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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Alert: Non-Jewishness Related Issue!

People want to talk about policy. Enough with "who's a Jew?", "who hates Jews?", and "who are the Jews who hate Jews?". (Great, now I'm going to come up in a Google search for "hate Jews". Please leave now and re-evaluate your life, Mr. Neo-Nazi.) I've got an issue.

I wrote about an issue which piqued my interest at RK to little notice and I've gotten into a bit of a dust up about it over at Bearing Drift.

In both debates this week, Allen sounds to me like he advocates nationalizing Iraq's oil industry and giving direct cash payments to the people. [From "Meet the Press" transcript. Emphasis mine.]
SEN. ALLEN: The other aspect of this that I've, I've asked Maliki, I've said it to Jafari and all the ministers, is the key for that country, for their economy is oil. And I think that their oil ought to be a national asset, and they ought to create something like the Alaska Permanent Fund where everybody in Iraq, regardless of where they live, regardless of their ethnicity, has a share in that oil. They'll care about building up the oil capacity, upgrading it-and they'll certainly care about anybody who'’s blowing up the pipelines, because that would be money out of their pockets. Alaska they get a dividend. Every citizen ought to get a dividend in Iraq as well.
Some of you out there delight in calling people socialists. What would you call someone who advocates this policy? It sounds pretty damn socialist to me, except Allen wants direct cash payments to the people (never mind that this is hardlfeasiblele - as a commenter on RK pointed out). This would be wealth redistribution without the veneer of social programs like healthcare and education.

So, you want to debate policy? Tell me why this isn't socialism. And, if you do think it's a good idea, tell me why. Personally, I think it would be a dreadful idea because nationalization of industry has been shown to dissuade foreign investment, particularly in infrastructure. As infrastructure investment is something that Iraq desperately needs right now, I would like to know how this plan will help?

If we want to move away from all the recent bull$#!#, this is how we start.

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Comments on "Alert: Non-Jewishness Related Issue!"

 

Blogger JPTERP said ... (3:27 PM) : 

Interesting question.

The fact that the state controls production and delivery of the oil makes this component of the plan socialist.

It's my understanding that even in Alaska we have private companies competing for the delivery of the oil.

In theory though I actually agree with George Allen that this would be a great idea. The oil that sits under the ground is in many ways like an inheritance--so this isn't a pure case of economic redistribution.

If we'd told ordinary Iraqis about this in 2003, maybe some would have agreed with this idea. Now, I think most would simply laugh in the face of the person who suggests the idea.

My quick summary would be: Interesting plan, extremely difficult to implement, not going to solve the issue of a looming civil war.

This is a little bit off-topic, but as far as the underlying assumptions go:

Whether a plan is closer to a purely capitalistic, or purely socialistic approach I see as mostly irrelevent. Neither a purely capitalistic approach (unregulated markets, allowance of monopolies), nor a purely socialistic approach (state controlled industries, no private property) is sustainable over the long haul. All of the world's major economic powerhouses--including the U.S.--have economic systems that combine capitalistic and socialistic elements.

 

Blogger Robb said ... (3:32 PM) : 

Great points, and I agree about the mix of capitalism and socialism.

The reason I think the socialism angle is relevant is because Allen, as I understand it, is a free-market conservative. I find this to be at odds with his plan for Iraqi oil.

Thanks for commenting. I'm glad I'm not the only one that finds this interesting.

 

Blogger JPTERP said ... (4:12 PM) : 

Glad to comment. Thanks for the substantive discussion topic.

You're right that Allen as a self-proclaimed free-market conservative should have reservations about a state run oil industry. He's being inconsistent on that point.

By any traditional measure Allen isn't a fiscal conservative either (just look at our almost $10 trillion dollar national debt--$6 trillion of which has accumulated since 2000--Allen has signed on to this economic policy 100% of the time).

As far as being a "free-market" conservative what kind of "free market" conservatives favors selective tariffs or subsidies?

Certainly as it relates to the U.S. oil industry subsidies Allen is being hypocritical.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:13 PM) : 

Glad to comment. Thanks for the substantive discussion topic.

You're right that Allen as a self-proclaimed free-market conservative should have reservations about a state run oil industry. He's being inconsistent on that point.

By any traditional measure Allen isn't a fiscal conservative either (just look

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:19 PM) : 

George Allen's ideas are really funny. I particularly liked his idea to cede all of washington DC (excpet the federal buidlings) to Maryland in order to NOT give DC one vote in the House of Delegates.

George is either ignorant or playing dumb...the fact is that Iraqi's oil is under the management of private oil interests at this time...of course this is "US policy" and one of the many reasons 92$ of the Iraqi people want the US OUT of Iran. It was a war for oil corporations and others.

Ask the Iraqi farmer how he likes the new law MAKING him purchase Mondanto's seeds to plant crops...and making it illegal to use his own seeds as the farmer has done his whole life?

Yeah...that's right they all hate us for our freedoms....If you beliee that one you're probably voting for Allen....

 

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