Understanding February 1983
It sometimes seems that there is no limit to the degree of economic myopia that afflicts those in official positions in this country today.
During the past decade, the political and economic leaders of the country have, allegedly, been doing everything possible to hold back the constantly increasing rate of inflation which, in the beginning, was blamed mostly upon the rapidly increasing cost of oil from the O.P.E.C. nations. Even then however, some of our top leaders were encouraging these price increases, on the grounds that they would stimulate more oil production at home and, of course the increased price would bring in more tax money for governments to spend. Neither of these supposed benefits ever came to pass. What did happen was that, as the cost of oil doubled and tripled, the cost of all goods and services went up in like proportion.
While it may seldom be realized by the average person, from 45% to 70% of the cost of producing any goods, from food to housing, is in the cost of the energy required to produce and distribute them. The ordinary red building brick, for example, consists of clay, dug up by a diesel driven shovel, transported by diesel trucks to a diesel driven forming machine; thence by diesel or electric conveyor belts to the kiln site, where they are burned in a gas or oil flame, after which they are again transported by truck, first to the distribution center and finally to the site where they will be used. In this case at least 70% of the cost of producing the brick is in the cost of the energy required, and, since oil is still the greatest single source of energy in the U.S., it is obvious that both the cost of living index and the quality of life are largely determined by the cost of oil!
As the cost of energy began to go beyond the reach of the average citizen, he began to cut down drastically on the use of it. Not willingly, but simply because he could no longer pay for it, nor could he buy the goods that required energy for their production. Inevitably a recession began, which soon developed the vicious downward spiral of depression, (although that is a naughty word not yet admitted by official sources, although everyone else knows it exists.)
Now people have learned (perforce) that they can get along with considerably less energy than they previously used, and, since they cannot buy the goods either, many of the energy consuming factories and industries have shut down, lowering the use of energy even more.
Suddenly there is a worldwide glut of oil. Production exceeds consumption almost everywhere. The oil cartel is weakening, and there is a strong possibility that oil prices may be reduced! Everyone should be happy! (Except the Oil Barons, of course,) at last we might be able to put a real damper on inflation. Goods could be produced at lower cost. People could buy more, thereby stimulating both commerce and industry. We might even, “get the country going again!” Instead of joy and thanksgiving, however, what we hear in the public media are pitiful cries from public officials and bankers, about the, terrible dangers of reduced oil prices.’ Some government agencies may not receive quite so much tax money if oil prices are reduced. (They seem unable to realize that the people will have more money in their pockets, and taxing agencies can always find ways to get it out!)
Bankers are fearful because they have loaned billions of our dollars to the already bloated O.P.E.C. nations, and to Mexico, and they fear that if these nations don’t make quite as much profit as they would like, they may not want to pay back the loans, in which case we the american people would, of course, be left holding the bag for all those billions of dollars, just as we were in our wartime loans to many countries.
It is not easy to understand exactly why our bankers should loan
Economic myopia (Continued.)
billions of our dollars to nations that were already taking us for more billions than we could afford in the constantly jacked up price of their oil. (When their oil sold for $1.00 per barrel, their leaders were already blowing millions of dollars on themselves. At $32.00 per barrel they should be able to get along without loans from us:) However, what is done, is done and ‘we, the people must pay the piper, as always. It does seem though, that our duly elected officials might spend a little more time and energy studying the welfare of the country as a whole, instead of concentrating entirely upon their own small area of responsibility.
(signed) D. Fry
We’ve been often asked by Understanding members, “Why do you live in Alamogordo? Why don’t you move to Cal.? You’re so far from everything!”
WRONG! This is SOUTHERN New Mexico. We have every service that you have where ever you live, inc. mails and all nationwide chain stores such as K-mart, Sears, Radio shack, Safeway & several other fine supermarkets, 3 delicatessens, 54 restaurants, bakeries, 2 specialty butcher shops, chain drug stores, chain & local jewelers, apparel, shoes, home furnishings – banks – savings & loans & on & on!
87 mi. due south is El Paso, Tex., where we can also get ANYTHING. 3 mi. more & we’re in Old Mexico (Juarez) where they excell in leather goods, silver, brass, copper, wood carving, French perfumes, bulk spice, pottery – clothing, even fine Canadian cheeses.
If we wish to travel other than by car, every airline leaves from El Paso – as does Amtrak. (Ditto – from Albuquerque 210 mi. North.
We DON’T Have
* Brush fires
* Mud slides
* Rock slides
* 100 M.P.H. winds
* Overwhelming crowds
* Insane freeway traffic
* Extreme hurry-hurry-
* Wildly priced real estate
We DO Have
* Clean pure air to breathe to
* Clear skies & diamond stars
* Normally priced real estate
* low taxes
* Fair priced utilities
* A fine above par ZOO
* Country club & golf courses
* Fine library
* Pleasant driving
* 4 to 10 min., to any store
* Economic air conditioning by evaporative coolers
* Swimming pools
* Pleasant parks
*Unbelievably beautiful sun rises & sunsets to defy any picture postcard.
We are in the valley – surrounded by, & protected by two mountain ranges.
Everyday that we see the T.V. weather reports nationwide, we are glad that this is our good & safe base of operations.
Re: Where we live: There are those who strongly believe this area to be a God chosen ‘Safe’ area should prophecies come to pass. We do live at 4,535 feet altitude. People retire here from EVERY state in the 50. Met new ones 3 days ago from Maine!
Want to join us? You are welcome in this friendly town of about 30,000.
(signed) Cleona Q. Fry
P.S. Remember – One kind word can warm three winter months.