According to the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook Web site, in 2010 the US consumed 19.15 million barrels of oil every day, compared with Afghanistan (4,800), Australia (960,800), Bhutan (1,000), Canada (2.209 million), China (9.189 million), Germany (2.495 million), Greenland (4,000), Hong Kong (333,000), India (3.182 million), Iran (1.845 million), Iraq (694,000), Israel (238,000), Italy, 1.528 million), Japan (4.452 million), Nigeria (279,000), Pakistan (410,000), Qatar (166,000), Saudi Arabia (2.643 million), and Singapore (1.08 million). The global consumption of oil that year was 86.99 million barrels per day, so by calculation, the US consumed a little over 22% of the world’s supply.
On the other hand, the United States has spent over $803 billion on the war in Iraq since it began on March 20, 2003. Go to costofwar.com and watch the numbers spin. October 7, 2011 marked the ten-year anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, and there, the US has spent $474 billion. Costofwar.com is part of the National Priorities Program whose NPP mission “makes complex federal budget information transparent and accessible so people can prioritize and influence how their tax dollars are spent.” New York State’s 23rd Congressional District, where I live, has paid over $1.8 billion of the $803 billion spent on the war in Iraq, and costofwar.com’s “Trade-Offs” page notes that my district could have used that money to convert 1.2 million households to solar energy for a year, or hire 20,789 elementary school teachers for a year, among many other possibilities.
NY’s 23rd is home to nearly 656,000 people, and the median income here is $42,473. I read recently that St. Lawrence County, one of eleven in the district, is also home to 12 millionaires and 38 people with adjusted gross incomes between $500,000 and $1 million. So if those 50 people are making that kind of money, how are the rest faring of the other 655,950?