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Foreign Aid Not Needed To Rebuild Iraq

Tue Apr 15, 2003 1:36 am

After all the news coverage I've seen of Saddam's extravagant palaces, the Baath party members' elaborate residences, and now a cache of multi-million dollar collectors' cars discovered in Baghdad, I've come to the conclusion Iraq doesn't need foreign dollars for reconstruction. The coalition should just seize all the goods and sell them. Some of those cars are worth $10,000,000 - the value of one Rolls-Royce from that collection could make a big difference for the Iraqi people. And if Saddam's palaces are stripped of furnishings and fittings - gold, marble, etc. - the money from those could be used to help Iraq as well.

It's time the Iraqi people got to benefit from Saddam's wealth direction. Any thoughs on this one?  Big grin
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RE: Foreign Aid Not Needed To Rebuild Iraq

Tue Apr 15, 2003 1:52 am

Oh, but you don't understand. Haliburton needs funding from the federal government. If the present administration spends billions in Iraq, it can funnel money back to the corporations that bankrolled the 2000 and 2002 elections.

That's why we had a war in the first place.

To the victors go the spoils.
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RE: Foreign Aid Not Needed To Rebuild Iraq

Tue Apr 15, 2003 2:27 am

Mbmbos, your intestinal tract appears to be operating in reverse.

The issue is liquidity. While Iraq is rich in natural resources, and there are quite a few treasures hidden away (those that haven't been looted), you can't just dump all that on the world market and expect to get your money's worth.

As far as oil is concerned, their pumping capacity as I recall is about 4 million barrels per day, of which they were using some 60% before the war. 4 million barrels times 365 days in a year, times $28 per barrel (roughly the current price) would provide somewhere around $40 billion dollars per year. With a population of some 25 million people, that is only $1,600 per person per year. Iraq doesn't really produce much else. And a lot of that money has to go to essential spending, like food and medicines.

After all the years Saddam was in power, and spent a huge portion of that oil money on palaces, armies, etc, and spending as little as he could get away with on essential spending, combined with the sanctions, it's not surprising that Iraq needs a huge amount of what we would call "discretionary spending". This type of spending is to improve infrastructure, which would allow Iraq to expand its economy, not just survive. With proper infrastructure, factories can get their goods to market, efficiency is greater, increasing profitability which increases investment capacity which increases investment which increases employment which increases salaries which increases tax revenue which increase capacity for discretionary spending and around the circle we go again (whew!)

Just the oil fields need many billions of dollars of investment, just to repair the many years of neglect they suffered. The fittings leak, a lot of the oil ends up on the ground, and techniques employed to date employ too much energy, etc.

So Iraq could in fact go it alone as of now, but it will take them 30 or 40 years to fix things up enough to be able to call themselves a semi-modern economy. That is a lot of time for religious fundamentalists or would-be dictators to seize power again. Such people do not gain power in a prosperous or fast-growing economy, in general. Such things generally rise out of misery. So if we want to avoid all this effort going to waste, you need to make sure that Iraq starts rebuilding as fast as possible.

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