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Gasoline prices and energy consumption

Published:

Last Edited: September 7, 2005, 9:43 am

Asians want to live in refrigerators same as Americans. 

The greedy yaller perils

It isn’t a new problem, but it's different today.  Today there's a developing third world wanting to live the way 'Mercans been doing.  And they have the unfair advantage of producing products to make their currency worth something.

During the early 1970s, America was rocked by fuel shortages.  Americans, accustomed to paying 30 cents a gallon for gasoline suddenly found themselves paying a dollar at the pumps, provided they could get any.

A consortium of oil producing nations, OPEC, decided they had a finite oil reserves that would be depleted entirely by 2050.  It was the only exportable product most of those nations had, so they figured they’d better make hay while the sun shines.

They also wanted to encourage other nations to reduce fuel demands and develop their own oil supplies so the OPEC nation oil reserves wouldn’t be depleted so quickly.

Through several presidencies the pledges of each president included developing alternative energy resources and reducing US energy consumption.  Carter, particularly, made a valiant attempt to make it happen.

There’s a temptation to find a scapegoat, such as the greens, for these outrageous gas prices.  But this problem, same as the threat of that hurricane, has been hanging over our heads for decades and we’ve been ignoring it, increasing our dependence of foreign oil ever year.

There’s even a body of thought that the US government deliberately ignored the problem and remained silent on it in order to allow Americans to deplete oil reserves in the Middle East and elsewhere while preserving our own, so’s to be able to sell our own for higher prices when everyone else no longer had any.  There’s some evidence this is true.  The US oil patch and exploration infrastructure was allowed to completely deconstruct during the 1980s, and thousands of producing oil wells were plugged because, ostensibly, it cost more to bring it out of the ground here than it did to buy it from OPEC.

But whatever’s the explanation for shutting down the US oil patch, this isn’t an OPEC problem.  It isn’t a nasty ugly mean Greens problem.  It’s about consumption versus demand.

If we want lower prices we have to take a smaller piece of a diminishing international resource pie.

Those Asians, East Indians, people everywhere want refrigerated homes to live in because it’s cooler inside, more comfortable, same as it is to you.  And today, those people have the added advantage of actually producing things of value to add substance to their currency, whereas, we don’t.

Someone commented on another blog entry here that whiners and complainers didn't build this country.  She was correct.  People who produced things built this country.

Strange, but true.

Jack

 

Entry #256

Comments

1.
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 7, 2005, 9:57 am
The good news is that when it becomes obvious the US dollar is worth nothing in hard value, we'll be able to produce products more cheaply than the third world and sell those products to them. Cool, huh?

Chinese kids playing with rubber monster toys produced in the US. Chinese adults watching giant television sets produced in the US.

Wow. What a concept.

Jack
2.
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 7, 2005, 11:54 am
It's also refreshing to imagine America bouncing back, unplugging those oil wells when everyone else runs out, selling them crude at $500 a barrel. Americans busy manufacturing leading edge alternative energy products such as photovoltaics, wind generators, energy efficient automobiles.

Former social workers, career military employees, school administrators working in factories building things for export at wages ranging from $10 per hour upward, automotive factories with workers twisting nuts onto bolts, not for $40-$50 per hour, but rather for $10 an hour and glad to have the job.

Yep, refreshing.

Jack

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