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SENTRY JOURNAL » Uncategorized » Understanding Large Sums of Money

Understanding Large Sums of Money

It is simply amazing how we throw around words like “billion” and “trillion” today.  I’m often put back at how politicians can say things like “$12 billion is only a drop in the bucket”.   Most of us have seen youtube videos that show pictures illustrating the size of billions or trillions of dollars.  A new youtube video inspired this post.  You can watch it here; but I decided not to embed it because it has foul language.

One of the reasons that our government bodies can get away with throwing numbers around is because we’ve grown so accustomed to those words “billion” and “trillion”.  Even when written out in numerical format they don’t impact us the way that they probably should.

For instance this is one billion dollars written out:

$1,000,000,000

Compare that to one hundred thousand dollars:

$100,000

 

Obviously one is much bigger than the other; but how much bigger?  Well, let’s think about it in terms of wages.  If you made $100,000 last year, congratulations.  You are doing better than most and you’re likely working hard for that money.  Still, it’s a lot of money.  You can buy two houses in America at the average cost of a home with that much money.  So let’s take your salary, span it over a few years, and see what it will look like when you’ve made a million bucks.

$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000

Now, doesn’t that make a bigger difference when comparing $100,000 to $1,000,000?

Still, we’re only talking one million.  Let’s do that same thing but measure out a billion.

$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             €100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             €100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $180,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $120,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             €100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             €100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $180,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
€100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $120,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100.00
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $120,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $180,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             €100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $180,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             €100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $120,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             €100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $180,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             €100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             €100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $120,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$180,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $120,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             €100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $120,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             €100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             €100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$180,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $180,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             €100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
€100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $120,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$180,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             €100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$120,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $120,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             €100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $180,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             €100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
€100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000
$100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $100,000             $180,000

Seem like a lot more now?  I could do a trillion…but I’m not sure that this web page would open up.  Or I could have done this in $10,000 chunks, but again the problem would be the same.

I have done a few things here.  First, I stole $3,600,000 from you.  You didn’t notice did you?  In the numbers above I took a few thousand out.  Look at the last number…It is $180,000.  Didn’t see that did you?  Also, about a quarter of the way down on the last number in the row for 23 rows I changed $100,000 to $100.00.  I also put italics on a large chunk of money – it’s earmarked for a project that I’m working on.  Can you find that big block?  No worries, it’s just $5.5 million.  I also converted two million dollars to euros (look up 7 rows for an example).

The truth is that you’re not even sure if this properly illustrates $1,000,000,000 dollars; you’re taking my word for it (it does if you add back in the changes I made).  If I were to completely delete 30 rows of this and tell you it was $1 billion, then you probably wouldn’t even know.  Now multiply this so that we’re working with trillions, put a bunch of politicians in charge of its accountability and we’re having fun!

The next time your government starts throwing numbers around like this; remember this webpage and recall, there’s probably going to be a lot played with without most noticing.

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RightHandMan

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