What to do With $75 Billion

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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Justice, Not

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