In 1973, the United States was placed under an OPEC embargo for political reasons. Middle Eastern members of OPEC wished to protest American involvement in an ongoing conflict with Israel, and these nations struck the United States where it hurt, depriving them of oil in 1973 and again in 1977. About 60 percent of the oil that Americans consumed in the 1970s was produced at home, and large reserves remained under native ground. But vast quantities of crude were imported, and in October 1973, Americans discovered how little control they had over the 40 percent of their oil that came from abroad. (810) Since 2003, a rise in prices caused by continued global increases in petroleum demand together with production stagnation, the falling value of the U.S. dollar, and a numerous of other lesser causes. Fortunately, today we haven’t seen the fuel rationing of the 1970’s. "We remember when the phrase ‘sound as a dollar’ was an expression of absolute dependability, until...inflation began to shrink our dollar and our savings. We believed that our Nation's resources were limitless until...we had to face a growing dependence on foreign oil," Jimmy Carter, 1979. In his "Malaise Speech," President Carter described American disappointment with government and a "crisis of confidence" in the ability of the nation’s leaders to work together to build a stronger America. You only have to open the newspaper today to note a comparable type of malaise caused by the overall perception that government is either unwilling or incapable of helping its people. In households across America, the term politician has become synonymous with power, self- interest, and ineffectiveness.
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