The Lies of the Six-Billion Dollar Man

Marky Mark has announced he will star in a re-make of the “Six Million Dollar Man.” Of course, these days, six million dollars doesn’t seem all that much, so it now has a slightly higher price tag, six billion dollars. That’s a big number (although it is still less than Apple’s quarterly profits; Tim Cook might have been a better candidate than Marky Mark.) However, is it an accurate number? A bit of poking around gives us several possible values:

Version / Date CPI Sept 2014 Equivalent Value
Book (April 1972) 41.7 $62,815,827.34
TV Movie 1 (March 1973) 43.6 $60,078,440.37
TV Movie 2 (October 1973) 45.9 $57,067,973.86
TV Movie 1 (November 1973) 46.2 $56,697,402.60
TV Series Start (January 1974) 46.9 $55,851,172.71
TV Series Start (March 1978) 63.7 $41,121,193.09

So, six billion is not anywhere accurate. At the high end, it’s closer to the sixty million dollar man, and at the low end, it’s just a bit over the forty-one million dollar man. Let’s assume that at about 2/3rds of the way through the TV series, it officially became mis-named. Let’s also assume that about 40% of the final bill is parts (leaving 60% in labor expenses); this is important because there is the 2.3% medical device tax that is part of RomneyCare. In which case, the appropriate name for the Marky Mark vehicle should be something along the lines of the “$47,089,903.58 Dollar Man,” at least for September 2014.