From the 2011 outlook, I take a fact sheet which gives me some important data to consider:
Energy consumption and markets will be more and more determined by emerging economies and not by the developed nations. As a result, we will be severely affected by those forces here in New Jersey without being able to influence much change.
Higher energy prices will have a devastating effect on our economy. Food, heating, lighting, commuting; all will cost at least 1/3 more if we optimistically assume that the relationship between higher consumption and prices will be linear and that production will remain more or less constant.
On the other hand, wages will remain semi-flat due to the dynamics of the global economy and the relative indifference of both Washington and Trenton to the consequences of globalization. Politicians are looking at Wall Street and not Main Street.
In fact, there is a possibility that by 2030 some producers will not be able to maintain the current output. We must understand that the amount of fossil fuels in the earth is finite.
Even if we drilled holes in the entire country, with considerable environmental damage, we would not be able to offset the higher prices for fuels that the increased consumption will lead to.
I believe it is imperative that we look at developing comprehensive mass transit systems, attempt to concentrate industrial redevelopment in some pre-selected areas near urban centers, and seek to develop off-shore wind power farms.
As a note, wind power maintenance is labor intensive and would generate numerous well-paying jobs.
To spearhead these massive projects together with the private sector, New Jersey must have cash. To have cash we need growth: To have growth we must carry out tax, economic, and political reforms, as I propose.
My economic and taxation proposals are not written on stone. Many aspects of them may change because of the legislature, or because of advise of experts, or popular referendum. But that is the general direction where I believe we should be heading.