Monday, April 20, 2009

National Debt Clock

It's interesting, that as I have gotten older I have become more "aware" of certain things.
Who knew there was such a thing? This is not current but only a picture of the clock. To see the current debt facts please see the following post.
The National Debt Clock is a billboard-sized running total digital seven-segment display which constantly updates to show the current United States public debt and each American family's share of it. It is currently installed on Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) in Manhattan, New York City.
The idea for the clock came from New York real estate developer Seymour Durst, who wanted to highlight the rising national debt. In 1989, he sponsored the installation of the first clock, which was erected on 42nd Street close to Times Square. In 2004, this clock was dismantled and replaced by the new but virtually identical current clock.
Seymour's original clock was erected while the national debt remained under $3 trillion but was rising, but it was temporarily switched off from 2000 to 2002 due to the debt actually falling. In 2008, the debt exceeded $10 trillion for the first time, leading to press reports that the clock had run out of numbers. Following the transition, plans for a third clock were announced, to be installed in the same location, with extra capacity.
The original clock outlived Seymour who died in 1995, with Seymour's son Douglas taking over responsibility for the clock through the Durst Organization
Invented and sponsored by New York real estate developer Seymour Durst, it was installed in 1989. After Seymour's death in 1995, his son Douglas Durst became president of the Durst Organization which owns and maintains the clock. According to his son Douglas, Seymour Durst had been toying with the basic idea of drawing attention to the growing national debt since at least 1980, when during the holiday season he sent cards that said "Happy New Year. Your share of the national debt is $35,000" to senators and congressmen. In the early eighties, when Durst first developed the idea of a constantly updated clock, the technology required to implement the project was not yet available.

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