The Economic Perspective: “Not Running on Empty”

I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at, not running on empty.  Mike, over forty years ago, when we were a lot younger, there was a popular song titled “running on empty.”  Although the song writers may not have intended it, the title was appropriate because there was much concern that the world was going to run out of basic resources.  But we haven’t.  What happened?

  • Good example of the economic market working
  • When anything becomes scarce, its price rises
  • This motivates us to try to find more of the resource, and to use existing quantities of the resource more efficiently
  • Both of these happened
  • For example, oil prices were sky high in the 70s
  • Motivated more exploration and technology to access new supplies
  • Also, we are tremendously more energy efficient today than in the past
  • Demonstrates that, although we do not like high prices at the time, they can ultimately provide relief
  • I’m MW

And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.