I’m offering a meme that tests the limits of imagination. What would you do with $3 trillion? This is not “take your family to Disneyland” money. This is "buy the whole Disney company" money – and then look around for another 50 companies with similar market cap.
The Bush Administration initially estimated that the Iraq invasion and occupation would cost $50 to $60 billion. White House economist Larry Lindsay said it would cost $100 to $200 billion and was fired for his effrontery. The total cost of the invasion and occupation is now estimated to exceed $3,000,000,000,000 - $3 trillion.
To put it in perspective, this would be equivalent to a car mechanic estimating a repair at $739 and then charging you $44,340 when you came to pick up the car. (“$3 trillion! For that much I could have bought a NEW country!”) To miss an estimate this badly is ludicrous; to miss it on such an astronomically huge amount is insane.
$3 trillion is a staggering sum. If you magically got $1 million each time you sang the chorus of Barenaked Ladies’ “If I Had Million Dollars,” you would have to repeat that chorus 3 million times. Assuming it took you 20 seconds per go and singing 12 hours a day, you would need 1 million minutes, or nearly 4 YEARS of singing just to generate $3 trillion.
Here are some things I could do with that much money.
I could buy the world coke – at the current street price of $137 a gram, I could buy everyone on earth one gram – and then have money enough left over to put 1 billion people through rehab at $2,178 each.
I could buy a million dollar McMansion for 3 million homeless people. If I forced them to share the homes in groups of four, say, I could house about 12 million.
I could end the hunger that kills 6 million children around the world each year – for a century.
I could retire to the south of France. Actually, I could buy the south of France.
What about you? What could you do with $3 trillion? As you answer this meme, let me know: I’ll add the links to your responses below this post. Meanwhile, sing along with the Barenaked Ladies, substituting this blog post title for their song title. It's not easy work, spending $3 trillion. You'll need some inspiration.