Many years ago my wife and I attended a timeshare condo presentation to get a deal on a zip-line tour while vacationing at Whistler mountain in Canada. (I highly recommend the zip-line tour if you’re ever at Whistler, BTW. The condo sales presentation is only for those who can resist temptation) I distinctly remember the salesman repeatedly denigrating the Canadian dollar as the “Canadian Peso”. This was a reference to the financial troubles in Mexico and the low value of the Canadian dollar relative to the then high-flying US Dollar. Well, he can’t use that line any more since the Canadian dollar is worth *more* than the US dollar. While Canada isn’t perfect, their government deficit is far lower and much of their economy is based on commodity exports, such as oil, timber, uranium, and various ores. With commodity prices booming, Canada is sitting pretty.
The US, on the other hand, continues to spend too much on things we don’t need. While we do need oil, it’s safe to say we don’t need as much as we’re using today. As of February, oil imports account for over 46% of the US trade deficit (compare numbers from here and here for the details). Think about it – almost *half* of our trade deficit is due to our overuse of a single commodity – Oil. And which country is the number one exporter of oil to the United States? You guessed it, Canada.
This isn’t some sort of anti-Canadian rant. I’m just pointing out that our over-consumption of oil leads to more problems than just pollution and global warming. It also is significantly contributing to our economic decline as well. So the next time you’re driving somewhere think about ways combine trips, carpool, etc… Heck, maybe you can even take a bus or even ride your bike. Some options aren’t very attractive today, depending on where you live, but looking for alternatives, and using them when possible, is something we can all try to do.