Sarah Kass of the Jerusalem Post calls the Israli-Palestinian “The Longest-running Reality Show.” Brief excerpt:
There is no need for education or creativity in an oil economy; no need for hard work or imagination or healthy competition. For an oil economy to work properly the country just needs a strongman ruler who lords it over his crew of tough guys who, in turn, arrange to haul the stuff out of the earth and haul the cash back into the country, thereby keeping things stable and efficient so everyone stays happy.
It’s a resource curse, this propensity for extraction economies to favor strongmen rulers. Like trust-fund babies who make a mess of their lives, an oil economy gives people the security of a trust fund along with the low expectations of a welfare program.
Who wouldn’t love a trust fund; but it’s humiliating and dispiriting to be on a culture-wide welfare program. As Warren Buffett once said, “A very rich person should leave his kids enough money to do anything, but not enough to do nothing.”