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Energy: The Price of Oil

The biggest issue in all of this might just be the price of energy. If oil prices remain relatively low, in the $70-90 per barrel range, the pressure on the U.S. consumer and economy might be lessened. The low cost of oil is the biggest tax break and stimulus package the U.S. government could ever come up with.

However, as oil drops and the price of the dollar rises, the U.S. is less likely to export as many goods. During the summer of 2008, the downtown San Francisco area was mobbed with Europeans shopping with their strong Euro against the dollar. If the U.S. is really going to turn around the economy, more money should go towards alternative energy such as solar and wind. Even natural gas, which is less harmful to the environment, is in abundance and can run cars.

2008 Presidential Candidate Barrack Obama hit the nail on the head:

“Now, I could stand up here and give you all plenty of reasons why it's a good idea for this country to move away from an oil-based economy. I could cite studies from scientists and experts and even our own State Department detailing the dangers of global warming - how it can destroy our coastal areas and generate more deadly storms. I could talk forever about the economic consequences of dependence - how it's decimating our auto industry and costing us jobs and emptying our wallets at the pump. And I could talk about the millions of new jobs and entire new industries we could create by transitioning to an alternative-fuel economy.”

The turn around will not be easy. It’s much like turning around a giant aircraft carrier as some have said. It’ s more than just a three-point turn. It takes some stops and starts and adjustments. We’ve strayed away a bit from our topic, but everything is interconnected, and that’s why we wanted to write this sort of tale of the real estate and financial collapse. As Buffet said, it was like a financial Pearl Harbor.

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