Charles and David Koch, best known for the purest grades of frack-water you drink and the mercury you breathe, have reportedly topped the $100 billion mark in net worth. Let’s break down how much money that really is.
Clearly it’s a lot, but more than that, it’s a nearly unfathomable amount. So absurd is this load of cash that I’ll post my math at the end so you can verify for yourself that this is really real.
100 billion seconds ago was the year 6,023 B.C., which an alarming number of Americans would say predates the whole of creation. They are mistaken about a number of things, this included, but most noteably that people like the Koch brothers are “job creators”.
They’re not. They’re cash hoarders, and it’s high time for an intervention.
What if I earned $1 per second?
That would be awesome. $60 a minute would really change everything. That’s way beyond lottery money right there.
If you got $1/second, it would take you 3,171 years to amass $100 billion. It would take you over 40 lifetimes to amass that much, assuming you got it from the second you were born until the second you died, and you lived to the US average of 78.7 years.
What if earned $100 billion during my carreer?
Assuming 40-hour work weeks and a career from age 18 through 65, your hourly wage to hit the $100 billion mark would have to be (hold on to your butt,) $1,022,913. Yes, that’s every hour.
You’d get $284.14 every working hour of every day for the entirety of your career.
I could earn that much making minimum wage!
No you couldn’t. Not in a million years. Not even in six million years. At the federal minimum wage of $7.25 (of which there are 1.6 million workers,) it would take you 6.6 million years to earn that much, to say nothing of the fact that it would cost you at least that much to eat and survive along the way.
What if a million minimum wage workers combined forces?
If a million workers at minimum wage all gave every last penny of their pre-tax wages to the fund, it would only take about 80 months (6 years and 8 months) for them to earn it.
Never mind the cost of feeding, housing and clothing these million people.
They deserve enough money to live!
The brothers Koch are 73 and 78. Statistically, they’ve only got another five years to live between them, but let’s be as generous as they are to Super PACs and say they’ve got 20.
They would still have $2.4 million dollars per hour, based on a 40-hour week. It’s $570,000 assuming they could spend the money 24/7, even while they’re sleeping. They’re innovative guys, I wouldn’t be surprised if they found a way.
But they earned it!
That’s a sticky, tricky one. Did they? They were born wealthy and inherited a substantial fortune, but they did build it from mere obsene wealth into the historically absurd wealth it is today.
They haven’t broken any political laws I’m aware of, but some might argue that buying politicians and legal policy directly designed to inflate your already unimaginable wealth is a bit untoward.
Did they earn it? It sickens me a bit and saddens me a lot, but I must concede they did it the old fashioned way.
So how much is it really?
If you were to build the greatest of the pyramids in Giza using technology available today, it would only cost $5 billion. That means they could build 18 of them and still have $5 billion each to live off of, excluding their continuing income.
18 Pyramids Great of Giza? Wouldn’t seem nearly as impressive if there were so many of them. Would be pretty common, really. Better amass another few hundred billion, guys. And by the way, thanks for encouraging natural selection to choose only those with sulphur-resistant lungs. Humanity is better for it.
If you were to amass $1 bills, the sum of the George Washingtons would 204 million pounds. That’s 20 million pounds of $10 bills. That’s 2 million pounds of $100 bills. If someone told you they were coming to deliver it, would you even have a place for a couple (to a few dozen) million pounds of… anything?
I am willing to accept that I could be wrong about these guys, but they’re not the most open, and I have my suspicions as to why. I welcome all comments below, even from those professionally employed to spin this otherwise.