8 years ago: What’s $12 million?

July 27, 2005, on this blog: What’s $12 million?

Dick Cheney is also incapable of explaining why the estate tax should be repealed. But he’s for it. Such a repeal would reap at least $12.6 million for him personally, but that, we’re supposed to believe, has nothing to do with his position.

$12 million is enough of a bribe to tempt even the purest of saints. And Dick Cheney ain’t no saint. Yet we’re supposed to blithely accept that this $12 million windfall has utterly no effect on his decision-making.

I rounded down there, did you catch that? I rounded $12.6 million down to $12 million. That decimal point I knocked off there represents $600,000, or roughly what the average American family will earn over the next 10 years. If your bank account were to suddenly swell by this amount — $600,000 — you would have a very difficult time convincing a judge that it was meaningless, a trivial sum that had no influence on your actions and that you had done nothing questionable to acquire. But Dick Cheney will never have to stand before a judge to account for that $0.6 million, or for the $12 million before the decimal point.

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  • Alden Utter

    After it was mentioned on XKCD’s Blag, I downloaded the Dictionary of Numbers extension for Chrome, which randomly inserts comparisons after numbers. (30 feet [lengh of a bus]), for example.

    The title of this post turned into “8 years ago: What’s $12 million [≈ 2007 typical CEO pay]”.

    Nice to have an answer to the question, I guess.