Osama bin Ladin - America's Mr. Brownstone
Just got compelled to write something political last week so rip me apart or ignore if you wish.
I saw a Yahoo article the other day about the cost of bin Laden on America over the past 15 years. He has cost us $3 trillion (see below)
Of course I am ecstatic that he is gone, a truly well deserved ending. Additionally back in 2001 I was very much in support of our efforts in Afghanistan. But unfortunately we as a nation, through poor choices, have not yielded the types of benefits that have historically come from great national efforts from the past. In the past our greatest national challenges and often tragedies have yielded our greatest periods of advancement.
The horrors of the Civil War and WWI yielded great advances in technology, catapulting the US into leadership in the industrial age. At the end of WWII the US stood as the leading Superpower for Democracy. The Great Depression yielded many of the public works that we enjoy today. The 50's yielded the interstate highway system. The Space Race yielded immense technological advances. Even the energy from the anti-War effort against Vietnam, I believe, produced added inertia for the Civil Rights movement (and of course some great music). Winning the Cold War led to advances in military technology that yielded advances in information technology. All national challenges where tragedy yielded a benefit for future generations.
But sadly, as I look back I don't see the residual benefit of our $3 trillion. Again, glad bin Laden is gone - disappointed that our efforts are not advancing our lives. So just like Steve Tyler snorting $20 million in drugs up his nose over his life I feel a lot of that $3 trillion is just down the drain. I will only hope that I have missed some advances that may be occurring in alternative fuels, perhaps advances in understanding military intelligence in the 21st century that may trickle down to advances in communication. So fare though I am saying that bin Laden is our Mr. Brownstone a very costly and useless drug.
Our money gone and left with crumbling infrastructure, little debt capacity for needed research, and debt service as a percentage of GDP at very troubling levels.