Iran, Russia and Venezuela Feel the Benefits
High oil prices are fueling one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history. Oil consumers are paying $4 billion to $5 billion more for crude oil every day than they did just five years ago, pumping more than $2 trillion into the coffers of oil companies and oil-producing nations this year alone.
The consequences are evident in minds and mortar: anger at Chinese motor-fuel pumps and inflated confidence in the Kremlin; new weapons in Chad and new petrochemical plants in Saudi Arabia; no-driving campaigns in South Korea and bigger sales for Toyota hybrid cars; a fiscal burden in Senegal and a bonanza in Brazil. In Burma, recent demonstrations were triggered by a government decision to raise fuel prices.
In the United States, the rising bill for imported petroleum lowers already anemic consumer savings rates, adds to inflation, worsens the trade deficit, undermines the dollar and makes it more difficult for the Federal Reserve to balance its competing goals of fighting inflation and sustaining growth.
Here we are, decades into a prophesy, most recently from the 70s – do you remember Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock? Future shock is also a term for a certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies, introduced by Toffler in his book of the same name. Toffler’s shortest definition of future shock is a personal perception of “too much change in too short a period of time“. It was fun and provocative reading, but who took it seriously enough to do anything to avert the crisis we find ourselves in? This generation has proved Toffler correct.
The power shift we are experiencing was a natural evolution for the manner our democracy morphed. We lost sight of the original target of our founders. They made it explicit that too much power in too few hands is the foundation for corruption. That premise is why the late great “America” fell from grace.
Petroleum, oil, hydrocarbons, is what this country has based its entire infrastructure upon. The remainder of the world jumped on board this non-renewable dependency. Technology to make a big difference to the rate of ruining earth and its occupants abounds. Green living is the toy of the wealthy. The largest population is just struggling to survive and cannot afford to join planet saving energy behavior, as it exists right now. All that is available to the common person is “do more with less” just like they are doing right now. Like a junkie in de-tox, our society will go through a very painful adjustment. Reality and responsibility have not been a top priority in education. The polarization of America is the first step to its demise.
Our society has devolved into Ockham’s Razor thinking. The simplest answer is the best answer. What usually ruins this concept of simplistic thinking is, it never takes all things into consideration. The famous, over used, phrase “all things being equal”, is an oversimplification. All things are NOT equal. Equality is relative.
There are millions of permutations to the humanity occupying this planet. When one, two or three segments of that humanity decide they are the chosen, entitled to the lion’s share of comfort or prosperity, then the long ignored planet will have it’s say. Humans will be humbled by a reality much larger than their puny little imaginations can create. Imaginary voices from imaginary gods will be silenced.