According to the TV program: “Million 2 One,” showing now on the Science Channel®, if you tried to count to One Trillion counting each of your ten fingers, over and over, counting 24 hours per day, non-stop, it would take you 31,688 years of such non-stop finger-counting to count to one Trillion. Time Magazine (Jan . 26, 2009, ‘Inauguration Preview Edition’) contributes further to our knowledge base of this new frontier, right in time for the Super Bowl: One Trillion dollars would “cover every NFL player’s salary, on all 32 teams, for the next 313 years,” or, for those who have had quite enough football by now, thank you, “you could treat every person in the world [6 ¾ Billion, give or take a few stragglers] to [Starbucks’ finest] one Frappuccino per day for 37 straight days.”

“Let’s be realistic, $700 billion is not enough,” recently said one of the deans of the Wall Street Bar, H. Rodgin Cohen, Esq., chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell at a conference hosted by The Deal magazine a couple of weeks ago, talking about what it is going to take to get the ship of state righted and sailing ahead again; “I think it’s the ‘T-word,’ ” he said – One Trillion Dollars.

European nations now announce that their economies too are in Recession, formerly the ‘R-word,’ but, still easy for the Media to pronounce now that the D-word is looming just over the horizon like the top sail of a ship first coming into view – Depression: the word that our government officials and Media would rather be boiled in oil than say.

As George Carlin (may he rest in peace) said in his timeless routine about the Seven Words: it’s just a word, folks. But, both words: Trillion and Depression, are words with huge breadth and enormous meaning right now as industrialized nations across the globe are facing a wolf at the door, the magnitude and ferocity of which they have not collectively faced in decades; some might yet say, ever, in the sense that our electronically linked global world can now hear a burp 10,000 miles away in China which then shows up at the speed of light on your and my Internet computer screens.

Representatives of the industrial nations gather this year at the Davos conference to discuss seriously what can be done by working together to stop the wildfire of economic dread which has circled the globe, paralyzed credit, and caused consumers to stop in their tracks, money firmly stuffed in their pockets, and avoid their regular trips to shopping malls, restaurants, car dealers, and retailers of electronic toys for grownups. Is it time for a centralized body with the teeth, smarts and power to oversee the world economy? Could proud America cede some of its historical world leadership on things like this to such a body? Is this creeping socialism and, do we have much of a choice?

We hear the words Socialism and Capitalism bandied about a lot lately, here on F&HD and in the Media – the recent presidential campaign was full of these words, both used correctly and used only to inflame, persuade, and even insult. Is unbridled Capitalism the monster that can no longer be tamed and when left to its own without protective regulation will it simply devour the world’s economies, over and over again, as we fail to learn any lessons from history? Is it yet time for the next step, whatever that might be? I know how volatile that last thought will be for some readers and I thought long and hard before offering it.

We all grew up learning of both the S-word (Socialism) and the C-word (Capitalism) in school, many of us back during the Cold War when the S and C words were pitched in the truly epic battle for World Supremacy that a couple of times, like during the Cuban Missile Crisis, brought us within a nostril hair of completely annihilating humanity. But the Cold War has been over for what will soon be a couple of decades now and we are left to fight against only faceless, nameless, stateless ‘Islamofascists’ (the I-word) and other terrorists who loathe us and are undoubtedly bent on destroying our way of life. But, dare I say, nobody from those forces of darkness and evil (I- word members) has to lift a finger to do the dirty work of destroying our way of life, if we have done such a fine job through unbridled Capitalism of doing that job for them – witness this incredible economic mess we are now in.

This looming Depression must be a time for collective soul searching because we need to get used to the idea that business as usual is not going to start up again in a few months like in the 4 or 5 past Recessions of the last few decades. One thing we need to do now is take a critical look at all these talismanic words to see if they still mean anything relevant in the ever-changing 21st Century where, as the all-night DJ’s used to say, the Hits Just Keep On Comin.’ As new Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has reputedly said, paraphrased, a Depression is a terrible thing to waste.