Home > Uncategorized > One Billion And Me

One Billion And Me

December 23, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Innumeracy: An inability to deal comfortably with the fundamental notions of number and chance.  ~ John Allen Paulous 1988

Seven hundred billion: The projected cost of the Government’s first bailout plan. Banks JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup each received $25 billion, with AIG and other firms receiving a few hundred billion more. Rumor has it the state of California is 40 billion short, and without 17 billion from Congress GM and Chrysler will be going under. Talking heads on 24-hour networks use the word “billion” as if it’s a dollar stuffed in their pocket, and I’m still yet to see a story that actually puts the number in context. Suddenly the 243 million the Yankees spent on two pitchers seems like a steal, and the fact that Bill Gates has less than 50 billion a tragedy. (Makes me think he’s kinda poor)

So in the spirt of the holidays I figured it would be important to quantify a billion dollars in terms us mortals could understand.

  •  If I gave you one thousand dollars a day with no interest and you saved every penny it would take over 2,000 years to have a billion dollars.
  • A billion credit cards combined would weigh the same as 1562 hippopotamuses or 52 blue whales.
  • If you started counting now saying the next number every second it would take over 30 years to count to one billion.
  • If everyone in the US gave $3.30 cents we still wouldn’t be at a billion dollars.
  • 1/700 of the amount of money the US Government decided was needed to save our economy. (Time it took to make this decision? Just a few days…)
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