Last night I was at the grocery store and accidentally wrote a check that was over the amount the cashier told me by twenty cents. Perhaps because I was world weary, or perhaps because I was in a cynical mood I said flippantly, "Well, I don't think that extra twenty cents will change the world--don't worry about it."
The bagger, who was a young woman, looked up from my groceries and said, "wouldn't it be something if twenty cents did change the world?"
I jokingly responded, "Well, if it would change the world-- I'll give it right back."
As I walked home, I thought about it. When I woke up this morning, I thought about it some more. I'm still thinking about it as I write this.
Iowa has 2.9 million people in it. If every person in Iowa ponied up twenty cents, that would be $580,000. Would the world change on account of that kind of money being available?
The United States has , according to the census bureau Population Clocks, 301,473,951 people. If everyone chipped in twenty cents, that's $60,294,790.20. that is slightly more than the entire city budget of Iowa City. Imagine what changes could happen with that kind of money?
The World population is estimated to be 6,584,998,266 (at 21:52 GMT (EST+5) Mar 27, 2007). Of course now you have to factor in currency conversion and the idea that twenty cents here is worth more or less than other places in terms of goods and services, but in US dollars, we are now talking about $1,316,999,653.20. How much world change could come from this?
Imagine $1.316 billion dollars to help feed, shelter, immunize/heal, provide clean water and sanitation, create jobs with.
Twenty lousy cents it turns out may make a world of difference.