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August 25, 2006

Well Said

I like how the Cato kids put this:

What Would You Rather Have: The War in Iraq, or $1,075?

That’s how much you’ve spent on it so far.

August 25, 2006 | Permalink


Those cannot be the only choices... how about, the Iraq war or - rebuilding New Orleans AND a new super collider AND AIDS relief for most Africans AND adequate funding for schools AND health care for all children in the US AND ....

Posted by: George | Aug 25, 2006 12:31:25 PM

Screw Hillary Clinton. Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton (Hillary), Bush (Jeb). Enough of Bushes and Clintons already! They have been in the White House since 1988, on a ticket every since 1980! It's time to move on, already!

Posted by: ST | Aug 25, 2006 12:33:17 PM

That Hillary Clinton post was in response to your article about Hillary Clinton, which I didn't see on this blog.

Posted by: ST | Aug 25, 2006 12:34:20 PM

That's the way the issue should have been framed from the beginning. Is Iraq worth $X and X lives?

BTW - the calculation of total costs so far should be higher. Total costs of $1 trillion / 300 million Americans = about $3,300 for each American.

Posted by: Samuel Knight | Aug 25, 2006 12:38:26 PM

I don't care about the thousand dollars (or three). Take it away. It's the thousands of lives that we lost that gets me.

Posted by: A | Aug 25, 2006 12:59:22 PM

I don't like how they put it. Yes the financial cost has to be taken into consideration, but either the war had worthy aims and is achieving them or it didn't/hasn't. The cost is far from the main consideration. Would the current situation be OK if it only cost us $5 each?

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Aug 25, 2006 1:12:08 PM

"Would the current situation be OK if it only cost us $5 each?"

If you're the CATO institute, yes.

Beyond that, you run into Stalin's "One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic." People in America, a place which has not seen war on it's soil within living memory, have no personal experience with seeing their homes, belongings, and communities blown apart by armed conflict. And in the current political climate, asking for empathy is like wishing for unicorns.

But money? Everybody understands money.

Posted by: Kylroy | Aug 25, 2006 1:53:45 PM

Ginger Yellow - you're right in the sense that Iraq is such a mess now that any investment would have been a bad investment.

But - this is a great way for people to understand the disaster. It's a good Lakoff "frame".

Second, in assessing policy options cost - benefit analysis is completely standard. We all make choices every day on whether anything is worth what we paid for it. And Iraq has been a horrible bargain.

Posted by: Samuel Knight | Aug 25, 2006 3:00:49 PM

There's another way to figure it.

About a month ago, I wondered if the cost of the war had exceeded Iraq's GDP. Of course it has. Which makes me wonder if it would've been easier to bribe every Iraqi into overthrowing Saddam instead of doing it the hard way.

The way it penciled out was: approximately $100 Billion per year divided by Iraq's 27 million people equals $3600. Iraq's GDP per capita is $3100.

And some believe the actual cost of the war is closer to $300 Billion per year.

Posted by: Grumpy | Aug 25, 2006 4:22:31 PM

Think I'll go live next to a pond, work only enough to buy food, so as not to have to owe taxes...hey, wait a minute, that's what I've been doing for the last seven months. Cool!

Posted by: Steve Mudge | Aug 25, 2006 4:35:35 PM

leon, jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine.

and a word to the management -- if leon here sites the turner diaries, i bet he's anti semitic. why do you let this shit here?

and as for cato kids ... they remind me of the old jack benny joke.

benny is held up at gunpoint. the robber says, "your money or your life!" benny holds the silence in his exquisite timing until the robber says, again, "c'mon, buddy, your money or your life!" benny replies, "i'm thinking!"

i ask you folks -- am i the only one who feels repulsion with the cato folks and other libertarian organizations, and the over-emphasis on money, costs, and prices? they seem cheap, and i've always found cheap people appalling. it seems they have no other interests than lucre, which is a sign of a boring and limited personality.

Posted by: harry near indy | Aug 26, 2006 9:43:04 AM

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