Once you take in all of the external costs of coal, it is much more expensive.
That's what statists say. But they don't offer any solutions for the people who will freeze to death next winter.
It was a joke...
The whole idea of an easy and cheap backup for an edge case like 20 TB of home date is a joke.
PRESS RECORD AND PLAY ON TAPE
[wait until heat death of universe]
Wait-- you have 20 TB of data, yet are complaining about expense? That's far above the media requirements for home storage. You're in enterprise territory. Fast, reliable, or cheap: pick any two. Since reliability is not negotiable for backups, you have two options.
Buy an LTO autoloader and tapes. This will cost about $3,500-4,000. You may also need to buy backup software for another few hundred dollars. You'll be able to back it all up within a day, and backup new files in minutes.
Buy the Crashplan unlimited home service, buy the seed drive service to get the first few hundred GB started, and you'll be set in a few days to a week.
On the bright side, my math indicates that 8e13 paper chads would take up about 20 thousand cubic meters of space. That would probably be enough free fuel to heat your home for a lifetime.
Neither, 8" floppies would be the way to go.
Hard sectored or soft sectored?
It would be best to decide up front before putting in the order for 80 million disks.
Just think how much you could save for yourself if you could keep 67% of your Federal income tax - and all your SSI/FICA payments - over the course of working 35-40 years... And that savings would survive to your estate/inheritors, not just disappear like SSI does, once you die.
Only if one of the financial crises that happens every couple of decades doesn't wipe you out.
The main problems are:
A: Most people don't save money without being forced.
B: Most people don't know how to invest.
C: Even if you know how to invest, you can still lose your shirt.
D: Irrespective of the above intractable problems, saving money and investments means nothing more than shifting bit patterns on some hard drives. It doesn't in any way solve the problem of supporting an millions of idle and ailing retirees over ever-expanding lifetimes. Any saved "assets" will get devalued in the markets to reflect that reality.
So your scenario does not do anything at all to address the problem of what to do with retirees in the real world, other than let a good fraction of them die in a gutter.
If the government is going to force me to spend money, I'd just as soon have them handle it directly, instead of making me hand it over to be skimmed by profiteering middlemen. (Who will probably eventually need to be bailed out with taxpayer money anyway).
For retirement, the government has a needed roll in setting standards for "safety net" investment choices, and in insuring people actually do save, but they don't need to handle the money.
Yeah, that would be better handled by outfits like AIG and Lehman Brothers.
Charity is great, and we should all be compassionate, and again the government has a needed role in setting standards, but they don't need to handle the money.
Just imagine how much junk mail it would take to raise enough charity funds to replace every government assistance program. The USPS would be profitable again after only a few days!