NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Facebook has raised $500 million from Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report and a Russian investor valuing the social-media giant at $50 billion, according to The New York Times' DealBook blog.
But is Facebook really worth more than 91% of publicly-traded U.S. companies? Or more specifically, is 24-hour access to
worth more than international travel, clean drinking water and cancer treatments?
Mark Zuckerberg, age 26, is at the helm of a $50 billion social-media bohemoth.
Regardless, Facebook has surpassed the valuation of many industrial, retail and healthcare titans that serve as the backbone of the American economy. Here are 10 notable, publicly-traded companies with a valuation lower than that of Facebook:
10. Southern Company (SO) - Get Report: $32.06 Billion
Southern Company provides 4.4 million Americans with electricity -- the company employs more than 25,000 people.
9. Deere (DE) - Get Report: $35.11 Billion
John Deere is the world's leading manufacturer of farm equipment -- the company employs more than 50,000 people.
8. Colgate Palmolive (CL) - Get Report: $38.79 Billion
Colgate Palmolive is a leading provider of personal, oral and home-care products. The company employs more than 35,000 people.
7. UnitedHealthcare (UNH) - Get Report: $39.72 Billion
UnitedHealthcare provides approximately 25 million Americans with access to healthcare services -- the company employs approximately 80,000 people.
6. Target (TGT) - Get Report: $42.58 Billion
Target is one of the largest retailers in the United States -- the company employs more than 350,000 people.
5. Emerson Electric (EMR) - Get Report: $43.03 Billion
Emerson Electric develops myriad technologies for heating, cooling, food storage and numerous other industries. The company employs more than 125,000 people.
4. Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) - Get Report: $45.33 Billion
Bristol-Meyers Squibb develops medications and treatments to combat cancer, HIV and other serious diseases. The company employs more than 20,000 people.
3. DuPont (DD) - Get Report: $45.53 Billion
DuPont produces a diverse portfolio of chemical products, ranging from Teflon to wastewater treatments. The company employs more than 50,000 people.
2. Union Pacific (UNP) - Get Report: $45.7 Billion
Union Pacific provides railroad services through 23 states, linking together every major West Coast and Gulf Coast Port. The company employs more than 40,000 people.
1. Boeing (BA) - Get Report: $47.87 Billion
Boeing is the world's leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, one of the largest exporters in the U.S. and an employer of more than 150,000 people.
News of a Facebook IPO is likely to bubble-over in the following months, and no doubt, a troop of twenty-something analysts will grease the hype-machine proclaiming the "next evolution in business."
And maybe America's love of Facebook is no more objectionable than our love and/or dependence on products from
. But if Facebook -- a company with approximately 2,000 employees -- is a paradigm for the "new American company," America's economic woes might just be beginning.
-- Written by John DeFeo in New York City
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.