Just saw a conservative talking head on cable news who did actually understand that current oil price increases are a function of expected high demand in oil futures thanks to increased consumption in the industrializing world.
What really got me was the argument that they made next, and which may seem familiar to you (it is a facsimilie of the “we get nukes but nobody else should” position). To wit, they said that we therefore had to understand that these prices were not the “fault” of Americans, but rather the “fault” of the Chinese and the Indians, and it’s them that we should “do something” about in order to reign in their demand and thus increase supply available to, and reduce costs for, Americans.
So… we should get all the oil, and they should get none. We should get one car per person, but we’ve got to reduce their car use, which currently stands at less than one car per thousand. We have the right to aspire to the standards of living of those ahead of us, but those behind us don’t have the right to aspire to ours.
Why, exactly? No argument was made. I presume, it’s once again because “We’re Americans and thus we deserve it, and they’re brown people and they don’t.” In short, cultural racism, classism, and the continued spectre and soul of manifest destiny, which haunts the American consciousness to this day, only on a global scale.
Mexican immigration, anyone? NIMBY oil refineries, anyone? Nuclear proliferation, anyone? News from outer space to Americans: you have more than almost everyone else. There is no moral nor natural reason why this should be the case. If it’s not immoral on its face for you to be in this position, then it’s certainly immoral to consider trying to beat the masses back and prevent them from aspiring to what you already have. You selfish bastards.
I’m sure this same conservative is relentlessly invested in “emerging markets,” earning nice dividends while the workers on the other end of the deal earn next to nothing under rotten conditions, and meanwhile making the claim that free trade is good since it will raise all our boats together. Heh. More of the morality of neoliberalist Americanism.
For further treatment of this morality, see also this nice list.
The mosquitoes are out in force tonight. My window is open.