As I update my trade data through 2008 (for a possible 2nd edition of Five Short Blasts or a new book altogether), I thought I’d share with you some data for some of our biggest trading partners. Since I’m doing this exercise alphabetically, the first one of some significance is Australia. So here’s a chart I’ve created showing the trade results from 2001 through 2008.
It’s important to note that Australia is a country whose population density is about 7 people per square mile, less than one tenth as densely populated as America. As my theory would predict, the U.S. enjoys a significant trade surplus in manufactured goods with Australia – over $15 billion in 2008. It’s also not surprising that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Australia in every category of natural resources – food, oil and gas, metals and minerals, and lumber.
What are the implications of this trade data? There are three:
- If Australia was smart and understood my theory, they’d impose tariffs on the manufactured goods exported from the U.S. to eliminate the trade deficit that the huge disparity in population density has created. (Sorry, fellow Americans, but it’s the truth.)
- If they did, then if the U.S. was smart, we wouldn’t retaliate with tariffs of our own. Instead, we would work on reducing our population density to something closer to that of Australia. Australia is living proof that a perfectly healthy economy can be had with a population density far below our own, thus debunking economists who maintain that population growth is an essential ingredient for a healthy economy. If we took such action and came anywhere close to the population density of Australia, it would completely eliminate any need for foreign oil, dramatically reduce global warming and relieve all forms of stress on the environment.
- Finally, if Australia was smart, they would also cut back their ridiculously high rate of immigration to preserve their low population density. They don’t know how good they have it and it’s a shame to see them throw it away in the foolish pursuit of destructive, cancerous growth.
Stay tuned for more data on our other major trading partners. Brazil will be next.