financialization

Conservative Rule Costs U.S. $27 trillion

Originally published: 2008-12-22 18:38:14 -1000. Promoted by Roxy.

Is there a way to actually place a dollar amount on how much conservative rule has cost America? Stirling Newberry has offered a “back of the envelope” estimate of the costs of four consequences of conservative rule the past 28 years:

over-financialization of the American economy, the waste of privatized health care, over militarization of the American economy, and the externalization of global warming.

The total cost of conservative rule, in today’s dollars, is a staggering $27 trillion, nearly twice the total output of the entire U.S. economy. Newberry uses a 15-year time frame, because that is the time frame former Bush White House economist Lawrence Lindsey used in a retrospective look at the costs of the Iraq War, in his early 2008 book, What a President Should Know ... but Most Learn Too Late. Lindsey, in case you forgot, ignited a storm inside the White House back before the invasion of Iraq, when he estimated that a war with Iraq would cost $100 billion to $200 billion. Karl Rove and his wunderkind were dismayed and outraged that Lindsey would float such a “preposterously” high number, and Lindsey was shown the door just a few weeks later. Of course, Bush did go into Iraq, and burned through $200 billion is just over a year. That was nearly six years ago, and we now know that Lindsey’s estimate was preposterously low, and can now count the cost in trillions, rather than hundreds of billions.