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Baghdadee بغدادي
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Leifur

Iraq a rental state or a economic powerhouse?

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Hello dear proud Iraqis, I am a foreigner who is very interested in the developments in your great country, pleace answer few of my questions and give a feedback on my ideas. I have been posting similar ideas on this thread now, as it seems MR. Chalabi has been talking about as can be seen here abowe.

 

Have his ideas been implemented in any way, are they popular among the Iraqi people and is there any change the ideas will be implemented?

 

Now I understand that he was not part of the slate that was most succesful in the least election like last time, is there any change he will be in position to see his ideas through in the new government, or any one else that has similar ideas?

 

How do you beliewe the new government will distribute and use the oil fees? Is the central government that has the power over the oil money or do the local governments of the municipialities or cities or such have any power over that money?

 

Pleace answer my questions, getting information about the situation in Iraq is harder than it should be.

 

There is one more question, that I would like to know, that is how is the current pension system in Iraq and is it the same as during Saddam´s reign? How is that system? Do everybody get pensions from the government, or do people have to be responsible for their own money when they stop working because of old age? Do companies in Iraq generally pay pension or do people generally put aside small amount of every paycheck to use when they stop working?

 

If there is no offical pension system in Iraq or there was not under Saddam, pleace listen and then comment on my idea for such a system in Iraq. In many western countries pension is becoming one of the worst problems their governments face, but it is a problem most politicians don´t want to face because of how unpopular the neccasery changes are.

 

My country, Iceland, and the oil rich country Norway are not facing the same problems as most other european countries because we do not have a pay-as-you-go system that is becoming a heavy burden on countries like Germany, France and strangely enough the US.

 

Norway´s pension system is like I have mentioned here before something the Iraqi people could learn a lot from, as they divert most of their oil wealth into a huge fund that pays peoples pensions when they stop working.

 

Strangely enough their funds are not as big as my countries (relatively speaking when population is taken into account) pension funds, even though we don´t have any oil or other kinds of natural resources (except fish wich the Norweegians have a lot of too), our system is about saving for old age, that is we pay into funds our whole life a portion of our monthly wages, and when we become old we draw those money back, wich in the meantime has grown by investments.

 

I beliewe the UK system is similar although I beliewe it is a little more individualistic in the sense that those pension funds are not cooperatively owned like here in Iceland. Actually we and even norway are going more into such privately owned pension accounts on top of the bigger collectively owned ones (here) and publicly owned (in Norway) similar to the Chilean pension system, often considered the world´s best.

 

I am talking about this because I beliewe the Iraqi people should learn from the best and most succesful nations because they are destined to be so too. And by learning from my country, from Norway and most importantly from Chile, Iraq could find a way to prevent one of the biggest problems facing many countries today and finding a way to return the oil wealth to the people of Iraq withouth the politicians getting to much power over them, thus hindering corruption and making the government more accountable to the people instead of become again subject to the resource curse befalling most oil rich countries, most notably Iraq´s neighbours.

 

So my idea is to take the best pieces from each of those system and my conclusion is this:

 

Iraq´s oil wealth should be split between all citisens of Iraq living in the country (to ensure the return of those living in the diaspora) monthly, before the governments (central and local) can have acces to the money. Then the money would be put into pension accounts on the name of each Iraqi to be saved and invested by the bank and investment corporation of the recipent´s choosing, but before the money would hit the account the government would be allowed to tax that amount as any other income of the individual, but the people would get a monthly update from the bank on how much he owns in the bank, how much he got and how much the government took of it (thus making the government accountable) and how much interests the bank is giving him on his investments.

 

As many Iraqis do not have any fixed income because of high unemployment there should be no limitations on them to take the money out of the bank, but they should be encouraged not to do so by making it clear they will not get any other pensions than this money and others they put aside into that account of their wages (those that have work) over their working life.

 

The oil will thus ensure the stability and prosperity of Iraq instead of beeing a curse, by creating savings that will encourage investments and the development of the Iraqi economy, it will in this way make it clear to each Iraqi how much money the government is spending and thus help him to question how good work the politicans are doing like people in countries that do not have such enormous natural resources can do by comparing their taxes with the services the government is providing with that money. But maybe most importantly it will ensure the good care of the poor Iraqis of today and the old now and in the future withouth having them dependant on the government.

 

The development of such a system is though of course a little more complicated if Iraq has allready a pension system, but changing from one to another is not impossible although it should not be done in a haste, but slowly so nobody will be left cheated of his rights.

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Guest moron99

as long as oil is the primary component of the economy, Iraq will suffer. In any nation or culture there is an endless supply of people wishing to become a dictator. If the economy is dependant upon oil, then anyone who achieves control of the government will also achieve control of the finances required to keep themselves in power - with or without the approval of the people. An oil based economy is destined to devolve into an authoritarian state - which in turn is destined to devolve into oppression as the authorities use the state resources to maintain power.

 

The key to breaking this cycle does not lie in the distribution of oil revenue. The first thing a dictator will do is change said distribution so that it can not threaten his power. The key is to make the merchant economy much stronger than the oil economy. To do so requires innovation. Economic growth is built on innovative products, innovative financing, innovative labor, innovative transportation, innovative marketing. etc. etc. Innovation however, is not static. It is dynamic and relative to competitors. In order to flourish you must not only be innovative, you must be more innovative than other competing nations and you must sustain the innovation for as long as you wish to compete. In the global economy, the required level of innovation is very high. Even the slightest impediment can be a fatal handicap.

 

So how does one create innovation? One does not. You must create an environment that encourages, nurtures, and rewards innovators. The foundation upon which such an environment is built is tolerance. Tolerance of ideas. Tolerance of lifestyle. Tolerance of religion. Tolerance of political beliefs. Tolerance, tolerance, tolerance. The more a society encourages people to be unique and to express themselves then the more innovation its economy will reap. There are other ways, but a culture of tolerance is the only way I can think of to sustain innovation across multiple decades. Thus, I would say that until Iraq makes concerted effort to stamp out intolerance then it will slowly devolve towards another authoritarian state. Vive la difference!

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