Monday, November 26, 2007

My favorite gloom 'n' doom guy

James Kunstler, this week writes
The great debate among those of us on the Economy Deathwatch seems to be whether the debacle we observe around us will resolve as a crash or a slow-motion financial train wreck. It seems to me that at every layer of the system, we're susceptible to both -- in tradable paper, institutional legitimacy, individual solvency, productive activity, real employment, "consumer" behavior, and energy resources. Some things are crashing as I write.
The dollar is losing about a cent every three weeks against other currencies. A penny doesn't seem like much, but keep that pace up for another year and the world's "reserve currency" becomes the world's reserve toilet paper. Oil prices are poised to enter the triple-digit realm, the psychological effect of which may be jarring to 200 million not-so-happy motorists. The value of chipboard-and-vinyl houses is tanking beyond question. ...

Kunstler has snapped that all hinges on oil, and that oil is going away. We really need a national energy policy and not one that is designed to keep oil companies in the saddle forever. Also, we're not gonna work some magic with corn or switchgrass or anything else ... we just need to figure out how to use less energy.

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