In that Thomas Friedman article mentioned below, Mr. Hot, Flat, and Crowded says:
It baffles me that President Bush would rather go to Saudi Arabia twice in four months and beg the Saudi king for an oil price break than ask the American people to drive 55 miles an hour, buy more fuel-efficient cars or accept a carbon tax or gasoline tax that might actually help free us from what he called our “addiction to oil.”
Actually, what baffles me is that the President has to go to Saudi Arabia twice in four months to beg the Saudi king for an oil price break when Congress could easily give the consumers one by lifting its restrictions on Americans exploiting their very own resources that currently lie out of bounds in ANWR, the Rockies, and the Outer Continental Shelf, behind legislative lock and key with a regulatory sign on them saying “Beware of the Leopard.”
As for Gal Luft’s laughably overblown comments about the Saudis buying up Apple, see my paper from a few months back:
Non-Terrorist Use of Petrodollars. Overseas acquisitions from the Arab world in
2007 amounted to a mere $68 billion. Middle Eastern individuals and companies own a total of $8 billion of U.S. direct investment, less than that owned by tiny Belgium, at $10 billion. But even if the numbers were bigger, there is no fire in this alarm.
Foreign investment raises labor productivity, income, and employment. Workers are better off with more capital rather than with less, and are usually indifferent to the investor’s nationality. Middle Eastern investment increases capital in its recipient countries, which directly increases labor productivity and GDP. Because about two-thirds of GDP goes to labor as wages, salaries, and fringe benefits, rising output means higher wages or more employment. In essence, the Arabs are using our petrodollars for our benefit as much as theirs. Foreigners, never mind Arabs, continue to own a negligible amount of American capital, so fears of an “Arab takeover” are overblown.
Let’s face it, given the amount of oil wealth sitting in Alberta, we should be worried about Canada buying us up!