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NO NATURAL RESOURCES? LUCKY YOU! by ProQuest

VIEWS: 119 PAGES: 3

Countries with natural resources invest in resource development. State wealth derives from royalties rather than from taxes paid by citizens producing products and services. No social contract between governed and governors is created. In contrast, countries without natural resources must invest in their citizens in order to generate national wealth. This establishes a social contract between taxpaying citizens and government and leads to the creation of independent worker and managerial classes as well as a significant higher education system. Russia has immense natural resources besides hydrocarbons. It also has highly educated human resources. Venezuela's potential instability because of a substantial decline in oil revenue could be a positive: It could result in a return to the values of a middle-class democracy. Saudi Arabia is insular in every sense of the word. It will probably turn inward under a fundamentalist regime but will avoid regional adventurism.

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									            tural resour
          Na cky you     ce
        o   lu       !     s?
      N                                                                                   Countries
                                                                                            with more
                                                                                             human than natural
                                                                                              resources tend to be
                                                                                              more democratic and
                                                                                              entrepreneurial. As oil-
                                                                                             producing countries see
                                                                                          petrodollars dry up, they may
                                                                                           invest more in their people
                                                                                                resources instead.
Peak oil puts the world in a
precarious position, but there
may also be an up side.




                                                                              © BRETT LAMB / ISTOCKPHOTO.COM




                                                by tsvi bisk




                                                  Roger Howard presents plausible scenarios regarding the geopolitical dan-
                                               gers of peak oil. Equally plausible scenarios could envision some positive
                                               impacts, because countries dependent on natural resources are often poor
                                               and undemocratic, while countries dependent on human resources are often
                                               rich and democratic.
                                                  Countries with natural resources invest in resource development. State
                                               wealth derives from royalties rather than from taxes paid by citizens produc-
                                               ing products and services. No social contract between governed and gover-
                                               nors is created. In contrast, countries without natural resources must invest
                                               in their citizens in order to generate national wealth. This establishes a social
                                               contract between taxpaying citizens and government and leads to the
                                               creation of independent worker and managerial classes as well as a signifi-
                                               cant higher education system. The components of constitutional democracy
                                               thus evolve.

 22   THE FUTURIST         September-October 2009   www.wfs.org
   Countries dependent on human            sources. Russia needs regional stabil-      of more educated women in the
resources tend to democratize fairly       ity to retain China as a market for         economy. Currently the gender pro-
quickly (in historical terms) since        natural resources. It also needs good       portions in local branches of Ameri-
they require constitutional protec-        relations with the European Union           can universities are 3 to 1 in favor of
tions of real and intellectual prop-       as a market for both natural re-            women. All this bodes well for inter-
erty, transparency, and freedom of         sources and the products and ser- 
								
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