Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Optimist Next to the Manure Pile

A reader sends a link to a site worth visiting frequently: The Skeptical Optimist.

This blogger has a Debt Clock, which in itself is an interesting thing. Our debt increases at an alarming rate, much faster than your heart beats.

But beneath this clock is….ta da…a GDP clock, and it appears to be ticking just as fast.

Below both clocks you will see a number. This is the Debt-to-GDP ratio. While the other two tick away, this number doesn’t seem to change.

Mr. Optimist says:

All three numbers on the clock are updated two times per second: Debt, GDP, and Debt-to-GDP Ratio.

Unsurprisingly, the first number on the clock, Debt, is hard to keep up with, because it’s increasing so fast—just like it does on all the other debt clocks out there.

The second number on the clock, GDP, indicates the size of our economy. It’s just like the debt number in one very important respect: it’s hard to keep up with, because it’s increasing so fast. I bet you’ve never seen this before on anybody else’s debt clock.

The third number, Debt-to-GDP Ratio, is the most important number on the clock. It indicates our nation’s debt burden, and is very different from the other two numbers. Why? Because waiting for this number to tick up or down is worse than watching grass grow. Nevertheless, I do recalculate it two times per second, just like the other two numbers.

Manure Pile + OptimistHere’s his definition of an optimist: one who believes that humans, on net balance, are builders rather than destroyers.

And go here for his International Debt Thermometer.

Definitely, a keeper. The Skeptical Optimist will be on our blogroll at the next update.

Meanwhile, spread the manure ummm...spread the word.

Hat tip: Nicholas Bretagna II, who in turn, hat tips Cass.


Brian Macker said...

Here’s his definition of an optimist: one who believes that humans, on net balance, are builders rather than destroyers.

That's a pessimists definition of a optimist.

Charles Martel said...


Superb post and I for one want to thank you. These are issues that will not attract the sort of attention (if any at all) necessary for a rational immigration policy.

X said...

Speaking of the debt thermometer, I reckon his assessment of the UK rather underestimates our truw national debt and over-estimates our economy quite a bit. Much of our public spending has been rather cleverly pushed off the books by the government's use of "private finance initiatives" that are neither private, nor showing of much initiative. I'd say our national debt is somewhat higher, and growing quite rapidly, while our GDP is shrinking very fast.

Of course that's not his fault. The government has been hiding this quite effectively for several years, but it's starting to show up. Brown as much as confessed that most PFI is purely to cook the books in a recent session of parliament.

Dymphna said...

...that strange flower, the sun,
is just what you say.
have it your way.

the world is ugly,
and the people are sad...
(Wallace Stevens)