Saturday, June 30, 2012

Out of Touch

Last weekend, a friend of mine came over to my house to help me replace the filament in my water heater. While we were working, Greg said to me that I should vote for Democrats in the next election. Though, in the past, Greg and I have had numerous discussions about the economy and the stock market, we never before discussed politics.

When I asked him why, Greg proceeded to tell me about his mother who is ill and stands to loose her entire net worth- and then some- as a result of the illness. He went on to tell me about his brother who is a Tea Party Republican and instant Christian, in that he downloaded a cross onto his iPhone.

Greg's brother used some of his considerable "disposable" income to buy investment homes. Because of the still marginal state of the American economy, Greg's brother found himself in a position where he was unable to pay his taxes, and had to borrow money to pay them at around 5%. This increased Greg's brother's bitterness towards the Federal Government to the point where he began advocating that poor and lower middle class families "should be put on the street to beg."

Upon hearing of his mother's situation, Greg's brother asked Greg if it was possible to get their mother on some additional government programs so that she is not financially wiped out; and so they would be shielded from any moral or legal obligations.

Fortunately for the rest of us, the price of gasoline has come down for the summer season. I would like to give kudos to President Obama, but I cannot. Contrary to the scholars at Fox News, the president has little control. 75% of the world oil reserves are controlled by OPEC. When Americans decrease their consumption of petroleum, or we increase our domestic production, OPEC adjusts its production to keep the price of gasoline in their favor. Save drastic reductions in consumption, the long term solution lies in the development of alternative fuels, specifically TRI fuels utilizing coal and natural gas.

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