What was the cost of the Cold War to the average citizen?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The costs of the Cold War are not something that can be quantified.  There were some costs that were monetary.  These were the costs of the taxes that were required to keep up the huge American military machine that the Cold War demanded.  However, many of the costs were psychological.  These were costs in the form of fear and anxiety. They were the costs incurred by people who were afraid of nuclear war.  They were the costs incurred by people who had to avoid acting "strangely" so they would not be caught up in the anticommunism of the McCarthy Era.  These psychological costs were much greater than the actual monetary costs.