THE HIGH PRICE OF IDEALISM. Joe Stiglitz says the Iraq War will cost about $1 trillion if you're optimistic. Jeff Sachs says that ending poverty worldwide would, if other countries followed America's lead, require US government expenditures of about $60 billion per year. Even if other countries refused to up their foreign aide in response to an America-led poverty-eradication campaign, it only would have cost about $130 billion a year.

In other words -- yes, Virginia, there are better ways of advancing global humanitarian goals than dropping huge quantities of high explosives. If you subcribe now, you'll get to read the long version of this argument in the print magazine in a few months.

--Matthew Yglesias

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