Friday, February 10, 2012

Proof That A Broken Clock is Right Twice a Day (and That Many are Still Clueless About the Energy Situation)

Out of the presidential candidates vying for Obama's seat, the only one I really like is Ron Paul; thus, he won't win.  Everyone else I couldn't care less about, and Rick Santorum is probably the one I'd want the least.  However, even he can say things that make sense, at least to me.  He recently said on the campaign trail that gas prices helped cause the financial collapse of 2008.  This perspective on the crash has gotten scant perspective, if any at all.  It's usually allotted to subprime mortgages and things of that nature, which on the surface, probably has a lot of merit.  But if you are aware of peak oil and other energy matters, I don't feel that high gas prices can be totally dismissed, as ThinkProgress and the commenters on that website are doing here.

My personal theory on the crash, is that while a lot of people may have been having problems paying their mortgage back in '08 due to already being underwater on their homes, they were making do, albeit by the skin of their teeth.  Eventually, there probably would have been a crash anyway.  But what really brought these events to a precipice were the gas prices.  When gas was over $4 a gallon (and it's heading back there again, as anyone reading this now can attest to), many people had to make the decision on whether to pay their mortgage or put gas into their car.  Each decision can have fateful consequences.  But at least you can miss out on a mortgage payment or two without inviting dire events, aside from the interest going up and bad news on your credit score.  But if you don't buy gas for your car?  It's almost like I don't need to outline the results.  It would be, at best, very difficult for one to get to their job, to shop, to do any number of things without a car, in this country.  So most people decided that not paying the mortgage was a comparative no-brainer, and the economic crash was a result of that.  But at that point in time, gas prices played a role in bringing on that crash, no question about it. 

1 comment:

esl said...

Excellent post- I think you've given an extremely reasonable response.