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November 08, 2010


Chris Ward

The American Dream (of the 1960s-1980s) is powered by the energy consumption of the average American guy or gal. Nowadays that is causing you to suck in oil from the rest of the world at an alarming rate; also if everyone in the world used energy at the same rate as the prototypical US citizen, we wouldn't be able to get oil out of the ground fast enough (and it wouldn't last for very long before it was all used up, anyway).

So what do we do, as a global species, to avoid a damaging 'resuorce squabble' ?

I spent a while living in San Jose, California, in the 1980's ( I normally live in the UK ), and it struck me that people generally had higher salaries but higher overdrafts and higher mortgages than in the UK. That is OK if it lasts; but if the world 'flattens' (as it is doing) then you do tend to get a 'blow-out' and it does affect most the middle classes. The poor are poor and it makes no difference, the rich survive anyway, but the middle gets asset-stripped.

Life in America is good, for the most part, but it was never 'home' for me.


I was recently in Germany for a month and one of the things that struck me was the decentralization of industry. It appeared that any town of 500 or more had an industrial area with businesses that provided jobs for the area.

The German education system also has a stronger focus on promoting trades with a formal education path. In America the trades are an after thought and seem to be ignored by the education system.

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