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2003-10-22 Arabia
AN Editorial: The Maytag Repairman’s Lonely Vigil Continues
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Posted by .com 2003-10-22 6:10:30 AM|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [269 views since 2007-05-07]  Top

#1 I think the solution to the problem is to stop shielding citizens from the result of their own actions. I mean this with respect to positive as well as negative effects. For instance, if a Saudi works hard and becomes a brain surgeon there ought to be an economic reward for his struggle. If a Saudi choses to goof off in school and doesn't want to work a job that he has the capability to perform, his parents should have to foot the bill for him to goof off rather than transfer the cost of his goofing off to society in general.

The pilgrims seemed to have become more prosperous after they chucked the Mayflower Compact. This may be, in part, deceptive because holding some property in common may have been very necessary for the survival of the colony in the beginning stages.

Personally, I don't care if the Saudis hire contract labor to fix pipes and clean up poop. The manual labor certainly seems to work for the Paki's and Phillipino's.

Maybe, the Saudis can't become such an economic dynamo that they can have every one pulling their weight at the white collar level. They certainly have the raw capital to make this happen. It would require massive immediate privitazation, private protery rights and a committment to "no bribe" government. (I agree with Walter Williams with regards to economics.)

I think my strategy is every bit as unlikely as a Saudi cleaning up poop. Most likely case will be that the Saudis will continue to enable their dead-weight until their government at the end fo the economic plank. The House of Saud will then fall, everyone will blame the Americans, and we will feel much shame.
Posted by Super Hose  2003-10-22 10:05:43 AM||   2003-10-22 10:05:43 AM|| Front Page Top

#2 I agree with you .Com,but it will take change of hearts and/or minds of the People first then comes the change of policy in the government which may not happen in Our lifetime
Posted by Philip L. Terry II 2003-10-22 10:36:27 AM||   2003-10-22 10:36:27 AM|| Front Page Top

#3 Hey, I'm feeling pretty bad, already. This seems to be my day for it. I mean here I am, whiling away the days in heaven thanks in particular to those years of actual hard work and personal privation in Saoodiland. Do I wanna give it back so some Saudi twinkie from a favored clan who DID screw off in "university" can strut about, own a palacial home, drive a Lexus SUV, spend all day on the phone with his wife and mistress, and brag endlessly to his family and friends how important he is? Hmmmm. I'll get back to you on that - when it's all gone, K?
Posted by .com 2003-10-22 10:41:27 AM||   2003-10-22 10:41:27 AM|| Front Page Top

#4 I had a long long talk with a Saudi friend, Khaled, on this topic once - which is one reason why I chose to post it. He told me about painting the interior of his home himself - which completely amazed - and horrified - his wife. She assumed throughout the 4 or 5 days it took him that at any moment he would drop the roller in disgust and "call a worker" to finish it.

She was ashamed of him for doing it. He, on the other hand, was proud and pleased - and I certainly praised his get it done attitude.

He had done it because her parents were coming to stay for a month or so. Before he could even open his mouth, his wife lied to them and bragged about how much money they had spent with a professional decorator to repaint the house interior. He told me he had never been so angry with her - or as humiliated. Certainly, with her attitude, she would have had a heart attack if he'd tried painting the exterior - where their neighbors could see it was him. I do not know if he made her apologize after her parents left - this happened just a little over a week before I made my exit. I thought her attitude was very telling.
Posted by .com 2003-10-22 10:57:32 AM||   2003-10-22 10:57:32 AM|| Front Page Top

#5 I read after 9/11 that the Saudis required their foreigners to get checking accounts if they want to get paid.

Too much money going out of the country.
Posted by Anonymous 2003-10-22 11:13:14 AM||   2003-10-22 11:13:14 AM|| Front Page Top

#6 Weren't the Kuwaitis in the same boat before Sammy's sojurn into the country in 1990? I do not see these societies changing from the top down. They are too rotted out. I do not see them changing from the bottom up up, witness the experience .com has shared with his Saudi friend and his friend's wife. If the people do not change, then other external issues at work will force change. The House of Saud rotting, the Jihadi nutcases activities, changes in the energy market will stress the country and those that cannot adapt will go through some very hard times until they fall by the wayside, die, or the lightbulb comes on and they adapt.

In the case of these oil-rich welfare states, I see nothing but hard times for the people there in the future. Even if they throw off the yokes of these super rich slug leaders, what does one do after the revolution? I do not hold out much hope for them.

The effort we are making in Iraq is a noble effort. But for those like the Saudis, it seems like the population has to "bottom out" before the big picture gets better. I won't wish that upon anybody, even the Paleos.
Posted by Alaska Paul 2003-10-22 11:25:40 AM||   2003-10-22 11:25:40 AM|| Front Page Top

#7 Not me - my pay was wired directly to my US bank. There are several types of foreign workers - I was on a Biz visa - so I didn't have an Iqama (Saudi ID booklet like a passport) - and that's required to get a checking account. I had a savings acct without one so I could cash paper when forced to. Those with Iqamas do probably have to have a bank account (savings or checking; as I had to have a saving acct back in '92) in order to cash their checks. They may have direct deposit, today, but I'd bet that it must be to a Saudi bank. As for limiting outflow, I don't think they do, at least not yet. What we used to do is cash a check at the bank, go to Amex, and wire some of it to a bank, but also buy a shitload of traveler's checks, and save 'em up. I left that first year+ contract with a 3" stack of 'em. Today, they prolly have limits on the wire amount, but that won't stop you from accumulating TC's for the difference you have you can save.
Posted by .com 2003-10-22 11:33:53 AM||   2003-10-22 11:33:53 AM|| Front Page Top

#8 I have never understood, what exactly happened to the Spanish Empire. With all those resources pouring in from the New World, I would have expected Spain to have remained a superpower for longer than they did.

Is this a simular phenomena?
Posted by Super Hose  2003-10-22 12:37:02 PM||   2003-10-22 12:37:02 PM|| Front Page Top

#9 SH, I seem to remember something from my history lessons about Spanish gold saturating the European market. Booty from Central and South America sent the value of precious metals plummeting across Europe, and reliance upon the plunder business bankrupted the Spanish economy. But I bet there was more to it that that alone...
Posted by Bulldog  2003-10-22 12:51:15 PM||   2003-10-22 12:51:15 PM|| Front Page Top

#10 The Spanish Empire was based on slavery and violence and eventually collasped from corruption and high taxtion of the colonies
Posted by Observer 80 2003-10-22 12:58:16 PM||   2003-10-22 12:58:16 PM|| Front Page Top

#11 SH--From my readings, Spain seemed to have collapsed exactly because they were bringing home so much booty. After ridding Spain of the Moors, you had a restless class of adventurous spirits who were perfectly suited to becoming conquistadors in the New World. Then with the plundered gold and silver pouring back they had rampant inflation. Additionally, with all the grandiose adventure tales of conquistadors conquering entire kingdoms and becoming rich, the "menial" jobs like farming didn't look so appealing, and the New World beckoned.

I'm very curious how Iraq will fare with all the oil revenues supposedly distributed equally among the population. That seems to me to be a recipe for rampant inflation as well.
Posted by Dar  2003-10-22 12:59:52 PM||   2003-10-22 12:59:52 PM|| Front Page Top

#12 I'm not a Catholic basher and may God bless the Pope and all but it does seem to me that all the Catholic countries kind of droped off the back. It is my opinion, lame as it may be, that the greatest leap forward of mankind came after the Protestant reformation and the liberal thoughts it allowed. Of course with all due respects to the post medieval whatsyamacallit.
Posted by Lucky 2003-10-22 1:02:46 PM||   2003-10-22 1:02:46 PM|| Front Page Top

#13 Lucky I agree with your statment as for the Renisance which most scholars state was the beginning of the modern age it eventually led to modern socialism
Posted by Observer 80 2003-10-22 1:27:04 PM||   2003-10-22 1:27:04 PM|| Front Page Top

#14 That is the rationale behind Saudization. But Saudization is confronted by a major and so far insurmountable problem — the unwillingness of young Saudis to work in blue-collar jobs. They want to work in banks, in offices, at worst in shops. But not with their hands.

Long-standing tribal/cultural problem and not just restricted to the Saudis (I saw it in some of the UAE emirates), or to their civilian sector.
Posted by Pappy 2003-10-22 1:34:29 PM||   2003-10-22 1:34:29 PM|| Front Page Top

#15 Hindsight makes everything so easy...
Spain should've founded GOPEC and withheld much of the booty to keep prices artificially high. Mebbe they should've kept one or two pet Moors as financial advisors...
Posted by .com 2003-10-22 1:49:03 PM||   2003-10-22 1:49:03 PM|| Front Page Top

#16 Saudization has been the mantra for 20 years. Makes you wonder if it's just an isssue that's brought up for consumption when convenient. Did party cadres in the good ol' USSR in the '80's still believe in the Dictatorship of the Proletariat? Doubt it.
It's not just there aren't enough Saudi plumbers and electricians, but there aren't natives who are willing to foray into the private sector. The govt. sector absorbs most graduates and those who do go into the private sector generally make less or at least have fewer benefits than their public sector counterparts.
Example: My company had a position open and wanted to hire a Saudi English teacher to show how it was in the Saudization spirit. Fine, I said. After many weeks of resumes, interviews and phone calls, I offered a certified translator the position. Had great English and personality. The guy was working for a small firm at the time, and had only a morning schedule. Seemed "with it". No, he said. Why, I said. I'm not a teacher, he said. I know that, I said. I will train you. Remember our interview? You and I will work on it for three months, and you'll be fine.
Long story short, he declined and we didn't hire anybody. I found out through a non-teaching Saudi colleague that the real reason was the guy didn't want to be at work at 7:00, finish at three and have to teach 5 classes in between. Supervisor, OK. Grunt teacher, not OK. And we offered him the equivalent of $36,OOO/year to start with the understanding that he'd be fast-tracked to a higher office eventually.
And now the Kingdom is gonna get nukes from Pakland? Is the nuke sector going to be Saudized too?
Posted by Michael 2003-10-22 2:24:56 PM||   2003-10-22 2:24:56 PM|| Front Page Top

#17 On a largely unrelated note, I thought I should mention that Gordon Jump, the Maytag Repairman, died about a month ago.

A largely useless bit of information, but given the title, I thought it worth mentioning.
Posted by Anonymous 2003-10-22 2:38:35 PM||   2003-10-22 2:38:35 PM|| Front Page Top

#18 .com

Moors were cast out because, between other things,
they were acting as a fifth column for the Turks and
I failed to notice any Moor getting a Nobel in economics. Now, if Spain had kept its Jews...
Posted by JFM  2003-10-22 3:08:56 PM||   2003-10-22 3:08:56 PM|| Front Page Top

#19 Alaska Paul-
Regarding pre-90-91 Kuwait, I thought I read that part of their problem when the neighbors decide to come over the border, in addition to being drastically outnumbered, was that most of what constituted the Kuwaiti Defense Force at the time were undermotivated Pakland mercs.

Supposedly now they've got enough actual Kuwaitis motivated to do the fighting, but who knows.
Posted by OminousWhatever 2003-10-22 6:14:54 PM||   2003-10-22 6:14:54 PM|| Front Page Top

#20 Omninous,
At that time, I beleive Kuwaitt had an actual trust fund that oil dollars went into. The fund paid enough out to each citizen that they actually didn't have to work at all. This may be a myth.
Posted by Super Hose  2003-10-22 6:38:03 PM||   2003-10-22 6:38:03 PM|| Front Page Top

09:00 Observer 80
01:26 R. McLeod
00:24 Atomic Conspiracy
00:21 Rafael
00:09 Frank Martin
23:55 Uncle Joe
23:49 Dishman
23:42 Uncle Joe
23:37 Pappy
23:37 Uncle Joe
23:21 Old Patriot
23:13 Robert Crawford
23:01 Robert Crawford
22:57 Old Patriot
22:45 Old Patriot
22:43 Robert Crawford
22:39 tu3031
22:13 Tokyo Taro
21:36 Alaska Paul
21:35 Atomic Conspiracy
21:31 badanov
21:27 Alaska Paul
21:18 Super Hose
21:09 Atomic Conspiracy

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