A newspaper story said that the american occupation government of Iraq wanted to export oil from Iraq to pay the costs of reconstructing Iraq, but that the oil wells, pipelines, etc were in very poor condition and could not be used without major repairs and reconstruction. But there are many small businesses in America and around the world which use old worn out machinery.

In order to use old worn out machinery, the operator needs to be very skilled. The operator needs to be familiar with the machine, and to have learned through trial and error what usually happens just before the machine breaks, and be able to avoid the circumstances which cause the machine to break. The operator needs to stop and repair minor problems before minor problems become major problems. Each old worn out machine needs to be operated differently. And since the operator knows best how to operate the machine, the operator needs to have the authority to decide how to operate the machine.

Any operator who is clever enough to do that is clever enough to do anything. In a free and prosperous nation like America, there are many high paying jobs available to such people. So if you want to hire someone to operate and repair worn out machinery, you will have to offer very high wages. Most american businesses conclude that it is cheaper to buy expensive reliable machines which can be run by idiots than to hire people skilled enough to run and repair unreliable machines. Most american business managers do not know how to manage worn out machinery.

In Iraq, high paying jobs were only available to friends of Saddam Hussein, and there were not that many jobs anyway. So skilled machine operators and repair persons are cheap in Iraq. So for an industry in Iraq, it makes sense to operate with cheap worn out machines and cheap skilled operators and repair persons.

The Bush administration has put american business managers in charge of oil, electricity, etc in Iraq, but these american managers have the wrong kind of experience. Even worse, the american managers may be followers of the cult of the CEO, and may be issuing strict orders and micromanaging the Iraqi workers instead of empowering the Iraqi workers to decide when to add another piece of duct tape.

On the George Lopez television show, George goes in his mother's bathroom and sees that there is no handle on the water faucet. His mother turns on the water with a pair of pliers. George asks his mother how she changes channels on the TV, and his mother says she has another pair of pliers. This is how the Iraq oil, electricity, etc industries need to be run. When a valve handle on an oil pipeline breaks, you do not shut the pipline down for six months until you can get the valve replaced, you get a pair of pliers and use the pliers to turn the valve, and you keep going.