Randall Munroe has put together this incredible visualization of money and what things cost. Starting with the cost of a Starbucks coffee ($2) it works its way through the economic system until the entire economic production of humanity ($2,396,950,000,000,000) is accounted for. From Randall:
Six things I learned researching this chart:
- The world's most expensive thing by weight is probably the Treskilling Yellow postage stamp.
- The US's 400 richest people have a greater combined net worth than the poorest 50% of the country.
- The Eisenhower Interstate Highway System is arguably the most expensive public works project in the history of mankind.
- We spend roughly the same amount on cancer treatment as we do on cigarettes. I'm not sure what lesson to take from that.
- Given their annual marketing budget, Coca-Cola could afford to literally buy the world a Coke. However, singing lessons for every person on Earth would be prohibitively expensive.
This chart puts our entire financial system into perspective.