Thursday, June 7, 2007

Timelines in the News - Deja Vu

Here's a post on Electric Goalposts from Matthew Yglesias from December 8th, 2004 commenting on the electricity trends contained in the State Departments Weekly Iraq Status Report dated December 1st, 2004.

The money quote is:
But for goalposts purposes, let's note that we are not now at the goal, have never been at the goal, and are not even moving in the direction of the goal. Instead, Iraqis have less electricity (but way more phone lines, interestingly enough) than they had before the war.
Here's the chart from December 1, 2004 followed by the one from May 30th 2007. Not much seems to have changed in the intervening 30 months.

I found the commentary added into the first chart to be most helpful and useful as an aid to understanding what was really happening. A picture is worth a thousand words but even so, many time a few extra words can add even more value.

Both these charts rate high because they show a complete time range. Of course, it would sure be interesting to see what the Iraqi electricity chart looked like starting back in 1980 so that the effects of the first Gulf War when, if memory serves, severe damage was done to the Iraqi infrastructure. It would be useful to compare the recovery or non-recovery following that war to the current recovery. If anyone has that data, please let me know.

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