Cultural Psychology

You Do the Math

leave a comment »

You do the math.

Someone told me a couple of years ago that he thought we needed to militarily intervene in Iraq because “Somebody’s got to teach those people how to think, don’t they?”

Well, if we wanted to teach them to think, maybe we could have spent our trillion dollars (direct and indirect costs) a little better.

The cost of a 4-year degree runs about $50,000 (that’s a generous estimate, but it will do here). This means that for 1 trillion dollars we could have sent 20 million Iraqis to college.

Wait–the Iraq population over age 18 is only about 12 million. Okay, we could send them to graduate school too.

The point isn’t idle sarcasm–it’s to get a grip on the sheer magnitude of how much money/resources are being spent in Iraq. I think our politicians and public are basically innumerate, and don’t comprehend this. The amount of money is staggering, and for the same amount we could have come up with any number of more creative and effective solutions.


Written by John Uebersax

January 14, 2007 at 10:44 am

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: