Opportunity Cost of War vs.Military Keynesianism

Click on the image to expand
Source: What $1.2 Trillion Can Buy (NYTimes)

There has come the time for people to ponder war and its opportunity costs. For a comprehensive view on the cost of another war of sorts, check out this title: The Fifty-Year Wound: How America's Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World

1 comment:

fCh said...

Good idea to follow the link to the source of the image at NYTimes (Jan 17). There, look up the readers' comments, from which I selected the following exchange between a reader and the NYTimes author:

As a scientific thinker (a cancer researcher, coincidentally), I was disappointed by your attempt to define what $1.2T in federal expenditures really means. One part you didn't point out is that every federal dollar spent in the U.S. serves as a stimulus and builds infrastructure versus a billion spent abroad. Iraq is sending dollars out of the country quite quickly.

Increased spending on research may not cure cancer but is sure to create businesses, train new scientists, etc. Even your proposed spending on bread and butter health care in the U.S. would prevent more expensive medical investments later and support our academic hospitals and medical schools, improving health care for the future. Spending in Iraq creates costs down the line, like a new pulse of veterans with expensive problems.

- Steve Kron

You’re right that I was being conservative with my estimate. You can make an argument, as Linda Bilmes and Joseph Stiglitz do, that the actual dollars spent in Iraq understate the cost the war. But I didn’t want to do too much speculation about what the spillover benefits of other forms of spending might have been.

- David Leonhardt

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