Wow, Ok that was a really potent title. But I have been thinking about our role in the world – as Americans.

If we pull away – we risk becoming isolationist xenophobes
If we get involved – we risk having a good portion of the world hate us

Compound the economy into that equation and things get far worse. Globalization is shrinking our world. As citizens our livelihoods are directly tied into so many different countries we cannot possibly extricate ourselves without strong consequences.

I worry about oil – on both extremes.

Let’s say something happens – Cause is important but assume prices increase 4 to 5x. The wrath and fury that America would unleash upon the Middle East would be both spectacular and terrifying. After it was all over, we would issue history’s largest Mea Culpa… not exactly good for PR. Yes we would secure energy, but at what cost?

The other option is that we find a way to keep oil prices down. Either we find new sources of oil or manage to work out the politics to keep prices down. If we keep gas at a fair level what impetus do we have to really push alternative energies? If necessity is indeed the mother of all invention, which I believe that it is, would we not be only harming ourselves in the long run? It took the oil crisis in the 1970’s to spur Japan into creating cars that were fuel efficient. American auto makers have never really recovered from that debacle.

I worry that we are moving away from a government based on progress (political progress, social progress, economic progress, and financial progress) to a government that thinks that the answer is to impose more rules, remove liberties, and dictate freedoms.