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Baghdadee بغدادي

neo-liberal economics and the new Iraq

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Hi all,

I'm a blue collar worker in America, a union blue collar worker.


You have a great discussion on democracy and constitution at the "Shia Reaction" thread, but if it is possible would any Iraqis like to share their thoughts on industry, trade, labor, foreign ownership, and privatization in Iraq.


Here is a link to an article that talks about some of these subjects


The War on Iraq's Workers



some parts........


Iraqi workers need a raise - desperately. For six months, they've been paid at an emergency level dictated by the US occupation authority, known as the Coalition Provisional Authority, or CPA. Most workers get $60/month, a small percentage $120, and a tiny minority (mostly administrators and managers) $180. This is the same wage scale that prevailed under the last few years of the Saddam Hussein regime.


One worker at the General State Leather Industry Factory, the largest shoe factory in the Middle East, says she supports six people in her family with the emergency payment. With unemployment still at catastrophic levels, every working Iraqi is supporting many other people at home. As she explains her situation, she's surrounded by four other seamstresses, each wearing a hejab and worn tan tunic over their clothes. They stand protectively around her while she speaks for all of them. "The prices of food and clothing are going up rapidly, and the salary is very low. We work hard, and I've been here 10 years. I have to have a raise," she pleads.




In an October 8 phone press conference, Thomas Foley, director for private sector development for the CPA, announced a list of the first state enterprises to be sold off, including cement and fertilizer plants, phosphate and sulfur mines, pharmaceutical factories and the country's airline. Foley described his goal as a "fully thriving capitalist economy." On September 19 the CPA published Order No. 39, which permits 100% foreign ownership of businesses, except for the oil industry, and allows repatriation of profits. No. 37 suspends income and property taxes for the year, and limits taxes on individuals and corporations in the future to 15%.





It's a long article in English, but there are some historical points in it and I' m curious about it's accuracy.




also is this a good translator?





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Let me tell this story that I heard recently from my sister. She is a 53 years Iraqi, library woman at one of Baghdad's high schools with about thirty years work experience for the Iraqi government.

Over the last ten years , her salary was about average of 5 US $ PER MONTH!!. Now . after months of liberation, she is getting about 150$ . She is extremly happy.

When I asked her about her living, she told me a story that might be good to mention under this article

In the school that she is working at , there is still some Baathists teachers who are still loyal to Saddam and keep dreaming of those old days that they were the only good citizens!.. One of them approached her wondering "why you are so happy with your salary at a time the Americans are steeling your money , you should get at least trible what you are getting!"

My sister immediately replied " OH, Yah! how much then your uncle had stolen paying us 5 $ a month?"


I am wondering how long the writer of the article had waited to tell us about what the Iraqis should be paid??


دعني اخبرك هذه القصه التي سمعتها مؤخرا من اختي. انها في 53 من العمر , عراقيه تعمل امينه مكتبه في احدى المادرس التانويه في بغداد ولديها خدمه تقارب الثلاثين سنه. في الحكومه.

خلال العشره سنوات الماضيه كان معدل راتبها الشهري لايتجاوز خمسه دولار .الان وبعد اشهر من التحرير, تقبض حوالي 150

دولار.وهي مسروره جدا.

عندما سالتها عن وضعها المعاشي حاليا. اخبرتني قصه حصلت معها من المفيد ذكرها تحت هذا العمود.

في المدرسه التي تعمل بها لا زال هناك بعض البعثيات ممن لا زلن يحلمن بعوده الزمن الى الوراء ايام كن المواطنات الصالحات الوحيدات!!

احداهن اقتربت منها متعجبه" لماذا انت فرحه بهذا الراتب بينما الامريكان يسروقن راتيك. انك تستحقين على الاقل ثلاثه اضعافه" اجابتها اختي مباشره " ها! لعد شكد باك عمج منا ؟"


انا اتسال كم من الزمن انتظر كاتب المقال لكي يخبرنا كم يجب ان يقبض العراقي؟

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that is good news to hear, so is it safe to assume that the Baathists were getting paid better then she "back in the day".


also I found reference to to better pay here....


Life in battened-down Baghdad :Self-preservation U.S. soldiers' goal



The new normal, in Baghdad at least, includes a measurably greater affluence — government salaries for everyone from street sweepers to school teachers are up significantly over Saddam-era rates, and signs of what is now the most freewheeling economy in the Arab world abound.


An estimated 250,000 cars have been added to Iraqi streets, imported duty-free at bargain rates and fitted with black licence plates to denote that someday, when a real Iraqi government emerges, they'll be subject to proper registration.



but as baghda reports


The grocery prices to 3 to 4 times, also for propane and kerosene, you need to go through a very long queue to get gas.



so inflation is becoming a factor.

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