The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have certainly been costly in terms of lives lost, with thousands of U.S. military personnel dead, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans who have been killed. But the economic costs are far greater than most people imagine, with the combined operational costs for both wars approaching $1 trillion.
In groundbreaking research, Nobel Prize economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard researcher Linda Bilmes, calculated that many other present and future costs were not included in operational costs. The additional costs include:
* Paying interest on the debt, since all operations have been paid for with borrowed money
* Future medical costs which could soar to the tens of billions as severely wounded vets return from multiple tours of duty
* Added war costs to the Pentagon budget and costs to reset military equipment destroyed in the wars.
This breaks down to $720 million spent each day on Iraq only, or $500,000 per minute. The cost of sending one soldier to Afghanistan is $3 million per year when these additional costs are added.
Plus, close to 1.5 million Iraqi's murdered, millions more left homeless and millions more that have fled. Many are living in tents or some type of cardboard shack, living without electricity or drinking water.
Sewerage backs up and makes pools of disease in the streets, since the purification plants are still out of service or lack the parts to run properly. Or lacks electricity, which is still only available for a few hours a day to more for the lucky ones, up to eight hours a day in the broiling heat of Summer in Baghdad.
Can you imagine Americans trying to get by on less than 24 hours a day of electricity during a MidWest Summer?
Hundreds of thousands of Afghans murdered, with many, many more in our sights.
Here in the USA, our economy has been wrecked and close to 5,000 of our troops have been killed with hundreds of thousands wounded.
And for what?
What in the hell happened to our common sense and the ability to think for ourselves?
According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day (or 28 hours/week, or 2 months of nonstop TV-watching per year). In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube.
I. FAMILY LIFE
Percentage of households that possess at least one television: 99
Number of TV sets in the average U.S. household: 2.24
Percentage of U.S. homes with three or more TV sets: 66
Number of hours per day that TV is on in an average U.S. home: 6 hours, 47 minutes
Percentage of Americans that regularly watch television while eating dinner: 66
Number of hours of TV watched annually by Americans: 250 billion
Value of that time assuming an average wage of S5/hour: S1.25 trillion
Percentage of Americans who pay for cable TV: 56
Number of videos rented daily in the U.S.: 6 million
Number of public library items checked out daily: 3 million
Percentage of Americans who say they watch too much TV: 49
Approximate number of studies examining TV's effects on children: 4,000
Number of minutes per week that parents spend in meaningful
conversation with their children: 3.5
Number of minutes per week that the average child watches television: 1,680
Percentage of day care centers that use TV during a typical day: 70
Percentage of parents who would like to limit their children's TV watching: 73
Percentage of 4-6 year-olds who, when asked to choose between watching TV
and spending time with their fathers, preferred television: 54
Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900 hours
Hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1500
The average child will watch 8,000 murders on TV before finishing elementary school. By age eighteen, the average American has seen 200,000 acts of violence on TV, including 40,000 murders. At a meeting in Nashville, TN last July, Dr. John Nelson of the American Medical Association (an endorser of National TV-Turnoff Week) said that if 2,888 out of 3,000 studies show that TV violence is a casual factor in real-life mayhem, "it's a public health problem." The American Psychiatric Association addressed this problem in its endorsement of National TV-Turnoff Week, stating, "We have had a long-standing concern with the impact of television on behavior, especially among children."