Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Give everyone in Georgia and the Carolinas an annual vacation in Hawaii

For the price of the Iraq War, we could've given every resident of the Carolinas and Georgia a vacation in Hawaii each year of their lives.

The state of Georgia has a population of 9.54 million, while North Carolina has 9.06 million and South Carolina has 4.41 million.  Assuming a life expectancy of 75 years, giving them a vacation each year would involve 1.73 billion vacations.  A trip from Los Angeles to Kauai with five nights' stay at the four-star Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach costs $923 per person, and the addition of airfare from Atlanta to LA costs $345.  Giving each of these people an annual five-night vacation in Hawaii would cost $2.19 trillion, $810 billion less than less than Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes' estimate of $3 trillion for the total cost of the Iraq War.