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Foreign Policy Analysis
Why isn’t BAHRAIN the World’s RICHEST country? – VisualPolitik EN

Why isn’t BAHRAIN the World’s RICHEST country? – VisualPolitik EN

Imagine a country with the population of MANHATTAN but with huge reserves of oil and gas. A country surrounded by the wealthiest oil
rich monarchies. Where am I talking about? Exactly! Bahrain! A country so tiny that we almost can’t see
it on the map. Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking…
life must be wonderful here, right? Money for everybody, a prosperous economy
and amazing growth, right? Well… the opposite is true. Bahrain Downgraded To Junk, As Political Crackdown
Continues Unabated Yes, you heard that right. Bahrain debt is considered to be a junk bond
on the international market. This means, investors are so hesitant about
their economy that they don’t believe Bahrein will be able to give those loans back. The truth is… things in Bahrain are getting
really sour. If you’ve follow VisualPolitik for a long
time, you already know that, within the Islamic world, there are two big groups: SUNNI muslims
and SHIA muslims. And they hate each other. As you know, Saudi Arabia is something like
the SunnI Muslim Hollywood. And the Islamic Republic of Iran is the same
but for the Shia Muslims. This is why they have been in a cold war for
decades. In the context of this cold war, Bahrain has
the funniest situation of all. Basically, in this country, the majority of
the population is SHIA muslim. But the Royal house that rules the country
is SUNNI muslim. This is why their monarchs have turned political
oppression into an art. OK! So far, nothing that will surprise you. But hey! The title of this video is… Why Bahrein could become the world’s wealthiest
country… or something like that. So why do we say that? Because of this. Bahrain discovers largest oil field in country
since 1932 Yes, my dear viewers. They already already had dinosaur juice. But now they have even more. Basically, Bahrein could have more oil than
Russia itself. And with just a fraction of their population. So… in summary, there are only a few people
to share the money with. But the question is… is this ENOUGH to become
the wealthiest country on the planet? Why, even with so much oil, are Bahrain’s
debt bonds still considered junk? What is going on this country? Today we are going to answer to all of these
questions but before we do, let’s take a look back at history. A
GOLDEN CAGE Look, if any of you want to become a dictador
one day, here are some tips. Basically, there are two ways to make people
follow you. The first one is the obvious one: good old
oppression. The problem? If you go too crazy with the oppression…
you’re risking a popular uprising. We told you thousands of times here on VisualPolitik,
being a dictator is a risky job. Not many of them die of old age. But… there is an alternative, healthier
and more sustainable way: what we can call the ‘money for nothing’ strategy. Basically, you shower all your citizens in
gold. If they’re wealthy and they don’t need
to get a job, they won’t worry about politics at all. So the AL KHALIFA family, the ruling family
in Bahrain, has combined both of these methods in a very effective fashion. In fact, the Prime Minister, who happens to
be the King’s uncle, holds the World record for the longest-lasting ruler. He has been in power since 1971. Nonetheless… how can a SUNNY muslim family
stay in power for such a long time in a country with a SHIA majority population? Well, as we said before, on one hand we have
that good old iron fist. Do you protest against the government? Good! You’ll automatically be considered a terrorist:
they’ll send you to jail, give you the death penalty, or just exile you. And we aren’t talking about an isolated
example here. This is something that happens every week. Bahrain strips 115 of nationality over ‘terrorism’
allegations Over 700 people in Bahrain have had their
citizenship revoked since 2012 And yes, I know what you’re going to say:
‘Oh, come on Simon, don’t be such a snowflake! In other democratic countries they’d retire
your citizenship too!’ And, of course, you’re right. But the difference is the proportions. For example, in United Kingdom, there are
some examples, sure. But there are one, two… ten… here we’re
talking about hundreds. And OK, you might say now… ‘well, but
things are changing, right? The World is evolving, the Middle East is
getting more and more modern…’ well… sorry to say it but, in this case, the opposite
is true. In 2011, during the arab spring, the SHIA
citizens went to the streets asking for more democracy. Saudi Arabia, alongside with United Arab Emirates,
send troops to help the Bahraini government repress those demonstrations. So today, 1 out of every 500 people in Bahrain
are political prisoners. Among them there are many shia leaders. But not only that! Since 2011, Bahrein has passed new laws to
make it easier to retire one’s citizenship. And believe me, losing Bahreini citizenship
is a BIG shame. Losing citizenship means that you lose all
your Rights. You must give up your passport, your driving
license, you cannot own a house, a car, a phone or a bank account. You cannot marry in the country or have a
bank account. If you decide to leave, you cannot come back. And if you happen to stay, you cannot leave. In summary, opposing the government turns
you into a second class citizen. And… well… this is a big shame because,
my dear viewers, being a first class citizen is just GREAT. And this is where the ‘money for nothing’
policy comes into play. This is what we can call Bahrain’s social
contract. Basically, if you forget about politics, you
don’t have to worry about anything. Are you looking for a job? You can get it in the government! And don’t worry, nobody is going to check
if you even go to the office. Do you need to go to the supermarket? Everything is subsidized! Fuel your car? Crazy cheap prices! OK, OK! And what happens if you wanna work for a private
Business? No problem! The government guarantees quotes for local
workers. So no immigrant will take away your job! This is, actually, the funniest part: the
immigrant quotas. Basically, they are meant to reserve the coolest
Jobs for the locals. For example, 50% of Bank workers have to be
from Bahrain. In the cool, fancy shops, 30%. But construction workers? Just 5%! Why? Well… because who wants to lay bricks under
the Bahraini Sun? Oh! Let’s just leave that for the immigrants! This is why 55% of the Bahraini population
are immigrants. And they are the ones who actually get work
done. And… well… to be fair, I have to make
an aside here. Look, having more immigrants than locals is
very common in the Middle East. For example, foreign citizens make up 75%
of Qatar’s population. But Bahrain is a pioneer in one way. They are one of the few countries that ban
the so-called KAFALA. And what is KAFALA all about? Well… this is a sort of modern-day slavery. The KAFALA system links foreign workers with
a national who is their patron. This patron can decide whether the immigrant
can change his or her job or even leave the country. So well… Bahrain has abolished this inhuman practice
so… there you go. Nonetheless, despite all of this, what you
now might wonder is… Can a country where nobody Works prosper? And the answer is… of course not. 120 DOLLARS
Living without working is expensive. They only manage it in Bahrain because of
one thing: OIL. Dinosaur juice makes up more than 60% of their
exports and 75% of the government’s income. But, in order to cover all the costs, the
Government needs the oil barrel price at 120 dollars. Less than that and they don’t make enough
profit to make ends meet. And you might wonder… Is 120 dollars too much or too little? Well, look, at a historic peak, in July 2008,
oil was at 147 dollars. But, as you know, in 2014, oil prices fell. In January 2016, they went as little as 26
dollars. And this explains news like this. S&P cuts Bahrain rating to ‘B+’
So what did they do with low prices and lack of income? Of course, they took on more and more debt. The result speaks for itself. In just two years, public debt has gone from
7% to 70%. And despite crude prices going up again…
it seems pretty unlikely that it will reach 120 dollars a barrel anytime soon. So far, Bahrain has already revoked subsidies
on meat products… and this is just the beginning. Bahrain will introduce VAT by end of 2018,
says finance minister Yes, you heard that right. In Bahrain there is no tax on income and…
so far they didn’t even have indirect taxation. But the situation is desperate and they need
to create new taxes that didn’t even exist before. But… what can this mean for Bahrain? Well… do you remember how this particular
authoritarian rule worked? The Shia population accepts SUNNI oppression
in exchange for money for nothing. So when the economics fail… politics fail
too. Only a miracle could save the AL KHALIFA family…
and the miracle… is this one. THE OIL MIRACLE
So far, Bahrain produces 200 000 oil barrels a day. This is nothing compared with the 10’s of
millions in Saudi Arabia. But this is insane if we take the country’s
size into account. As I said before, Bahrain has just discovered
a big ass oil bed. And they could start pumping dinosaur juice
in less than five years. According to the most optimistic analysts,
this Could double production and end the deficit problem. The problem? If you follow VisualPolitik, you might have
already guessed it. Not every kind of oil costs the same. And this new oil bed has all the ingredients
needed to be very, very expensive. First of all, it’s underwater, which means
that Bahrain must build platforms on the seafloor. Second, it’s shale oil, which means it’s
under a rock. You need fracking technology to break that
rock. And that fracking technology is anything but
cheap. In this chart you can see the production cost
of an oil barrel in different countries. We can’t imagine how much fracking in Bahrain
would cost. But we can see how much it costs in United
States. If you pay attention to the chart, you’ll
see that shale oil is significantly more expensive than normal oil. If Bahrain wants to make a profit, the barrel
should cost over 60 dollars. But, since they need a huge profit to cover
all their expenses, they need an even higher market price. So what can save Bahrain from ruin? Well… the answer is the same as it is in
other Middle Eastern countries: diversification. Producing other things apart from oil. Which explains news like this. Mondelez opens $90m ‘Factory of the Future’
in Bahrain But, of course, if you really want to attract
Business from other industries, you need something other than oil beds. You need rule of law, with clear taxes and
a government that doesn’t send people to jail without a trial. We’ve told you this several times: Dubai
and, generally speaking, the United Arab Emirates, started this path years ago. Not Saudi Arabia might follow suit… although… we aren’t sure about that. And it’s a matter of time that Bahrain did
the same. But of course, if those economic reforms mean
that Bahraini people have to pay taxes or even… work hard… then the ruling family
will be in dire straits. So the big question here is… Do you think the Bahraini citizens will accept
such an authoritarian government if they no longer enjoy the money for nothing policy? Do you think they’ll find a way to reform
their system? Please, leave your answer in the comment section
below. Also, visit the RECONSIDER MEDIA site, the
podcast that provided the vocals in this episode that were not mine. And do not forget that we publish brand new
videos every week so subscribe to this channel and click on the bell icon so you won’t
miss a post. If you liked this video, give us a thumbs
up and, as always, I’ll see you next time.

100 comments on “Why isn’t BAHRAIN the World’s RICHEST country? – VisualPolitik EN

  1. I would recite to you what Walton Goggins said as Sheriff Chris Mannix in the Hateful Eight movie, which is
    "Sound to me you've been reading a lot of NEWSPAPERS Printed in WASHINGTON D.C."

    And I do admit, life aint fun her, and you had a lot of you "Good life bad life" facts mixed up. Matter of fact, what ya got right was only that the economy is taking a dip. Visit Bahrain, and talk to the people. They will tell ya, everybody knows whats the problem.

  2. We aren’t citizens, but we have a good life, honestly. You should interview a couple of Bahrainis and expats living in Bahrain.

  3. Oh Man, please get off your fancy chair and like visit Bahrain for real! This is so funny to hear in 2018. You and the people who are listening to you are delusional!

  4. Sorry to say, but I’m pretty much in agreement with the majority of the comments here.
    I’m British, but I’ve lived in the Middle East for 4 years now.
    Most people here, if they want a party getaway, they go to UAE (Dubai).
    If they want a hiking/cultural getaway, they go to Oman.
    If they want to see historical or religious history, they go to Saudi.
    Guess what, you can have ALL of that: in Bahrain.
    I have been many times, and have many Arab and Bahraini friends who either live there, work there, or visit there regularly etc…
    …there’s no tension, no religious pressure, no xenophobic locals refusing to work or giving foreign workers the trashy jobs, and definitely no lack of FUN,
    It’s a muslim country, but they have nightclubs, bars, mixed gender gyms, restaurants, and yes, alcohol…lots of it.
    I would have almost believed the information in this video, that is, you know, if I hadn’t actually BEEN there!
    السلام عليكم يا شباب و بنات من بحرين!

  5. it's sad to see how all the expats comments about Bahrain how happy they are here , but no one knows how its like to be Bahraini ..

  6. I am a BAHRAINI and 40% of the is a big lie or a dispert way to make the views go up…… we live in a very safe place and the small riot ended in 2011. So I think somebody is either jealsous or is funded by somebody. #lieing_bold

  7. This is one of the most biased videos you guys have ever put out. Even the tone of your voice and the way you strain certain "points" to nail them home is ridiculous.

     In most countries bottom of the barrel jobs are for immigrants, unless you are a western immigrant, I mean expat who is working in a developing country. How many Pakistani, Kurdish or African immigrants work in the City of London?? Wait they're Health Care Assistants wiping old british people's bums.

  8. @VisualPlolitik EN To your question at the end of the video, the answer is NO. I mean like not a definite no either because all of the Bahraini community will not let go of this power they hold as of now. Tell me this when you get no tax on food or basically anything, would you keep that life you only know about or would you let it go?

    Yes, Bahrain in comparison to other GCC countries, more progressive and liberal than any of the others.
    As an expat raised from there I have mixed feeling about Bahrain I like how they had been 'trying' to handle things in their own hands and rectify the debt they have… I don't think they realized how much of a mistake they did years back in bringing bais laws as they do keep changing them but not making it better for everyone to anyone.

  9. Bro wtf do you mean a country where nobody works.. Bahrainis are the most hardworking ppl in the gulf

  10. Don't give people a nagative view of Bahrain.
    Bahrain is the best before now and in the future …
    And every thing you've said it totally wrong bahrain and suadia are friends how could they hate each others and they are ones of our awesome gulf? ……

  11. Our goad is one we will never hate each other we are not from the racist type if you're talking about your self

  12. This is a very misleading video. Clearly someone isn't checking their facts about Bahrain. A very liberal and progressive beautiful country. And the nicest people in the GCC. I travel often and have to say, it is seriously one of the best countries I have visited on this earth, especially in the middle east. Go visit and see for yourself people.. and not listen to "untrue facts" in this video. #unsubscribed 🙄

  13. Bahrain has tightened the visa rules and employment restriction in many sector thats why bahrain is no longer attractive place for job seeker.
    Look up UAE how the have opened the doors for all nationalities and developing their country day by day.

  14. l was stationed there in 2013, l lived in the nicest apartment l have ever lived in my life. It was clean safe and the locals were cool as fuck!! made friends with many of them. They are very open for being a muslim nation, also there are many westerners living there with great jobs….most of the construction workers were indians, let's be real they probably would get way wprse working conditions and less pay in their own countries..

  15. Unsubscribing, I’m a Bahraini citizen and you’re wrong in this vid Sunnis and Shia live together in peace and love for decades upon decades since its independence, and the uprising in 2011 was caused by social media influenced by a bunch of trouble making teenagers! U should come to Bahrain yourself to see and believe yourself we’re aren’t ruled by a “tyrant” were ruled by one of the nicest and most humble rulers in the world

  16. I’m an asian visitor here in Bahrain and just in 3 days of my vacation here, I find people (mostly women wearing Hijab) here busybodied. Everytime I go to malls or even in public places they have this annoying look at me like I did something wrong or I’m badly different. I mean yes i’m different but the way they stare at me followed with a whispering…Makes me dislike the country and mostly Bahrainis. What would you feel If you go to our country and we treat you like that?

  17. I don't think any reasonable person can watch this video and believe anything you have to say. You have not even tried to support most of your claims and the video is full of sweeping statements. Just because you say something in a strong English accent, doesn't mean it's true. You have not once mentioned foreign intervention in the region as a cause for tensions between the countries in the region even though, had you done the absolute minimal amount of research, you would know note that it is the biggest influence of destabilization. Instead, you thought it suffice to blame religious differences. Please stop portraying yourself as an intellectual and try doing research before making these videos.

  18. This video completely ignores the citizens who support the ruling family.

    It is as if they do not exist or something, when their presence makes a HUGE difference 😂

  19. I beleieve that there will be a revolution in Bahrain, as the economy is weak and the government is weaker, if all the shias get armed with some sunni help they would overtake the government. I believe these Shia armed militias would be backed by Iran and qatar and even possibly turkey.

  20. Get to the point. You talk too much. Leave the royals alone. So majority is Sunnis. Bahrain has become capital city of expats cheating on their spouses and all got away with it. Do u have the balls to address this massive problems? Filipinos girls are the best and there is a reason why they chase European and/or American males. One did reeled my husband in after 24 years. U mate talk too much. Get to the real issues

  21. Let me ask you a question Simon,

    Are you a Bahraini citizen?


    Are your resources really accurate?


    So please don’t talk this way about my country.

    Bahraini citizens work harder than you can imagine to get employed

    No, Bahrain doesn’t hand out money to anyone.

    No, first class citizens still work as hard as other classes.

    The “terrorist” attack happened in what we would call a feud in 2011 it ended now.

    Also who gave you the assumption that in Bahrain suni and shia hate each other. We love each other and respect each other more than you can imagine.

    Bahrain is a wonderful country that many people adore. It’s known for it’s coexistence and unconditional love toward all nationalities and religions.

    You should pay a visit to Bahrain if you haven’t already

    Bahrain is my country and I’ll always love her.


  22. This man is financed by the Qatari government. He is on the payroll of the Qatari intelligence. I have prove !

  23. Ok, but, the whole "Shi'a's hate Sunnis and vice versa" thing is bull. I'm a Sunni, but half of my friends are Shi'a, and they're all very cool. We don't pay any heed to our differences because they don't matter.

  24. Oil is not dinosaur juice. There are many studies debunking that myth. Scientists are still very unsure where the oil comes from. But it’s definitely not dinosaurs.

  25. We don't have a problem in our country and shia and Sunnis dont hate each other were bahraini thats all that matters . 🇧🇭 PROUD

  26. I live in Bahrain Nd I love it here, it’s very peaceful and people love it. It’s so nice here Nd I don’t like this video lolz

  27. I am Bahraini and I tell you that the problems are not because of Sunnis or Shiites. We are in Bahrain. We are not enemies, but for other reasons I am following you from Bahrain.

  28. I think some of your information is misleading. Becoming a second class citizen = same status as a foreigner and foreigners can actually drive and work in Bahrain. The problem for us is that in order to apply for a mobile phone number, buy a car or apply for a liquor licence, one has to obtain a signature from your "sponsor" (what you referred to as a patron – a word which is becoming archaic/now mainly familiar as patron in the arts). At least in Bahrain, the majority of Bahrainis work which is more than I can say for the UAE 30 years ago when some Western companies used to pay their Emirati employees NOT to turn up at work! Bahrain still has learned to avoid doing their dirty political laundry in public and there is brewing unrest there which is dangerous as there is a shift majority.

  29. People in Bahrain are super dangerous even in 2011 when many of them became protesters if they haven't killed peaple

  30. I lived and worked in Bahrain from 1988/1990 and till today I love this country. Its people were always friendly and very helpful whether sunni or shia and as a matter of fact I had friends from both factions. Bahrain was my second home to me and I have always considered It a mistake of my decisión to leave in 1990. Never had any problems with Bahrainis and we as expacts were never harassed by the Police or any other authorities as long as you respected the law and Bahrain's culture and traditions. It is a pity that the people took to the streets in 2011 but I believe that now Bahrain is back to normal. I still miss Bahrain and I Guess I always will and I always keep hoping of having another opportunity to return back to Bahrain.

  31. its not suni shia problem its about the dictatorship of the "royal house" shia muslims live withe suni muslims but the media show it like its between suni and shia I am Bahraini and I know whats happening

  32. I am sunni muslim and i don't hate shias.I know you try to sum up and make the issues easier but 'shias and sunnis hate each other' is too much

  33. Some Sunni's and Shi'ites hate each other. Not all. Most Muslims on the edge or out of the Middle East think of Sunni's and Shi'ites in the same way Christians think of Catholics and Protestants.

  34. this guy is full of shit…the Shia and Sunni in Bahrain dont hate each other…and many other instances of bullshit this guy spews out…

  35. I wish there is a block button on Youtube (tbh idk). I don’t like to see your face, stop sticking your noses with GCC countries and mind your country.

  36. Many thanks! It's good to catch up on the country I worked in during the late 90s. Still have mixed feelings about it. As an ex-pat we regarded it as the Vegas of the Gulf. Loads of Saudis drove across to go to night clubs, drink and pick up 'business women' (mostly eastern Europeans who'd dyed their hair blond). I believe that was eventually curtailed. But a fascinating interlude to my life.

  37. im an expat in bahrain i will tell you more than half of this is full of shit. this is not so true , bahrain is not perfect but this is far from really .

  38. So funny how you phrase things sometimes 🙂 I like that its in some places is a bit like comedy style "can a country where people don't work prosper….. well of course not…" 🙂 that sounded so funny :))

  39. I wasn't pretty sure about moving to Canada(for Weed and job but weed first) or Qatar but no I want to leave Bahrain so Bad ..

  40. Please do a video on Qatar and the changed happening during the run up to the world cup. This country is going places.


  42. Correction: suni Muslims and shea Muslims are equal here now and we are in peace but suni Muslims are more tbh coming from a shei person

  43. This is a very very outdated video

    The internal tensions in Bahrain finished in 2011 now it's very very prosperous!!

    A big dislike to this video from my side

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