U.S. Economic Troubles • 12 March 2008 • The SnowBlog
U.S. Economic Troubles
The U.S. will have spent well over two trillion dollars on the Iraq war by the time it's all over. Some very smart people believe the total will reach about three trillion. That's enough money for almost anything you can think of. Almost anything. It's enough to make sure no one in the world goes hungry or thirsty again. It's enough to cure goodness knows how many diseases. It's enough money to make a good start on exploring the solar system. It's enough money to do all the research required on understanding climate change as well as developing a suite of technologies for tackling the problem. It might even be enough money to cure cancer if it were spent wisely. Not that anyone would have got permission to do any of those things. You need a lot of permission to do good and it's unpopular, whereas to start a war you need answer to no one. But even if the U.S. had just put the money in the bank instead of spending it on hurting Iraqis it would come in pretty handy right now. The U.S. has 11 trillion dollars in mortgages outstanding and the credit crunch and the coming recession is going to imperil a not inconsiderable fraction of them. Three trllion would be enough to allow the government to buy out all the diciest mortgages, thus ensuring that no one important in the financial community suffered because of the reckless gambling of the last few years. And given that the government is probably going to do that anyway, it would probably be nice if they had the money to pay for it.