Lower Energy Prices Key to Prosperity and Fighting Poverty
Lower energy prices are the key to prosperity and fighting poverty. That means successful development of low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) or cold fusion is critical to fighting poverty around the world.
Around 6.5 million households in Great Britain alone are now suffering from what is called fuel poverty according to the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group. Fuel poverty occurs when a household spends more than 10% of its income on fuel. If the Advisory Group’s numbers are correct one in four families in the United Kingdom is dealing with fuel poverty and numbers are increasing.
Energy bill increases in Britain this year alone will push another 300,000 British households into fuel poverty. The average gas and electric bill in Britain rose by 7% in the last year.
Fuel poverty may actually be a worse problem in the United States and Canada where a large percentage of the population live in rural areas. Around 15% of American households have their heating fuel delivered usually in the form of propane or heating oil. That means those families suffer from a double whammy from fuel prices they pay for the fuel for the truck that delivers the heating fuel and the heating fuel itself.
Part of the reason why fuel poverty is so destructive is that there is often no free market in energy for purposes such as heating. People are stuck paying whatever prices one or a small group of suppliers charge. LENR might make such a free market in energy possible which would lower energy prices.
The number of Americans applying for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program popularly known as LEAP is increasing. The problem is that this program often only pays for part of the cost of heating. A person facing a $2,500 heating bill might only receive $950 from the government. That means they will have to spend money they would have normally spent on something else on heating.
If that wasn’t bad enough Americans and Canadians are more likely to live in places where the only kind of transportation available is the automobile. That means they are more vulnerable to higher fuel prices.
Many American families face tough choices such as buying health insurance or buying gas for the car to get work. Some poor Americans actually end up in living in their cars because they cannot afford both transportation and housing.
The high cost of energy can affect all of society because when people have to spend more on energy they can’t spend on other things. They buy less food, fewer clothes and fewer luxury goods. They don’t eat out as much and will be less likely to purchase new vehicles or electronics. That of course means less money in circulation.
It also means fewer jobs which makes the situation worse. More people fall into poverty and end up spending more of their money on fuel. They have no jobs to or worse low paying jobs and no way out of poverty. The entire economy gets hurt and slows down which increases fuel poverty even more.
Fuel poor individuals are not a position to save money so they have fewer resources to deal with emergency situations. They don’t have extra money to cover unforeseen bills. They end up deeper in poverty and deeper in debt. Many of them end up racking up credit card debt or turning to high interest payday loans just to pay day to day bills or buy groceries.
This hurts everybody else because the fuel poor pay fewer taxes which increases the tax burden on the rest of us. They also require more government services in the form of welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, public housing etc. which increases everybody’s tax bill. Society ends up spending money that should be spent on things like education on social services for poor.
Naturally this means the creation of a cheap and easy to implement source of energy such as LENR would greatly reduce poverty and increase prosperity for everybody not just the fuel poor. The average British household pays around $2,020.39 (£1,247) on utility bills if that were cut in half the household would have an additional $1,010 (£623.50) a year to spend.
Just imagine the boost that would give the economy. Not only would families have a better lifestyle they’d spend more money. That would mean more jobs, more tax money for government programs, more manufacturing, a higher return on investments and a better lifestyle for everybody.
Right now even many people in advanced nations like the United States and the UK are facing fuel poverty. The situation is far more dire in developing nations with no social programs or safety net. Cheaper sources of energy could make the difference between continued poverty and true prosperity for many nations.
Fuel poverty is yet another critical reason why we need to devote far more money and resources to true sources of alternative energy such as LENR. Such resource could pay off dramatically in the form of a massive reduction in poverty and a vast decrease in poverty that could make the world a far better place to live.