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Saudi Arabia…Friend or Foe?

As a high school teacher with degrees from U.C. Berkeley and Stanford, and work experience in three Silicon Valley start-ups, I was hired to teach at the Summer Institute for the Gifted. The classes were offered to be held on the U.C. Berkeley campus about a decade ago. The class I taught was Entrepreneurship.  A Saudi boy of about 16 had a great idea for a new business.

He wanted to harness the energy produced by the tiny cooling fan inside of laptop computers to generate electricity to run the device, making charging using a cord plugged into the wall or into a battery pack obsolete. My student was surprised to learn that one of the expenses of a start-up company was rent for the facility out of which the business would operate. He called his father back home to find out if rent was really necessary, and to get the information about rental rates per square foot.

This young man shared an interesting fact with me.  He said most Saudis do not work because they just get money from the government.  I was aware that the state paid out a lot of money per person to Alaskans because of oil revenues, but the Alaskan stipend per person was not enough to live on(unless you had a large family).

It turns out that the Saudi economy currently gets 87 percent of its operating revenue from oil, and export revenues coming from oil are 90% of the total.  So trade is very undeveloped, except for oil, and the government is hugely dependent on oil revenues to function at all.  Much of Saudi employment are expats.  A friend whose brother worked in Saudi Arabia said that Canadians are popular there to work at Aramco, the major oil company, as Americans are not liked by the Saudis.

The private sector is urged by the government to try to reach 30% of employment from native Saudis.  Companies complain, however, that the target is difficult to reach due to a lack of education and job skills among native Saudis. I read today that Saudis pay no income tax on their earnings.

When Elon Musk first announced his bid to buy Twitter, I recall a Saudi Prince exclaiming that Elon Musk was unpopular with him, and he is not popular in Saudi Arabia because he is helping the world transition away from fossil fuels by being successful with Tesla.

I’d like to be a fly on the wall of Biden’s meeting with Saudis in July.  It is no wonder that his call was not returned when gas prices ballooned out of control, and Biden (and Granholm) learned, belatedly, about supply and demand, so Biden reached out to encourage more production of oil by Saudi Arabia.  Unfortunately, his kill American oil and gas policy is encouraging oil-exporting nations (and Saudi Arabia is the largest one) to get it while they can when it comes to revenues from oil.

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The same thing is true of American oil and gas companies and every other one worldwide.  They need to get it (revenue) while they can because Biden’s stated goal of killing off oil and gas production and usage in America and in the Western world (Kerry’s job) drives them to profit as much as possible now because the financial future for them looks bleak.

There is no way that the letter he recently sent will make any difference to these companies exploiting the higher prices for profit.  Their first duty is to their shareholders, not to Biden to make him look better.  His Administration is blinded by its Green initiatives and the goal of saving a planet that is not in imminent danger from climate change. He is driving American families into ruin if they did not have an extra $500 a month to pay for the necessities of food, gasoline, electricity, and home heating fuel.  He is spouting lies about our economy and about inflation in western nations and others in a pitiful attempt to prop up his support.

By Jennifer Mitchell Towner

Jennifer Mitchell Towner worked in the computer industry from 1979 to 1998. Under a program called Encorps, she became a high school math, French, and Consumer Finance teacher in 2009, retiring in 2019. She holds two BAs from U.C. Berkeley in Math and French and an MBA from Stanford University. The books she published in 2021, Good Boots and Kipper the Nipper are on Amazon.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Blue State Conservative. The BSC is not responsible for, and does not verify the accuracy of, any information presented.

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Photo by Saad Khonaifer ?? on Unsplash