Kuwaiti Gift Exchange

KUWAIT CITY–Kuwait's ruler is marking several key anniversaries by literally paying tribute – handing out 1,000 dinar ($3,559) grants and free food coupons for every citizen in the Gulf nation.

The state news agency KUNA reports Monday that Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah has ordered the gifts for all the estimated 1 million Kuwaiti citizens.

It even covers newborns until Feb. 1….The food program is expected to offer free staples such as rice, eggs and milk until March 2012.

Hmmm, what could account for this sudden urge to gift?


Such things were called 'largesse' when we used to use longer words.

Islamic guilt? Terminal illness? Miraculous cure?

Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, or as he is known in the inner circle, Helicopter Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah.

>>Hmmm, what could account for this sudden urge to gift?>>

The Sheik election is coming up. They need better campaign finance laws.

My girlfriend and I have been watching the HBO show Rome, in which the timing of gifts from politicians and leaders to the people has much to do with political discontent. In one recent episode, the highly strung Verenus insists on giving fish and bread to the plebeians in rhetoric designed to appeal to virtue and honor, but it is actually an effort to maintain the power of his patron, Marc Antony (though Verenus may not acknowledge this to himself).

Apparently things have not changed so much between the age of Rome and now, or at least our depictions of the age of Rome.


It's always helpful when total ignorance self-identifies with such clarity.

When you learn anything about the history, culture, society and/or governmental structure of Kuwait, or any other country, let us know.

Yes Stuart, I hope that Bartman enlightens us all with the specifics of Kuwait's "history, culture, society and/or governmental structure" that he feels are so relevant, particularly after referring to Prof. Tabarrok as "foolish and uninformed" and accusing another commenter of being totally ignorant.

Why all of the vitriol Bartman? If Prof. Tabarrok is incorrectly conflating the issues here, he sure isn't alone:

Kuwait's leadership even officially recognized the events in Tunisia:

That recognition occurred not long at all before the announcement of the generous handout. Apparently many knowledgeable non-couch-dwellers out there do not consider timing of Kuwait's actions to be mere coincidence. Prof. Tabarrok is apparently not alone in analyzing the actions of Kuwait's leadership in a larger context of similar actions around the region.

Perhaps even those that spent "half a decade over there" should refrain from sitting "in front of their computer screens" molding and squeezing things other people say "to match their predefined world-views and mental pigeonholes." You, sir, have done that more than anyone else in this thread.

This sounds very interesting. Please explain to me me what's the next step. I'll be back for your upcoming post after I am clear of your point.

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