A year ago in my town, a place in rural Maine, traffic came to a virtual stand still. Logging trucks simply stopped rolling. The college town came to a collective stand still of feeling trapped and isolated as the freedom of travel became too restrictive. The winter that lay ahead caused near panic as any oil heating system that could be replaced was replaced, and one by one pellet mills came online.
In this part of New England, one way of life is the surest form of economic well being and that is to buy locally, always. If you make or provide a service and terms are negotiable then so to be the financing of those terms. Or that, the local credit union stands to assist in the same way to create opportunity for those that take charge.
Only we are limited, yet stronger and more capable in ways in which goods are fabricated. We can fabricate textile goods; make paper, efficiently mill lumber into beams and boards. The ways are tried and trued without complexity or outside involvement with few exceptions.
No one was prepared for the cost of energy to become so high in such short order, as to stop the movement of our goods and services. One hundred dollars to fill a pick-up truck, or $1200 to fill the home heating oil tank is far more in way a threat than an act of cost going up like everything else. This time there wasn't anything left to compare cost to?
State actions were made to help supplement the cost of cord wood for heating, as the state granted by permit wood to be cut and removed from state property. Fuel taxes were lifted, and heating aid programs expanded to allow a greater percentage of households to participate. All in the way of making ends meet at the cost of lost productivity. A regular commute to work and back, may well be 100 miles. Most people live in the country side and sharing a ride or a "commuter lane" is more apt to be a snowmobile path, or a hunting party.
There isn't any excess to begin with. The banks are only as solvent as the money the local economy saves. Home prices can be more closely associated with construction cost than a premium value as is so often the case along the Maine seacoast.
Circa 1880's ($63,500) asking ($91,000)
When I first moved to Maine the neighbors had only just installed plumbing and electricity within the past 20 years. Turning on the television to watch local programming proved to be an adventure in time travel as the ways of old were deliberated and debated as compared to the newer ways of doing things the same way, only differently.
Part III Resistance to Change
Some of the richest people in the area are the auto body shop owners. They may well make the same kind of money a surgeon does, but that's too much an exageration. The Social Service roles multiply every 7-8 years by increases in the millions of dollars. The tax base can hardly compare it seems, to the number of woman and infants receiveing financial aid, and most all with situations that are case after case of tough love. No one wants to change, it is always everyone elses fault. Locally, 42% of the kids graduate from High School, of which the vast majority keep going choosing to live else where. Generally, this serves to preserve the way of life in the hills, and the lifestyle choices of living in the woods.
Part IV Monday
Well, by gosh, I called the virtual help desk there at CBOE , you know over at Virtual Trade Toll, and toldem, I said, hey! You know your tickers messed up? The price of Apple July 150's, hasn't changed a dime, all day! I can't trade noth'n. Do you mind fixn the price?
Part V Tuesday/Reality Check