What will a $120 barrel of oil mean for the U.S. economy?
Michael T. Klare is the Five College Professor of Peace and World Security Studies (a joint appointment at Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst), and Director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS), a position he has held since 1985. Before assuming his present post, he served as Director of the Program on Militarism and Disarmament at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. (1977-84).
Professor Klare has written widely on U.S. defense policy, the arms trade, and world security affairs. He is the author of Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum (Metropolitan Books, 2004), along with many other books. He is also the defense correspondent of The Nation, a Contributing Editor of Current History, and has contrbuted to numerous publications.
Michael Klare serves on the board of directors of the Arms Control Association, and the advisory board of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch; he is also a member of the Committee on International Security Studies of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Question: What will a $120 barrel of oil mean for the U.S. economy?
Michael Klare: I think some of what we can anticipate is already happening, I mean you have to think in terms of the economic strata in the American population poor people, and working people are already suffering, they already cutting back. I read stories everyday in the New York Times, in the Wall Street Journal of working people who are having a very hard time. The trucking, industry, farmers, working people who have long commutes, have to cut back on everything in their life, just to pay for gas, now that will work itself up from the working people, blue collar people, farmers and artisans who drive long distances, even the middle class will start suffering and work its way higher and higher, all of us will start suffering in various ways. I think summer vacations are going to be very problematic, air travel will become much more costly. So, in all kinds of ways we will start experiencing all kinds of hardships in our lives. Small business will shut down, resorts will shut down, and all this will then ripple out of cross the economy and I think the recession that we are already experiencing will go deeper and more severe.
The first things to go will be summer vacations and air travel.
We are constantly trying to force the world to look like us — we need to move on.
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