Opportunity Cost and Trade-offs

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The essay Iraq Opportunity Costs: What America Might Have Had If It Had Never Invaded looks at the economic consequences of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. The paper, written by Thompson, contends that the war undermined the US economy by failing to accomplish its desired outcome. America's economic cost as a result of the war represents an unfair tradeoff. According to Thompson, “the estimated expense of the Iraq war for the United States government from the 2003 invasion until the close of fiscal 2014 is $1.7 trillion in today's dollars.” Thompson indicates that the costs of opportunity in the war would have significantly augmented the American economy. Some of the opportunity costs borne by the US as a result of the war include a 50% tax cut for corporates. The initiative would have enabled the growth of the corporations and further facilitated accelerated job creation. The next opportunity costs is manifested by the missed opportunity to boost the nation’s infrastructures given that the funds to sustain the troops in Iraq. The war in Iraq further hampered America’s ability to expand its colony in mars. The expansion of the colony would have allowed an opportunity for increased resources and untapped economic opportunities in the setting. The war further hindered the expansion of the Medicaid services which resulted in the Obamacare. Essentially, the article suggests that despite the effectiveness of the policy in expanding health benefits to Americans, it is unpopular.

The topic is relevant to the economy since it offers insights into the immensity of reflections on the opportunity cost and trade-offs in the economy. Principally, each decision that is undertaken in the US with regards to the economy, should be predicated on the analysis of the opportunity cost and the trade-offs involved in the initiative. Each decision that affects the economy should be inclined to the provision of maximum benefits to the citizens. War has a detrimental effect on the economy. Before war is ratified, it is necessary to assess and determine the economic burdens that will be borne if the decision is sanctioned. Thompson’s analysis on the benefits that could have been derived had the Iraq war been avoided, demands that each of the decisions affecting the American nation be based on the economic implications that the citizens will have to contend with.

Opportunity cost comprises an essential element of today’s society. Each economic decision is a trade-off. For instance, if a country chooses to go to war, it loses out on the finances that would have been used for other productive activities. The opportunity cost thus becomes the lost opportunity to streamline productivity. Economic leaders ought to ensure the trade-off does mot outweigh the current initiative. Economic policies should be committed to the mitigation of the effects of the opportunity costs that result from given economic activities. Alternatively, detractors of the engagement of the assessment of opportunity cost as the metric by which economic decisions are ratified contend that it may negate economic progress. Ultimately, there will be an opportunity cost to each decision that affects the economy. Twenty years from now, the effects of the war will still be felt given the hampered rate of growth in the US. Alternatively, the stagnant Iraq economy, which will continue to beleaguer the people of Iraq, will be blamed on the US’ actions.

Work Cited

Thompson, Loren. “Iraq Opportunity Costs: What America Could Have Had If It Never Invaded”. Forbes, Jun. 2014, https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2014/06/27/iraq-opportunity-costs-what-america-could-have-had-if-it-never-invaded/#2d3c208c773a. Accessed 20 Sep. 2017.

November 09, 2022

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