What are your predictions for 2009?

Every other week I get to share a piece of my mind here on Oregon Catalyst. The hardest part of writing a post, next to getting started, is choosing a topic. Now you might think that all the stuff going on right now would make that easy, but it’s an embarrassment of riches. How do you select just one topic in such a target rich environment? So that I can get to the important task of mixing more Gin and Tonics (You do know we write these posts the night before they’re posted don’t you? You didn’t really think we all got up in the middle of the night to have them up by 5 AM did you?) I’m going to take the easy way out – I’m going to make an executive decision and do what all executives do — delegate.

Here’s your chance to sound off. Pick one (or more) of the questions below and tell us what you think and WHY. Be specific “because Obama is a tool/god” is not an answer.

What will Obama’s rumored trillion dollar ‘stimulus’ package contain? What should it contain? Who will dine on the pork and whose diet will be kosher?

Will housing prices stabilize, rise, or fall in 2009?

What will the Dow be on January 1, 2010?

How expensive will gas be on January 1, 2010?

Tying together the last two questions, will alternative energy stocks recover their huge 2008 losses or will they continue to slide?

What will be the scariest item on the Oregon Democrat’s legislative agenda?

Happy New Year!

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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 16 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • jim karlock

    *Tim:* How expensive will gas be on January 1, 2010?
    *JK:* $1.00 – $1.50 without BHO & Ted’s stupid schemes.
    $10 if either of them get to fulfill their dreams (which they got from the deluded greens.)

    *Tim:* What will be the scariest item on the Oregon Democrat’s legislative agenda?
    *JK:* It’s already there: Cap & trade. Its goal is to increase energy prices to the point that we use 44% less than we otherwise would.

    What price increase will force you to turn down your thermostat to the point that you use 44% less heating oil or gas? Of course the price increase means that you will spend much more even as you shiver in the cold.

    What gas price increase will force you to use 44% less gas? Did you use 44% less gas at our recent $4.00/gal? Would $6.00 force you to use 44% less? How about $10.00?

    The goal is to let the *price increase with no limit,* until the goal is achieved.

    BTW, anyone want to guess how many jobs will be lost?


  • Vernon

    The worst thing to come out of the Legislature will be a cap-and-trdae that will be implemented at some far off future date. This will follow the lead of Congress who will do the same thing.

  • devietro

    For me the scariest thing on the Oregon agenda is a continued push towards annual legislative sessions. This move alone is scarier to me than any other because it will allow them to do damage twice as often.

    As far as gas prices I actually dont expect them to do anything crazy but 2010 because the market wont support prices rising too quick and if they do raise quick BHO will get blamed. So it will be a slow and gradual change but with a clear direction.

  • RobertHQ

    Ïèøèòå ÷àùå! È áîëüøå! ) À âîîáùå ñïàñèáî!

  • Rupert in Springfield

    >What will be the scariest item on the Oregon Democrat’s legislative agenda?

    Yep, cap and trade is a good one for scariest out there, partly for the economic havoc it will wreak and partly because of the unabashed socialist implementation of the program. Cap and trade is motivated largely by hatred of business, industry and human endevour, the evidence is pretty clear on that based upon the statements from proponents of the program ( oh my god, cant have any profits from selling pollution permits ).

    Cap and trade – the super highway to outsourcing.

    Who knows though, since the whole inanity that is cap and trade is based upon the notion of a few lug nuts that think they can control the weather, maybe they think they can control the economy as well?

    Ill be asking them that a few years into “cap and trade”

    “What? you guys are so smart you can control the global weather but you cant control jobs dying?”

    I kind of picture myself doing it in a Gary Sinise Southern drawl, maybe with the same type of grin.

  • dean

    I agree with RobertHQ above. At least he makes more sense than the other posters.

    But seriously…we don’t yet know if the next stimulous will be 1 trillion, let alone what it will contain. Most likely it is going to contain money handed to states and localities to use to implement public works projects already designed and permitted, plus additional research money for alternative energy, plus a few million quid for environmental restoration, reparing national park and forest infrastructure, thinning out fuels, and so forth. The needs are far greater than a trillion, and the haste to spend will inevitably result in future fodder for the Catalyst.

    Housing prices are likely to stabalize around the end of 2009. Natioanally they are now down to 2004 levels, and since the huge run up in prices began in early 2002 they don’t have much farther to fall to get to status quo ante bubble.

    If any of us think we know what the Dow or gas prices will be we ought to keep it to ourselves, sell the farm, and invest it all. I’ll keep the farm instead of handing my money to the investment casino.

    Alternative energy stocks will be the nex bubble. The challenge is choosing which ones will win the day. Bio gas from algae? Solar thermal? Wind? Electric cars? Smarter people than myself are investing billions and they seem to be spreading their risk.

    Cap and trade is going to pass nationally, so Oregon’s version won’t matter. And it will be part of an international agreement, so it won’t foster any more outsourcing than we are already experiencing. In fact it may create a lot more “in-sourcing” as we spend less on oil, coal, and gas we don’t have and more on wind, solar, wave, and geothermal that we do have in abundance. Cheap, carbon-based energy is well on the way out. Let’s all hope the brave new world works out because we are headed there regardless of our individual preferences.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    >And it will be part of an international agreement, so it won’t foster any more outsourcing than we are already experiencing.

    Kinda like Kyoto? Yaaaahhhh Haaaaaaaa. That thing was outsourcing at Mach One, thank God Bush didn’t sign it.

    Oh wait, wait, dont tell me……its going to be enforced by the UN, and so no one is going to cheat.

    Oh man, Im laughing.

    Wait, wait, I got another one….yo check this out…..everyone is going to sign on to this agreement and everyone is going to meet the goals………Oh Man…tooooooo funny

    Ok, try this……I am soooooooo sure that when we check into it we will find Al Gore had no money making scam with this thing like with that whole buying carbon offsets from himself.

    Oh man its going to be funny trying to keep it all straight. Halliburton bad because Cheney owned some stock in it but Al Gore good because buying carbon offsets from yourself is actually doing something. Ok, try and say that and keep a straight face. Betcha cant do it. I betcha!!!!!!

    >In fact it may create a lot more “in-sourcing” as we spend less on oil, coal, and gas we don’t have and more on wind, solar, wave, and geothermal that we do have in abundance.

    What-cho talkin bout Willis? We have plenty of coal. We is the Saudi Arabia of coal. You think we dont have it? You smokin somethin on me again?

    >Cheap, carbon-based energy is well on the way out.

    Tell you what, when you see the Saudis driving around in Kia’s get back to me on that one. Gas is at record lows while windmills still have to be subsidized. What? You are going to make the price of a propeller come down and that’s going to make it viable? Whooo Hooooo, sounds like the economic theory there is about as good as the weather predicting ability.

    Wind and solar aint taking over any time soon so coal is hardly on its way out for electricity production. you might wish carbon was on its way out, but frankly there isn’t much evidence of it. In fact, if anything, given the predictions of global warming have come true in the exact opposite of what was predicted, I would say if anything is well on its way out it is AGW! More and more people of stature seem willing to take a stand against it and that’s a good thing in the name of science.

    However if its any consolation, I do agree with you that we will be spending more and more on solar and wind. These two sources have proven over the decades they have been around to be extremely expensive forms of energy production. I keep waiting for one of them to be cheaper than coal or nuclear. Hasn’t happened but we are in fact spending more and more on these rat holes. Oh well, maybe someday right?

    >Let’s all hope the brave new world works out because we are headed there regardless of our individual preferences.

    God, lets hope it does not. The brave new world liberals seem to be headed us for is scary as hell. Zero individual rights and everyone living in a hovel. Like in Orwell’s 1984, the future liberals foresee is a boot, endlessly crushing down on the human will for the rest of eternity.

    We have mortgaged our children’s future to pay for our present, the sooner we turn it around the better and your wishes for it to be inevitable do not in my mind mean it is impossible to turn around.

  • Bob Clark

    Buying treasury inflation protected securities will prove to be a good investment in the next decade as will precious metals and hard assets. Because of the reinstatement of restrictions on offshore drilling and continued restrictions on drilling in places like the Alaskan Nation Wildlife refuge, the U.S will lose competitive edge in global trade. Regulation and re-unionization will add enormously to eventual stagflation.

    Democratic party policies will deny new coal generating plants in the U.S but the unused coal will instead be exported to developing countries like China where it will be used to generate electricity giving China and others a competitive advantage in energy costs. The jet stream will carry the pollutants back to the Northwest such that it will be the case of pain without gain.

    Portland city hall will demand more police training after another crack head gets shot by police for not complying with police commands.

    The city of Portland will continue to attract more homeless from other parts of the world as it hands out more free housing and benefits to those showing up on its door steps.

    The city of Portland will be sued by someone hurting themselves inside Commissar Leonard’s specially designed out-house…maybe the mal-functioning solar panel falls off and hits someone. The city will settle out of court for $999,000. It will prove less expensive than using the city’s legal resources.

    The city of portland will continue to be subsidized by other parts of the state and nation, and will continue to expand its public debt levels at a rate sharply faster than inflation. The Portland electorate will continue to live in a fog, maintaining its naivity about city finances and thinking the city can continue splurging with no consequences to them.

  • dean

    Well…I can’t add much more to your post than what the 2 above did. Except maybe Phffppttzzz!

    We don’t have coal in Oregon. Or not much outside a small bit near Coos Bay anyway. We do have wind, tides, geothermal, and solar.

    If and when coal is priced to reflect its externalities, it won’t be cheaper than the alternatives any longer.

    Yes…gas is cheap today. A few months ago it wasn’t. A few months from now we don’t know what the price will be, but we do know the proceeds will still be going to the Saudis, Russians, Iranians, and so forth.

    Coal is toast long term unless someone figures out affordable carbon sequestration. I’m rooting for them but not holding my breath.

    Nuclear energy would be non-existent if not for government funded R&D that developed the technology,government underwriting of insurance, and government taking responsibility for waste storage. Additional government subsidies passed Congress in 05 that include increased research funding, tax breaks, and underwriting insurance for new plants, guarenteeing private investments against cost overruns.

    Still, with all this private utility companies have mostly chosen to not invest in new nuke facilities and not a single new plant has been brought on line since 1974. You want more nukes, write to the private utilities about it and send them your investment money. Or better yet, move to France.

    Wind is not “extremely expensive” Rupert. Its current cost averages under 5 cents a KW, which is 80% below what it was 20 years ago. If utility companies had to pay to pollute, from mountaintop removal to air pollution (not even counting global warming…hello Boardman) to allowing entire heaps of coal ash to bury formerly green valleys, coal would be more expensive than wind even today. Lower the basket for me and leave it high for everyone else and I could have played professional basketball. Coal has a very low basket.

    Don’t be so afraid of liberals. In our brave new world you can do everything you do today unmolested by us. We won’t even torture you if you fail to buy an electric car. (Okay..maybe a little). We will simpy charge you more for your fuel. And if you are dumb enough to use a lot up you will pay for it. Chill. No black helicopters will hover over you.

    By the way…what is this “we” stuff white man? Who mortgaged who’s kids future? The last “liberal” president ran 4 straight years of balanced to surplus budgets. The present “conservative” dug as deep a hole as he could and has left it to the next liberal to try and fill.

    I don’t wish for anything to be inevitable except maybe an outbreak of uncommon wisdom.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >Coal is toast long term unless someone figures out affordable carbon sequestration.

      Or until the din of those who disagree with AGW gets too loud to ignore.

      Remember the premise of the need to sequester carbon is based upon doctrine, not hard science. Coal becomes immediately viable long term should the doctrine of AGW become passé, as it seems to be given that the predictions seem increasingly faulty, the legion of those who disagree increases and the basic fact that after all this time there still has been no peer reviewed study showing CO2 causes global warming.

      >Wind is not “extremely expensive” Rupert. Its current cost averages under 5 cents a KW, which is 80% below what it was 20 years ago.

      So all those power companies using coal or nuclear are just stupid?

      >If utility companies had to pay to pollute, from mountaintop removal to air pollution

      Kind of like if Windmills had to pay their actual cost? Like stop being subsidized and pay for their devastation to scenic beauty as well as the eco damage they cause regarding bird migration?

      >Don’t be so afraid of liberals. In our brave new world you can do everything you do today unmolested by us.

      Provided you don’t value your second or first amendment rights, prefer living on welfare and don’t want to run a business.

      Obviously you have never lived in a very liberal area. Sorry, I’m from NYC, I lived under a liberal regime for the first 30 years of my life ( Oregon is a conservative bastion compared to NYC ).

      Thanks but no thanks, I really prefer being able to defend myself and not have my earnings taxed to death to spread the wealth around.

      >By the way…what is this “we” stuff white man? Who mortgaged who’s kids future?

      You must have missed the passage of the bailout bill as well as the endless sucking from the treasury of entitlement programs. Sorry bout that, I thought you would get the reference.

      >The last “liberal” president ran 4 straight years of balanced to surplus budgets.

      Yep, thanks to the Republican congress. Clinton had submitted nothing but straight deficits as far as the eye could see up until then. He even did it during the first year of Newts congress. Oh well, so much for that argument!

      Why do you keep maintaining this? You get shot down every time on it.

      >The present “conservative” dug as deep a hole as he could and has left it to the next liberal to try and fill.

      Bush is conservative? You’re kidding me?

      Tell you what, Ill make this real easy for you, please find one conservative who has supported Bush’s deficits?

      Oh, and while you are at it, could you please explain to me how this works?

      Clinton – Deficit spends like crazy until Republican congress.

      Bush – Deficit spends with a Republican congress and then REALLY deficit spends once a Democratic congress is elected.

      OK – Maybe that’s too tough. Ill make it super super easy for you – Are you willing to predict that deficits will come down under BO?

      If not, could you please provide us with your excuse for why not ahead of time so we can all start laughing?

      Ok, maybe even that is too hard, tell you what, please start listing for me the Democrats who have voted against any substantial non military spending in an effort to reduce the deficit ( in other words, don’t just punt and say “Iraq”, that spending pales in comparison to entitlement spending or our current bail out scams )?

      Besides which, what’s with all your upsetness about deficit spending? Seems to me the only ones voting against running up more deficits currently are Republicans.

      >I don’t wish for anything to be inevitable except maybe an outbreak of uncommon wisdom.

      I don’t wish even for that, Id settle for an outbreak of common sense. If that happened then AGW would go the way of Intelligent Design.

  • Rick Hickey

    Future energy? Nano-Bot technology Solar Panels are what this self-made billionaire (min-Bio on Ray below) is betting on.

    I have an interview with Ray on the Glenn Beck Show saved where he talks about about him & Al Gore and others investing in this new technology that will be far more powerful and make Solar practical, in 5-7 years. Guys my age will remember when the Kurzweil synthesizer was first used by rock bands like Yes via Rick Wakeman.
    He is very confident that this is going to work and his 1st Book, written 20 years ago, is spot on. And yes A.I. is coming, he’s working on it as well right now.

    Ray Kurzweil was the principal developer of the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Ray has successfully founded and developed nine businesses in OCR, music synthesis, speech recognition, reading technology, virtual reality, financial investment, cybernetic art, and other areas of artificial intelligence . Ray’s Web site, KurzweilAI.net, is a leading resource on artificial intelligence.

    Ray Kurzweil was inducted in 2002 into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, established by the U.S. Patent Office. He received the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the nation’s largest award in invention and innovation. He also received the 1999 National Medal of Technology, the nation’s highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony. He has also received scores of other national and international awards, including the 1994 Dickson Prize (Carnegie Mellon University’s top science prize), Engineer of the Year from Design News, Inventor of the Year from MIT, and the Grace Murray Hopper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery. He has received twelve honorary Doctorates and honors from three U.S. presidents.

    Ray is also a top selling Author.

  • lw

    I don’t mean to post to have that guy Dean, whoever he is, respond, but his intelligence should allow him to know that the real cost of wind power is fluctuating between 11 and 16 cents per kw based on reputable unbiased sources, and not his 5 cents he claims. This, of course, takes into account all the attributable subsidies.

    • dean

      lw…my source was the American Wind Energy Association, a reputable but not unbiased source. The under 5 cents a KW hour is what they claim for newer installations at good sites. If you average in all the older installations or those placed at less than ideal sites, which are less efficient, then your 11-16 cents per KWH may be correct. Still…even 11 cents is not “extremely” expensive.


      • Rupert in Springfield

        The American Wind Energy Association? Gee, who would have thought they would lowball a figure.

        Well, then again, this is coming from someone who thinks we don’t have much coal and that Bush was a conservative. God knows where the wacky stuff pops into Deans head from but at least we have one source now.

        Hey Dean, I am still waiting for that prediction, yes or no, of deficits coming down under BO. You gonna go with that or what?

        I’m also still waiting for that list of Democrats who have voted for any substantial non military spending cuts recently. I mean you seem so sure Democrats are really for balanced budgets I would think you would have a basis for thinking so.

        Got any?

        I’m listening.

        Oh Dean….. Yoooo Hooooo

    • Anonymous

      You presume Dean’s limited intelligence will outweigh his unlimited capacity for lying.

  • davidg

    Back on to the subject of the stimulus package. You guys are in luck. I just bought a new crystal ball which has a 30 day money back guarantee on it. So here is the true scoop on the Obama stimulus package:

    The stimulus package won’t identify any beneficiaries, but it will be BIG (over a trillion). Obama will get nearly complete discretion to distribute it as he sees fit. This is consistent with the pro-government ideology that the executive branch should have unlimited power to deal with any crisis as it sees fit. Congress will essentially shirk its constitutional oversight duties as it did for the Iraq war resolution and the first Bush bailout. Congress will enthusiastically fall all over itself in order to make itself essentially irrelevant to the operation of the government.

    Who will eventually get the $$? Only union controlled industries. This obviously includes the auto industry, but it will also include state and local governments, as well as government run education from grammar school through college. A lot of construction industries will also share the pork for the same reason. The stimulus program will be designed to protect jobs, that is, union jobs. It will do that with gusto.

    What should the stimulus package contain? Tim, you joke of course with this question. Bush’s bailout was a big mistake. Obama’s will be a bigger one.

  • Gary Wolfer

    Housing prices will continue to decline as well as oil prices. The government cannot prop it up forever. Sooner or later the chinese or whom ever is buying the bonds will stop buying. The paper will be worthless. Our economy will self destruct. Only to recover when all realestate values and mortgages are renegotiated. Only then can we start with a clean slate. Like in the depression years the government is just prolonging the hard times by artificially inflating the money flow. It did not work after the stock market crash and it will not work now. It took 8 years to get out of trouble then it can crash and restart sooner than that if they will let it happen by itself. Like Einstein said every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Everything that goes up must come down. The world was designed by our creator to flow like electricity with ups and downs like radio waves. I am not an educated man but have a little common sense I wish more people would use theirs. The Austrian Plan does and will work.

  • Anonymous

    dean said “If and when coal is priced to reflect its externalities”

    Oh yeah, like adding the cost of AGW which isn’t even happening?

    Wouldn’t he like us to leap forward with all sorts of AGW reducing policies like that? Price coal to reflect it’s externalities?

    Just more BS from the deaniac.

    Like Natural gas, high quality coal is abundant in the US. Along with hydro electric and domestic oil they will serve our energy needs long after the current farce of an alterantive energy bubble fully inflates and ruptures.

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