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February 23, 2011

Saudis Increase Social Welfare Spending, Because Nothing Creates Stability In Society Like an Idle Dependent Underclass Which Lives and Eats At The Whim Of Its Masters

I don't know what the answer is. The culture promotes idleness and powerlessness, which leads to conspiracy theories of victimization and power-fantasies about defeating one's persecutors.

That's always a compelling narrative for losers. One that Al Qaeda enjoys.

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah boosted spending on housing by 40 billion riyals ($10.7 billion), and earmarked more funds for education and social welfare amid popular uprisings sweeping the Arab world.

...

The Saudi government announced in August a $385 billion, five-year spending plan as the kingdom tries to reduce a jobless rate of as high as 43 percent for Saudis between the ages of 20 and 24. The overall rate was 10.5 percent in 2009, according to data from the Central Department of Statistics and Information.

43 percent? Good Lord. This seems to happen to mineral-extracting cultures. Mineral-poor cultures tend to become hard-working and industrious (the Japanese), while mineral-exploiting cultures become indolent and weak (the Spanish in the Age of Exploration).

Add that to a culture that already has the bizarre norm built into it that men are princes and shouldn't work; labor is for children and women and you're really cooking with gas.

Even though there's a huge amount of turmoil that is spiking oil prices, I suppose that there is a chance that OPEC will wind up weakened as many of its member states are forced to pump more oil, to either cover the costs of buying off the unemployed or to rebuild after a calamitous revolution.

I don't put much hope in that hope, though.


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posted by Ace at 02:16 PM

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