What is $47 trillion – 47,000,000,000,000 – a comparative exploration?

My previous post, “$47 Trillion – the ripoff by the rich and corporations – in two charts – maybe a few more…..” raises the question of exactly what 47,000,000,000,000 amounts to. There are so many “0”s!
Let’s work with a one-dollar US paper bill. So how many dollar bills do we have to pile up to equal the height of the tallest building on Billionaire Row in Manhattan?

This tower is 1,550 ft. tall (472 meters). More than 5 American football fields. That is equal to 4,326,000 dollar bills piled up. Lets round down to 4,300,000 sheets just to ease our arithmetic.

Dividing 47,000,000,000,000 (47 trillion) by our 4,300,000 dollar bills we come to 10,930. So we must stack up an additional 10,929 Central Park Towers to equal 47 trillion one-dollar bills. This pile of towers would be 3,208 miles tall(5,162 km). The shortest air distance between New York City and San Francisco is 2,572 miles(4,139 km).

For context, the median annual earnings for a full-time employed person in the US in 2022 was $55,000. That gets you roughly 20 ft (6.1 meters) up the Central Park Tower.

So, $47 trillion is a really big number. Now in the pockets of the top 10% of the population. Most really is in the hands of the top 1 or 2 percent.