Thursday, September 25, 2008

How Much is $700 Billion?

The economy sucks. No secret. The government is trying to stop a huge economic depression. In this scenario, they would spend $700 billion to keep us all from reliving the 1930’s (many people don’t know what this was like—heck, even I don’t. By my dad does. He has a memory of being excited when his uncle brought home a sack of parsnips because it meant that his family would have food for a week).

So how much is $700 billion dollars?

Some of this information has been going around in e-mail forwards:
  • A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
  • A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
  • A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
Wow. A billion is a big number. But how much is $700 billion dollars? Some more info to put it in perspective:
  • $700 billion is equal to about 12 Bill Gateses
  • I could buy 231 million pairs of $30 shoes with $700 billion. Is there a closet in the world big enough for that?
  • James Cameron would have to make 381 Titanic-sized blockbuster movies
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control, the single-year cost of obesity in the United States was $117 billion in 2000, or about one-sixth the bailout
  • Florida’s gross domestic product could cover the cost of the bailout
  • We could invade the Netherlands—their GDP last year was $768 billion
  • Since 2003, Congress has spent about $600 billion on the war in Iraq
  • For historical perspective, consider that the Marshall Plan, which helped finance the recovery of Western Europe after World War II. Back then it cost us $13 billion. Considering the American GDP then and now, what we would pay for that today would be more like $740 billion.
  • If nothing is done to change the way we finance Social Security, the trust fund reserves will be exhausted in 33 years. This means that, in 75 years, there'll be a shortfall of $4.3 trillion—or about six bailouts.
  • Global climate change could cost the planet $9 trillion (or 12.86 bailouts) if we don't address the problem within the next decade or so.
  • The bailout is roughly equal to $2,300 per person in the United States. That’s the average price we each paid for gas and oil in 2006 and a bit less than our average personal tax burden.
  • Should Congress pass the bailout proposal, the national debt will raise by 7%.

So how much is $700 billion? Quite a lot and really not that much either. I’m not saying anything political here. Just thought the perspective was interesting.

Much of this info was taken from this article.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Yikes! I wish I could have just $30,000 of it to pay off student loans! Wouldn't that be nice...


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