When Libertarians go bad…
The Chuckie Cheese kids who have taken over at InstaHehIndeed are so cute when they throw out their deeply held beliefs because they’ve painted themselves into a corner:
STICKER SHOCK The article I linked below contains some cost comparisons:
Yale University economist William D. Nordhaus estimated that in inflation-adjusted terms, World War I cost just under $200 billion for the United States. The Vietnam War cost about $500 billion from 1964 to 1972, Nordhaus said. The cost of the Iraq war could reach nearly half that number by next fall, 2 1/2 years after it began.
How could that be? World War I and Vietnam were both much, much larger efforts than the current conflict, so how come this one costs so much? The answer is that we’re substituting capital for labor: we use a lot more equipment, and a lot fewer men. Since destroyed equipment is a lot easier to replace than destroyed people, it’s a price I’m very glad to pay.
posted at 11:24 AM by Megan McArdle
A HEARTENING SIGN FOR HAWKS The administration is apparently planning to ask for $70 billion more for the war in Iraq, which will bring the total price tag to about $225 billion. Yes, that’s a lot of money, but on the other hand, remember when folks like Eric Alterman were telling us it was going to cost trillions?
The war has cost more than I think I thought it would (I don’t remember ever assigning it an exact price tag), but if it succeeds in building a democracy in the middle east, it will be well worth the cost. And the administration’s willingness to throw around a big figure like this the week before the election shows me that they’re taking it seriously–and compares very favourably to John Kerry’s political opportunism on the issue.
posted at 11:21 AM by Megan McArdle