U.S. Gasoline Consumption Plummets By Nearly 75%

U.S. Gasoline Consumption Plummets By Nearly 75% (Buillion Bulls Canada, May 25, 2014):

Regular readers are familiar with my narratives on the U.S. Greater Depression, and (in particular) some of the government’s own charts which depict this economic meltdown most vividly. The collapse in the “civilian participation rate” (the number of people working in the economy) and the “velocity of money” (the heartbeat of the economy) indicate an economy which is not merely in decline, but rather is being sucked downward in a terminal (and accelerating) death-spiral.

However, even that previously published data, and the grim analyses which accompanied it could not prepare me for the horror story contained in data passed along by an alert reader. U.S. “gasoline consumption” – as measured by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) itself – has plummeted by nearly 75%, from its all-time peak in July of 1998. A near-75% collapse in U.S. gasoline consumption has occurred in little more than 15 years.

Before getting into an analysis of the repercussions of this data, however, it’s necessary to properly qualify the data. Obviously, even in the most-nightmarish economic Armageddon, a (relatively short-term) 75% collapse in gasoline consumption is simply not possible. Unless we were dealing with a nation whose economy had been suddenly ripped apart by civil war, or some small nation devastated by a massive earthquake or tsunami; it’s simply not possible for any economy to just disintegrate that rapidly, without there being some ultra-powerful exogenous force also at work.

3 thoughts on “U.S. Gasoline Consumption Plummets By Nearly 75%

  1. There is no fresh growth in the US economy. 100 million working age Americans are out of work, and that number continues to expand at the rate of a million a month……. Less people have jobs to drive to, and more people are carefully planning all their trips to cut their consumption of gasoline…..it is nearly $4.50 gal here……we will see if greedy guts push it to $5.00 like they did last summer.
    The consumer cannot consume, there is no profit in it.
    Minimum wage jobs don’t make for lots of driving…..not if you have a brain.
    People are not driving like they were, it is getting too expensive. Food prices are through the roof and going higher. What would you rather buy? Food or gas?
    Nothing has been done in this economy to allow any growth in the real economy. As a result, it is being held together by FED QE (half of what it was because no more money is coming in……) and corporations buying back their own stock.
    What happens when corporations finish buying back their stock?
    We are close to the end.
    The US has no money coming in, and debt level is at 99% of GDP.

  2. Marilyn,
    And thereby hangs the tail.
    One hundred years of expansive decadent waste of space.
    In our piddling little country, we still enjoy ‘corner shops’. They were initially devastated by the influx of American style supermarkets, but with support of a franchise base, they have survived and are an invaluable social asset to the community.
    You don’t have communities as such. You have a ‘city’ (a misnomer if ever there was one) of perhaps 500 folk sprawling over an average four square miles to our one.
    Our need for compactness contrasts beautifully with your spacious excess and concrete expanse.
    Equally, the expanse of the big cities exacerbates the freight costs of food distribution, and the resultant prices.

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