Column: Saudi to be utilized to replenish Florida beaches

As in other moments of national stupidity, we’ve pretty much erased it from our memories, but back in the ’70s, during the Arab oil embargo, there was an idea going around that gained considerable popular support:

We present Saudi Arabia and other Mideast oil producers with this proposition: A bushel of wheat for a barrel of oil. The implication being that they take the deal or starve.

The flaw in the proposition was that those countries could go elsewhere — Russia, Central Europe, Latin America — to buy wheat. It would be at greater cost, to be sure, but since OPEC, or the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, had pretty well cornered the world’s supply of money, that was not a great obstacle to the sheiks.

Things have changed, although not as much as one would expect.


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