Life to get a bit worse...

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25,046
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ON, Canada eh?
Just thought this was an interesting take on the situation of North America: http://www.thespec.com/article/579394
 Quote:
June 08, 2009 JAY ROBB The Hamilton Spectator (Jun 8, 2009) Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller By Jeff Rubin Random House Canada $29.95 Could some serious pain at the pump be Hamilton's best shot at a whole lot of new jobs? Brace yourself for record-high gas prices. We're already paying almost a buck a litre as we reel through the worst recession since the Great Depression. So just how fast and how high will prices soar when the recession ends and economic engines start firing again in China, India, North America and Europe? We're not just going to get hit on the demand side. There are some big questions about supply. We're depleting oil reserves faster than we're finding new sources. All the easy oil's been had and we're going to pay far more to find and refine future reserves. And then we have oil producers cannibalizing more exports for their own internal consumption. In the Middle East, around a third of a million barrels of oil are burned to generate electricity. And more than a million barrels a day could soon be needed to run desalination plants as the region faces a peak water problem. Welcome to the end of cheap oil and the return of a much smaller world, says author and former Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce chief economist Jeff Rubin. "Once the dust settles from the various crisis rocking financial markets, we are looking at the same basic demand-supply imbalance that we were looking at before the recession began," says Rubin. "That imbalance took us to nearly $150 per barrel before the recession set in. In the next cycle, the same imbalance will probably take us to to $200 per barrel before another recession temporarily knocks back prices and demand." While we're not about to run out of oil anytime soon, Rubin says we're nowhere near coming up with alternative energy sources that will allow us to carry on with business as usual in an oil-free world. As triple digit oil prices become the new normal, Rubin says we'll say goodbye to dollar stores, drive-thrus and dining out, SUVs, two-car garages, road trips, regional airports and disposable incomes. Life looks especially grim in suburbia, where the lack of accessible public transit will turn McMansions into tenement slums before being salvaged for parts and plowed under for farmers' fields. And we'll be saying hello to inflation, slow economic growth, bus passes and well-worn walking shoes. So what's the good news? There'll be no shortage of hometown jobs in manufacturing and agriculture. Everyone will be working. "Globalization comes with a lot of verbiage these days, but it's just a fancy word for a very simple process: moving your factory to the cheapest labour market in the world," says Rubin. "Even better, getting out of the factory business altogether and just buying whatever your factory used to produce from someone else's factory at a fraction of the cost." But globalization can only run on cheap oil. Without it, higher transport costs cancel out lower labour costs. When oil went from $30 US to $100 US per barrel, the average daily fuel bill for an ocean-going cargo ship shot up from $9,500 US to $32,000 US and manufacturers got stuck with the tab. Instead of paying higher and higher costs to ship raw materials and finished goods around the world, look for those manufacturers to bring back jobs, set up shop in industrial heartlands and serve regional markets. "From industrial pump parts to lawn mower batteries to home furniture, shipping costs are driving production back to North America from cheap labour markets in China and elsewhere," says Rubin. "With transport and logistics costs soon to become even more important, padlocks will be taken off mothballed factories, and machinery that hasn't run for years will be getting a new greasing." Along with more factories, expect more and smaller farms where we sow and reap without the benefit of petroleum-based fertilizers. Soaring energy and transportation costs will clear grocery store shelves of Atlantic salmon from Norway, lamb from New Zealand and strawberries from California. Everyone will be on the 100-mile diet, eating locally grown organic food and looking for deals at weekend farmer's markets. Expect more back yard and community gardens. So today's baristas at Starbucks and the greeters at Wal-Mart could eventually find themselves working on factory floors and plowing farmers' fields. Jobs will be about the only thing not in short supply in our small, small world, he predicts. "This transition will not be a layup," says Rubin, who remains confident that we'll prove ourselves to be innovation rich in an energy poor world. "The infrastructure, the technology, the training, even the work culture will have to undergo a massive overhaul ... Many people who have not seen a lunch box since middle school or who haven't had a callous on their hands ... may soon become reacquainted with both." Jay Robb writes at jayrobb.typepad.com
 
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1,007
Location
Dallas, TX
I personally look forward to it becoming an economic necessity to work from home instead of slogging in to an office every day. It's a win-win for the company, its employees and the environment. There's nothing I do in this office that I can't do from my computer at home. But convincing the hardheaded oldsters that run companies like this is the unwinnable battle.
 

StevieC

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25,046
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ON, Canada eh?
 Originally Posted By: ViragoBry
I personally look forward to it becoming an economic necessity to work from home instead of slogging in to an office every day. It's a win-win for the company, its employees and the environment. There's nothing I do in this office that I can't do from my computer at home. But convincing the hardheaded oldsters that run companies like this is the unwinnable battle.
I work from home and on the road, but I see what you mean... \:\!
 Originally Posted By: pbm
Doesn't this guy know that we elected a President who has majical powers to fix what ails us?
 

StevieC

Thread starter
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25,046
Location
ON, Canada eh?
I like the bartering system myself... Lots of friends/family that do things for each other. Builds a sense of family/community and is tax free! ;\)
 
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18,261
Location
Michigan
While I don't see things that extreme, I do think that the community is going to make a comeback. As bad as things are in Michigan, I've seen some good too. Neighbors with no/little money and time on their hands are hanging out with one another. I've seen more block partys in my area this year than in the last ten. In my parents neighborhood, people are helping each other, whether it is cutting the lawn, or heck, even changing the oil! ( Guy on block is changing oil for those who can't) Hopefully when I find a job, then I can get a house and be part of this. Another thing I've noticed is that houses are getting better looking. I guess when you can't go anywhere, you want your home to look good.....
 
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47,540
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
 Originally Posted By: Barkleymut
the 6 month chart on tza doesn't look so good, but I agree over the next 6 months I can't see the market going anywhere but south
TZA is not something you buy and hold!!!!!!!!!!
 
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18,449
Location
East of IGO
Oil is pricey and to bring jobs back to the U.S.A management costs have to drop engineering costs have to drop as well as safty regulations and industries will have to be able to discharge their wastes into the skys and rivers like in China etc. . The most important thing will have be a change in the cost of government.
 

StevieC

Thread starter
Messages
25,046
Location
ON, Canada eh?
 Originally Posted By: wavinwayne
...underground bunker in non-descript field nearing completion.
How about a co-op? Whats the price?
 
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1,626
Location
usa
 Originally Posted By: ekpolk
OK then, I'll just hold on to the Prius a little longer, await the next price spike, and then sell it at a premium, as I continue to enjoy the Camry Hybrid. ;\)
that's what we did with the '07 PRIUS that was paid in full late last MAY . Got nice fat check towards other YARIS loan and an '08 YARIS base model sedan with 4 speed auto that had no loan along with saving sales tax towards a car of less expense of the PRIUS . Also , got a nice discount on the YARIS sedan , considering they were a hot item then . Saved us a bundle in interest and gas costs . Also got cash back from insurance ( disability , life ) on both loans .
 
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Messages
9,365
Location
USA
I could work from home too, but my office keeps pushing it back for no reason. I imagine if oil prices shot up so high, people wouldn't be able to afford to drive to work, then hopefully some companies would let you work from home.
 
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