Monday, May 23, 2005

Stepping in it, now...

In my previous post, I asked the question: What would we (the US) do if we found ourselves suddenly without oil? Would we be willing to start wars, commit acts of terrorism if need be to obtain that which is keeping us from starving?

My point was to get us to do that most horrid of actions: Try to understand our "enemy." What was I thinking?

One respondent quickly pointed out that my scenario couldn't happen. We're strong enough fiscally that we couldn't find ourselves on the short end of an economic depression. If the price of oil went up drastically, he said, then we'd still be the ones who could most afford it.

I told him: The point of my analogy is to put yourself in their shoes, not the plausibility of my scenario - which got no response. For myself, I was less concerned about the design of my analogy than the point.

But what of the premise: Is my friend correct in thinking that we're superinsulated from any sort of economic disaster?

I think not. Try this scenario on for size. Disclaimer: I don't know nothin' 'bout economics, just what makes sense to me (in fact, I distrust economics as a legitimate science, but then that's another argument for another day).

1. The US has tremendous debt, much of it owned by China. China could, if inclined, pull out of our currency and we'd quickly take note.

2. China is, in fact, increasing their demand for oil. They want to be like us - a car in every garage and a driver in every car.

What if China took this opportunity to devalue the dollar in order to more readily afford the oil they so desire. What if we were out-capitalismed by communists! Wouldn't that be a rich irony?!

Now, I'm not suggesting that this is likely to happen. I'm only saying it could happen.

I think it is a valid truism: Those who live by the economic sword, die by it. I will stand by my assertion: Economic Darwinism sucks if you're not the most fit...

Let the economists rant!

1 comment:

hipchickmamma said...

amen--our (the us) achilles heel is in fact believing that "it couldn't/won't happen here" i remember watching Casablanca a week after sept. 11 and listening to bogie say that (sorry, i won't have the exact quote) no one would ever attack new york. they did in a big way! i agree--what wouldn't we do to protect our pocketbooks? yet we refuse to see the connection between the poverties of the people within and outside of the us and the prosperity that exists. keep preachin!