Thursday, December 14, 2006

Facts in Your Face

The US has by far the largest GDP in the world at around 13 trillion. We generate a lot of wealth because we're very productive, we invest in our businesses and technology, we have a very good education system, and we've had a stable government for a long, long time.

We have NEVER needed Iraq's oil for the simple reason that even some of our smallest-producing STATES generate more wealth than the country of Iraq.

Take a look at these two tables:

List of countries by GDP.

List of US States by GDP.

First you will note that the STATE of California at 1.5 trillion GDP comes in right behind the country of Italy at 1.7 trillion GDP.

To put that another way, if California were a separate country it would be listed in the 8th position of rankings of world GDP. Texas and New York, by the way, would be ranked 10th and 11th as countries with the largest GDPs in the world.

Iraq has a GDP of around 94 billion, which is closest to the GDP of our state of Utah (33rd in US ranking).

Think about that.

The entire country of Iraq has a GDP similar to that of the 33rd-ranking state of Utah.

Saddam Hussein was removed because, after 9/11, we decided that he was a danger that we could no longer let aid attacks on the US. The idea that we needed Iraq's oil is simply preposterous.

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Let me put this another way.

One of my sisters and her husband work for two Fortune 500 companies as executives. My sister works for a mid-sized oil company whose yearly revenue is around 20 billion per year; my brother-in-law works for a major credit-card company with a revenue also around 20 billion.

So, together, they work for just TWO US companies that generate around HALF of all of Iraq's yearly GDP.

The US has the most dynamic economy in the world. The invasion of Iraq was never about enriching Americans -- Iraq exports oil and dates, the former we can simply buy and the latter are currently not in great demand here -- but about our security, which I view personally as someone who watched, through my living-room window, the smoke rising from the collapsed towers of the World Trade Center.

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For comparison, my home state of IOWA has around three million residents and generates $114 billion in GSP. Iowa's wealth comes from agriculture (soybeans and pigs), industry, and the service sector.

Iowa
population: 3 million
GSP: 114 billion

Iraq
population: 27 million
GDP: 94 billion

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