Originally Posted by kyounge1956
That's counterintuitive to say the least. If the U.S. uses less of some resource, demand falls, which means the price of that resource drops, which means people who can't afford that resource now become able to do so. If the U.S. uses more, the price goes up. IIRC this recently happened with the price of corn—ethanol subsidies increased the demand for corn in the U.S. and as a result the price of tortillas in Mexico went through the roof.
You are assuming if "demand falls" then production will remain the same and prices drop.
Prices fall with mass production.
In some instances poor countries benefit by being able to leech off of percentages of excess production. The more production there is the more there is of that percentage. In other instances poor countries use so little of a product it would not be worth operating costs to produce it for them at all.
Couple of examples:
Do you think the American public's fascination with all things computer/electronic has caused those items to be cheaper - or more expensive? How much would a laptop cost in Zimbabwe if western demand had not caused a gazillion of them to be produced?
How much would an MRI machine cost if we didn't have at least one in every small city in the US & many in the large cities? Does our "overconsumption" of MRI machines help - or hurt - the MRI situation in Guyana?
If not for certain countries that use massive quantities of oil thus creating a huge market, there would not be as much oil production, exploration, & transportation, pipeline, refinery & business infrastructure, etc as exists currently - thus less oil on the market. Prices would surely go up as operating costs per barrel would go up.
(BTW -as to the tortilla example - the price of tortillas in Mexico has been artificially fixed for years - the price was raised (maybe partially
because of ethanol) & of course the Mexican govt had to blame it on the bad ole USA - you don't think the Mexican govt is going to take responsibility for anything negative in their economy do you?)