The current level of stimulus is much higher than normal. If not for the stimulus, we would have a shrinking economy today. I don't live in Southern California. I was just expressing empathy. I don't live too far from work, but many people do. I guess it is just too bad for those losers. Unfortunately for us, the economy is highly interconnected. Oil prices are still too high. These high prices should attract more oil to the market, thus lowering prices further. I brought up some valid disagreements we have about the economic indicators you chose. I did not say "up" was "down". Oil prices are a strain on an already weak economy, thus they are too high. You start with the premise that the economy is "recovering". Recovering should mean it could reasonably soon be expected to come off of the life support of stimulus and breath (grow) on it's own. Do you have any evidence that this is the case? What do you mean "No, they couldn't"? Any individual oil company should seek to maximize it's profits. I didn't say they would necessarily make more profit by producing more, just that they would have the incentive to produce more to maximize profits. Obviously if all oil companies followed this pattern, the price of oil would crash. OPEC was a cartel whose purpose was price fixing by setting quotas. For quite some time, it has not had the kind of power it once enjoyed. Are you suggesting that the current world oil market operates as a cartel? Of course the economy is not an engineered system. It is a natural one. Natural systems break when operating outside their normal operating conditions. Positive feedbacks rapidly drive the system toward a new equilibrium. The coming collapse will be much worse than you can imagine. And the world keeps spinning regardless of whether we collapse or not. ---FutilitistPlease Register or Log in to view the hidden image!