Lost change

No money sense
Recent findings have reopened arguments concerning when humans arrived in our hemisphere. Most believe that our ancestors came from Asia, either across the Bering Straits or, thanks to Ice Age vagaries, across “Beringia,” a temporary isthmus. Some say it was about 10,000 years ago, while others set it at about 30,000. For present purposes, I am going to move that estimate back to 32,200 years.

Suppose the first stray who reached our hemisphere that long ago brought along a slingshot pebble. Adjust the value of that pebble for inflation, and picture it being the equivalent of today’s dollar. Conceive of it as worth a constant dollar from back then until now.

Suppose, further, that this hunter and his descendants gave you and your ancestors one of these “dollars” every second, night and day, week-around, year-around, century-around and millennium-around. That adds up in 32,200 years to 1 trillion 100 billion dollars. What can you buy with $1,100,000,000,000?


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