November 07, 2007

Fellow Americans, Get Ready for Hard Times

As if it weren't bad enough news that oil is on the verge of breaking $100 a barrel, news is beginning to come out that China is about to start selling off US dollars. The dollar is about to take a huge plunge in value. We're on the verge of some very, very hard times as China sells off some or all of the $1.25 trillion worth of our economy that it owns. I think 2008 is going to turn out to be a lousy year economically; it may even be the beginning of a serious recession, the likes of which we haven't seen since the 1970's.

Back then, the US still made things. Now we import everything. If the value of the dollar falls, the money in our pockets (for those who have some; I don't) won't buy much of anything anymore. Tack onto that the increase in the prices of everything that are already coming down the pike at us as energy costs rise and you've got a serious mess.

You know, we blew it. The USA really blew it during the 1990's. Remember those budget surpluses? We should have used them on moving away from a petroleum-based, single-user infrastructure and put it into building a national mass transit system and sugarcane ethanol, such as Brazil was wise enough to do back in the 80's (Brazil no longer imports much, if any, petroleum). But, you know, a government-mandated and funded program to do that would have been Socialism, and that's always bad. Conservative ideology tells us so.

We're going to pay for that little mistake now, though. If you thought we were a debtor nation now, just wait a few months. The long, cold winter is coming.

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