. July 4, 2008 SouthAmerica: Americans have been selling to the world for a long time the idea of how flexible, agile, and efficient the US economic system is compared to everybody else. It is interesting that Americans consider their economic system to be very efficient and a system that is supposed to adjust and to adapt itself to new circumstances by being flexible and agile. Can you imagine the kind of trouble the United States would be in today if the United States were not so flexible and agile in the last 30 years on their effort to reduce its dependence on foreign oil? Maybe what helped the United States to move so fast to fix its energy problem on the last 30 years it is because the energy area is a matter of national security. And Americans did place energy on the top of its list of problems to be fixed since the energy area it is of fundamental importance on the process of keeping a stable economy in the United States. Now quoting from the enclose article: âIn 1973, when OPEC imposed its oil embargo, U.S. oil imports composed 30 percent of our needs; today, they make up more than 60 percent, with a growing proportion of that crude coming from the world's least stable regions. At around $145 a barrel, the United States, by my calculations, will spend more on imported oil this year than it will spend on its own defense budget, and much of that money will flow into the coffers of those who wish us ill.â The article started by saying: âWhen the founding fathers declared our independence, they could not have imagined that, 232 years later, the United States would be so spectacularly dependent on foreign countries.â The United States would be so spectacularly dependent on foreign countries regarding its oil needs, and cash from foreign sources to keep the US economy afloat. In one of the postings on this forum someone mentioned that GM stock went from $ 43 per share to about $ 10 per share. I am sorry to learn that fact. GM stock should go to $ 1 per share or even lower because of the quality of its management â they really deserve to go out of business. As the article mentioned: âThe kind of electric cars deployed in Israel have never returned to U.S. showrooms since General Motors' mass crushing of its EV1 -- the subject of the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?"â If you had the chance to see that documentary then you would agree with me that GM should go out of business and be replaced by a company with vision of the future. Talking about American efficiency again â Why General Motors killed the EV1 electric car? Because GM network of dealers told GM management that they would not be able to survive if GM started selling too many EV1âs because these cars needed almost no maintenance and that would reduce the dealers profit margin and business by over 30 percent. Anyway who want to buy a car that requires very little maintenance? I bet most Americans would miss having to send their cars for a tune up, and for oil changes, and other expensive repairs on a regular basis. GM had a partnership with the company that made the batteries for the EV1âs â in the beginning the people were able to drive only 75 miles between charges, and it did take time to recharge these batteries. When the batteries were improved and the new batteries allowed people to drive 300 miles â GM sold its controlling share of the battery company to Texaco and Chevron - and Texaco and Chevron closed the company that was making this new battery that allowed people to drive 300 miles between battery charges. Last year a company from Texas displayed to the public its new type of battery â they donât use the name battery they call the new device capacitors or something like that â anyway this new type of battery have a range of 500 miles between charges and the beauty of the new system is that it takes only 5 minutes to recharge this new battery and the person can drive another 500 miles. Only fools believe on the market efficiency theory â just look at Wall Streetâ¦.. Only fools also believe on the efficiency of the American economy â and we can start with GM case study and go from theirâ¦. ******** âIran and Brazil Can Do It. So Can We.â By Gal Luft The Washington Post Sunday, July 6, 2008; Page B01 When the founding fathers declared our independence, they could not have imagined that, 232 years later, the United States would be so spectacularly dependent on foreign countries. It would be roughly eight more decades before oil gushed from a well in Titusville, Pa., marking the beginning of the global oil economy; it took eight decades more for the United States to become a net oil importer. But the republic's disastrous dependence on foreign oil has increased by leaps and bounds ever since. In 1973, when OPEC imposed its oil embargo, U.S. oil imports composed 30 percent of our needs; today, they make up more than 60 percent, with a growing proportion of that crude coming from the world's least stable regions. At around $145 a barrel, the United States, by my calculations, will spend more on imported oil this year than it will spend on its own defense budget, and much of that money will flow into the coffers of those who wish us ill. Since oil dependence is so unappealing, you'd think that energy independence would be an easy sell, especially on this Fourth of July weekend. But in fact, very few policy ideas have been so ridiculed. A 2007 report by the National Petroleum Council, a privately funded group that offers advice from the oil and gas industries to the federal government, calls energy independence "unrealistic"; a recent book, "Gusher of Lies," by Robert Bryce, a former fellow at a think tank funded in part by energy interests, described energy independence as a "dangerous delusion"; and a 2006 Council on Foreign Relations task force went so far as to accuse those promoting energy independence of "doing the nation a disservice by focusing on a goal that is unachievable over the foreseeable future." Ignore them. Energy independence does not mean that the United States must be entirely self-sufficient. It simply means reducing the role of oil in world politics -- turning it from a strategic commodity into merely another thing to sell. Is energy independence a pipe dream? Hardly. In the electricity sector, the mission has already been accomplished. Remember President Jimmy Carter in his cardigan during the oil crises of the 1970s, urging Americans to save electricity? It took us just one decade to wean the electricity sector from oil. Today, only 2 percent of U.S. electricity comes from oil, according to the Energy Department. Could we do something similar with transportation, where American cars and trucks still gulp oil-based fuel greedily? At least four very different countries -- dictatorships and democracies alike -- are already making serious headway toward that goal. It's past time to pay attention to their example. The first country, surprisingly enough, is Iran. The Islamic republic has lots of crude but little capacity to refine it, leaving Tehran heavily dependent on gasoline imports. The country's blustery president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is fully aware that this is Iran's Achilles' heel and worries that a comprehensive gasoline embargo could cause enough social unrest to undermine his regime. 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