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Sustainability

11/11/01

How sustainable is the American Way?  I wonder, don't you?  In future issues of The Slanker Report I'll be addressing various aspects of American sustainability.  By and large it isn't politically correct for Americans to ask this question of their country.  But some do and I think everyone should.  It's our country and were it goes we all go.
The first of October Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) said, "During the 1970s energy crisis, America was 36% dependent on foreign oil.  Today we are 56% dependent, and by 2010, we are headed for well over 60%.  For the military it now takes eight times as much oil to meet the needs of each U.S. soldier as it did during World War II."
This is only one aspect of sustainability.  There are many more.  For instance; debt, the debt-backed dollar, and the debt-based economy are also on the list.  The nutritional value of our nation's food is another.  And the list goes on and on.
I'm a big fan of respecting the business cycle.  Back in the early 1980s there were a lot of stocks selling for six times earnings.  By the 2000 the S&P 500 index was selling for 30 times estimated earnings for 2001.  Business conditions grew dramatically during those 20 years spurred on by the incredible growth of consumptive debt.  Then came the housing boom and then the bust.  All the while debts continue to grow, and grow, and grow.  Can the debt bubble of the past 50 years duplicate its growth rate during the next 20 years?  I wonder.

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