terça-feira, 15 de abril de 2008

Três milhões de milhões de dólares…

…de custos directos e indirectos, para os EUA, da guerra do Iraque, segundo as contas de Joseph E. Stiglitz. Para ler no último livro do autor (The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict, com Linda J. Bilmes, WW Norton, Março de 2008).
Para um balanço mais sintético pode sempre consultar, através da página de Stiglitz, o depoimento deste no Joint Economic Committee do Senado norte-americano, em 28 de Fevereiro de 2008. Cito, apenas, extractos das conclusões do depoimento:

“America is a rich country. The question is not whether we can afford to squander $3 trillion or $5 trillion. We can. But our strength will be sapped. We will be less prepared to meet challenges in the future, and there are huge opportunity costs. […] We worry about the inroads China is making in Africa—but our foreign aid budget in Africa amounts to but a few days fighting in Iraq. With a fraction of the amount spent on this war we could have had a new Marshall plan, which would have done so much to win the hearts and minds of those around the world. We have talked about the huge problem facing our social security system, putting into jeopardy the economic security of our elderly. But for a fraction of the cost of this war, we could have put Social Security on a sound footing for the next half century or more. // Economists are fond of saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch. It is also the case that there is no such thing as a free war. […] // The budgetary costs of this war have been huge. But the costs that go beyond the budget are at least as large, and the meter is still ticking. Every year of this war has seen the costs rise. […] Is it the best way to strengthen America’s capacity to meet future challenges, to promote democracy around the world, to help create the kind of world, here and abroad, that we would like our children to inherit? […] // Even a rich country ignores costs of this magnitude at its peril.”