Sunday, December 10, 2006

Instapundit :: Oil trust idea lives (?)

Not so fast, Instapundit. The NYT article you cite says:
Iraqi officials are near agreement on a national oil law that would give the central government the power to distribute current and future oil revenues to the provinces or regions, based on their population.
It says nothing I can see about what you and Hillary and Barone have been advocating -- distributing, in Barone's words, "part of the state's oil profits in payments to every individual." (Emphasis added.) To. Every. Individual.

As I have been said economist Vernon Smith has an even better idea, an Iraqi People's Fund, and he's been saying it since the capture of Saddam:
For long-term success, the enormous task of nation rebuilding in Iraq requires attention to more than the creation of a political democracy. No matter how well-intentioned and democratic it might be, the next government will be tempted to corruption, violation of rights and expanded political power if it owns and controls the great economic wealth potential of Iraq. This is the time, and Iraq is the place, to create an economic system embracing the revolutionary principle that public assets belong directly to the public -- and can be managed to further individual benefit and free choice, without intermediate government ownership in the public name.

In Iraq, the rights in question are to the former government's producing properties, transportation, terminal facilities, waterways, land and subsurface rights. These assets should first be declared transferred to the account of the citizens, recognizing the birthright of each citizen to a personal, empowering property right in the land and assets of the country of their birth. All citizens should have an equal share in this fund and be issued the same number of share claims to the fund.
Again, I've added the emphasis.

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