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September 22, 2005

Sir Simon Jenkins.

Does the Gallant Knight know any economics at all? Or is it a pre-requisite at the Guardian to be ignorant of the subject?

Iraq is, after all, one of the richest nations on earth.

Hunh? GDP per capita is around the $2000 mark. Per annum. 165th on a list of, umm, 238.

But wait, I hear the cry, what about the oil! What about the wealth (not income) from that! Well, yes, what about it? Have a look here. (Start at page 171.)

Even if we, absurdly, assume that all of the oil (around 100 billion barrels) costs nothing to produce, is all sold at the current $60 per b ish, apply a 0% discount rate...

$6 trillion in wealth. Over 29 million people. Somewhere around the level of Portugal. $200,000 per head.

Halve that number to be more realistic (discount rates and costs etc) and somewhere between Hungary/Brazil and Uruguay/Argentina. Nice places all but we don’t refer to  them as the richest nations on earth.

"Rich" meaning high income it obviously is not. "Rich" in terms of wealth it is not.

September 22, 2005 in Economics | Permalink


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Tracked on Sep 23, 2005 1:16:34 AM


Hi - I think the new format has had a wierd effect on the Guardian.

Read this
or this

Nice blog, by the way

Posted by: Cliff | Sep 22, 2005 9:27:16 PM