Mario Piperni on the Latest Meet the Press Idiot

How Many People Is 48 Million?

DECEMBER 2, 2013 BY 

Republican Politics :

Via regular contributor E.A. Blair…


On this past Sunday’s Meet The Press, Representative Michael J. Rogers (R-MI-8) made the following statement:

“Here’s the problem, you have 15 percent of the population that didn’t have health insurance when this started, roughly — and we think that number was high, we think it was closer to 10. So what they’ve done is disrupted it for the 85 percent that had health care. And their costs are going up significantly. So we’ve broken the system to help a few, Nobody would fix a problem that way.”

A recent report from the US Census Bureau puts the number of uninsured Americans at 48 million – that’s 48,000,000, or, in scientific notation, 4.8×107.  It’s obvious that Mr. Rogers sees numbers and not people.

This is what Michael J. Rogers (R-Dumbfuckistan) calls “a few”.

Let’s put that into perspective:

  • 48,000,000 people would make a standing human pyramid just over nine miles high – one and a half times taller than Mount Everest – tall enough that the people in the top 572 layers would die without an oxygen supply
  • Stretched out on the ground head to foot, 48,000,000 people would circle the earth twice.
  • Given the same population density, New York City would have to be six times larger to accommodate the nation’s uninsured.
  • The population of the entire United States did not exceed 48,000,000 until 1880.
  • With the exception of the elections of 1984, 1988 and 2000, no presidential candidate in the 18th, 19th or 20th centuries received more than 48,000,000 votes.
  • There are 242 countries and dependent territories in the world1. Given the figure of 48 million uninsured Americans that means that these uninsured outnumber the populations of 236 of those 242 countries and dependencies. In other terms, the number of US uninsured exceeds the populations of 167 member states of the UN, or all but four European nations (not counting Russia), all but four countries in Africa, or every single country in South America except Brazil.

Yes, Rep. Rogers considers enough people to populate the 27th largest country in the world (by population) a “few”, while the American Heritage Dictionary defines it as “A number greater than one but indefinitely small”. It looks like we need a new definition of “few” and a few less people like Michael J. Rogers.

– E.A. Blair

¹Dependent territories are politically tied to a nation but have varying degrees of self governance, like American Samoa, Greenland or the Faroe Islands.


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