This piece is original, written by Larry Jacobs and Josh Bloch. I just had a thought that might cast a new light on our current federal budget problems: Here are some estimates I heard on NPR today: 1991 Proposed Budget $ 1,200,000,000,000 Est. Revenue 800,000,000,000 Military Budget 290,000,000,000 Debt Service 260,000,000,000 National Debt 3,000,000,000,000 So I thought I would do my part to help eliminate the national debt by organizing a bake sale. (If it's good enough for the Girl Scouts, it's good enough for Uncle Sam.) Let's say we bake the chocolate mint cookies: they've always been my favorites. If we put 40 cookies in a box, sell the boxes for 2 dollars a piece and it costs us $1.25 a box to bake them, we can make 75 cents per box! Now let's see... We need to raise 3 trillion dollars... That's a mere 160 trillion cookies. But who will eat the cookies?? We all will! Assuming the population of the United States is 250 million, that makes 640,000 delicious chocolate mint cookies for every man, woman and child in the US. What a feast! But wait - we'd have to bake the cookies before we could eat them. No problem. I can fit 3 baking sheets in my oven, with 48 cookies on a sheet. (6 by 8 always works nicely.) It takes about 12 minutes to bake a batch of cookies, so that means I can bake 720 cookies per hour! Now I could bake all of the cookies myself but it would take me 8.5 billion years. Since the sun will burn out in about 500 million years, maybe you guys better help me. If everybody in the US were to help, it would take only 34 years. Of course everybody would have to quit their jobs to bake cookies 40 hours a week, but what the heck; it's for a good cause. Bon Appetit, larry & Josh P.S. When I thought about it a bit more, I realized that some of us might eventually get tired of eating 30,000 cookies a week -- even the chocolate mint ones! Then I had a great idea: we could export some of the cookies! Let's assume that Americans only wanted, say, half of them. That leaves 80 trillion cookies for the rest of the world. Let's say we distribute these cookies evenly among the balance of the world population, about 4.75 billion people. That comes out to 16,800 cookies per person for the rest of the planet. Not only would our bake sale solve the current US budget problem, but it would end world hunger and balance the US trade deficit to boot!
(From the "Rest" of RHF)