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Monday, February 28, 2011

Arab Oil States, Golden Thrones and Disproportionate Distribution of Wealth

     North Africa is shaking and rattling in the  throes of revolution.   In the last few weeks,   Egypt's  Hosni Mubarak was forced out with his vanishing billions.    Yemen is  in trouble, and  the disease of economic disparity and discontent is spreading rapidly. 
     The latest and most serious?   Libya.  Moammar Gadhafi,  the seemingly demented and murderous leader of Libya, has been  hanging onto power tooth and nail by hiring deadly mercenaries and arming civilians loyal to him.   The global community has ordered economic sanctions against Libya as  it becomes more apparent that thousands of people may have been murdered in his bid to keep power at any cost.  It is evident  Gadhafi is neither  considered  to be a "generous  humanitarian"  or  'concerned' about his people one whit.
     On the other hand, the Sultan of Oman,  Sultan Quaboos, who has sat on his  golden throne  for over 40years in an absolute dictatorship, is apparently more of a gentleman and highly regarded.  What do these two  men have in common? They are both facing  major revolts mounted against them. Why?
      The sad fact is,  the common root factor happens to be that they are dictators  hoarding absolute power,  and wealth that belongs rightfully to the people of their respective countries. There seems to be  a newly discovered awareness of  "disproportionate distribution of wealth" , to say the least.
Why is that not a surprise?  The rot of extreme and obscene greed has finally precipitated  the questioning of the ultimate form of self-defeating  capitalism, the "king", absolute ruler,  greedy dictator, and  rich despot. 

     The Sultan of Oman, being an astute man,  saw the writing on the wall as revolts took place in Egypt and Libya;  he quickly ordered the creation of 50,000 jobs for the starving and unemployed.   Each of those jobs will supposedly pay benefits of about $390.00 per month. To a man that has a starving family, it must seem a fortune.

     Nice, but does it not still  remain a disproportionate distribution of wealth? Are these people totally foolish?  No.   Do the poor have calculators and the internet?  Certainly some must do.   Shall  we shake our heads in awe  as we confirm their calculations?

$390.00 per month x50,000  = $19,500,000 U.S.D.  per MONTHNineteen and one-half million dollars. That sounds like a big bribe, and a lot of money.  WOW, that's $19.5M x12 = $234 Million  U.S.D. per year --mere peanuts  for  a desperate  last-minute  "job creation"  solution  to prevent revolution. 
 That "peace offering" and job creation  "strategy" ought to quell the rebellion and keep the  starving peasants happy?    Should it really, Sultan Quaboos?  No disrespect, but think again. Is it realistic?  No. 

The fact is,  normally Sultan Quaboos  and his Omani helpers   sell off 850,000  barrels of crude oil daily,  at a heady payment of  $120.00 per barrel, using the "latest" cost  figures.

  Let us tickle those those calculator buttons one more time:     850,000 barrels x $120.00 U.S.D. ( per bbl )  = $102,000,000   --per DAY.
 ONE HUNDRED AND TWO  MILLION  dollars each day?   UNbelievably, it will take only TWO days of oil production to pay for the  cost of the entire ANNUAL  BRIBE, a.k.a  "job creation"...a.k.a. desperate move to retain the Sultan's throne.... 

  Where is the REST of  money going, other than into the Sultan's  treasury?

Who is kidding who?  Oman has been considered the "peaceful kingdom" but it is not surprising the people of Oman are angry.  At least SOME of them have calculators.  The fact is, oil wealth and other resources  belong to the citizens of that country.   Resources are no longer the exclusive property of  the rich and powerful, or of foreign interests.
Is there a lesson to be learned here?  I think so.

Meantime, back in my neck of the woods in Canada during this same crisis,  we are paying $1.30/litre for gasoline,  the price of which has not even  yet peaked. That horrendous price translates to almost $6.00 USD per imperial gallon (4.56 liters) --- which is nothing but gouging and shameful for an oil-producing nation. 

At the same time, Canada  (a.k.a. Big Oil )  exports 1.3M barrels of  dirty crude oil to the USA  every day.  Let's calculate THAT while we are at it:  1,300,000 x120 =  $156,000,000 dollars per DAY.   That is One-Hundred and fifty-six MILLION dollars each DAY.   
We seriously must question  who has the keys to the  golden vault THAT huge pile of loot is being hauled to.  It sure isn't in MY back yard.   It is not in pollution control.  It is not in infrastructure, or in tax reduction. Where is it? 

The fact IS,  in times of international crises,  Canadians should be at least partially shielded by  Canadian production.  Are we, at some time in the future,  to inherit ONLY the stripped,  contaminated land,  water, mutant fish, societal cancers,  and dead soil left from the dirty oil extraction from the  Athabasca tar sands? 

In fact, there is no excuse for gouging at the gasoline pump.   Gasoline at $1.30 a liter  is made with the same process and equipment that gasoline was made with 40 years ago, back  when gasoline was 0.30 per  GALLON .    Nobody has to work too hard to figure out that was about 6-1/2 cents a liter.
It seems to me there's something seriously wrong with OUR  OWN systems of golden thrones and disproportionate distribution of wealth,  never mind those  of madman Gadhafi or gentlemanly Sultan Quaboos.



  1. after consulting my electronic gadgets, i conclude that you have deduced that we have been seduced by the sultans and the merchants..
    hard lessons coming soon..

    please offer possible solutions..

  2. the shareholders of large corporations have become our own sultans..greed unveiled.
    the western world is a more complex system and requires a deeper examination..
    revolutions work in a dictature as there are but few heads to chop on the political block--in the corporate world, symbolic CEOs are only the figureheads.
    the financial slaves run the galleon from below deck..unidentified or unseen.

  3. @ John, being an absolute genius, you know the score all too well, methinks.... ": )

    @ Nadine, I am reluctant to suggest we have been blindfolded, seduced and raped by the sultans of business and princes of government, but I believe a deeper examination would reveal that to be the case.
    Unfortunately, the solutions really needed as remediation involve the complete unveiling and devolution of the embedded rich, political system which will cause much grief, very hard lessons, and the pointing of fingers as profit is diverted to the new "entitled" instead of only the "greedy entitled" .....
    Undoubtedly the entire political ideology of North America would have to be changed, resulting in "perception" of 'en masse' attempts to subvert our "fine" capitalist political ideology to a "less desirable" socialist, state-run circus, and in fact, very likely, the clowns would laugh, the lions would roar....and the poor would still have to pay "admission".

  4. why do i feel so crowded suddenly? i read too much and write too little...a certain distance should clear the windshield of perception.
    capitalism is going to my head..seeping into the general anxiety; and i don't own a car..or mower..but i do buy some foods..grown with the help of petroleum..it's everywhere!

  5. Nadine, I have to agree with you. You DO need to write more.
    The news is depressing. It's display of wealth, greed and stupidity is suffocating everything and EVERYWHERE. I can just imagine how you feel, but imagine this too, I'm paying $6.00/gallon for gasoline...and because I live 35 miles from the city, I can do NOTHING about it. I have to drive. Hearing about SULTANS collecting BILLIONS of dollars at cost to us is not helpful, is it.
    Capitalism itself IS pervasive and is always destructive. There is NEVER enough profit.... in no dream there can ever be enough profit; that is why it is so self-destructive. It is a defined rot that grows constantly.

    One curious observation about humanity, most of the VERY rich, VERY successful entrepreneurs FAIL to realize that the excitement they yearn so badly for, is in the CHASE and seeing personal achievement and SUCCESS ,--- not necessarily in the absolute and final possession of wealth.

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