Re: Easy mistake to make?
Saudi may be investing but their per capita income is near Mexico. Long term, a country needs skilled people to be rich (Wealth of Nations), but Saudi hasn't really figured that out. Skilled or hard jobs are mostly expats. Couple that with a religious drive to have as many children as possible and a parasitic nobility. Then take a govt which coopts a particularily nasty strain of Islam, Wahhabism, and gives its clerics free reign as long as "King by the Grace of Allah" is religious dogma.
9/11? Mostly Saudis citizens. Mosques in France? Unwisely left to be financed by Saudi in the 80s and 90s. Pakistan & Taliban? Saudi money. Bin Laden. Whatever fuckups they are up to in Yemen?
If you tell me Norway is cleverly investing for post-oil, sure. Saudi? Hahahahaha. The cleverer of the princes are probably just lining their nest eggs. And it's not that much of a surprise that their subjects are cranky.
IMHO we'd have a generally less problematic Islam if some more competent, gentler, folk were living around the Muslim holy sites or if they had no oil $ to corrupt everyone else with.
p.s. to be fair there was a string of terrorism against the House of Saud 6-8 yrs ago that somewhat opened their eye that their crap wasn't just everyone else's problem.