Oil and the Iraq Economy

James Hamilton reads Christopher Hayes and then writes:

any vision of how to get jobs for Iraqis or a government that can accomplish anything is absolutely and critically dependent on the health of Iraq’s oil sector.

In an earlier post, Dr. Hamilton discusses the importance of insuring a stable flow of oil production for the wellbeing of the average Iraqi – which he notes was part of what the Iraq Study Group discussed. I applaud these recommendations from the Iraq Study Group. Regardless of how the property rights for Iraqi oil are allocated, the owners of this oil will wish to sell their oil on world markets, which is what I meant by:

Access to oil simply means one buys the stuff.

The concern I expressed and that Steven Kyle and Mark Thoma expanded upon had less to do with whether oil would come back on line but rather who owns the property rights. I would hope no American President would use war to extract property rights to resources owned by other nations and I certainly am not saying this is why George W. Bush made what I have called that stupid decision on March 19, 2003. To use military might to expropriate resources from other nations strikes me as immoral. But I have to say there are certain neoconservatives who disagree with me on this one.