The Real Price of War: How You Pay for the War on Terror

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The Real Price of War breaks down billion-dollar government expenditures into the prices individual Americans are paying through their taxes. Goldstein estimates that the average American household currently pays $500 each month to finance war. Beyond the dollars that finance military operations and increased security within the United States, the War on Terror also costs America in less tangible ways, including lost lives, reduced revenue from international travelers, and budget pressures on local governments.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A scholar at Brown University offers this compact and cogent study of the costs of the war on terror and how to meet them more effectively. At the present time, the costs of the war, as stated by the administration, are being met through regressive taxes, budget cuts at all levels, inflation and deficit spending. The historical narrative of how these methods have worked (or not worked) in the past is integrated with this section of the book at a level suitable for the lay reader. The author emphasizes that a mood of national commitment and self-sacrifice was there to be drawn on in WWII and immediately after 9/11. But the Bush administration's desire to have both a tax cut and the war on terror has led to failure to rally the nation and underfunding areas like veterans' programs and foreign aid, giving a strong impression abroad of a lack of national will. Goldstein suggests that rescinding the last tax cuts is a good starting point for a national and even international rallying, one that will keep the war on terror from dragging on as long as the Thirty Years' War. In attempting to face facts as he sees them, Goldstein makes a fine example of a nonideologue at work. Agent, Fredrica S. Friedman. (Sept.) Forecast: With the war's cost being made an issue by the Kerry campaign, look for Goldstein on the political talk shows; if he gets picked up by primetime, the book will sell accordingly. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Goldstein (Watson Inst. of International Studies, Brown Univ.) is not an economist but a political scientist who takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of war. Here he argues that the war on terrorism is much more expensive than we have been told and that we must spend more now to win it quickly or we will pay far more in the future to do so. In his review of the costs of war, Goldstein includes actual government expenditures, the indirect costs to private businesses, and the costs to society in lost opportunities. He estimates that the real cost of the war for the average household one with an income between $50,000 and $100,000 a year is $500 a month and that the total cost to the country is $600 billion a year. Yet Goldstein contends that we must spend more to cover military actions, improved homeland security, and programs in foreign aid and reconstruction, e.g., targeting areas of poverty abroad (the breeding ground of terrorists). Economists might take issue with his calculations, while others will suggest that his demands are politically unrealistic. The question remains, What price are we willing to pay to preserve our way of life? Recommended for all public libraries. Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“Goldstein does an admirable job in breaking down current war costs and who we pay them.”
-Jewish Herald-Voice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814731628
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Joshua S. Goldstein, is an associate of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University and a leading expert on war. His books include International Relations and War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa. He lives in Amherst, MA.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I Government spending
1 What does war cost? 11
2 Taxes 23
3 Budget cuts 38
4 Debt 57
Pt. II Broader economic effects
5 Inflation 75
6 Business under stress 88
7 Profit and loss in wartime 107
Pt. III Future costs and how we divide them
8 The price of failure 127
9 A war without sacrifice? 147
10 Sharing the burden 162
11 Pay to win 178
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