What to do With $75 Billion


| April 21, 2003

The Bush administration has estimated the cost of the current war in Iraq at $75 billion. And to help people grasp just how much money that is, Jeremy Ross has compiled a list of things that a more civic-minded administration might buy if it had 11 figures burning a hole in its pocket. Ross puts health care at the top of the list on the Clamor site: 50 million people in developed countries, or 5.1 billion people in developing nations could have their health care needs met for the same amount of money. When it comes to supervising the military activities of disheveled dictatorships, or keeping CEOs living lavishly, however, you don?t get nearly as much bang for your buck. The same $75 billion could pay Enron?s top 200 executives their old salaries for five years, or you could pay about 688,000 top weapons inspectors to pry open barrels of fertilizer for a year. Finally, $75 billion would buy 375 million ?simputers? (cost-effective computers for developing nations). Of course, you don?t need a simputer to figure out that there are better things to be spending people?s money on than war.
?Nick Garafola

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