How Much Is $4,880,000,000? (Aug, 1935)

4.8 Billion dollars used to be real money.

How Much Is $4,880,000,000?
TO complete the work of national recovery, Congress a few days ago appropriated this stupendous sum, to be spent under presidential direction or supervision; and experts at once went to work with pencil and paper to appraise its magnitude. While small in comparison with the cost of the recent World War, it is nevertheless a tidy sum, as the illustrations at the right may make more clear. It would be a large sum to spend; for, if money were worth but one per cent, a year as interest, a disbursement of $48,800,000 a year, or $93 every minute, would never touch the principal. (That is like the calculation that the population of China, marching four abreast, would never cease passing a given point—the birthrate would supply it faster than it could march.) It may be said that it was not until the late Nineteenth Century that any such sums could be created and made available—not by the increased amount of gold and silver produced, but by the increased production of paper to represent them.

10 comments
  1. r peltier says: August 19, 201011:16 am

    We piss that much now just to study the sex lives of three legged frogs.

  2. Mike says: August 19, 20103:32 pm

    It still is real money, its just not a real lot of money.

  3. Jeff says: August 19, 20109:54 pm

    Well, that clears things up.

    All the world’s heaviest water = building the pyramids.

    Thanks Science And Mechanics!

  4. Firebrand38 says: August 20, 20106:47 am

    Jeff: It just means you weren’t paying attention. They even included pictures.

    $4,800,000,000 spent a million a year from the time of the building of the pyramids would last until the time this article was written.

    So yeah, thanks Science and Mechanics.

  5. Timmay says: August 20, 20107:35 am

    According to the inflation calculator $4,800,000,000.00 in 1935 is equivalent to $75,488,294,107.86 in 2009. That’ ruffly 75 and a half billion vs. 4.8 billion.

    To put that in perspective, in 1935 the federal government spent approximately 75.5 billion in 2009 dollars to help America get out of the depression. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is estimated to cost $787 billion. Of course, our economy is much larger than it was then, our population is much larger and our budget is much larger.

    Things to make you go, “hmmm”.

  6. jon says: August 20, 201010:16 am

    What was edited out at the bottom right corner?
    Thanks,
    JON

  7. Firebrand38 says: August 20, 20104:45 pm

    jon: I asked Charlie and he said that was just the start of the next article. They apparently had a really screwy format back then.

  8. Hip2b2 says: August 20, 20108:27 pm

    A billion here, and a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.
    - Anon (misattributed to Senator Everett Dirksen)

  9. jon says: August 21, 20102:47 pm

    Thanks for the update Firebrand.
    JON

  10. Firebrand38 says: August 22, 20102:35 pm

    Hip2b2: Thanks for including the disclaimer. It is a terrific quote and I’ll bet Senator Dirksen wished he had said it!
    http://www.dirksencente…

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