The Prodigious Nature Of Money

In Columns, General
The Prodigious Nature Of Money

I was watching, for the millionth time, one of my favorite movies with Jody Foster called Contact. I never get sick of that film and know the movie by heart. This last time watching it something new occurred to me that I never caught before.

In the movie, the world had to build this machine to travel to another place in the universe. In an effort to show the prodigious nature of the project of building such a machine, the movie stated that it was the most expensive project built in the history of the world. To convey that message what number did the writers of the movie use to showcase the most expensive endeavor of man? What number did the movie proclaim it cost to build this intergalactic travel machine?

They said, a “quarter of a trillion dollars.” That was the number the writers came up with to show how expensive it was. Now, this was not some 1950s black and white movie, Contact came out in 1997. So how did a huge number like that become nothing in such a short period of time?

Try, if you would, to compare that number that was so huge in the writers’ minds, to the bank heist in 2008-2009 call TARP that was a trillion dollars. The Banksters got away with raiding The United States Treasury to the tune of one trillion dollars. It really puts it in perspective when you juxtapose the idea in that movie of portraying the most expensive human project to what Wall Street got away with during 2008-2009. It is breathtaking if you really think about it.

These writers of the movie were sitting around trying to come up with the biggest number they could think of in 1997 and here not too far removed and the Banksters make that number look like peanuts. Greed has taken such galactic steps in the twenty-first century.

Our children are growing up in such a different world when Wall Street can eclipse even Hollywood writers when it comes to their imagination. Part of me wishes we could build that travel machine so I can get the hell out of here.

C. Rich
Author, Blogger, Poet

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