Monday, July 21, 2008

The Best Energy Plan

Well we've heard from the great guru Al Gore about his plan - a fool's idea if there ever is one. The great Al ignores the millions in invested infrastructure that would have to be mothballed, the trillions in investment for a new infrastructure. And, oh by the way, even if we did this it wouldn't be economically feasible.

Then there's is T. Boone Pickens who will harness all the wind power blowing up the center of the country and reap millions in profits. Talk about a self-serving interest.

So what is the best energy plan? How about letting the free market work? It's failed you say - look at what has happened to the price of gas!! No, it hasn't failed. The laws of supply and demand are working perfectly. Demand is way up due to the growing economies of China and India (I've witnessed China's first hand and know this to be a fact). The problem is on the supply side. The monopolists have been restricting supply for decades that has resulting in the rapid rise of prices. Oh those evil oil companies (you think), raping us to get obscene profits!

No, the monopolists in this case are the environmentalists - restricting building of nuclear plants, restricting drilling for oil offshore and in ANWR, restricting development of oil shale and now stopping the building of clean coal plants. (a third of my electricity bill goes towards paying for a nuclear plant that was built but never used due to environmental law suits)

The best energy plan is to start protecting our energy supply from lawsuits from these environmental monopolists. Once this happens:
  • oil companies can use new technology to recover an almost unlimited supply of oil from existing supplies as well as oil shale
  • nuclear plants can be built
  • gas will be cheap, electricity will be cheap and both will be abundant
  • we will stop the myth of carbon dioxide causing global warming

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Net Worth Update for 2nd Quarter '08

I've updated my net worth at NetworthIQ. My net worth dropped by $5k. Despite adding $3k to my 401k that account dropped by $6k. My debts dropped slightly, off-setting some of the loss in retirement savings.

One interesting thing has occurred which (I hope) underestimates the value of one of my properties. In 1998 I made an offer to purchase a home on 5 acres for $180k. Someone else outbid me and now has that property on the market for $369k. I purchased a slightly nicer property nearby for $195k which I have valued at only $235k. I still own that property (with my ex) and think that it is pretty comparable. If so, I may have more equity than I currently think in real estate.

Data from the local Realtors indicates that property values have continued to rise at their slow 3-6% rate as they have for the past 8 years. However, the banks have all sent me notices that the values of my properties has dropped dramatically (20%!!). I guess that they don't want to loan out any more money. At any rate, I've not changed the values of any of my properties.