This has been covered a trillion times (pun intended), however I think people need to be reminded on how much of anything encompasses a trillion. Joe Biden offered up his plan for a 1.9 trillion dollar stimulus package and I am flabbergasted by the sheer number of dollars that our government is able to spout with a straight face. I am not going to dispute that people and small businesses are in great need of this help. This is not to debate of which party spends more, the only goal is to put a face to the behemoth of a 1 followed by twelve zeros.
I’ll make you the richest person in the world ( well kinda)
I am a genie and I am going to grant your wish and pay you 1 dollar every second for your entire life, from the time you are born to the time that you die. If we do some quick math, every day of your life you will make $86,400. With that figure in mind we can calculate your annual one dollar a second income to be 31.5 million dollars every single year of your life. To keep things simple you will also not have to pay taxes, because I am a genie and I can make that happen.
OK, let’s figure out how much you would make in your lifetime
On average a US male lives to be 78.5 years old, but for the sake of argument we are going to round to 80 years. So if you made $1 for every second of your life you would accumulate a grand total of $2,522,880,000. That is 2 billion, 522 million, and some gas money, to spend on whatever you want, all completely tax free. Side note: that wouldn’t even get you in the top 200 billionaires, you would still need another 5 billion just to break into the list.
OK, so you’re not the richest, but does this have to do with a trillion?
You’re right, but I am getting to the point. Let’s say that you wanted to crush the billionaires list and be the first guy with four commas. Screw the three commas club!. At your current rate of income to reach 1 trillion dollars you would need to live for 31,709.79 years.
Wait a minute, that sounds like a really long time…
Glad you brought that up. You would have to start making one dollar a second, 86,400 dollars a day ~20,000 years BEFORE the Saber tooth tiger became extinct and ~28,000 years BEFORE Wooly Mammoth became extinct. By the way, to get to the 1.9 trillion in the aforementioned stimulus package, it would take you ~60,208 years, which would put you into the end of the middle paleolithic era. Maybe you should have wished for $100 a second?
Oh god, what about the national debt?
Why would you even ask that! The national debt is racing toward 28 trillion dollars. With that in mind, using our calculation of $1 a second, the national debt would take approximately 881,000 years to pay off the national debt. However that 881,000 years does not include interest. That would put us closer to the Big Bang.
By Chris Hinshaw