October 30, 2008

Let Me Blow Your Mind

What do the following have in common?
  • An I-Pod for every person in the world
  • A college education for every single high school student in America
  • House 15 million homeless families, get a million kids out of foster care
  • Produce enough ethanol and cellulosic ethanol to virtually eliminate America's dependence on Middle-East oil
All of those things could be bought with the trillion dollars we've spent on the Iraq war.  Plus more.  Today I discovered this book:  What We Could Have Done With the Money: 50 Ways to Spend the Trillion Dollars We've Spent on Iraq byRob Simpson.  You can buy it on Amazon.com, or if you're poor like me you can check your local library - I have it on hold and am picking it up tomorrow!

Earlier today, Todd at Iced Tea & Sarcasm shared a post that talked about Rob's book and a link to the website created after the book was published - What We Could Have Done With the Money.  At first it seemed like a novelty.  Even seeing the number, it's really, really, really hard for an average person like me to comprehend what a trillion dollars is.  $1,000,000,000,000.  That's a freaking lot of money.  

I'm against the war in Iraq.  I have been from the beginning.  I'm pretty much against war in general.  Of course, this doesn't mean I don't support the troops, but I cannot fathom the amount of money we've put into a senseless war that's killed so many people - soldiers and citizens alike.  But it's hard to get what it really means.  Unless you log on to Simpson's website and use his ultimate shopping spree widget.  I went into it, and selected the following:
  • Feed 10,000 starving children from birth to 18 years old ($2160 each)
  • Build 10,000 Habitat for Humanities houses, and house 10,000 families in the U.S. ($60,000 each)
  • Protect 99,900 acres of tropical rain forest ($1500 per 100 acres)
  • Buy 15,984 meals for hungry people across the U.S. ($1 for 16 meals)
  • Build and equip 999 hospitals in third world countries ($41,300,000 per hospital)
  • Build 999 miles of mass transit monorails to reduce polution in the U.S. ($150,000,000 per mile)
My total?  $191,731,799,499.  All of the above could be bought FIVE TIMES OVER for the same amount that we've spent on this horrible, idiotic war.  Food, housing, medical care, support for our veterans, public transit, reducing dependency on foreign oil, making our education system number one.  ALL of it could be reality for the same amount we've spent on this war.

I haven't read the book yet, but I'm going to.  I'll post an update when I finish it, but without even having picked it up, I know that it is going to make me mad, make me that much more eager for January 20, 2009.  I can't believe this has happened to our country.

1 comment:

Kori said...

I loved this because I am SO against the war-not the troops, because they are just poor working stiffs like the rest of us, only we don't usually have to worry about getting killed-but for all of the reasons you mentioned, and more. I look forward to readong more of those.