Gas five bucks a gallon? Easy, if oil hits a hundred bucks a barrel. What else happens if oil goes that high? I got a lot of e-mail which you'll see later from people claiming lots of good things would happen, just like Thomas Friedman of The New York Times said a day or two ago.
People would buy gas-stingy cars. Detroit would make gas-stingy cars. OK, there are two good things. Friedman probably wouldn't consider it a good thing, but I think we'd punch holes in ANWR and get the oil out. The New York Times once called that drilling in the cathedral, so I assume they wouldn't like that result.
We might build some new refineries — which various laws now block — which is good unless you live nearby. Overall, I am hearing a lot of glib commentary on what improvements we would see because Americans would break their oil habit. But I think people are forgetting what a worldwide economic contraction would really look like. In this country people who need oil to get to work would be hurt — commuters and all those contractors you see racing around in pick-ups.
And as American shoppers cut back on their mall addiction, you would see the economy hurt. After all this is a consumer driven economy and that would ripple around the world and put a bunch of just emerging economies on the ropes.
Too bad for you people in the developing world who just got off subsistence living — go back to it —because here in the big countries we're expecting great things from this hundred buck a barrel oil.
Even if you foresee the greater good in high priced oil, somebody is going to get hurt bad and it could be you.
Careful of what you wish for, you may get it.
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