Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Obama's Random Thoughts - Flucked from his Hat!

Not that anyone in the MSM would ask or notice. What's up with Obama going to the environmentally-unfriendly, carbon footprint producing, five-miles-per-gallon RV capital of America, Elkhart, Indiana, whose employment base was destroyed by $4/gal gasoline before the economy went south, to peddle road and overpass construction? When does the state unemployment office start issuing picks and shovels instead of checks? Or when will the manufacturers start building solar powered RVs? BTW: My father-in-law, a full-time RVer, has an RV park neighbor who bought an under-construction penthouse condo in West Palm for $250k a year ago - and is desperately trying to sell. His latest asking is $135k and still drawing zero interest. Why? Too much supply, too little demand – both Keynesian and Austrian schools agree on that!

Someone needs to explain to BHO that the "credit crisis" is not for lack of money to lend - it's that our capacity to borrow is spent. Among consumers, too many credit cards are maxed and home equity reserves drained by a collapsing real estate market prevent the mega-consumers from further consumption. Too many people are terribly overextended - they can't get credit because they have no collateral to offer, and likely a spotty payment record. Add in those cutting back spending after their 401(k)s and IRAs were halved by the stock market collapse and the illiquidity of other securities, and who's gonna buy an Elkhart, Indiana, RV at any price?

Arguing that the earth’s finite petroleum sources are being depleted is plain hogwash. What is true is that the most easily accessible fields are past their peaks and drawing down, but slowly as new extraction technology allows continued production. Meanwhile, new fields are discovered and tapped around the globe, such as recently off the Brazilian coast. There is no shortage of oil in the ground, and none anticipated by rational people. The bigger issue, as reflected by the ANWR drilling ban and others, is whether we trust our technology enough to use our natural resources in our national interest. Well, are we? The recent retreat by petroleum prices has been equated to a $300 billion stimulus, money left in American pockets instead of flowing into gas and heating oil tanks. Imagine the economic effects of a “drill here, drill now” energy effort would have. OTOH, not even $4/gal gasoline could save subsidized ethanol from itself – like all alternatives, the transformation of plant sugars into usable fuel spends more energy than it produces. Wait…when Cellulosic ethanol production kicks in…

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