Glenn is a big fan of possible plans to share the revenue from Iraqi oil sales with every Iraqi citizen in a sort of "dividend" program, but I'm not convinced.

As a hypothetical scanario, what if every Iraqi is paid $1000 per year as their share of the oil wealth? First, that would grossly undermine the value of the currency, since such payments would be higher than the average Iraqi income. (The CIA gives 2001 Iraq a per capita GDP of $2500, but I suspect the median income is far less.) Would such payments really increase buying power of the recipients? I'm not an economist, but it seems to me that that it would simply raise numerical wealth.

Secondly, the proposal is very socialist at heart. I understand and sympathize with the inclination to allow "ordinary" Iraqis to share in the oil wealth that was for so long used purely for the enrichment of Saddam's thugocracy, but it seems clear that the best way to accomplish this goal is to privatize the oil industry and then allow shares to be publically traded within a free market.



Email blogmasterofnoneATgmailDOTcom for text link and key word rates.

Site Info