With the $700 Billion Bush Bailout plan, the $787 Billion Obama Stimulus plan and the new possibly $1 trillion Obama bailout, it is high time people understand just what "a trillion" is. If they truly understood this, I think they would all be as livid as I! (Bear with me, because this does not make for great reading...but it is extremely enlightening!)
We can all agree that we would be sitting really pretty if we had a six-figure income, right? Let's say we made a consistent $150,000 a year, starting at age 18 until we retired at age 75. I'll do the math...We would have made $8,550,000 in our life. That is not bad, but lets say we stumbled upon something really crazy and made a consistent $250,000 per year for the same period. We would have made $14,250,000 for our life's work. Now, keep in mind, that is with absolutely NO raise for the 57 years of work...Now, lets think about this, 100,000 people can work for $150,000, or 70,000 people for $250,000, for the 57 years and that would STILL not be $1 trillion.
The population of the United States is estimated at 305,982,756 at the time of this writing. The population of the world, at the same time, is 6,765,807,365. It would take more than 3,251 US populations, or 147 world populations, to get even close to 1 trillion people. Have you grasped what a trillion is yet?
Ok, lets look at something else. If we divided $1 trillion by the population of the United States, EACH person, that is each man, woman, and child, would receive $3,251. Now, THAT would stimulate the economy! Now let's average by household--there are approximately 117,687,214 households in the US. That means that EACH household would receive more than $8,497. What could you do with that?
Let's get social, shall we?
As of 2007, there were an estimated 671,859 homeless people in the United States. With $1 trillion, we could give EACH homeless person approximately $1,488,407!
According to I Care About Orphans, there is an estimated 127,000 children awaiting homes in the United States. With $1 trillion, we could give EACH child more than $7,874,000.
In 2006, it was estimated that there were 36,500,000 people in the US living in poverty. With $1 trillion, you could give EACH person living in poverty more than $26,000.
Are you grasping what $1 trillion is yet?
Or, in more abstract terms, a trillion grains of sand would weigh over 73 tons...it would take 62 days for light to travel a trillion miles...1 trillion dollar bills taped end to end it would stretch from Earth to the Sun at its farthest distance from the Sun.
Former Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee had some interesting figures. According to him, with $1 trillion, we could buy 1000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies for every single person in the United States or we could put 8,000,000-plus students through a four-year Private College. Huckabee came up with this, but I did some re-figuring for more current estimates and according to the market values which appeared on Forbes for early Feb, 2009, with $1 trillion, we could actually purchase Microsoft ($168B), Walmart ($188B), Google ($107B), Coca-Cola ($100B), Pepsi Co ($80B), Apple, Inc ($83B), and Time Warner ($35B) and still have $243 Billion left over to purchase even more businesses!
Astounding? Do you get it yet? $1 trillion is $1,000,000,000,000, that is 1,000 billions. Warren Buffett, the richest man in the world according to Forbes, is worth $62 billion. That is not even CLOSE to $1 trillion! So, the next time our Elected Officials tell you they need anywhere near $1 trillion, please remember what $1 trillion is really worth!
National Alliance to End Homelessness