Dean Clough

November 23, 2022

Portico Darwin: Just a Second


Flag of Ukraine.jpg

Let's go into Thanksgiving with the right mindset.  I heard this not too long ago and it really puts the whole wealth and greed thing into a new frame of reference.

Call me a simpleton raised near a meat packing plant, but a million dollars still seems like a decent amount of money to me.  Yet, I observe aghast as 1BR/1BA condos here in SF go for $2 million.  Or that such-and-such player is going to sign for $350 million.  Or that Elon Musk had to sell $9 billion in Tesla stock.  Or that Meta's market capitalization is now "only" $250 billion.  And Apple is worth $2.3 trillion.

Huge dollar numbers are now thrown around to such a degree that it can be hard to keep things in perspective. 

So try replacing the construct of a single dollar with the construct of a single second.

1 million seconds = about 10 days
10 million seconds = about 3 months
100 million seconds = a little more than 3 years
1 billion seconds = almost 32 years
10 billion seconds = almost 317 years
100 billion seconds = about 3,169 years
1 trillion seconds = almost 32,000 years

To reiterate - a million dollars is like a few days; a billion dollars is 32 years.

For the record,  here are some charts from the real world; these are from the indispensable site.

 But yet, here's the picture for corporate CEO's.  This is from a study by the Economic Policy Institute.


So, one more time:

68,703 seconds (Typical Family Income) = Less Than One Day
24,194,000 seconds (Typical CEO Income) = 9 months

Does this feel right to you?  

It's something to ponder whilst in your tryptophan coma over the coming days.   Have a great holiday.


I wish I could claim credit for this, but I cannot - it was in a recent column by Scott Ostler in our local newspaper.  He posited:

Shouldn't the no-alcohol Bud Zero they are serving at The World Cup be called Bud Nil?

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.


OK, you gotta give me props for this.  Here is Genesis and their Killer live album, Seconds Out.  It's an excellent collection of material from their earlier era, without most of the Peter Gabriel prog bloat of their first live disc.

About Dean Clough