But first . . .

Many thanks to David Groshoff (and others) for filling in yesterday’s Winners of the New World:

ISLD – Feb 29, 2000: $116.13 . . . acquired by CWP in 2001 at $3.40.
EXDS – Feb 29, 2000: $71.19 . . . Chapter 11 bankruptcy, then acquired by CWP
INKT – Feb 29, 2000: $137.13 . . . last traded price, $1.65; acquired by Yahoo.
SNRA – Feb 29, 2000: $55.80 . . . acquired by Telia for about $8
SVNX – Feb 29, 2000: $1,882.50 (David swears this is not a typo) . . . $2.94 Friday.

OK, now . . .

Here’s a fun site: You can find the U.S. population, Gross Domestic Product – in real or nominal terms – for any year since 1789.

In 1789, the Gross Domestic Product per capita – there being only 3.81 million capitae at the time – was $55 . . . about $1,100 in 2004 dollars. Today we are nearly 300 million, each accounting for $38,000 or so of the GDP.

Here’s another fun site: It shows the current National Debt and, also, the historical debt.

The site’s author attributes the rapid growth in the debt mainly to Democrats, though it rose only 24% under Kennedy/Johnson compared with 82% under Nixon/Ford . . . quadrupled under Ronald Reagan and George Bush, yet rose only 40% during the Clinton years . . . and has resumed its skyward sprint under George W. Bush and the Republican Congress.

What matters, of course, is not the size of the debt so much as its size relative to the economy as a whole (the debt quadrupled under Reagan/Bush, but the economy only doubled) . . . its projected rate of growth (the debt is now again growing faster than the economy) . . . and, perhaps, most importantly, what it has been spent on (most recently, tax cuts for the rich and what some say was the unnecessary, or at least poorly planned, invasion of Iraq).

President Bush came into office with ‘budget surpluses as far as the eye could see’ . . . with urgent warnings about the ‘tremendous,’ ‘immediate’ threat from Osama Bin Laden . . . and with the good will of much of the world.

He turned the surpluses into deficits . . . ignored the threat from Osama Bin Laden . . . and converted the world’s amity into enmity.

Oh – and as of last week, gay guys, no matter how healthy, are no longer permitted to donate sperm (although they are still permitted to pay taxes).

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