Buried in the back sections of the newspaper, you might find an article from time to time about the growth of the Iraqi economy. I didn't find this one until our Chancellor of the Exchequer pointed it out. Here's what it had to say.
First, housing in Iraq is less affordable.
Did you know that Iraqi real-estate prices have gone up several hundred percent since the fall of Saddam Hussein?A culture of greed is springing up.
That Iraqi workers' salaries have increased more than 100 percent in that time?The terrorists don't lack for raw materials for their vehicle-borne IEDs.
That the number of cars in violence-torn Baghdad has grown by 500 percent in the same period?Leisure time for the Iraqi people is declining precipitously.
That the Iraqi construction, retail and wholesale trade sectors are all growing at a healthy pace?Some economists expect the total number of business bankruptcies to rise in the future.
the number of registered businesses has increased from 8,000 to 34,000 in three years;Iraqi children increasingly are becoming "Blackberry orphans."
that the number of cell phone subscribers has increased from 1.4 million to 7.1 million;Finally, many experts indicate that this rush to a modern economy will cause the Iraqi people to lose important parts of their culture. The increasingly frenzied pace of life forces them to spend less time sitting in cafes, drinking coffee.
The Global Insight firm,which tracks international economic activity, estimates Iraq's GDP growth at 17 percent for 2005 and projected 13 percent for 2006.Here at our house, life is similarly bad. I recently planted some verbenas on a barren patch of soil in the hopes that they would spread and cover the unsightly dirt. Just look at what they're doing.
My verbenas, wasting precious resources blooming.
Here they are, sneering at me.
All of the energy they spend on those delicate, charming and cheerful flowers is energy they don't spend growing and covering the dirt. My plan is ruined.