April 24, 2015

Sometimes good bumper stickers are the best way to begin paving the road to a better world.

Sir, Philip Stephens writes: “the US lacks the resources and political will for ‘generational’ projects to transform the Middle East” “Republicans want a bumper sticker world” April 24.

The US Congress Iraq Study Group Report of May 2006 stated: “There are proposals to redistribute a portion of oil revenues directly to the population on a per capita basis. These proposals have the potential to give all Iraqi citizens a stake in the nation’s chief natural resource"

If that idea would have been implemented, you can bet the Middle East would have seen much good transformation… and not only there, other places, like Venezuela, would have benefitted immensely from such example.

Unfortunately the same Report then wrote: “Oil revenues have been incorporated into state budget projections for the next several years. There is no institution in Iraq at present that could properly implement such a distribution system. It would take substantial time to establish, and would have to be based on a well-developed state census and income tax system, which Iraq currently lacks.”

As if that was any real excuse. Any of the big credit card company could have set up a program that could have reached 50 percent of the Iraqis in 1 year, with the ambition of covering 100 percent in five years. What a missed opportunity for a real silver bullet.

But the US has other strengths… for instance with respect to oil revenue sharing why not ask Hollywood to make an inspirational movie.

It could for instance depict how a hypothetical country, one like Venezuela in which 97 percent of all that nations exports go directly into government coffers, becomes fundamentally transformed for the better, when some a “Hayek platoon” manages to allow the power of oil resources to flow directly to the citizens.

Recently Marco Rubio stated: “More government isn’t going to help you get ahead. It’s going to hold you back. More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit them. And more government isn’t going to inspire new ideas, new businesses and new private sector jobs. It’s going to create uncertainty.”

And so that idea would seem to fit the political platform of any Republican who aspires the presidency, and, hopefully, also that of some democrats.

And a good bumper sticker: “Citizen’s should not need to live in somebody else’s business – End Natural Resource Curses” could perhaps be a way to begin it all.

And Sir, you know of course that if there is one bumper sticker I would also like to see in the next elections, that is “Stop bank regulators’ odious discrimination… against the ‘risky’ SMEs and entrepreneurs… that is un-American… that does not belong in the Land of the Free nor in the Home of the Brave”.