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Thursday  May 24 10:06 PM EDT

If I Had a Million Dollars

By Brian Briggs

Canada isn't known for much besides Colin Mochrie, but the Barenaked Ladies are trying to change that.   One of their songs faces a grim future, however.  Due to the ravages of inflation their hit "If I Had a Million Dollars" will someday become a farce.  Let's take a look and see if we can figure out when.

Some assumptions had to be made for our calculations.

If I had a million dollars
I would buy you a house.
With a current average sale price of $184,200 you could buy a house with that million dollars until some time in 2050.  At that point you're out of luck unless you buy some rickety little shack out in the sticks, which I don't think is your intention.
Current Cost: $184,200
Over $1 Million in:  2050

Maybe a nice Chesterfield....
Canadians love to sing about couches, and their favorite couch to sing about is the Chesterfield.  Here's Mick Jagger and Stevie Wonder with their reggae rendition of You are sofa king!  Re:   Todd did.
Current Cost: $2,250
Over $1 Million in:  2178

...or an ottoman.
"You spent how much on a footstool?"
"No, honey I spent that much on an ottoman."
Current Cost: $700
Over $1 Million in:  2212

....a K-car
It would take a financial apocalypse of Road Warrior proportions for a K-car to be worth over a million dollars.  Fortunately for you that isn't going to happen until 2137, so you have plenty of time.
Current Cost: $1,750
Over $1 Million in:  2137

I'd build a tree fort in our yard.
In today's dollars you could build a pretty nice tree fort with a million dollars, but time runs out for you in 200 years.  At which point we'll all be back to living in trees again so you might want to get started before then.
Current Cost: $1000
Over $1 Million in:  2201

...we could put like a little tiny fridge in there somewhere.
You better have bought her that tiny fridge before Christmas of 2259 or you're going to have one disappointed girlfriend.
Current Cost: $140
Over $1 Million in:  2259

...pre-wrapped sausages...
It was very difficult to write this since my father was killed by pre-wrapped sausages.   If there had only been pre-wrapped bacon things might have been different.
Current Cost: $4
Over $1 Million in:  2359

I'd buy you a fur coat
(But not a real fur coat that's cruel)

A faux fur coat will set you back about $350 dollars today, but your million dollars won't be able to purchase one in 2232.  Unless some new faux fur technology comes along to drive down the costs.  I don't think that will happen since most faux fur animals are nearing extinction.
Current Cost: $350
Over $1 Million in:  2232 a llama ...
What you do with your llama is up to you.  Wait until 2190 and you'll have to kick in more than a million to satisfy your perverted desires.
Current Cost: $1500
Over $1 Million in:  2190

...or an emu.
G'day mate.  Toss another emu on the barbie, but do it soon.
Current Cost: $800
Over $1 Million in:  2208

..John Merrick's remains.
This is of course a reference to Michael Jackson's desire to purchase "all them crazy elephant bones."  Nobody in real life would be insane enough to purchase something like that.
Current Cost: $???
Over $1 Million in:  Who cares.

..we'd take a limousine...
Of course it would be a flying limousine in 2248, and you wouldn't be able to afford it.
Current Cost: $200
Over $1 Million in:  2248

But we would eat Kraft Dinner.
And you'd probably die of a heart attack before you were 430 years old with all the sausages and "cheese".  Do you realize how much fat is in that stuff?
Current Cost: $1
Over $1 Million in:  2402

...really expensive ketchups...
I couldn't find any "fancy Dijon ketchups", but this one is fancy enough for our purposes.  I want to know what kind of gourmet puts ketchup on macaroni and cheese?  Probably our Canadian friends that call it Kraft dinner.
Current Cost: $5
Over $1 Million in:  2356

...a green dress.
Sorry to all you purists out there, but it is a real green dress.
Current Cost: $205
Over $1 Million in:  2247

...a Picasso...
Maybe you could've gotten a Picasso back in 1992 for under a million dollars, but you're a little late to the party now.  You might still be able to get something from his really early period.
Current Cost: $1,000,000+
Over $1 Million in:  Too Late

...or a Garfunkel.
In my mind Garfunkel is worth far more than $1 million.  What would Paul Simon do without him?  More importantly what would the world do?  You just can't put a price on a resource as valuable as that.
Current Cost: Priceless
Over $1 Million in:  1966

..a monkey.
Of course by the time a monkey is worth a million dollars they will rule the world, and we'll all be their slaves.  Or maybe that was just some bad 70s movie.  I get confused rather easily.
Current Cost: $3500
Over $1 Million in:  2165

..your love.
Free love, man.  Is that freedom rock?  Then turn it up!  In this century love costs money.  Deal with it flower child.
Current Cost: $156,690
Over $1 Million in:  2054

Conclusion:  In 2403 we'll all have a big laugh at the Barenaked Ladies when even a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese will cost over a million dollars.  We'll look back fondly on those days, and relegate "If I Had a Million Dollars" to the nostalgia bin.

I assumed a 3.5% inflation rate.  Of course this is arbitrary and the actual inflation rate for the next 400 years could be different, but as the famous economist John Maynard Keynes once said, "In the long run we are all dead." 

You might also be able to find some of these items for a lower price somewhere.   Good, go pick your nits. 

I also assumed that the million dollars was stuck under a mattress somewhere and not earning any interest.

I also used US dollars as the currency for my calculations.  Yes, I know the Barenaked Ladies are Canadian, but this stuff already costs over a million dollars in Canadian "money".


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