Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Feeling Rich?

If you invest in the stock market, you might be feeling a tad richer today. That's because, as you likely know, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped nearly 57 points yesterday to a high it hasn't seen in more than six years.

It was brought about by falling oil prices. A barrel of crude oil is running just under $60 a barrel, which means it's not as costly as it was two months ago to run a business.

Oil prices are directing our economy. The Federal Reserve, which overseas the money supply and our banking system, experts say, will likely not increase interest rates any time soon because oil prices have fallen so low, reports today's Wall Street Journal.

Stockholders at ExxonMobil and other U.S. energy companies, however, aren't so happy. Falling oil prices make their stock prices drop.

So perhaps you're feeling richer. Let's face it, it's not as costly to fill that gas tank; and your company or business may find it easier to increase the bottom line because energy costs are easier on the budget.

The problem with this feeling of elation is that it's short lived.

Oil prices will increase; and American consumption isn't about to change. The United States will remain the world's leading oil market.

So if President Bush is serious about ending the country's "addiction" to oil, as he puts it, he better set about creating a plan to bring this about. The Democrats, for that matter, might stop harping on the Page scandal in the House of Representatives and show themselves to be a party of ideas by coming up with their own plan to reduce America's oil consumption.

Be on the lookout for what our two political parties do -- not for what they say.

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