Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

The Daily Star (of Lebanon) has a column calling for the cancellation of Iraq's debt.

Jubilee Iraq, formed in London in March, is campaigning for the complete cancelation of the Iraqi debt. “If Saddam turns out to be alive, he and his Baath Party cronies should be required to spend the rest of their lives crushing rocks and paying every dollar they earn to the creditors,” said Jubilee Iraq spokesperson Justin Alexander. “But the Iraqi people have no such obligation. At last they have a chance of freedom and ownership of Iraq and its assets.”

Sounds good to me.

The debt crisis in Iraq also brings up a larger set of questions.
Dictators support their rules through loans, and thus far the international community has not been too concerned with the legitimacy of the regimes it loans money to. If Iraq’s debts are canceled, this would hopefully usher in an era in international finance in which companies and governments could no longer be ruled simply by the profit motive, but would have to consider the legitimacy of the governments to which they were lending.

The writer is part of Jubilee Iraq. A group related to Jubilee 2000 which calls for the cancellation of all Third World debt. Whiel I would support a restructuring of the debts and new policies going forward, based on refrom, verified positive use of any money loaned ro borrowed I have trouble supporting blanket forgiveness on all this debt. Like blanket immunities for illegal imigrants it sets a bad precedent and can have some terrible consequences. Change needs to be made in a way that does not condone or encourage future bad behaviour.

< email | 5/14/2003 11:32:00 AM | link

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