Thursday, January 12, 2006

Stiglitz: Iraq war costs could top $2 trillion :: Christian Science Monitor

Quote:
A new study (pdf) by Columbia University economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001, and Harvard lecturer Linda Bilmes concludes that the total costs of the Iraq war could top the $2 trillion mark. Reuters reports this total, which is far above the US administration's prewar projections, takes into account the long term healthcare costs for the 16,000 US soldiers injured in Iraq so far.
UPDATE: Broken link to the pdf of the paper has been fixed.

Labels:

7 Comments:

Blogger Tim Newman said...

I wonder if this will mean the end of the idea that Bush went to war in order to achieve financial gains?

Probably not.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Chimpface Sold Me Coke said...

Tim Newman's comment is about the stupidest piece of Bush-worshipping palaver I have ever seen, and that's saying a lot.

The Gulf War was a massive transfer of wealth from the US Treasury into the pockets of Bush's backers and cronies. While I doubt that was the Chimp's primary motivation, it's certainly icing on the cake for him and his cadre.

11:38 PM  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Chimpface,

I guess your logic is along these lines: Bush believed that the war would not be that costly and he did it to benefit his friends. And that Bush was behind 9/11.

1:47 AM  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

Tim Newman's comment is about the stupidest piece of Bush-worshipping palaver I have ever seen, and that's saying a lot.

I think this says more about your choice of reading material than anything else.

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's harder to calculate the cost of not going to war but, that decision also has costs.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Chimpface redux said...

John said:

I guess your logic is along these lines: Bush believed that the war would not be that costly and he did it to benefit his friends. And that Bush was behind 9/11.

Your understanding of logic is either weak or gets trumped by your unrelenting Bush-worship.

What I do believe is that Bush did not, and does not care all that much about the costs of the Gulf War. It is undeniable by anybody with more than three functioning neurons that Bush does not care about ballooning public expenditures. He's a more profligate spender than LBJ. With respect to the War directly, if we assume, for arithmetical convenience, a cost of $900 billion and a US population of 300 million, we're let with an approximate per-person cost of $3,000. Now, a couple of points: $3,000 is peanuts for Georgie and his sponsors, but not for the typical American working stiff. Secondly, Georgie and his sponsors and buddies will make much more than $3,000 per person due to their ownership of military industries. He (and his cadre) see war expenditures not as costs, but as investments. Very profitable ones.

I'll keep it simple: Georgie decides to go to war. This war costs everybody a little bit (if you consider $3,000 a litle bit), but creates many more thousands in income for his sponsors and cronies.

In economics this is known as the "concentration of benefits and dispersion of costs" problem. One of the pillars of Public Choice theory. I'd recommend almost anything by James Buchanam, GMU Nobelist, if you're looking to learn a bit more about the topic.

As to your statement about Bush being behind 9/11. Well, that's a convenient non-sequitur you can use to avoid addressing my main argument - a minor league tactic of rhetoric, to be sure, but a telling one. Of course Chimpface wasn't behind 9/11. Although I think that Bush 41 and Reagan's funding/training/arming of the Mujahadeen/Taliban would be one of several statistically significant causal variables if one could do a regression of the "causes of 9/11", which, obviously is not possible. But that's an aside.

I can't understand why you, an alleged right-wing free-marketer, is so enthralled with Chimpface. I mean, with the discretionary spending explosion, massive increase in entitlements, protectionist meddling with the economy, and so on. Or is it simply that the label "Republican" is more important than things like "principles" or "philosophies"?

12:04 PM  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

CF Redux,

My comment to your first comment was intentional in its oblique irony.

Yes, Bush's spending is profligate, and disappointing - post-Katrina commitments, prescription drug benefit, so on. No, Bush is not evil or stupid, and he did not go to war for oil or to make his friends rich. He went to war because he believed it was the right thing to do. As I recall, the support for going to war was quite broadbased; hardly an instance of the Buchanan problem.

Bush is not my ideal president, but we all have to consider the actual alternatives. Gore? Kerry? Biden? et al.

Thank you to anonymous for making explicit this truth:
It's harder to calculate the cost of not going to war but that decision also has costs.

1:01 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home