US Gasoline prices in perspective.
You might argue that cheap gas has been beneficial to the US economy. Sure.
And it's also helped fuel (heh) a reliance on personal transportation, road goods transport and a long-ignored rail system. That's not good in a long term perspective. It leads to massive amounts of roads and infrastructure since the elected representatives feel the need to respond to their constituents' insatiable appetite for roads and alleviated congested traffic. Witness Los Angeles. New York metro area. Etc.
Do you really want to live in a civilization that is 100% reliant on cheap oil from the Middle East and OPEC?
From a longer-term macro-economic perspective I'd say a gradual increase in oil prices might just be a good thing for the US economy and the world overall - it would help curtail massive vehicularization of societies like China and India, which societies are about to make a hell of a huge impact on global environmental pollution. Now add Russia. Africa. And what happens when a cheap-gas addicted US citizenry all of a sudden encounter a nasty thing like a spike in gas prices.
The Europeans and the Japanese and a lot of other societies would just shrug their shoulders, plan their travel a bit more and take the bus. We don't take the bus in this country. We have to have a car. Or a pickup truck. Or a big SUV. It's "Freedom" with a capital F. It's also a disaster waiting to happen.
A gradual increase in gasoline prices would hurt, for sure - but over the long term as the US economy gradually improves over the next 20-50 years it would help change people's attitude that they can just jump in their gaz guzzler and do whatever they want without a care in the world. They would start asking their elected representatives for good, realistic mass transit options.
Every major US city should be convenient and fast to get around in without taxis and without cars in the inner city.
Posted by Swede at 09:02