Why is Saudi Arabia letting women drive? It's not due to Twitter protests, hashtags, or political opinion in Western countries. None of that matters to the rulers in Saudi Arabia. This is just plain economics: the price of oil is low and there is little evidence to suggest it is going up anytime soon. When oil prices were high, the state could provide generous subsidies thanks to the sale of oil. That is, the subsidies allowed the state to subsidize a tyrannical system where women could not drive. (As a side note: absent Western technology, the Saudis would never be able to recover any of the oil). Saudi Arabia will find it impossible to continue this practice with low and possibly lower oil prices. As oil goes lower, I suspect we may find other wonderful developments. So the frackers in America are doing their part for women's rights in far off places like Saudi Arabia. Cheers to frackers!
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