What Does $22 Billion in Goldman Bonuses Buy?

  1. Iceland, at 1.32 times 2008 GDP
  2. 51 bottles of cheap vodka for every Russian, babies included
  3. 1,629,460 years of public school, K-12
  4. 400,000 gastric bypass surgeriesCash
  5. 611,111 free passes for Irish atheists to blaspheme*
  6. Avatar tickets for everyone living in China, the United States, Indonesia, and Japan combined
  7. One week at New York’s Four Seasons Hotel for every homeless person in the United States
  8. $1,100 to bribe each one of Rush Limbaugh’s 20 million listeners to shut up
  9. A year of healthcare for 2,964,560 Americans
  10. 110,000 body scan machines for airports

What else will Goldman’s bonus pool buy?

Check back as we update the Acrimoney Reality Index.

Norb Vonnegut

*A new law in Ireland, which took effect on New Year’s Day, makes blasphemy a crime and imposes fines up to $36,000.

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  • Jane Byrd says:

    “Mother Earth is waiting for us, there’s a debt we have to pay” – with hommage to Tracy Nelson. . .

    We know that our current consumption rates are bankrupting the carrying capacity of the natural world upon which all life depends. And yet we continue consuming as if this bubble will never burst. Sound familiar? When it does burst–and it is (ecosystem collapse is increasing all over the planet)–who can bail out nature?

    That’s exactly the point. It is our generation who must do it, and we must do it now. We cannot wait—we have to act while we still have the capacity to do so. Yes, even with our monetary systems in collapse–actually precisely because they are in collapse, we must reinvest now in the creation and restoration of all natural capital. (Current estimates of remaining peak farmable soils on earth range from 15-30years according to John Jeavons). Money systems are symbolic information games, natural capital coupled with organized, applied human know-how is the real wealth of our world, our “forward days living capability” as Bucky Fuller so wisely defined it. OK given that, how do we do this?

    By striking a New Deal with Nature through Consumer Credit Card Debt for Nature Swaps. Here’s how it works. The federal government purchases and repackages consumer credit card debt (there’s about $962 billion in our national economy right now), slashing interest rates to end usury – and unlike the TARP bailout, asks for something in return. “Prosumers” (productive consumers) can further reduce their interest rate by joining a registry and achieving a variety of documentable energy and water efficiency retrofits of their homes (if they’re homeowners) and/or participate in ecosystem services restoration projects locally and regionally if they are not. How do we put an economic value on Nature’s services? The Natural Capital Project at Stanford (www.naturalcapitalproject.org) has recently developed innovative software for helping manage Nature’s ecosystem services and biodiversity as the valuable life supporting assets that they are. But how do we organize such a gigantic undertaking? Energy efficiency websites like http://www.wattbot.com already point the way to easy ways of organizing efforts to transform individual property’s performance. The net effect: Taxpayers invest in ecologic and economic restoration by funding interest rate reductions by prosumers who reduce the environmental impact of their homes, property and lifestyles.

    Big Mother, not Big Brother. Footprint reducing AND biologically restorative.

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