...
Which used to mean something. I'm sure his does but there is one select individual who attained it who definitely did not deserve it. However that's a completely different topic.

@Daved:
I guess I haven't seen any politician come close to expressing how we are going to pay for it. I truly cannot say none have but publically few have mentioned anything about repayment options. I really don't think it's because they are more concentrated on unemployment but rather that the stark truth behind repayment would not be popular politics at the current time. They don't have to say it though. We all know where the money will come from. Don't people get it when they say taxpayers have to foot the bill? That's code for we will eventually have to raise taxes to pay the bills.

I'm not for or against Obama but so far much of what he has done is business as usual. Troops out of Iraq in 16 months, which was the original plan anyways, more bailouts and money, which was the norm at the time, etc. He closed Guatanamo which was a different direction but has said nothing about the possible repercussions. I frankly don't see anything different but to be fair he hasn't been in office that long. But Presidential activity seems to be logarithmic in that the most activity is in the first 6 months of office and it begins to wane after that. Probably because Congress has chosen sides by then and we are back to good old partisan politics. Obama probably won't even get 6 months of b/c partisan politics are already in full swing

His opinion is that a proper recovery package is going to be more like \$2.5 trillion to \$3 trillion.
I would say he is fairly accurate in his numbers. However politicians know they cannot ask for that up front but if they ask for it throughout several strategically placed spending bills or possibly more stimulus plans they will eventually get to the number and possibly beyond.

12. My biggest gripe is the lack of information on how it will get paid off as well, so I'm with you there.

I know that part of the idea is that some of these plans will bring return on investment. For example, when Geithner says that part of his plan will include \$1 trillion dollars made available to banks for lending, that doesn't mean the government will have to come up with \$1 trillion. In that case it means that maybe the government spends \$300 billion and convinces banks to adjust their valuations of some assets in such a way that the mechanism for allowing about \$1 trillion dollars to be lent is opened up. Also, some portions of the TARP bill are investments that can and have made money for the government. So an \$800 billion plan won't necessarily cost \$800 billion, it could very likely cost less (and of course it might cost more).

13. Originally Posted by whiteflags
I don't see what the fuss is about. If Americans were better at fractions we'd learn to say "one-two-thousandth" (for example) rather than "point" something most of the time, removing the cultural bias. I'd expect scientific notation to be used with larger numbers especially since you'd only see them carried to several places in math and science. So there really is one area where this matters: financials, and that's simply a matter of dollars and cents, or whatever you people use. Language worked around that holy war.
fractions, lol, yeah try to calculate the resonant frequency of a colpitts oscillator using fractions...

oh, and most complex financial accounting s done with integers or fixed point math, which amounts to teh same thing, not floatign point.

14. I think you missed the point. We were talking about separators, as some countries transpose the point and the comma. I know Norway does.

1.500,75 rather than 1,500.75

There's really not a major difference either way and I was only talking about steps to remove the cultural bias that one way was better than the other.

15. Originally Posted by whiteflags
I think you missed the point. We were talking about separators, as some countries transpose the point and the comma. I know Norway does.

1.500,75 rather than 1,500.75

There's really not a major difference either way and I was only talking about steps to remove the cultural bias that one way was better than the other.
The only problem is when two different people are communicating and someone writes: 1.500
Does that mean 1500 or 3/2 ?
I think numbers need to be standardized, along with many other things.