What Can You Do With Three Trillion Dollars?
There may not be a greater indulgence in the new techno-savvy world than online shopping. I've always tried to avoid this costly convenience but working a desk job with all the world's commodities a click-away has offered me up as victim to the online experience.
It is relatively easy to drop $200 or $300 on items at Victoria's Secret or on Amazon, but I just had a heck of a time trying to spend $3 trillion dollars on the website http://3trillion.org It is much harder than one can imagine to try to spend that amount of money. I mean, granted, I could just blow the money on a false occupation in an oil rich country, but I saw some better options on the site that might make the money better spent. Now it was tempting to buy a Missile Defense System for $100 billion dollars or a few nuclear bombs for $500 million a piece, but I tried to go toward the philanthropic options (and a few minor luxuries for myself.)
As I filled up my cart with items without worrying about the price tag I felt as giddy and free from consequence as I'm sure our executive committee feels when they sign bills without counting the zeros.
Over the next thirty minutes I bought:
Universal clean water for everyone $5 billion
Safe and Effective birth control production $5 billion
Heart Disease and Diabetes Treatment for all people currently suffering $50 billion
Malaria Eradication World-wide $2 billion
Pay off Liberia's Debt $3.7 billion
Rice to feed the world for 1 year $60 billion
Grants for Artists $500 billion
A Free, Fair, Unbiased Media $2.5 billion
100 New Libraries $5 billion
A free bus system in the 100 Largest Cities $200 billion
One year of Dental Insurance to all Americans $16.4 billion
A National High Speed Rail System $300 billion
At this point the shopping adventure is still fun and I got the warm and fuzzies.
Revamp the U.S. Education System $100 billion
Repairing the damage from Hurricane Katrina $200 billion
Achieve Universal Literacy $5 billion
End Dependence on Foreign Oil $500 billion
End World Hunger $195 billion
New Clothing, Shoes, and School Supplies for 10 million children $10 billion
Plant 4000 trees in the Rain Forrest $27,500
Hearts on Fire Engagement Ring $25,000 (That's for me but hey I've already ended world hunger so give me a break.)
Food for life for 50 American families $20 million
Fund a Medical Researcher for 4 years $800,000
International Bullet Train production $650 million
Provide bicycle paths around North America $5 billion
The Eiffel Tower $1 billion (What a bargain)
1000 Teacher Salaries $39.3 million
Everglades Restoration $20 billion
Despite all the good I've done, this is exhausting. Is this how Angelina Jolie feels?
Create three art centers with free programs for children's dance, music, art, and writing $90 million
Replace all disposable bags in American homes with reusable bags $450 million
Create a subway to the ocean in L.A. $10 billion
A year's supply of gas for every U.S. car $38 billion
Buy News Corp $56.6 billion
Help Rebuild Iraq $20.9 billion
A three week vacation for everyone in the U.S. $75 billion
Provide permanent stables for unwanted horses $ 2.5 billion
World wide compliance of the Kyoto Protocol $400 billion Find a new source of energy $100 million
A Britney Spears-esque Malibu beach compound $75 million (Again this one is for me)
Housing for America's homeless for 5 years $74 billion
Stop the drug war and put all drug abusers through treatment programs in the U.S. $40 billion
I think I lost consciousness at this point -- with $859 billion left. Think about how many iPhones, hybrid cars, and robot servants I could get with just the remains of this shopping spree.
I decided, once I regained conciseness, that the war in Iraq is keeping our world from achieving so many more productive goals. Frankly, the idea that I could by 20 million people a Shelby Cobra that runs on Hydrogen or pay for Universal Healthcare in America for three years, with the money that is breaking down a country and doing a pathetic job and rebuilding it, is enough to make me double over in disgust. I hope that people look at where the politicians are allotting our money the next time they pass a proposition reducing welfare or education because those same politicians don't bat an eye at the money that goes toward the killing of our soldiers and Iraqi citizens and so much more could be improved if we cared to put ourselves in debt for a positive cause.