Thursday, April 01, 2004

Say What?!!

I seldom disagree with Andrew Sullivan, you can find a link to his site to the right. Agreement is never always, however, and he chose a doozy to split with me. To call this type of thinking short sighted is to make an extreme understatement.

One of the main reasons that the United States has had such a strong economy is because of low energy costs, primarily through the use of inexpensive oil. So now we are to emulate the economies of France, Germany, and Japan, even while their economic growth lags behind us and the only thing they have more of is unemployment? It has been noted that the vast bulk of American economic growth has been in small to medium businesses. There, the primary energy costs are not consumed in production, but in transportation. Whether in movement of product or materials, or even the delivery of personnel in more service oriented fields, the cost of transportation is almost entirely derived through the gasoline or diesel that gets put into the tank. With the rise of more specialized small businesses, the need to transport goods in which one company's product is another company's material becomes greater and greater. Increasing fuel costs would require a greater increase in the cost added to the goods along each step of the supply chain. Ultimately, all of those costs get passed on down to the final consumer.

Gas prices are not simply paid by the individual at the pump, everyone pays for it everywhere they buy something that has been moved. That Andrew Sullivan, someone I usually respect for his fical conservatism, would fail to see this is very surprising.

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