Wall Street's Days are Numbered: Part II

Let's take a number far, far vaster than the number of grains
of sand on every beach on earth: let's take all the atoms
in every grain of sand on every beach, add every atom in every
drop of water in the Pacific ocean, every atom making up Mount
Everest...and keep going until we've counted every atom on Earth.

The number "1 followed by 52 zeros" (10^52)is such a number...That's a
larger number than the total number of atoms on Earth (which is about
three and a half times 10^51).

For how long can the Dow continue growing? Instead of our earlier
look at personal savings, let's use instead Kiplinger's observation
that in less than 100 years, the Dow Jones would reach over 1,000,000 (one
million) even if it only grew at 5% per year. But let's keep
investigating. What happens after 2,500 years?

The growth factor would be 1.05 ^2500 which is more than 9 times
10^52, or about 30 times larger than the number of atoms on planet Earth.

Now, the Earth is several billion years old. Mammals have been around
for many millions of years. Human Beings have been around for about
100,000 years. But if the Dow Jones increased by a measly 5% a year, then it
would take only 2,500 years to reach a number larger than the number
of atoms on Earth..! Doesn't sound very sustainable eh?

Now, using a more typical --and needed, if people are to be able to
"Retire" on our Dow Jones Retirement system-- 10% per year, it would
take less than 1,250 years for the Dow to reach a number larger than
the number of atoms on Planet Earth.

Actually the Dow is already around 10,000 so at 10% per year it would
take under 1,150 years. If "the number of atoms in lake Michigan" is
ridiculous enough a number for you, then we'd arrive at a smaller
number of years still. The Bottom line: the Dow is not sustainable. In
historical terms, 1,000 years is a blink of an eye, and in historical
terms, the Dow and Wall Street in general are a short term phenomena
which will not -- and, on top of their ecological unsustainability, they
mathematically *cannot* -- last for very long.

Again, the ecological crises are much more urgent than the above; they
will hit us long before 1,150 years pass -- they are hitting us
already. And we most certainly SHOULD keep educating, agitating, and
spreading the word about that critical issue.

However in parallel, our efforts might be boosted if we can break the
"psychological barrier" people have. So long as they have a false
belief that Wall Street is at least logically, potentially workable,
they are tempted to push the ecological problems "out of mind" When
forced to confront the logical and mathematical impossibility inherent
in the "logic" of Wall Street -- when forced to see the sheer lunacy
of what a mere millennium, give or take, would impossibly "need to be"
for Wall Street to function anywhere near the way it functions now,
then the need to admit that "another way is necessary" becomes
obvious. Then we continue with additional education about
the eco-crisis, and alternative economic models.. HB 2004

wall-st-iii