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What Can $300 Billion Buy?

Money can’t buy happiness, but we all love getting something new, especially when it’s delivered. We can’t help ripping open those packages like it’s Christmas. We live in a world where most earned money is put aside for savings, bills, paying off a car or house, grocery shopping, and taxes. We keep little for ourselves, but everybody wants more. What if those pesky financial burdens weren’t an issue? More accurately, what if bills were pocket money? That’s reality for rich folk. They can buy houses and cars by the dozen, travel overseas in private jets, launch into space. The limitations are endless. Elon Musk knows that more than anybody. He has scaled the golden ladder like a madman and reached the desired World’s richest jackpot at the top. 300 billion is the magical number he has surpassed a few times, but I’m sure he’ll reach a trillion soon enough. That 300 billion is USD, so let’s translate to $420 billion Australian and discuss essential financial assets.

 

It’s no secret Australian houses are overpriced. Between September 2020 and 21, the average house jumped from $816 082 to $994 576. Now it sits at $1 066 133. Three cities have crossed the $1 million threshold, with Sydney topping the list at $1.6 million (Canberra’s at $1 178 364, and Melbourne’s reached $1 101 612), while Perth scrapes the bottom of the barrel at $612 348. Australian taxpayers earn $67 902 annually, or 15.7 times less than your average house. And they wonder why no one’s buying. Houses are candy to Elon Musk, but how many sugary treats could he afford?

If you thought buying one house was impossible, imagine owning between 685 884, and 262 259 (average of 393 947). As of the 2016 census, the Greater Adelaide region has 562 157 dwellings housing 1 295 714 people. Elon could buy a city and have change to spare. He wouldn’t even need to pay it off over a thousand years like us regular schmucks. An average Australian home houses 2.6 people, so Muskville could reach populations of 1 783 298. It would be the 147th most populous country, or enough to gift each Tesla employee 9.7 houses. If employers were that generous, nobody would have jobs.

 

Moving on with our list of things Elon Musk can buy, we have cars. I imagine getting one is easy for him, but let’s say unlimited electric cars isn’t a perk of being Tesla’s CEO. How many could he buy? Let’s stick to EVs for now, since he manufactures the highest selling electric vehicle worldwide. In 2021, Tesla delivered 936 173 cars, with the Model 3 and Y comprising 911 208 of sales. The Model Y isn’t available in Australia, so let’s look at 3. It costs $64 662 drive away, or $54 087 after rebates, depending on your location (ACT, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland have incentives on EVs). Elon, with his excessive wealth, could afford 6 495 314. Close to seven times higher that Tesla’s total sales. He should donate those cars to everyone who actually cares about climate change, including me. Please, give me a car, Elon.

I’m sure some people prefer regular, cheaper cars, so let’s see the highest selling general automobile. Australians bought 1 049 831 cars, but Toyota dominated with 223 642 sales. Mazda came in second with 101 119 cars sold, while Hyundai topped off at 72 872, but behold the grand champion of vehicles. The mighty Toyota HiLux. That sucker earned 52 801 sales last year, and they’re a wee bit cheaper than a Tesla. There are five different models, so I’m heading for the cheapest. You can buy a HiLux WorkMate for $30 592 (but I doubt people go for that. I’m not a car person, but I’d go for something more expensive). Elon, if stupid enough, could buy 13 729 079 HiLuxs (HiLuxes? HiLuxis? Who cares?). That would make many tradies happy. Now we’ve sorted that nonsense out, onwards we go.

 

Do you watch Netflix, YouTube or Disney plus on your phone, but wish the screen was bigger? Welcome to television. In years past, families would sit around these boxes and watch sitcoms, late night shows, news, sports and movies. “Hey Hey It’s Saturday”, “Playschool” and “Countdown” are classic Australian shows, though many youths, including myself, only remember Playschool. Nowadays, it’s all about streaming, and there is a large selection of TVs to watch from. HD to 8K; LED, OLED and QLED; Smart TVs and not Smart TVs, from 24” to 98”. There’s something to please everyone, but since we’ve got $420 billion to play with, let’s have fun.

Samsung has a $17 000 TV aptly named QN90 98” Neo QLED 4K Smart TV (stop with complicated names, TV companies). It’s got up-scaling, object tracking sound, Anti-Glare and other fancy tech mumbo jumbo. Check it out at JB HI-FI. Anyway, with our Musk money, we could buy 24 705 882.35. A million more, and we’d have one for every Australian. That’s 36 for each house in Muskville. Lorraine Baines’s mother would have nightmares for years. I have a Sony, but a $17 000 doesn’t sound bad. Add a killer surround sound system and we’ve met perfection. I should call Elon and ask if he’d finish my Bose sound system.

 

Speaking of, phones are the essential device. Everywhere you look, someone’s walking and texting, watching videos, taking selfies, calling people. It is a miraculous invention created through magic (or technology). Can you imagine a world without phones? Your parents could. Handheld phones only came out in 1982. The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X was the first and cost $3995 at launch. You couldn’t even watch YouTube, Netflix or anything. Nowadays, everyone’s making phones. Motorola, Google, LG, Lenovo, Vivo, Oppo, Huawei, Samsung, but Apple stands above the rest. They’ve had the highest selling phone five years running (although Samsung sells more overall), and they’ve released their iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max in September.

The upgrades are always the same, but to put it simply, Apple have made something slightly better to sell their products for higher prices. The colours are Sierra Blue, Silver, Gold, and Graphite, with storage ranging from 128 GB to 1 Tb. I stick with lower storage because 128 GB is a lot for a phone. I’ve used 72.4 GB out of 128, and that is mainly photos (which I can delete) and system data. If you’re so desperate, buy iCloud storage. Let’s get the most expensive phone anyway. An iPhone Pro Max, with 1 TB of storage, sets you back $2719, and that’s without Apple Care, cases or covers. That’ll push it closer to $3000. With $420 billion, we can buy 154 468 554 iPhones. That’s 10 million more than Russia’s population. You could watch every movie and television episode on every streaming service at the same time. Write a thousand words on each, and you’ll have a 154 468 word novel. Want a giant jigsaw puzzle? Get that many phones. The possibilities are endless.

 

For fun, let’s delve into the pandemic’s most essential item; toilet paper. I work at a grocery store, so I’ve become accustomed to empty shelves and toilet paper brands. There’s Icare, Vevelle, Sorbent, Kleenex, and the ever popular Quilton. Quilton’s 24 pack is the most stocked with print and non-print varieties (I don’t know why there are two. Who cares about pretty pictures when wiping your ass?). A pack costs $12. Cheap compared to everything else we’ve talked about, so prepare for truckloads.

It’s confirmed. Elon can buy 35 billion packs of Quilton. Enough to provide 4.4 packs to every human (it’s crazy the world population is over 7.9 billion. It was 5.872 billion when I was born. A 2 billion population growth 25 years is too much. Use condoms, for Christ’s sake). Be a hero, Elon. Sacrifice your wealth for the goodness of buttkind. 106 rolls of toilet paper per person will advert the need to panic buy, so shelves stay stocked, and grocery workers stay stress free. Everything’s better without stress.

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