If You Want To Understand How The US Is Still So Much Richer Than China, Look At The Oil Spills


Photo: Newscom/AFP

It’s only just now percolating into the public’s view, but there’s a huge oil disaster in China, resulting from the explosion of an oil pipeline.The pictures are vivid and disturbing, especially when you look at the workers who are completely covered in oil. One person actually drowned in the oil.

What you see is the difference between a country that has sophisticated cleanup technologies, and one where men have to wade directly into the oil and get covered in it.

This is the difference between povery and wealth demonstrated quite vividly.

Folks like to talk about China’s swollen foreign exchange coffers, and it’s true that that allows the government some serious fiscal muscle. But if you think that makes China richer than the US in any meaningful sense whatsoever, the you’re missing the point of wealth and human achievement entirely.

Of course China’s advancing rapidly, but if you’re paying more attention to reserves, and not the actual functioning of day to life, then you won’t see the real story.

Below: A picture of a US command centre at the Deepwater Horizon site:

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