Sunday, September 21, 2008

Buy the cranberry harvests of the next ten thousand years

For the price of the Iraq War, we could've bought all the cranberries produced for the next ten thousand years.  

The UN estimates that global cranberry production in 2005 came to 372,000 metric tons, worth a total value of $165 million at 2001 prices.  Adjusting for inflation, this is $204 million at 2008 prices.  Assuming a constant rate of production, buying all the cranberries in the world for the next ten thousand years would cost $2.04 trillion, which is less than Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes' estimate of $3 trillion for the cost of the Iraq War.