Friday, October 31, 2008

Some perspective....on numbers...

The dollar looks small enough...

Sized to be easily carried in a bill fold...

According to the National Debt Clock, the outstanding public debt of the United States is:

$10.5 trillion

That's 10.5 trillion 'Washingtons'

What is a trillion?

A trillion is a 1 followed by TWELVE zeros:


That is a million times a million!

1 Trillion = 1,000,000 x 1,000,000

A trillion is a stupefyingly large number.

If you lived to be a hundred years old, you only would have lived for just over:

3.1 billion seconds or 3,100,000,000 seconds

That's it. you come NO WHERE near a trillion seconds.

The total number of human beings who have EVER lived is estimated liberally at:

110 billion or 110,000,000,000


.11 trillion

No where close to a trillion.

How much paper would it take to print 10.5 trillion dollar bills? A little math here....

Step one. Compute the Area of a dollar bill. Easily done. Multiply the length by the width:

length = X = 6.15"

width = Y = 2.6"

Area of Dollar = X * Y = 15.99 square inches of paper are required for a dollar bill

Step two. Multiply the area of a dollar bill by 10.5 trillion:

15.99 sq. inches * 10,500,000,000,000 = 167,900,000,000,000 sq. inches of paper

167.9 Trillion squares inches of paper! That's not at all easy to relate to anything in everyday life. So let's convert square inches to square miles. you'll have to trust me when I tell you that:

1 square mile = 4.014 billion square inches

so we divide:

167,900,000,000,000 sq. inches / 4,014,000,000 sq. inches = 41,820 sq. miles.

You would need 41,820 square miles of paper to print enough dollar bills to pay off our national debt!

That still may not be easy enough for most people to relate to anything. So, I'll offer up this last comparison. The land area of my home state of Massachusetts is 10,555 square miles....

The amount of paper needed to print 10.5 trillion one dollar bills could cover my home state....nearly four times!

41,820 sq. miles / 10,555 sq. miles = 3.96

I say we cut down what's left of the Amazon rain forest and make paper from that.

Sleep well!




hoverfrog said...

American money is so little too...comparatively.

Ed said...

The only questions is do we have enough oil to keep the printing presses going that long?

Do we have enough plastic to make enough credit cards?

Tam said...

crap. my head hurts!