My Crazy "Economic" Viewpoint of War

It may be interesting to look at Iraq and ask, who is the one with power and who are the people being oppressed? We have spent approximately 247 billion dollars on Iraq. The population there is approximately 26 million. That is 9500 dollars per person. The average Iraqi makes appoximately 1000 dollars per year. We could have given every Iraqi their annual income for 9 1/2 years. Not that I think giving everyone their financial dreams is a wonderful idea-- too materialistic and consumeristic for my soul-- however, I would imagine that the people of Iraq would have done better with such a strategy over the current violence, lack of electricity and clean water, and lack of access to jobs.


  1. Yeah, but that would be too... peaceful.

  2. Hey Justin--

    Good thoughts here. It's interesting though, because our own domestic gov't structure often does the same thing...

    For example, an average person with a middle class salary may pay $10,000/yr in taxes for the government to "take care" of his country. We could just give that man back $10,000/yr(just like handing the Iraqi's a personal check), a bit less, say, than 1/3 of his yearly salary, and say "you can do it better." But, of course, we don't. We assume, correctly or not, that the mass populus, even if provided the funds, cannot and should not make the financial decisions which govern a country... its defense, its economy, its water and power, etc etc etc...

    It would be an interesting study to see if people were handed back that money in taxes, how much people would hoard and how much they'd "donate" to that common good. Pessimisstic me says the room which houses the "goodness of the heart" might be a bit too small...

    Involving more private industry, though...maybe that could do something...

  3. Good points, but how would taking 247 billion dollars out of the US economy effect job security/dividends/stock market value of shares of those involved with the companies that supplied those 247 billion dollar orders along with all the taxes they would have paid on salaries/income etc - unless of course you made the iraqis spend it only on US goods :)