Monday, January 5, 2009

If money grew on trees...

2008 has been a rough year for the US financial system. Our political leaders have been trying everything they can think of restore our crippled economy. Primarily their efforts have involved the government loaning or giving away lots of money it does not have. Some of the more conservative estimates say the cost of various bailouts is now 1.2 trillion dollars with some saying at high as 7.7 trillion (let's not think about that number). 1.2 trillion is a very big number. It is so big it is hard to wrap the mind around. This got me thinking.

If money grew on trees, how big a forest would be necessary to save us?

Let us assume a money tree is about the size of good sized sugar maple and that each leaf is a 1 dollar bill. Let us also assume that an adult tree has about 200,000 leaves. Figuring that a large tree needs about 10 feet of spacing we can fit 436 large money trees per acre. That's 87.2 million dollars per an acre of money tree forest. So to come up with the 1.2 trillion dollars that have been used too keep our economy afloat so far, the government would need to harvest every leaf from every tree in 13,761 acres or 21.5 square miles of lush money tree forest.

As a visual aid. Imagine our money forest is the red area sitting on top of one of Northeast Ohio's largest parks.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

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