DuBois comes to mind in assessing the state of our economy. Just as Blanche depended on strangers, so does the US economy. And like Blanche’s strangers, ours are not as kind as we might hope. Consider these US dependencies:
- Oil. At $67 a barrel, oil is poised to brake the economy as workers cut discretionary spending so they can continue to afford to drive to work and take their kids to school. Meanwhile, those record oil prices further enrich Saudi Arabia whose products include 15% of this oil – and 15 of the 19 September 11th hijackers;
- Foreign lending. At the Federal level, China, whose General Zhu recently threatened a nuclear attack on the US, holds $750 billion worth of our currency in foreign exchange reserves. As the dollar weakens, China will probably find a stronger currency – leaving the US looking for other buyers of its debt – or driving up our interest rates; and
- Cash out mortgages. With US consumers so dependent on cash out mortgages to pay their bills, the double digit increase in defaults will toss out on the street more citizens who stretched to afford a home. And with a 0% savings rate, they could face a hard landing.
Clearly the US economy is hazardously dependent on the kindness of manifestly unkind strangers. So as his motorcade speeds past the mourning Cindy Sheehan to raise money from his Pioneers and Rangers, this president is putting on a bravura performance in the role of George DuBush.