Sunday, August 24, 2008

Give the residents of CA, NY, TX, and FL their weight in silver

For the price of the Iraq War, we could've given the residents of California, New York, Texas, and Florida their weight in silver.

California, New York, Texas, and Florida are the four most populated states in America, with a total population of 98 million people.  If the average resident of these states weighs 150 lbs (lighter than the average American adult, but much heavier than most children), the total weight of these states' population is 14.7 billion pounds.

Silver is currently valued at $13.33 per ounce.  There are 14.6 troy ounces in a pound.  So buying the residents of these four states their weight in silver would cost $2.86 trillion, which is less than Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes' estimate of $3 trillion for the cost of the Iraq War.

Image used under a Creative Commons License from RickyDavid.

2 comments:

Bridget Magnus said...

Those are states with huge populations too. What could you do for "every state with 5 or fewer electoral votes"?

Neil Sinhababu said...

States with 5 EV or fewer comprise only about 7% of the US population, so you could probably buy each family a silver car or something...