“You can’t cure stupid!” especially Detroit-stupid. When I wrote that blog it seemed to me like they were the pinnacle of human stupidity. It was based on the top Detroit auto executives flying off to Washington in private jets and begging for money to support an auto industry making exactly the kind of wasteful vehicles that will destroy America and the Earth.
In India the Tata corporation is bringing out the ultimate in efficient, economical cars, a modern Model-T Ford. That primitive Model-T Ford created the modern auto industry and this new Tata Nano will revive that kind of practical human efficiency. On the other hand the current folks in Detroit bring out a continuing river of wasteful gas guzzler muscle cars. One of the biggest problems in the world today and the United States in particular is that huge fleet of gas guzzlers. Americans commute to work in these monsters which will run up the price of all the goods produced by them and the price of everything else in the world. Those same products which in the past were better “Made in America” are now better “Made Elsewhere”. Those other countries now have an equivalently skilled work force who can work for far less money, than Americans, because they have lower fixed costs. Those Indians will soon be able to commute to work in a much cheaper car with a quarter the gasoline consumption of the average American. Because the average car in America will last for ten years, and much longer if needed, it will be at least that amount of time before Americans could replace their cars and even begin to compete on a level playing field again. Detroit and the Texas oil men have dug the whole world and America in particular into a hole which will take decades to get out of and we will probably never recover. We can never recover the enormous amount of oil burned up friviously. Americans love their big cars and they don’t want to change and they won’t change without compulsion.
The worst of it is that these top Detroit executives don’t even know they are killing their own country and the world. The United States was very successful for the last two hundred years because the people were able to produce goods and services more cheaply than anyone, anywhere else. Because of their success and the huge quantity of stored capital that efficiency generated the children of those earlier successful executives started replacing efficiency and quality with luxury, styling and excess power. Now we have a fleet of wasteful cars and other extravagant machines and those machines are now going to eat us alive. That sounds like a literary extravagance but in a sense it will probably prove to be literally true. It works like this.
The other people of the world build efficient cars and drive them to work, this makes their economy more efficient. It also places a demand on the world’s supply of oil and drives the price of gasoline up. When the price of getting to work and transporting goods around goes up those who do those things most efficiently and most cheaply will have an economic advantage and these people will be able to manufacture their goods more cheaply and be able to sell the same level of quality more cheaply. The country, such as the United States, with a huge gas wasting infrastructure will be forced to sell their products at a higher price but the problem is that people prefer to purchase things at the lowest price they can obtain. The current shipping industry is so efficient there is only a little cost in shipping world wide. Thus the substantially higher priced American goods will go unsold even at home and will soon go unmanufactured and the Americans who might have manufactured them will then go unemployed. Thus as the world begins to recover from the current economic slump those countries who are able to sell their goods the most cheaply will recover most quickly and a decade from now will be in very advantageous position relative to when the current slump began.
So where will the money come from to maintain this extravagant American life style for a while. It will come from the one thing America still has—an abundance of—food crops. An exploding world population with money after the recovery will buy up even more of our food than they presently do and since money talks when the world’s food resources run short unemployed Americans will go hungry.
The United States was founded on human efficiency and will be brought down by human efficiency.