Here's a scenario, for all of you that read: The U.S. economic downturn pushes our consumptionist culture down low enough that it levels the playing field with other nations. Let me take a specific example. Say the Chinese try to sell toys to the American kids this holiday season, but the American parents aren't buying. So the Chinese lower their prices. Still, the Americans don't buy. So the Chinese lower their prices even more and suddenly the toys are affordable to the Eastern Europeans and the Chinese themselves. China moves massive numbers of toys to countries other than America, and America suddenly has to compete for business. Either buck up and pay more for Chinese toys...or open toy manufacturing in the U.S. and the Chinese can keep their business to themselves.
Now I know this is a stretch, but it is possible. And it's happening already. Take Toyota, for instance. The Americans have stopped buying their SUV's, so they lowered prices. And lowered prices, and now they've lowered prices enough that the Indians want Toyota cars like never before.
You hear on the news about the trade deficit shrinking, and fast. Where are all the HDTV's going that would have come here? Well, they're going to other countries that will pay what the Americans won't and the shipping is cheaper to get it there.
Why is the price of oil plunging worldwide? Weren't the Europeans paying twice what we were? The reason it is dropping is that America defined the commodity price for oil. The entire oil market is based on America first, everyone else second. Now that oil is in a free fall, suppliers are going to either have to swallow the lower price, or find new buyers. And when that happens maybe it'll be a little encouragement for local drillers to produce their own oil?
And maybe, just maybe, as the price of oil plummets we'll remember how fun it is to drive a Ford Mustang GT or a Cadillac Escalade EXT and we'll save our friends in Michigan. We'll stop buying foreign cars, because it's patriotic to help our friends out and why buy foreign jobs anyway, Gimme a big SUV.
Did I mention gas is $1.37 less than 10 miles from my apartment? That's absurd.
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