Friday, January 23, 2009

My Country, My Country For Some Oil!

This is a letter I sent to the Tulsa World today.

Dear Editor

A recent Tulsa World editorial titled Odd Team (Jan 22, 2009) described the new partnership between T. Boone Pickens and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as a collaboration to educate Americans on the dangers of sending money to foreign nations for their oil, because "oil-rich Middle East nations are using those billions in U.S. dollars to build new schools, roads, and airports while the infrastructure in the U.S. is crumbing."

The editorial makes it seem that when we purchase oil from the Middle East we are "giving away" that wealth.  That, however, is not the case.  Whenever the U.S. uses dollar bills to purchase foreign exports, those dollar bills come back to the U.S. in the form of U.S. exports.  We give Saudi Arabia dollar bills for oil.  What can a Saudi prince do with dollar bills except spend them in the U.S.?  This is important, so I repeat: every dollar spent on importing foreign goods has to come back to America in the form of purchases of our exports. It must do so, otherwise, the Middle East would be giving us oil and asking for nothing in return!

The purchase of foreign oil does not entail the loss of wealth, but a gain in wealth.  We are able to purchase oil cheaper than we could otherwise purchase it, and those dollars used to purchase the oil come back to the U.S. in the form of exports. 

Bailey Norwood

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