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So Iraqs debt should be forgiven right?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by vonork, Dec 24, 2003.

  1. vonork

    vonork Emperor

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    Iraq’s debt at around $120 billion looks now by the effort of the US to be eased a bit at least. I do not question that; a debt built up by a dictator should the free Iraq not have to stand up too.

    However why don't we also forgive the debts of say Argentina and Brazil also hovering around $100 billion and also built up under a dictatorship? These debts are heavy on the countries and have several times forced them into restructuring according to the word of the IMF and World Bank so they can get new loans only to push forward the burden.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Aphex_Twin

    Aphex_Twin Evergreen

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    Sell the debts to me for $1 and let me milk those countries for what they've got ;)
     
  3. Ayatollah So

    Ayatollah So the spoof'll set you free

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    I think you need to look at how much the people of the country got from the loans taken by any given dictator. Some dictators actually care about their country and spend money on infrastructure, etc.

    Saddam, on the other hand, killed about 1% of his population. That puts him pretty high up on the evil dictator list (although still more than an order of magnitude away from 1st place).
     
  4. Aphex_Twin

    Aphex_Twin Evergreen

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    They didn't complain too much when they loaned Saddam - the evil dictator money.


    Well, Three cheers for my 3000th post.
     
  5. cgannon64

    cgannon64 BOB DYLAN'S ROCKIN OUT!

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    I think they should be forgiven. If they don't it could be a mistake on the level of Germany's war reparations...
     
  6. jack merchant

    jack merchant Internationalist

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    You're mistaken about Argentina's and Brazil's debts - Argentina hasn't been a dictatorship since 1983 and Brazil since 1985 IIRC. A good part of their debts were built up afterwards, and exploded since they were mostly denominated in dollars and when the local currencies collapsed, the size of the debt as measured in the local currency obviously skyrocketed.

    I'm not a fan of IMF 'restructuring policies' since until recently, they were tailored to a purely macroeconomic model without any thought of the social consequences of govt budget cuts, but by and large, the forgiving of all debts would only lead to ruin for Western bankers. Obviously some sort of restructuring is needed where these countries won't have to pay back all of the debt, but we can't afford to forgive them entirely. Which position is not motivated by what's the decent thing to do, but what's the economically sensible thing to do.
     
  7. Marla_Singer

    Marla_Singer United in diversity

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    It's funny to see how you're talking about Iraq as if it was an independant country... The one who doesn't want to pay the Iraq debt ain't iraqis but americans ! Saying "no" to Brazil or Argentina when they want their debts cancelled is a lot easier than to say "no" to the United States when they ask the same !

    So of course, the debt will be cancelled. Actually, it's already cancelled ! Not because people like better iraqis than others, simply because the US don't want to pay also that after having paid so much already. Occupying an invaded country costs a lot !
     
  8. amadeus

    amadeus Kaicho

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    Are you saying the Iraqis want to pay for the extravagant lifestyle of the former dictator?
     
  9. jack merchant

    jack merchant Internationalist

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    Actually, the Iraqi debts would still have to be paid by the new Iraqi government (and thus the Iraqis themselves). Not by the Americans !
     
  10. ShiplordAtvar

    ShiplordAtvar Texan by the grace of God

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    I would say do it like this. Line up nations that are willing to forgive debts owed them by the former government of Iraq. Have them forgive a fourth of the amount owed each year for four years.
     
  11. vonork

    vonork Emperor

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    Yes, Argentinas dictatorship ended in 1983, but let's look on what they did in around 10 years to the debt. A debt of 7 billion increesed to 46 billions. Some of it also commany debt of western subsidiaries that was converted to state debt becouse of the capitalistic friendly general controled goverment. Then the debt increst to 65 billion up to 1991. Not to bad, however becouse of a lot of stupied decissons, a lot of them suported by the IMF the debt later skyrocked to around 160 billion in 2000.

    Now if in 1983 the debt had been forgiven from 46 back to say 7 billion Argentin could have been in a better shape today.

    However this dicussion can be extended to all non-democratic goverments, Do you belive that when they become democratic the debts should be forgiven?
     
  12. SeleucusNicator

    SeleucusNicator Diadoch

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    I believe the point the Bush administration is trying for is to have the "new Iraqi government" start off debt-free so it will be able to focus on other things more relevant to the security of the area.
     
  13. Bozo Erectus

    Bozo Erectus Master Baker

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    If Iraq were to split into three countries, who would have to pay then?
     
  14. Pongui

    Pongui Deity

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    Depends on who gets the Chalabi.
     
  15. eyrei

    eyrei Deity Retired Moderator

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    Countries who lent Saddam Hussein money expecting to get it back need to learn to live with their mistake.
     
  16. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    My thouhts are that I'm nauseus about how Bush use demagogic politics to force his points by making so disagreeing with his proposition means, by some kind of fate, to be the bad boy.

    First it's "come to help us invade Iraq (under US command, of course) ! If not, you're supporting tyranny !".
    Then it's "come to help us rebuild the country (under US command, this goes without saying)! If not, you just prove you don't care about Iraqi people !".
    And now it's "come, forgive the Iraqi debt (so that Iraq can use this money to pay for our companies to rebuild infrastructure) ! If not, you just show you're greedy !".

    OF COURSE, cancelling/reevaluating the Iraqi debt is a good thing to do (Eyrei just hit the nail right on the head : lend to a dictator at your own risks). But I hate how this point is used to advance political agenda. Tsch.
     
  17. Desmond Hawkins

    Desmond Hawkins Deity

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    No, he is saying that some other dictators in other countries might not have been so "extravegant", and thus you cannot use the same mold for all former dictatorships. Saddam of course was forcing his people to support his lifestyle.
     
  18. Azadre

    Azadre One more turn...

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    I feel the Debts shouldn't be forgiven, then again, i didn't think there should've been a war...
     
  19. jack merchant

    jack merchant Internationalist

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    One problem with forgiving debts from dictatorial countries is that generally, at least some of the money is spent on infrastructure/education/social services and the like (not in Iraq, obviously). Forgiving them after the end of the dictatorships means commercial banks will become extremely hesitant about lending these countries money, to the ruin of the people there (just like economic sanctions tend to hurt the people far more than the powerful).
     
  20. EmpireofVirtue

    EmpireofVirtue Warlord

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    You're giving excuses to the dictators. I think at the opposite it's a good reason to release that weight from freed iraqis' shoulders. Now dictators won't succeed anymore to get money from western banks and they'll have no other option than to let Democracy coming from the people of the world. :)
     

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