Title text: There, I showed you it.
As usual, click the date above the comic to go to the xkcd page, and there is a link to the much larger image. The full image is here: PNG (12528x8352 pixels).
| This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Incomplete. The transcript has also to be fixed.|
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Dollar increments are different colors. Dollar increments are green - naturally, because American paper money is green. Thousands are Orange/Red. Millions are gray. Billions are yellow. Trillions are blue. This comic uses the short scale for naming large numbers.
In the Billions box there is a vague term called the "Economic Vortex" as well as arrows that flow between different blocks of this box. This is to show where the money goes. Where it is collected from, and where it is distributed to.
The title text is a reference to the phrase "Show me the money!" which originates from the film Jerry Maguire.
- Middle-left: Pet Ownership. The ASPCA is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
- Bottom-right: Four boxes indicate that the CEO pay has skyrocketed from $490.31 (hourly) to $5,419.97 (hourly) in the same time period in which the average worker's salary has skyrocketed 10 cents.
- Top-right: Hogwarts degree: a reference to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy from the popular book series by J.K. Rowling about Harry Potter. One box is the estimated yearly tuition for the school and the next is how much seven years at the school would cost. To get a degree at the school, it takes 7 years (starting at age 11, ending at age 18).
- Bottom: A reference to the song by Bare Naked Ladies entitled "If I Had $1000000" and all the things referenced in the song to buy the love of another person.
- Bottom: A few items on the marriage of Kate Middleton and Prince William, the major royal wedding of 2011, including:
- a wedding dress with its own Wikipedia page of 3 times the annual per capita income of the average UK person,
- an 8-tier wedding cake,
- and the flowers for the wedding. These re-appear in the Millions section of the graph, where they also list the costs for the security around the event ($20 million).
- Middle-right: another reference to JK Rowling, in this case it is MC Front-A-Lot (The creator of the subgenre of hip-hop known as "Nerd Core") who estimated her net worth at $1 billion. But, that begs the question, why do the boxes only add up to $82,000?
- Top-Left: Billionaires section: Fictional Billionaires sub-section:
- Carlisle Cullen is from the Twilight Series of books and movies. He is a vampire and adoptive father of Edward, Emmett and Alice Cullen, as well as Rosalie and Jasper Hale. He was born in the 1640s and amassed his wealth through many years of compound interest and investments.
- Scrooge McDuck is a cartoon character from many Disney properties including the afternoon cartoon, Duck Tales. Scrooge McDuck has a "money bin" full of coins and other sorts of collectibles that he routinely goes swimming in.
- Bruce Wayne is Batman. Batman is Bruce Wayne. He is portrayed in many comic books, graphic novels, TV shows and movies by many different actors.
- Artemis Fowl is an Irish child prodigy and a ruthless master criminal from the eponymous book series. He uses his intelligence to build his family fortune through crime.
As Randall already indicated in the transcript, this is the block for world, continent and nation finances. The numbers are really huge. There are no jokes in here (apart from the fact that Randall tried to make the shapes of the GDP look like the continent), likely because financial values this large aren't funny to start with.
- GDP is Gross domestic product, the market value of all goods and services produced in a nation.
- The major chart in the center shows the development of the GDP in the world since the 1940s. So far the US GDP has always grown, except for a small reduction in the early 1980's, a flat line around the 1991 global recession and a flat line in the second half of the naughts. The world-wide GDP is growing more rapidly, but is also much more volatile.
- In the middle of the box, it shows the worth of all gold ever mined in 2011 prices. This is important because of the concept of the Gold standard, a concept where monetary values are linked to the value of gold. As indicated in the top-right of the box, both the EU and the USA have more debt than the total value of all gold in the world.
- Derivatives are a complex financial instrument where one is not trading in something tangible, but in derived values - like options. Derivatives thus are dangerous as one trades in concepts instead of values. Critics claim that derivatives are at the base of the 'economic bubble'.
- The growth of the derivatives market size is incredible - more than doubling every four years. The derivatives market thus is much larger than the GDP of the entire world.
|This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.|
- [This transcription is only reproducing text visible on the front page comic. There are 5 large panels, each with a series of plots, comparing the values of various things. Each large panel is covered in colored squares, and each single square represents a power of ten, be it single dollars, thousands of dollars, or even trillions of dollars.]
- [This section covers single coffees up to the hourly salaries of CEOs.]
- [This section discusses values from around $1000 to $1,000,000, including a dissection of the song If I had $1000000.]
- [This section focuses on $1,000,000 to $1,000,000,000, with a large section on campaign contributions of American political presidential campaigns, values of expensive works of art, and J. K. Rowling.]
- [This section gets into larger scale finances, profits of various sectors, costs of natural disasters, and net worth of the richest people on the planet. Also, Donald Trump.]
- [Global financial status is described here. It discusses derivatives, liquid assets, public debt by nation and GDP by continent, culminating with the total economic production of the human race to date.]
- xkcd comics are usually posted at, or around, midnight Eastern time the day of the comic (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). This one was posted at about noon on Monday
- Each amount has a source at http://xkcd.com/980/sources/ In the dollars section there is a statement that at every possible opportunity Randall used a scholarly work or government publication.
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