Can We Have A Word – Or Should I Say Pictures, About Critically Important Realities?

Can We Have A Word –

Or Should I Say Pictures,

About Critically Important Realities?


If we don’t have a clear grasp of the magnitude of our circumstances,

we’ll never remedy them.


By: Pem Schaeffer

[email protected]

August 6, 2022


As a lifelong engineer, I long long ago developed an intuitive sense of the relative scale of various quantities expressed numerically. Engineers often use “orders of magnitude” to converse in such things.


My career employer dealt in annual contracts in the range of $150 million a year, so the difference between “walking around money” and big numbers were always clearly understood.


That said, a lifetime of conversing with friends, family, and acquaintances made it clear that the majority of the public does not so readily grasp relative magnitudes. In the face of such realities, the notion of “a picture is worth a thousand words” came to mind. Ironic, you might say, in the context of what I am about to relate.


Recently, I heard someone mention that the 100,000+ drug overdose deaths occurring annually in this country are equivalent to having a packed jumbo jet crash every day, killing everyone on board. That “picture” is searing and brings the number home right in our faces. Every morning, wake up and turn on the morning news, and find out where the crash occurred last night.


Now let’s use the same technique to create images for 200,000 plus illegal border crossers every month. That’s the equivalent of 22 jumbo passenger jets, each carrying 300 illegals, departing from the border each and every day, distributing their passenger loads to the 22 largest cities in the US. Or, if you wish, taking seven to Wash DC; and five each to New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Each and every day. (And, in my view, they richly deserve it.)


If you prefer buses, 200,000 crossers per month are on the order of 4,500 bus loads per month, or about 150 bus loads per day. Visualize that picture. Imagine the logistics involved. And the carbon footprint, just for fun. It’s a real “supply chain issue.” Management complications up the ying-yang which under the current plan are simply being ignored and left for the unsuspecting and the unwilling to figure out and deal.


You know, the dismissive “handle it!” Where is Secretary Pete Buttigieg when the country needs him? Can you imagine the squawking from Mayors Muriel Bowser and Eric Adams if these pictures were made real?


PS: If Maine was getting its share of the 200,000 crossing the border each month, it would be nearly 800 new arrivals for us to accommodate every month. Or in round numbers, 10,000 per year. That ain’t peanuts, Goober, and hair is already on fire locally about the housing crisis plaguing our state.


Keep in mind that the numbers discussed here are real. It’s only government incompetence and “hear no reality, see no reality” that prevents them from being flown or bussed to a town near you. Instead, chaotic self-dispersion, completely unmonitored and uncontrolled, is how our “leaders” are handling the border situation, which, I should remind you, is completely “under control.” Imagine if it wasn’t! Can you believe we have to just sit and watch this from afar? And suffer the fools in charge? While not having a clue what misanthropes they are “welcoming” on our behalf?


Then just yesterday I heard mention that the bill Joe Manchin caved on includes hiring 87,000 new IRS agents. That works out to one new agent for every 3850 people in the US.


So for my little town of Brunswick, Maine, we’d have 5 new IRS agents on a pro-rata basis, and Maine would have 337 such agents.


Could you imagine a new IRS building going up in Maine to house 337 IRS agents, and surely half again that many for “overhead/staff” functions, just because of this one bill? And imagine their presence and their pay and benefits FOREVER. Maine is one of the smallest states in the US, so those of you in larger states can look forward to larger campuses of brand-spanking new IRS agents and supporting staffs. They are sure to be the friendliest new folks in your community, adding to the openness of casual conversations in coffee shops, at football games, and all the other facets of “community life.”


I’ve seen reports that the cost of this IRS growth, in what will beccome known as Manchin’s Surrender, is about $80 Billion. Peanuts in today’s Washington. But remember that their cost will carry on beyond our lifetimes, increasing every year. So the real value of Manchin’s folly is essentially incalculable, which is to say unimaginable at some level.


As the old saying goes, “What’s wrong with these pictures?”


As you ponder that question, ‘’Y’all have a nice government-centric day.” as my family in Texas now says regularly.


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