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If you added up the personal debt of every American – what they owe on their mortgages, credit cards, student loans, and more – the total is staggering. Collectively, we’re $13.2 trillion in the red. That’s the highest ever, according to the New York Fed.
Yet no one seems to be panicking. Maybe that’s because we can’t comprehend $13 trillion. Imagine buying every NFL team. And every NBA team. And every NHL team. And every Major League Baseball team. But that only adds up to $191 billion.
It’s hard to spend $13.2 trillion. Here are a few ways you can do it...
A McDonald’s cheeseburger, large fries, and a drink costs $4.38. If you bought everyone on the planet — 7.4 billion people — that meal for a whole year, you’d still be a trillionaire. Throw in a cookie, and you’d still have $243 billion. Then you could buy the entire McDonald’s franchise, which is worth about $100 billion.
After everyone has eaten McDonald’s every day for a year, they’re going to need to lose weight. The average gym membership costs about $40 to $50 a month, and after initiation fees, that’s about $800 a year. Multiply that by 7.4 billion people, and it’ll cost you $5.9 trillion.
With the extra $7.3 trillion, you could buy everyone a $200 pair of Nike sneakers. That leaves you with $1.4 trillion — enough to buy the Nike brand (worth $91 billion) and still be a trillionaire.
Are you spending too much money at the gym? Check out How to Save Money on a Gym Membership.
The price of a 2018 Mercedes Benz E-Class is $52,950. With $13.2 trillion, you could buy one vehicle for all 249 million adults in America — and still have more than $1 trillion left. Then, of course, you could buy Mercedes Benz (valued at $34.4 billion).
President Trump says he can build the U.S.-Mexico border wall for just $8 billion, while experts say it’ll cost $20 billion. Either way, we assume it would be made of steel or concrete. But what if it was built with $1 bills? With $13.2 trillion, you could make a 17-foot-tall, 3-foot-thick, 1,954-mile-long wall solely out of paper currency.
Why stop with the U.S.-Mexico border? If you budget $10 million per mile of wall, you have enough for the entire perimeter of North America. That’s 175,885 miles in total.
At $10 million a mile, a wall around the United States would cost about $198 billion. To add in Canada, which has the longest coastline in the world, would be another $1.56 trillion. You can also staff that entire border with 10 border patrol agents per mile — for 90 years.
We can’t colonize Mars with our current technology, but SpaceX CEO Elon Musk guesses it would cost $200,000 per ticket if 1 million people went. With $13.2 trillion, you can send 66 million people. That’s the entire population of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
There are 19.6 million college-aged and high school seniors in the United States. A private college education costs around $34,000 a year. That means you could put every single one of them through four years of college for a mere $2.7 trillion. Then send them to graduate school (another $1.5 trillion) and pay for their doctorates ($7.5 trillion).
You’ll have single-handedly created the first nation of all PhDs. And you’ll have exactly enough to pay off the national student loan debt of $1.5 trillion.
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How would you feel if someone offered to pay your rent for the next 20 years? With $13.2 trillion, you could pay the rent for everyone in America.
A record $478.5 billion was paid in rent total last year, according to Zillow. If rents don’t rise, $13.2 trillion would cover that for 27 years. So even if rents double in the next decade, you still have the entire nation paid up.
Hoard all the world’s platinum ($5.13 billion), silver ($59 billion) and gold ($7.5 trillion). With the $5.4 trillion that’s left over, buy all the diamonds in the world — there are only about 750 million carats, but they cost about $3.5 trillion.
You could still buy all the world’s steel for $916 billion.
The 40 biggest companies in the world are valued at around $13 trillion. Apple, the first company to reach a value of $1 trillion, tops the list. But you’d also own its competitors Microsoft and Samsung. You could also run Amazon, Google, and Facebook. Buy gasoline from your own oil companies ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron. Finally, keep all your corporate earnings in banks you’ve bought: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
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