The True Cost Of War
Posted by Dave (The Void) on March 19, 2008
People say that there are two issues in this year’s elections: the war and the economy. But in many ways, that’s just one issue – Joseph Stiglitz talking at the London School of Economics last month(paraphrased from memory).
Wars are always expensive affairs, but the occupation of Iraq has taken that to new levels. Private armies of “civilian contractors” and cost-plus “reconstruction firms” have notoriously pushed up the price, but caring for wounded veterans also takes its toll on the economy, as does the increase in the price of oil.
However, few of these costs made themselves felt in the first four and a half years of war. The Federal Reserve has created a bubble of debt, allowing half a trillion to be spent on the military (never mind all the hidden costs) without any associated tax increase. That bubble is now bursting – or so argues the Nobel Prize-winning economist and notorious World Bank whistleblower Joseph Stiglitz in this address to Colombia University.