The more I travel overseas, and look to do some business, I thank my lucky stars I am an American. For all the fatalistic drivel, much of it real, about some plutocracy that controls us all, we still are the country where a simple ol' geologist or engineer, or landman or, even more telling, geophysicist can start and build a company. I am not a member of any shadow plutocracy, nor are the people I know well. Maybe they just keep secrets better than I can. I dunno.
The difference between going overseas as a tourist and going overseas as a businessperson is staggering. There is a real reason why the world looks at Americans for their "can do" attitude. The ridiculous regulations and rules and unions in so much of the rest of the world are designed to keep entrepreneurs out. It is in THOSE countries I see true plutocrats. Multibillionaires own companies, barriers to entry are huge in every sense.
The Unconventional boom we see in the US will never be replicated in speed or scale in the rest of the world. We have a special opportunity to grab back some GDP due to 1) our private ownership of minerals, 2) the thousands of independent oil companies we have, 4) the ease of starting service companies we have, 5) the thousands of oilfield service companies we already have, and 6) the relative lack of regulation that allows us to just DO IT rather than spend years wringing our hands.
As a colleague in South America told me... "Wealth cleans up a lot of mess. We decide to be poor and trapped unable to do anything".
The other aspect I am noting is the power shift to India, Pakistan, and China. We export our technology and know how for nothing every day. We compete against companies that are funded with US foreign aid... the wealthy claiming it for "infrastructure" that keeps us out. Ironic.
Never mind. The case for the little guy is made better here every day than anywhere else in the world. I hope we don't lose that.