Richard (Rick) Mills
Ahead of the Herd
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As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information
My last article, ‘Give It A Doubt’ was about population growth, urbanization in developing countries and the one billion people predicted to join the consuming classes by 2025.
“One billion people will enter the global consuming class by 2025. They will have incomes high enough to classify them as significant consumers of goods and services…” McKinsey Global Institute, Urban world: Cities and the rise of the consuming class
Some of these new consumers are going to be Americans but the majority are in developing countries, they might not want to be Americans but they do want at least a modest piece of what we’ll call the American lifestyle, the cell phones, flat screen TV’s, a nicer apartment, a car or maybe a motorcycle, washer/dryer, a fridge, AC - the amenities of a modern society and all the necessary infrastructure that goes with a well functioning competitive modern economy.
But what if all these new one billion consumers were to start consuming, over the next 12 years, just like an American? What’s going to happen to the world’s mineral resources if one billion more ‘Americans’ are added to the consuming class? Here’s what each of them would need to consume, per year, to live the American lifestyle…
In 2010, more than 38,000 pounds (19 tons) of minerals and fuels were needed per person to maintain the American lifestyle.
Out of the 38,000 total pounds needed, 21,675 pounds were energy fuels - the coal, petroleum, natural gas, uranium - required for transportation and to heat, cool and light homes and businesses.
One billion new consumers by 2025. Can everyone who wants to, live an American lifestyle? Can everyone everywhere else have everything we in North America have?