Article Review

Posted: September 6, 2010 in Social Studies 10

The article I have chosen to review is about the economic reality of war.  It is an analysis of a speech by President Barack Obama.  The speech was describing the way the War on Terror was effecting the US economy, and as a result the world economy.  The article is saying that the war needs to end and the troops need to return to aid in bettering America economically.  “It was clearly an awkward transition, mainly because Americans are simply not comfortable making hard choices between buying Humvees for soldiers and paying Grandma’s nursing home bills.”  The main trade-off involved is having more young Americans fighting in the Middle East instead of helping the country benefit economically by joining the work force.  It shows how people were going to have to allocate more of their tax money to the military, and cannot use that money to pay for personal things, in this example the grandmother.  This also describes the opportunity cost.  A direct quote from the article reads, “More than 1 million Americans have served in Iraq, all in the prime of their lives. What could they have contributed to our economic security and productivity if we had not had them otherwise engaged?”  The opportunity cost of the War on Terror is to keep the one million people in America and have them help the economy by working and buying.  The opportunity cost in this situation is much more dangerous than the one we used as an example in class.  In the example we used different ways to allocate a chocolate bar, in this case it’s the allocation of human lives that had to be decided.  It is situations like this that require advanced decision-making.  The leaders probably used some form of P.A.C.E.D to come to that conclusion, although their technique was likely much more advanced than the version of P.A.C.E.D we used in class.  They certainly considered alternatives and applied criteria to their options.

I chose this article because I am American and it discusses my government’s spending.  Due to the USA’s status as the sole superpower left on Earth the investment in it militarily effects everyone, but it has a more direct effect on me.  My parents must pay for the war in the Middle East and if the war is still being fought when I am no longer a minor, then I will have to pay for it as well.


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