Sunday, June 12, 2005

Where did all the money go? 

Once in a while some clown in the Venezuelan opposition will pose the question of what has the Venezuelan government done with the oil windfall. Of course, this is a politically motivated and ridiculous question. What the Venezuelan government has done with the money is obvious; it has implemented social programs that have trememdously boosted the poor’s stanard of living, it has carried out large scale public works projects such as building new subway lines, bridges, and hydroelectric plants, and lastly it has gotten the economy to recover from the damage inflicted on it by opposition sabotage.

Nevertheless, the question of where all the money has gone is a good one – its just that they are applying it to the wrong country. The place where that question should be posed is Iraq. After all the U.S. has spent over $200 billion dollars there, Iraq is exporting about 1.5 million barrels of oil daily at $50 a barrel, and other countries have donated money. With all this you would think the country would at least have decent infrastructure and your average Iraqi would be able to live at least somewhat comfortably.

Appearently not. Here is an exerpt from an article on conditions in Baghdad:

"Sometimes we don't have any water at all, let alone drinking water. We are using generators to pump out the water, but we only have electricity about one hour out of six," Mahmud said.

"When the power comes on, the whole of Sadr City flicks on the pumps. You might get water, you might not."

Until US troops entered Baghdad two years ago, the neighbourhood was Saddam City.

Despite the name change, nothing has changed in terms of the quality of life, Mahmud said.

The rest of the article can be read here. A word to the wise, don’t read this article while eating.

So lets see, hundreds of billions of dollars spent and according to this poor soul nothing has changed in terms of quality of life. Four hours of electricity a day and water that reeks of sewage. And then they wonder why there is an armed rebellion.


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