The US economy is the world's largest, with an estimated 2010 Gross Domestic Product of $14.780 trillion. So what the hell is a trillion?
Well, it’s “a million, millions.” America earns 14.78 of them each year with just 5% of the worlds population creating 23% of the planet’s GDP. No wonder the world sees us as hard working and fabulously wealthy. We are.
So here’s a trillion, thanks to our pals over at Pagetutor for the imagery.
Everybody knows our buddy Benjamin, right? It won’t get you a Broadway ticket anymore but drop one of these boys on the bar and at least the bartender is yours for awhile.
$10,000 is one hundred Benjamins, a small stack less than ½” thick. You can party for awhile or take two nights in the Noel Coward suite at the Sherry Netherland. Big deal, right?
Now gather 100 of those stacks and we’re getting somewhere, that’s $1 million even. But that whole wad still fits in your backpack with enough room leftover for that large handgun you might actually need while walking around with it.
100 of those millions and we finally need help to carry it, in this case a standard wooden pallet. But hey, were talking $100 MILLION DOLLARS and it still fits inside a small van right next to your getaway motorcycle.
A billion needs ten of those pallets. The average Manhattan studio has enough floor space for a billion, and finally we’re getting into international circles, but here’s the point: A trillion is in a different magnitude altogether.
Not only is the floor space the size of a freakin’ airplane hanger but notice the pallets are double stacked (!) and the little guy in red on the left is dwarfed. A trillion is real money.
With a USA population of 307,006,550 (2009) we crank out almost $15 of these babies every year.
The Chinese do about $6 trillion with a billion people more, 1,331,460,000 (2009)
I superimposed the charts to make comparison of our respective economies easier.
economist.com (Photoshop remix)
See how we’ve peaked and are heading back down since about 2008? Now see how China’s growth is almost straight up and they still have a billion more workers to go than we do?
Ahem. yeah. So as an American, have you enjoyed being the worlds most influential economy these past 60 years?
Don’t get too comfortable.
And don’t look back.
I (heart) Zooey. Have a great weekend!