The other day, I saw a report that nearly half the USA GNP (Gross National Product) is based on intellectual property. That means software, music, movies, novels, and related things. If you look at the other stuff, namely durable goods, like refrigerators, cars, furniture, etc., many or all of the parts in there come from other countries. Probably 90% of the clothes are made outside the USA. Even much of our food is grown in other countries. And certainly, these days, a lot of hi-fi equipment comes from Asia. All those products being shipped from overseas are costing more, because fuel prices are going through the roof.
The price of crude oil has just reached $110 a barrel. Gas is approaching $4 per gallon. OPEC is no friend of America, as they recently have refused to increase production, saying it is our economy that is the problem. Yeah, and our economy is a problem because oil is getting so expensive. Next time one of the OPEC nations is invaded (remember The Gulf War – Kuwait in the early 1990’s?), we will agree to come to their rescue under the following conditions: They pay the cost of the war materials plus $1 million in non taxable cash to the families of each American soldier killed in action, $0.5 million if disabled, $0.25 million if wounded to the extent of requiring hospitalization or blood transfusion in the field, and all the oil we want to purchase for the next 10 years, at a cost not to exceed $10 per barrel. The oil would be sold to the US government, who will sell it to the oil companies at the same price, providing that the price at the pump is reflected (back to less than $1 per gallon).
We also need to have more telecommuting, with at least 30% of company employees working at home, and the rest working at branch offices set up within five miles of where there are the largest numbers of employees of any particular company living. Factory workers would be given incentives to live within five miles of the factory. That would reduce our gasoline usage by at least 50%, not to mention cutting pollution.
I am spending twice as much on gasoline as I did a couple of years ago, and this makes it more difficult to purchase all that hi-fi intellectual property I mentioned above. I don’t like that one bit. However, I do plan to continue the pleasure of music and movies, even more so, and I will explain why in my next blog post.