For those who believe that the paltry billions submissively appropriated by Congress come close to covering the costs of the Iraq war, this tract offers powerful revelations. Although The Three Trillion Dollar War was written by two sophisticated economists—Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Columbia professor and Nobel Prize winner, and Linda J. Bilmes, a professor of public finance at Harvard—its conclusions are simple enough. According to the authors, the war in Iraq (with Afghanistan thrown in) will ultimately cost the United States, in government expenditures alone, between $2.3 trillion (“best case”) and $3.5 trillion (“moderate realistic”), even in the event of a reasonably prompt withdrawal. Deferred costs, such as interest payments on the accumulated war debt and the looming expense of caring for discharged veterans, who may eventually number a million, are just starting to weigh in. Conceding that these amounts will not bankrupt the U.S. (the country spends three trillion in the annual budget without undue strain), the authors insist that the expenditures will be a dead weight on whatever the nation seeks to accomplish going forward. Indeed, Stiglitz and Bilmes predict that our Iraq and Afghanistan wars will end up being more expensive than any previous American conflict except World War II. Primarily, they argue for the realism that has been avoided by the present administration, and for an understanding that “there is no free lunch, and there are no free wars.”
09:00 AM - April 29, 2008
Short reviews of books about Tarbell’s muckraking, the cost of war, and that headless body in a topless bar
‘See you on the other side’ - Meet Jessica Lum, a terminally ill 25-year-old who chose to spend what little time she had practicing journalism
#Realtalk: This is the best moment to be in journalism - The old stuff isn’t coming back, but that’s okay
Streams of consciousness - Millennials expect a steady diet of quick-hit, social-media-mediated bits and bytes. What does that mean for journalism?
Sticking with the truth - How ‘balanced’ coverage helped sustain the bogus claim that childhood vaccines can cause autism
An ink-stained stretch - Can Aaron Kushner save the Orange County Register—and the newspaper industry?
Inside Google’s secret lab
We might deplore the practice, but posting pictures of our food online is a way to bring everyone to the table
“Every time the restaurant switched up its format, it got plenty of accompanying media coverage that let judges know they needed to return to see what was going on”
David Foster Wallace’s 2005 Kenyon commencement speech as a short film
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.