For $700 billion, you could...
- hire approximately 9,226,551 San Francisco police officers (based on $75,868, the lowest entry-level salary listed on the city's Website)
- hire approximately 16,062,414 U.S. teachers (based on $43,580, the lowest number in the range of median annual earnings of kindergarten, elementary, middle and secondary school teachers in May 2006, listed on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Website)
- build approximately 1,434 new California Academy of Science buildings (based on the $488 million price tag listed in a Chronicle story)
- buy approximately 3,467,063 homes based on $201,900, the median price of a single family home in the United States in August, according to the National Association of Realtors.
- buy 70 Hubble-type space telescopes, or about 7 international space stations.
In a great book by David M. Schwartz, How much is a million?, he says:
How big is a billion? If a billion kids made a human tower, they would stand up past the moon. If you sat down to count from one to one billion, you would be counting for 95 years. If you found a goldfish bowl large enough hold a billion goldfish, it would be as big as a stadium.One website proclaims,
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
A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate Washington spends.
Oh, yeah, and the U.S. already has a national debt of 10 TRILLION dollars. The site links to a number of news articles concerning the national debt, including one that claims the bailout will increase the national debt ceiling to $11.315 trillion to cover the $700 billion the Treasury Department needs in order to buy bad loans.
That's a lot of money. Eleven trillion dollars is a lot of dollars.
More statistics show just how big these numbers are:
A million seconds is 12 days.
A billion seconds is 31 years.
A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.