Millions, Billions, and Trillions
Updated: Feb 6, 2021
People casually use the words million, billion, and trillion without acknowledging the enormous difference between them.
In 2020 the median US household income was just about $69 thousand. Carson Wentz has a contract worth $128 million. Kylie Jenner has an estimated net worth of $900 million. Jeff Bezos is worth $113 billion. The US national debt is more than 27 trillion.
Here is a useful thought exercise which might help add perspective to the issue.
Let’s pretend I give you $1 per second from the moment you were born and will continue to give you $1 per second for the rest of your life. There are 86,400 seconds in a day. So, within 17 minutes you would have $1000. Not bad at all. Let’s keep going.
By the end of the first day you would have $86,400. Much more than the median US household income and in the opinion of most people you now have a ton of fukken money.
Keep going…Congratulations!!! On day 11 ((11 days, 13 hours 46 minutes and 40 seconds to be exact) you would have $1 million dollars. That is $1,000,000. Not too bad for an 11-day old baby.
Here’s where it gets crazy. If I continued to give you $1 per second it would take more than 31 years for you to become a billionaire. Yes- you would not have a billion dollars until you were about 31 and a half years old. Are you getting it? Using this example the difference between a million dollars and a billion dollars is like comparing 11 days to 31 years. I could probably give up pizza for 11 days. I could not give it up for 31 years.
OK billionaire, let’s keep going….If I continue to give you $1 per second you would not have a trillion dollars until you were 31,688 years old. YES! It will take more than 11,566,120 days to accrue your first cool trill.
The bad news… No one lives forever. No one. Even with advances in modern science, and my high level of income, I mean, it's not crazy to think I can't live to be 245, maybe 300 which is only like 9.46 billion…chump change to Bezos
Millions, billion, and trillions are not the same. Let’s stop pretending they are.