People are tossing the word trillion around like chocolate bars. A trillion here and a trillion there, pretty soon we have something really significant, right? A recent article (Source) suggested that our government has committed over $8.8 trillion to bail out the economy. So, how much $8.8 trillion? Well, it is useful to bring this amount of money into perspective.

According to the following web site http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/, it is ten thousand hip-high standard pallets (48" by 40") of $100 bills. So, how much is that? Well, 10,000 is 100 x 100. So $1 trillion is a space that is 400 feet by 380 ft, more than two football fields worth of standard pallets. If we stack up 9 pallets (assuming that each is 3 feet tall), that is about 27 feet tall. In short, it would take a warehouse that is 3 stories tall and covers two football fields to hold that much money. Well, you say that this is not so much. But, let's see what a trillion pennies would look like (a cube with the dimensions of 273 x 273 x 273 feet)

http://www.kokogiak.com/megapenny/thirteen.asp

A pile of about 1.8 trillion pennies could make a structure about the size and shape of the Empire State Building

Look at it from another perspective. Let's say that we spend a dollar a second. By the way, that is $60 a minute or $3600 per hour. How long would it take to spend a trillion dollars? One trillion seconds is 31,546 years. To spend $8.8 trillion dollar at the rate of a dollar per second will take 277,605 years! That is probably longer than homo sapiens have been around on this earth. It is not a trivial amount of money.

Let's look at $8.8 trillion from another perspective. We all know what a $100,000 house looks like. Let's say that the house is a one story house and an average city block has ten such houses. There are about a hundred such blocks per square mile. Well, a trillion dollars will build enough blocks of houses to cover 10,000 square miles (Source). That is an area of land that is bigger than the state of Maryland. An amount of $8.8 trillion would cover about 90,000 square miles. That is an area that would encompass the surface areas of West Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island (Source).

Wise.