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Old 11-16-2008, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,480 posts, read 5,149,433 times
Reputation: 3548

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Back in July gas was 4.59 here for regular unleaded. Today it is 2.01. Boone Pickens put his plan on hiatus because it is no longer economically feasible and he has lost a few billion since July.

Pickens plan is still one of the best plans for US energy independence that has any possibility of being incorporated into our current infrastructure. Was it a perfect storm of a bad economy and irrational exuberance in oil speculation that brought down the prices? Will Picken's plan or competitive initiatives now be shelved for another 20 or 30 years similar to energy conservation efforts in the 70s?

I certainly hope not. Energy independence and leadership in alternative energy production and transportation systems will be the next revolution in technology. If the US sits it out we will fall by the wayside and some other nation (perhaps China or India) will soar to the forefront in leadership.
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Virginia
8,121 posts, read 12,691,081 times
Reputation: 3771
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
Doom and gloom dominate the nightly news now. President-elect Obama talks about the challenges of a troubled economy.

What will it really take to turn the Titanic (Economy) around?

My personal belief is that a drive to energy independence from foreign oil and related transportation and infrastructure products could be the catalyst to usher in prosperity for the balance of the century. See New England Opinion Blog: 3 Pillars of Prosperity for America for more details.
I just don't see the doom and gloom that is portrayed. I've read where sales of existing homes are up. I took my son, niece and nephew to the movies last weekend. It was packed. 14 theaters or so of movies that were selling out at $10.50/$7.50 for adults/children. People were spending $$ for the snacks. Earlier we went to a birthday party at Laser Quest. Again, packed. The mall parking lot was literally overflowing. My wife was at the mall with my sister-in-law and she said people were buying and lines were long. Restaurants seem as busy as ever. I am sure it varies by regions, but people don't seem to be cutting back on spending.
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,492 posts, read 51,399,522 times
Reputation: 24613
tgbwc - Where are you located? Malls around here are already into deep discounts.
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,492 posts, read 51,399,522 times
Reputation: 24613
KevK and others - the 900 pound gorilla of alternative energy is that there is too much cheap oil still available. Saudi Arabia still rations production to keep the price under control and just low enough to discourage alternatives. They would be fools not to do this.

IMHO the major drain on our economy is simply our military spending. We do not need a war in Iraq or Afghanistan. We do not need to hire very expensive mercenaries to guard our embassies. We do not need fantastic (as in fantasy) weapons systems that do not have a real target and do not work. We have indulged ourselves on corporate socialism for far too long and need to trim out bloated executive class back to realistic pay levels starting with the military contractors that most abuse our generosity. Restoring the 1940 income tax system would be a good start.

We need to take that money and put it into revitalizing and repairing our transport infrastructure. I have looked at so many dying highway overpasses that I am beginning to think rust is a structural material. It is possible to build a 300 mph maglev even if it displaces home owners. That is what eminent domain is about. If we can use it to force a little old lady out of her home so some crooked developer can build luxury condo we can bulldoze a high speed railroad through a fancy golf course. Just pay the owners some money and let them complain. If they complain too much take the money back.

Individuals can be encouraged with tax breaks to insulate their homes, install geothermal heat pumps, burn pelletized waste wood and any number of energy saving alternatives. We can convert coal (or any carbon) into oil but not if the profit is threatened by a drop in oil prices. We can convert our electrical supply to domestic nuclear fuel that can, with proper technology, make more fuel than it uses.

There are lots of things we can do but it will require major intervention in our economy by the government to make it possible. Our ruling classes will do their very best to prevent any changes to the special place they occupy in our economy (corporate socialism and failure insurance) and social structure (an entire network od exclusive schools and associations). Getting these corporate wolves out of our economic henhouse before all the chickens are killed will take a lot of resolve. I can only hope we have enough.
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 23,808,765 times
Reputation: 4901
The fact is that since the government no longer responds to the needs of its people it is doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again. Also we have given them the power to do anything they want with no accountability. When a whole nation's economy is given to well connected crooks like we have, they will always do whatever enriches them and their immediate families with no concern for anyone else. The Titanic cannot be saved. Perhaps it runs out of fuel and sits in one spot for a while and avoids immediate disaster, but eventually fundamentals win out. The trick will be how to bypass the corrupt system that keeps new innovators out of business, I have my own plan of action that would work but will never be acted on.

1) Education. We need more access to the general public through an "alternative" media system. Allocate satellite bandwidth at free or low-cost for groups and individuals with views contrary to mainstream media. Connect with current college and university programs making them available on a worldwide basis.

2) Deregulation. Create Federal mandates that nullify local zoning ordinances that prevent innovation and home based businesses. Eliminate licensing processes that make it all but impossible for individuals to become tradesmen like plumbers, electricians, etc.

3) Taxation. Specify that income earned by labor cannot be taxed by the IRS and that startup small businesses will be exempt from taxation for a period of time. Get the bulk of taxes from imported goods and established corporations who actually use government services. Make entitlements voluntary

4) Entitlements. Phase out all entitlement programs with no funding. Eliminate all welfare for non-citizens. Eliminate all subsidies.

5) Monetary system. Phase out the Federal Reserve system and create a commodity-based monetary system. With a finite money supply that can only increase by production, the parasites will be starved out of existance.

6) Energy. Alternative energy can work even if oil is 10.00 a barrel, provided it is done on a local basis. With the local zoning Nazis out of a job, I can see local alternative energy like solar, windmills and biomass in 1 out of 10 homes independant of government money. A simple safety inspection process can avoid disaster, without the high fees and fines that would be incurred now. Larger projects would be built if the smaller ones succeed as I know they would.
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Orlando
8,233 posts, read 11,277,437 times
Reputation: 4064
Well if history tells we come back in 80 years and retreive it from its watery grave..
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