- The Washington Times - Monday, July 14, 2008


How Capitalism Turns Profit Into Progress, Thomas G. Donlan “notes that in 1970 the United States consumed 18,000 British thermal units (BTUs) of energy to produce a dollar of gross domestic product. By 2006, we were consuming less than 9,000 BTUs for each GDP dollar while during that period our GDP nearly tripled from $3.8 trillion to $11.4 trillion. If the oil market is tight (and it is) right now, we might look to China which uses nearly as much energy as we do while producing about one tenth the GDP.”

I think the point here is that we want to produce more while consuming less. That’s what I think (hope) is meant. One might get the false impression that because the dollar has been devalued during that 36-year interval, no progress has been made by buying and/or consuming fewer BTUs per dollar to produce more output but measured in devalued terms. That comparison to China sounds OK, except pre-President Nixon’s open door to China, i.e., 1970, we didn’t know a lot. A little more explanation might have helped. Just a suggestion.


Leesburg, Va.

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