Friday, September 22, 2006

Mutual Dependence

I found it very interesting to read the news story in Reuters about the whole Hugo Chavez address to the UN. What really got me thinking was this snippet:

Despite accusing the United States of seeking to oust him, Chavez has never stopped Venezuela's supply of crude to the United States, its biggest customer.

It seems obvious that we are dependent on Venezuelan oil and if they stopped selling to the U.S. our economy would suffer. I then wondered what would happen if we just stopped buying from Venezuela. The answer is - their economy would suffer, probably worse than ours. So while President Chavez can make all the inflammatory remarks he wants, the fact is that he probably could not afford to stop the flow of oil to the U.S.

Even if President Bush wished to stop buying from Venezuela, the fact is that it is not the government that is buying all that oil, it is a wide range of U.S. businesses who operate independently. They have a stake in the nation, but sadly their greatest concern is making money for investors so they don't care who is the devil and who isn't so long as the well does not run dry.

That's what happens in an interconnected world run by impersonal business interests. There must be a better solution.

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