Not So Vast As Our Failure
Few people seem to recall that the U.S. was the Saudi Arabia of the world at one time producing more oil than any other country. At the beginning of the last century the U.S. was the greatest oil exporter in the world. 7 out of 8 barrels of oil used in the first and second world wars were U.S. oil barrels. The sale and use of oil is in large part how the U.S. became so rich and powerful. For decades the U.S. was the largest creditor nation in the world. U.S. money, âsound as the dollarâ, flooded into countries all over the world as investment capital and at home it allowed the U.S. to fund the greatest investment in pure research, technological advancement and military power that the world has ever seen.
How things have changed. Today the U.S. is both the largest importer of oil in the world as well as by far the largest debtor nation in the world. These two facts being not at all coincidental. It is very difficult for anyone to fully grasp the enormity of what âby farâ means in the case of U.S. debt but let me try to give you an idea. The U.S. national debt is 7 trillion dollars,13 trillion if you add State, municipal and consumer debt and 18 trillion if the Bush economic âplanâ is fully enacted. The entirety of the third worldâs debt is just about two trillion dollars. In other words the U.S. debt is many times the size of a debt that has been large enough to choke the economic life out of two-thirds of the worldâs people. Many of whom are being forced to try and get by on $1 a day. To give an idea of what $1 a day means. If you had been paid $1 a day since the time of the birth of Jesus you would not yet have earned your first million. ($731,953 as of this sentence, and now back to our peak oil story.)