On European fuel prices and the lessons that OPEC countries can learn from Norway (II)

Am I missing something ? Hugo uses his petro dollars to fuel his socialist Bolivarian agenda.

I felt that Alfie’s comment demanded further discussion.

True, Chaves fuels Bolivarian agendas -whatever that may mean- like Arab Sheiks use their petro dollars to increase their camel collection, and UAE pays for expensive medical health abroad for its citizens instead of nurturing local education and medicine.

The point here being that Norway, not only has one of the oldest and more active sovereign wealth funds around for “the good of Norwegian people”, but also avoids inefficient fuel use by taxing it at EU levels.

If other oil rich countries followed suit, not only they would improve their populations by getting higher oil revenues in the present, but also creating far more efficient societies in the long term. But I guess that ultimately they do not want the general good… just to keep the status quo.

I just read on the WSJ that Qatar has now the highest GDP per capita in the world, $80,000. Dividing GDP over the population doesn’t give you the true picture. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, now Doha, all of them think they can buy  their way out of trouble by subsidising everyday expenses and importing expensive professionals, doctors, taxi-drivers, builders and even dog-walkers.

You seem to have only two types of oil producing countries, the ones with a massively wealthy minority and poor majority (Saudi Arabia, Nigeria) and the ones with a well-off but illiterate and ignorant population with expensive habits (Qatar, UAE).

As per Chaves and his Bolivarian revolution, the money-printing presses have been working overtime, and Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) has somehow stabilised around 20%. I wonder how much salary inflation is currently kept down by the import of Cuban doctors, teachers and engineers forced to work for “la Revolución” instead of money. Hey! But at least Cuba gets a bit of OPEC’s medicine… free oil.

Thanks but I’ll stick with Norway and Canada, their strategies sound more sensible and viable in the long run, plus, the moment we move from black gold (oil) to transparent gold (water) both countries are well endowed.

.Calvin

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