Friday, September 26, 2008

Make everybody in Philly a Scottish baron

For the price of the Iraq War, we could've made everybody in Philadelphia a Scottish baron.

In 2002, Sir Iain Noble offered to sell the Barony of MacDonald for one million pounds.  At current rates, one pound is worth $1.86.  Sir Iain, a merchant banker, had unwittingly acquired it as part of a land transaction 30 years before.  The Barony includes title to Knock Castle, which is currently in ruins.  

The population of Philadelphia is estimated at 1.45 million.  Buying every resident of Philadelphia a Scottish barony at Sir Iain's asking price would cost $2.70 trillion, which is less than Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes' estimate of $3 trillion for the cost of the Iraq War.