20 trillion here, 65 trillion there, but what does this strange monetary amount actually look like?
Let's begin with some basic amounts. First and foremost;
1) We are using $100 dollar bills, not $1 bills.
2) We are using the following definitions of million, billion and trillion...
I realise that some people in some places may have been taught differently and that there is the "short scale" and "long scale" definitions of these numbers.
But without getting into the merits, preference or usage of one naming system over another, let's just be clear that the following system uses the U.S. government calculations of a trillion dollars.
With that out of the way, let's get to our calculations.
We'll start with one packet...
This packet is a stack of one hundred $100 dollar bills. It's about 6" by 2-1/2" by 0.43" high.
100 x $100 = $10,000
Keep going here.
What's the difference between a million, a billion, a trillion?
A million seconds is 12 days.
A billion seconds is 31 years.
A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.
A million minutes ago was – 1 year, 329 days, 10 hours and 40 minutes ago.
A billion minutes ago was just after the time of Christ.
A million hours ago was in 1885.
A billion hours ago man had not yet walked on earth.
A million dollars ago was five (5) seconds ago at the U.S. Treasury.
A billion dollars ago was late yesterday afternoon at the U.S. Treasury.
[Note: this was pre-Obama]
A trillion dollars is so large a number that only politicians
can use the term in conversation... probably because they
seldom think about what they are really saying. I've read that
mathematicians do not even use the term trillion!
Here is some perspective on TRILLION:
Trillion = 1,000,000,000,000.
The US has not existed for a trillion seconds.
Western civilization has not been around a trillion seconds.
One trillion seconds ago – 31,688 years – Neanderthals stalked the plains of Europe.
Centillion: 1 followed by 303 zeros