Back in March I mentioned this quote, by Jaime
, in a post of mine
Just thinking about [a $25,000 windfall] can be fun in itself. When you have a little money to play with, you can fantasize and own everything, but once you spend it, you only own what you bought.
Never before has Jaime's statement been more painfully true with the Iraq war, where the direct cost to our gov'ment - counting only funds appropriated by Congress — so far runs to roughly $523Bn, according to this guy
However, that's the direct cost — money directly spent on the project. There are indirect costs, too: Joseph Stiglitz estimates the true cost of the war to be $3Tn to the United States, and $3Tn to the rest of the global economy. These are indirect costs, and factor in the long-term additional expenses that the war has accrued — everything from caring for brain-damaged soldiers for the next 50 years through to loss of economic productivity attributable to instabilities in the supply of oil from Iraq.
Direct costs or not, he goes on to ask what we could
have spent the money on instead. It's the sort of window shopping we all like to do, but it just doesn't normally involve so much cold hard frickin' cash. One suggestion:
.. the direct costs of the Iraq war exceed the maximum cost estimate for a manned Mars expedition, infrastructure and all, by 20%.
And there is more in the comments.