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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Odd stat of the day

Earlier today, I read a story in Newsweek that included a graphic noting some good news from Iraq. Unfortunately, I cannot find a link to the paper version I was reading. You'll have to trust me.

The claimed fact: in the past few years, Iraq's economy has increased nearly 50%. It went from about $20 billion to around $30 billion.

Should we be pleased?

First, note that the US government estimates Iraq's 2005 economy at closer to $25 billion, so the stats may have been wrong.

Second, the US is reportedly planning to spend at least $50 billion in Iraq in 2006. Thus, this doesn't seem like such good news. How can the US spend nearly double Iraq's economy -- and not make even more of a difference in the size of Iraq's economy? In less than three, years, the US has already spent nearly $230 billion.

And that's the good news!

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