OPEC Gives Us Gas

It was once said that thinking is , by far, the hardest work of all. That is very true sand that’s why you see it done so poorly. so often and in the best of circles.

In terms of public policy you see it done poorly, in great detail so often it can be discouraging. So many otherwise able men have spent entire careers buttressing ideas that hindsight has proven to be just so much nonsense. the list is truly endless. So often these mistakes are based on just failing to see a thing or circumstance for what it really is.

In the last thirty years there can be no more damaging example of this failure to comprehend the truth of the actual situation than our approach to energy supply for the United States.

The common wisdom is we don’t have sufficient domestic energy to meet our needs and it is a drag on our economy to import sufficient supplies.

It has been stated at the highest levels that we are ‘addicted” to foreign oil and dependent upon unreliable sources.

Baloney! Pure, unadulterated hooey! Just because we have artificial lines drawn on maps demarcating one region from another and we echo those lines by the different colors we use to print our currencies doesn’t mean they have any meaning in the real, modern economic world.

Just because we practice an economic model that requires resources beyond those we can produce locally doesn’t make us some sort of supplicant or some degenerate needing a fix. I find this description of the facts to be distasteful and a completely inaccurate take on things as they really are. I also find it to be insulting to all Americans. It is certainly a detailed misstatement of circumstances as they really are.

The drug dealer couldn’t care less about the individual junkie for the simple reason there are thousands more like them and the fate or circumstances of one has no effecvt on the drug dealer’s business. He has a product he can sell to an endless line of dependent customers. He is in the ultimate seller’s market.

Here is obviously what’s really going on. Our economy, despite what you may have heard from stupid or outright dishonest politicians, is a colossus that bestrides the world.

Our creativity, our productivity, our education and cultural advances are the engine that drives the world’s economy. The despised, poorest among us live in what would be considered luxury practically anywhere else in the world because we are simply that good. We, in point of fact, carry the rest of the world on our shoulders and lift it a little higher every day. For well over a century every generation has been smarter, more enlightened, more productive than the last. Every person on this planet has benefited from the mere fact of our existence. The world is as we have made it and it will be as we make it for some time to come.

Now here’s the fat news. That engine consumes natural resources at a truly astonishing clip. the sheer logistics involved in acquiring and distributing these things has become mundane but is still truly amazing. By dint of our motivation ans expertise and ability we build and maintain the unprecedented vast networks. We might farm out the nuts and bolts but the nuts and bolts, in the end, exist because we caused them top and chances are we also own them.

We aren’t some despicable supplicant with our hands out to the rest of the world for it’s resources. We are the world’s customer of only resort. That, my friends, is what’s known as a buyer’s market and in a lot of ways we have to start seeing it and treating it for what it really is. The underlying economic problems we have faced since the 1970’s have been from refusing to treat the OPEC nations in the proper fashion.

OPEC is not our drug dealer. they have one product that is essentially worthless to anyone but us. The idea that they hold these elaborate meetings to determine what we will pay for that product is a Kafkaesque joke.

It has been said that when the US sneezes the rest of the world gets pneumonia. That is true and that is exactly what has happened. By not immediately and forcefully refusing to submit to the Cartel’s blackmail we have unleashed chaos. The various conflicts in the Middle-East have been fueled by infusing immature fuedal societies with an over abundance of unjustified wealth. The Third World Debt Crisis is a result of us allowing the third world nations to be gouged for energy exactly at the wrong stages of their development.

The severe dislocation of our own economy is a direct result of not understanding and therefore not responding to these thing properly. By “severe dislocation” I mean that since the early 1970’s we have gone from having one job supporting a middle-class family to a circumstances where it takes two and three incomes to maintain a decent home. No matter what an economist tells you: an effect that is felt as a negative impact across a broad percentage of any population is a severe dislocation.

As individual citizens we don’t have much of a chance to make an immediate impact. We can use and support public transportation in urban areas. We can demand and buy more eficient cars and appliances.. We can make our homes energy tight. The carbon footprint idea might be the single dumbest thing I’ve heard in years but it does have the impact of reducing consumption. It does have the impact of reducing your personal victimization by scam artists. We can rwesist being caught up in an essentially bad idea.

Our leadership has to begin seeing the circumstances for what they really are and then begin to think clearly how to fix them.

Are there reasons why our leaders have been deliberately blind to this based in dishonesty? Oh, hell yeah. Knowing that doesn’t fix it. It might be a good idea not to vote for oil guys from Texas or have a Secretary of State with an oil tanker named after her. That just seems so obvious.

The world produces an abundance of resources to fuel the engine we have built. Those resources only have value to those who can employ them. It is wrong to say we are addicted to them. They are merely useful components to a very productive engine. It is also wrong to say we are entitled to them as if we were some sort of overlords. It is right to say a fair price in exchange for merchandise will benefit us all far more than any dishonest arrangement.

Free markets work very well. The energy markets are by no means free. They are artificially contrived and manipulated mainly because we have allowed them to be and they don’t work.

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