Most of us have no concept of what a billion dollars looks like, or more importantly what it spends like. The average American household makes $50,000 a year. The average member of Congress has a net worth of $1,000,000, and then you have the Billionaires, which has grown to a list of over 1300 people. I just thought I would make a few images to really show you the true difference of being an average worker versus a millionaire member of the law-making Congress, and of course the 1% wealthiest citizens of the world.
Since we are dealing with so many zero’s here, I decided to start out by breaking down the different amounts into real dollars. Fifty dollars to the average American household is the equivalent to $1,000 to the average member of Congress, and that same amount of money is the equivalent of $1,000,000 to a billionaire!
Personally, I still cringe when I fill up my car, and I drive a 4-cylinder! I remember gas prices dipping below $1.00 a gallon as recent as the late 90’s. Many families have more than one car to fill up and since most Americans live in the burbs, $50 of gas a week is a very conservative figure. Now remember, if you are a member of Congress you could spend $1,000 on a fill up and that would feel like when you and I spend $50, and if you are a billionaire, you could spend $1,000,000 on a fill up! (So next time you see a billionaire getting praised for donating $1,000,000, ask him to break off a bit more, $1,000,000 is nothing to him.
One of the biggest expenses of the average American family is the automobile. The most popular vehicle in America is the Ford F150 which on the low end costs $25,000. If Congress wanted to feel what it felt like for one of us to spend $25,000, they would have to spend $500,000, and for a billionaire to feel it, they would have to spend $500,000,000!
I really hope this helps us to understand each other a little bit better. 16% of the United States is below the poverty line this year, the highest rate in 52 years. Personally, I think it’s more important to elect a Congress of similar financial means to the average American over anything else, and please keep in mind the next time you see a millionaire or billionaire boasting about what seems like a large figure to us, what that amount really costs them.