By Jug Varner

Fifty years ago, world population was:
2 billion, 680 million, 544 thousand, 579

As of 9:25 a.m. EDT on 3/6/03, current world population was estimated at:
6 billion, 278 million, 737 thousand, 800

The 1953 U.S. population was:
160 million, 184 thousand, 192

The 3/6/03 U.S. population estimate was:
290 million, 408 thousand, 668

If you would like to watch this population explosion in progress, and see how much it has changed just in the short time between 3/6/03/ and when you read this, click here and compare the numbers. Hard to believe, especially the almost 4 billion increase in world population, isn't it?

Those of you who have served in the Pentagon or visited on Capitol Hill know that Washington officials think in terms of billions…and as former Sen. Everett Dirksen (R-IL) once said, “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money!”

A billion dollars may seem commonplace in that atmosphere, but how many average Americans thinks of population in terms of billions…or money either, for that matter? Unless you live in or near a major metropolitan area, even a million population figure seems an extreme number.

I am wondering if the average person could tell you just how much a billion of anything is in realistic terms? It is 100 million…a thousand million…100 thousand million…or a million million? Or whether he or she can even comprehend the enormity of our nation's annual budget, (or how easy it is for politicians to spend it as if it were their own money).

You should probably disregard that last comment. If it were truly their own money they probably wouldn't spend it so recklessly…if at all.

It is a lot easier to spend someone else's $$$ than your own. Just ask some of the criminals who got caught. Unfortunately, none were criminal members of Congress.

The national debt is now in the trillions. So, how much is a trillion?

I don't even want to think about it!