A wise evil genius’s Number Two once said, Don’t you think we should ask for more than a million dollars? A million dollars isn’t exactly a lot of money these days. Virtucon alone makes over 9 billion dollars a year!
And that was in 1997! A million dollars is even less impressive in 2010, when companies like Apple and Google are worth $227 billion and $196 billion respectively. Billions of dollars is a term tossed about quite a bit these days, especially in relation to the economy, war, and corporate value.
But exactly how much is one billion dollars? What could it get you? What is it being spent on? What does it look like? London-based data-journalist David McCandless had the same questions and set out to collect billion dollar data from reputable sources and craft the information into an easily digestible graphic.
Here is the McCandless’s final product. All information is from 2009 unless otherwise noted.
The disparity displayed here, while not altogether shocking, is nonetheless infuriating. War and the destruction of life and land are blatantly favoured over ending poverty, hunger, and environmental devastation. The priority of those with this extreme amount of money is clearly to obtain more wealth and more power.
So what do we do? Firstly, this is why it is important to vote. Governmentally, it is our responsibility to put people in power who share our values. If it is important to you that billions of dollars go to ensuring that 10.9 million children under five don’t die from starvation this year, then you should vote for politicians who do not support those billions of dollars going to war and drilling for oil. Secondly, do not underestimate the power of personal responsibility. What do you spend your money on? Could you instead be donating your money or time to fight poverty or hunger?
If you had billions of dollars, what would you spend it on?
*To see more ideas, issues, knowledge, and data visualised, visit McCandless’s site, Information is Beautiful.