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:

  1. The world's most expensive thing by weight is probably the Treskilling Yellow postage stamp.
  2. The US's 400 richest people have a greater combined net worth than the poorest 50% of the country.
  3. The Eisenhower Interstate Highway System is arguably the most expensive public works project in the history of mankind.
  4. We spend roughly the same amount on cancer treatment as we do on cigarettes. I'm not sure what lesson to take from that.
  5. 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.