$95B Goes a Long Way

Tuesday, March 25 2003

I did some estimations based on the expected military cost of the war, which the White House says is $95B

(with estimates as high as $1.92 trillion). This figure includes money required for humanitarian efforts in Iraq as a result of the war. I came up with some ideas of what could be done with the money instead, without thinking about whether the scenarios are fair or feasible. Just food for thought.

I estimate that 20 million people in the US are unemployed. You could give every single unemployed person in the US a check for $4750 if you distributed $95B evenly. The number rises if you take out the unemployed who are dependants, are so wealthy they don’t need jobs, or those who simply choose to be unemployed. If I were unemployed, $4750 would do a lot to help get me through to my next job.

If the average cost of a four year college degree is $50,000, you could send 1.9 million people to school.

If the average four bedroom, two bathroom house costs $275,000 (probably high, but I’m from California), 354,454 houses could be bought and given to homeless families. No matter how you look at the estimates, that would make a huge impact on homeless populations. (Interesting data on homeless estimations:

47.5 million computers could be purchased. Good computers. That’s enough computers to give a single computer to every kid in America from the age of 10 to 19 a computer, with several million to spare.

If the average fiction book costs $20, $95B could buy 19 books for every single person in America.

You could place a bag of about $10,000 in the center of every single square kilometer of land in the United States, just to see what happens.

You could cover every single bit of the country of Spain with a 3 inch layer of US Quarter Coins, each stack worth $7.00, 13 billion stacks in all.

I could go on all day. It’s your turn.