Thursday, December 29, 2005

Nice point

Good, point, Rodger. I saw the same statistics in Newsweek in a doctor's office waiting room today. One stat was about automobiles - that the number of cars has increased since the invasion, if I remember right, something like almost twofold (sorry for the faint-memory estimate). Now, what would account for that? And why?
Earlier today, I read a story in Newsweek that included a graphic noting some good news from Iraq. Unfortunately, I cannot find a link to the paper version I was reading. You'll have to trust me.

The claimed fact: in the past few years, Iraq's economy has increased nearly 50%. It went from about $20 billion to around $30 billion.

Should we be pleased?

First, note that the US government estimates Iraq's 2005 economy at closer to $25 billion, so the stats may have been wrong.

Second, the US is reportedly planning to spend at least $50 billion in Iraq in 2006. Thus, this doesn't seem like such good news. How can the US spend nearly double Iraq's economy -- and not make even more of a difference in the size of Iraq's economy? In less than three, years, the US has already spent nearly $230 billion.
UPDATE (11:04am, Dec. 30th):
Long lines formed at gas stations in Baghdad on Friday as word spread that Iraq's largest oil refinery had shut down in the face of threats against truck drivers, and fears grew of a gas shortage.


troutsky said...

I dont think they actually SPEND the money IN Iraq, they spend it on Iraq.The profit, the jobs and the secondary effects all benefit the war profiteering nations doing the supplying.Sure, they hire some Iraqis, but in the new parlance, most of it is "outsourced".

Rodger said...

Absolutely right, troutsky, but you'd think after $80 billion per year, some of that loot would have "trickled down" to a few more Iraqi middlemen.

Then again, even Chalabi and his cronies probably put their take in western banks.