What is a trillion, and should we spend it?

I feel I need to start this blog by stating that I am no expert on economics. I probably have a similar level of economics-know-how to you. I read the newspaper, I listen to the radio and I occasionally Google money concepts when I don’t understand what the ubiquitous ‘they’ are talking about.

When I read that the International Monetary Fund needed (is that like I need oxygen, or like I need a 1953 Jag?) $1 trillion to stop the world from imploding the first thing I thought was “I have no idea how much $1 trillion really is”. So, to help you out:

If you were earning (in your very fancy job) $1000 per second, every second of the day, every day of the year, it would still take you more than 31 years to earn $1 trillion.

So $1 trillion is a lot of money. And the IMF wants Australia, along with a few other countries, to give our money to help make up that amount. That seems as though we are being punished for managing our economy well. The money is going to failing European economies, and sure the world economy is important, but what do you think Europe’s reaction would be if the IMF said “Australia have really messed up and you  need to give them money”. How about “Australia? Isn’t that a kind of cheese?”

Yes, our economy is dependant on the rest of the world, particularly Europe. Yes, things will go downhill for us if the European economy falls over. But I still don’t feel comfortable with the idea of just handing over the cash. Perhaps that is because I don’t think Europe would help us out if we were in the same situation. But the world has been going through some fairly major ups and downs (mostly downs) recently and Australia keeps coming out on top in terms of economic stability. So are we really as dependant on the European economy as we think we are, or would we be better off holding on to the donation and investing in, say, our own healthcare system?

Should Australia be giving your hard-earned dollars away to support the European economy?


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