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the real price of subsidised filthy oil in the west

“Consider this: in 1929, an average American would have had to pay 1.49 per cent of her or his annual income of $84.90 to buy a barrel of crude oil, which then sold for $1.27. Fifty years later, in the wake of the Iranian revolution, oil prices soared to $31.61. But the annual earnings of the average American rose had risen even more sharply, to $7,956. That meant that a barrel of oil would cost them just 0.39 per cent of their earnings – a quarter of what it did in 1929.

“The numbers for recent years are even more revealing. In 2008, oil prices soared to $96.91 – very similar to now. But the average American earned $35,931 that year, which means a barrel of oil would cost them 0.26 per cent of their earnings: well below what it would have in the oil-shock 1970s.”


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