I know this political cartoon is meant as satire, but I think the artist is misguided. Many inventions are created not with people encouraging each other, but by people who believe they do something despite what others tell them. As I discussed some time back, in More Thoughts on Solar, nearly 6000 times the energy we currently use hits the Earth each day in the form of solar energy. It will take a bit more than wishful thinking, I know, but I believe that investing in solar as an alternate energy has the potential to change the world for the better. Avoiding just one disaster as we’ve just seen in the gulf will be return enough.
The talk of deflation, a general decrease in prices, is now becoming more common. Wasn’t it just a few months back that we were worrying about inflation and its cousin stagflation? But, I think the new fears are a bit unfounded. Inflation is not simply defined as ‘rising prices’ but as ‘too many dollars chasing too few goods.’ In the case of deflation, it’s just the opposite, too little demand, and not enough cash to buy the goods offered. I think the mini-bubble we saw in gas prices rippled through the economy and added cost to everything, from food, to any goods tat contained a transportation component in their cost. Now that oil has dropped to a somewhat more reasonable level, gas following, that cost is being pulled out of all goods, thus the short term drop in both the Producer Price Index (PPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI). Deflation? I doubt it.
From an Op-Ed piece in a recent New Your Times story titled, “Dumb as We Wanna Be“:
“Congress has been bickering over whether and how to renew the investment tax credit to stimulate investment in solar energy and the production tax credit to encourage investment in wind energy. The bickering has been so poisonous that when Congress passed the 2007 energy bill last December, it failed to extend any stimulus for wind and solar energy production. Oil and gas kept all their credits, but those for wind and solar have been left to expire this December.”
Dumb, indeed. Our congresspeople are talking about windfall profit tax out of the left side of their mouths while voting for oil and gas credits from the right. As Seinfeld would say, “what’s up with that?”