Every time I’m headed to my girlfriend’s after work, I’m uptown-bound on 6th in NYC and the bus goes past the National Debt Clock. For several weeks that I noticed (perhaps several prior to that when I didn’t?), it was not moving. On Friday I noticed that for the first time in weeks it was once again ratcheting the numbers upward. I should clarify: during the period when it was not incrementing, it had electricity, numbers were glowing.
In somewhat faded non-electified plain old paint on the same sign is a notice to the effect that the national debt is growing at a rate of $10,000 per second. The active display, although now updating itself again, is not gaining anywhere near $10K every second.
a) Who operates this sign? What is their political agenda?
b) How accurate is their figure?
c) Should I assume someone just tripped over a cable in September and it took them awhile to notice that the numbers weren’t moving? Or was something going on economically / politically during this period that would have frozen the debt or made its calculation problematic? I assume not since…
e) I assume the debt would always be increasing until/unless it is completely paid off, such being the nature of interest on any debt. On the other hand, I’ve never heard of any interest being compounded on a per-second basis. So am I correct in assuming the display of up-to-the-second national debt has no real-world meaning anyhow, but is instead a projection based on annual changes, given annual budgets and interest and interest payments, split up by the number of seconds per year?
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