Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Interesting Arithmetic for Everyone

There are approximately 50,000 homeless veterans. If each of these homeless veterans was given their own apartment for a year at a cost $800 per month, it would cost $480 million, or about one-fourth of one day’s Defense Department budget of $750 billion. One-fourth of one day is 6 hours!!! 6 hours of the Defense Department budget would house all 50,000 homeless vets in their own $800/month apartment for a year.

How long would it take a person making minimum wage to earn a million dollars? Minimum wage is $7.50 per hour. Given a 40 hour per week schedule with no vacations ever, they would work 2080 hours per year and earn $15,600 per year. Given that, it would take that person just over 64 years to earn a million dollars. If a person was being paid today’s minimum wage, they would have had to start working in 1956 to have earned a million dollars by 2020.

The numbers become more jaw-dropping when we get into the world of Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg. A person making the minimum wage of $7.50 per hour would have to work just over 64,102 years (that is NOT a typo, folks) to earn a billion dollars. Jeff Bezos “earned” several billion dollars just during the Covid shutdown.

A ton of money is $908,000 in paper one dollar bills. One million dollar bills would be 109 yards high if stacked. A billion dollar bills would weigh one ton and would stack 62 miles high. I read today that Jeff Bezos is worth $159 billion. If he stacked his money, in one dollar bills, it would be 9858 miles high. A jet only flies at about 7 miles.

Assuming a 40 hour work week and working all 52 weeks per year, a person who is paid $1 million per year is making $480 per hour. A person making $10 million per year is being paid $4807 per hour. A person making $1 billion per year is making just under $500,000 per hour!!!

Simple interest of 10% on $1 million would be $100,000 per year. Simple interest of 10% on $100 million would be $10 million per year. Simple interest of 10% on $1 billion? $100 million per year.

Photo by Viacheslav Bublyk on Unsplash

What would $1 billion buy? Here are a few things:

You could buy 2000 homes valued at $500,000 each.

You could buy 20,000 cars valued at $50,000 each.

You could pay for 4 years of college at a public college for 27,777 students.

You could buy 22,222 McDonalds franchises.

Let’s get away from money for a bit…

The average person drives 13,474 miles per year. If a person begins driving at age 16, and drives until they are 80, they will have driven 862,336 miles in their lifetime. In other words, the average person drives about a million miles in their lifetime. If their cars get 25 MPG, they will have consumed 34,493 gallons of gas. At today’s prices, they will have spent about $70,000 on gas.

Approximately 360,000 are born each day, and about 150,000 die each day. The world’s population then grows by around 210,000 people a day. How long do you think we can keep that up?

The human heart beats 80 times a minute, or about 4800 beats per hour. In a day, the heart beats 115,200 times. In a year? About 42,048,000 times. If a person lives to be 80, their heart would beat about 3,363,840,000 times. In plain English, that is just a little over 3 billion beats.

A person who lives to be 80 years old will live for about 29,000 days. That is 960 months, or 4160 weeks. They will spend about 26 years sleeping.

A person walks at a rate of about 3 miles per hour. If a person walked from New York to Los Angeles, a distance of 2775 miles, it would take them 925 hours. If they walked 8 hours per day, that journey would take just over 115 days, or about 3 months. If they walked 12 hours per day, that would be shortened to 77 days.

If a person jumped out of a plane and plummeted down head first, they would continue to gain speed until they reached 118 MPH and then would continue their descent at that speed. At that speed, a person would hit the ground in about 2 minutes if they were 4 miles up when they jumped.

The biggest named number that we know is googolplex, ten to the googol power, or (10)^(10¹⁰⁰). That’s written as a one followed by googol zeroes. I don’t even know that any of that means. I know there is billion, trillion, quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion, and decillion. After that, I haven’t a clue.

In high school, I learned that there are imaginary numbers, like the square root of negative 16, for example. I have never been able to figure out what they are used for, except to get kids to drop Algebra II and enroll in auto mechanics.

There you have it.

I am a teacher in an alternative school and work a small hobby farm in southeastern Wisconsin with my wife Kathy.

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