Monday, May 18, 2015

National Debt Clock

If you find yourself in the tourist trap that is Times Square, and have already seen/heard the Max Neuhaus sound installation (see my post here), then walk over to 1133 Avenue of the Americas to witness our bleak financial future with the National Debt Clock.

Originally on the corner of 6th Street, between 42nd and 43rd Avenues, the 11 by 26 feet (3.4 m x 7.9 m) billboard-styled piece was installed in 1989 by real estate developer Seymour Durst, who passed away in 1995, and paid $100.000 for its construction.
The clock displays, both, our gross national debt, as well as each family's share of it.

While it was blank from 2000 through 2002, due to it not being able to run backwards, the original clock was taken down for the construction of One Bryant Park, and moved in 2004 a block away to where it is now.

After the move to 1133 Avenue of the Americas (aka 1133 Sixth Avenue), the clock was updated, so it could run backward, and with more easily read digits.
In 2009, more space for numbers had to be added as the federal debt ran past the 10-trillion mark on September 30, 2008.

As you can see, by the four photos taken in less than two minutes, we are all in for a hell of a fiscal ride.