Originally Posted by PSmith08
OK. I agree, to a point. However, even if we totally (an enormous if) free ourselves from petrodependancy, there is no guarantee that emerging economies like China will too. However, let us remember that there is more to petroleum consumption than gasoline. What about plastics? What about industrial lubricants?
The way I like to look at it is to just divide the total daily oil use in the US by the number of people. That basically covers everything: plastics, industrial lubricants, product transportation, farming... everything. (You can add in an additional amount too to cover imported goods if you like.)
It basically works out to every man, woman, and child in America using 26 barrels of crude every year. Knowing this is useful because you can see the impact that rising crude prices have on people. So basically, the rise in price of crude from $25 to $65 increased the cost of living of every American by $1040. That includes driving as well as everything else behind the scenes: plastics, farming, etc. For an average family (2.5 people), the cost of living has increased by $2600/yr just because of crude.
The median household income in the US is $43k before tax; probably around $35k after tax (not sure on the exact after tax number). Anyway, that means that a $2600/yr increase in the cost of living because of crude means a 7.4% drop in an average household's after tax budget.
That's a lot, but it doesn't sound all that critical yet, I guess. Let's just hope the price of oil doesn't go higher.
|We are in a junkie's catch-22: we need to get off the stuff or we're in deep trouble, but we cannot get off the stuff because we're in deep trouble. What does that say? There is no methadone for oil addicts.
Paradoxically, we're worse off than China and Europe and developing countries because we're richer. So we can afford to pay higher prices for longer, and delay making sensible choices for longer. In the longer term, of course, these delays will hurt our economic competitiveness. Economies that use more oil per person simply won't be as competitive in the coming global marketplace. China is fortunate because they'll be forced to make better choices now
, just as Japan did in their poverty after the second world war, which helped them weather the two earlier oil shocks much better than the US.