The Flinchum File

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The Value of Indirect Costs

Dr. Joseph Stiglitz is a Nobel Prize winning economist, who has opened discussion on a number of interesting subjects.  One is how to measure the cost of war.

There are direct costs, such as the price of bullets and other armaments, plus transportation costs of soldiers & equipment to the war zone, plus the salaries of the soldiers, plus any survivor benefits to families of dead soldiers, etc.

There are also indirect costs.  What about the long-term costs of injured soldiers?  What about taxes never paid by dead soldiers?  Is there really no cost to children growing up without a father?

At one point, Stiglitz estimated the cost of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at $3.5 TRILLION.  Ukraine is a much more developed country than either Iraq or Afghanistan, and I suspect the cost of rebuilding Ukraine will be much, much more costly than replacing mud huts in the desert.

Even though the U.S. is not a direct combatant in Putin’s War, I expect it will cost the West even more than the combined cost of Iraq and Afghanistan.