I read the reviews and hoped for better from Whitney. I guess she's just too much a Republican but instead of sticking to reality, she puts in a lot of loaded words like government "handouts" and "outrageous" pension payments. She pays lip service to the fact that these are simply competing interests, legitimate on all sides, but can't seem to help herself from creating good guy taxpayers versus greedy pensioners. (I don't even have a pension and I found her ragging on teachers, firefighters and police retirees pretty distasteful. God forbid a teacher or a firefighter or a policeman might retire anything but lower middle-class, apparently. Hearing this from a Wall Street person is just...ugh...Yeah, distasteful.)
Also, apart from her point that the states which were dogs during the housing boom are now doing great because of the oil and gas boom, there's really not much here beyond the painful and difficult pension problem. She seems to have forgotten her early days as an oil and gas analyst (according to Wikipedia) because she really appears to think that an oil and gas economy will transform places like Texas and Nebraska in some fundamental way.
On top of her loaded and politicized terminology, which makes it hard to trust her, this idea that O/G is ever anything but another boom-bust cycle is just weirdly naive. Nebraska will do great as long as the price of oil stays high enough to go for the expensive technology--this is a price per barrel calculation every company makes, something she knows perfectly well. All that has to happen to Nebraska is for the price to fall, with some big new producer or technology or political shift, and that has happened over and over. So let's hope for Nebraska's sake they ARE being frugal now.
Yeah, you can't get a hotel room in Midland TX right now, but I've seen it a ghost town, then a boom town, then a ghost town, then a boom town again. I guess it takes seeing that happen on the ground a few times before you truly comprehend the boom bust cycle of O/G. There is nothing else driving the economies of these middle states she loves so much, so good luck to them when it busts.
The whole thing is worth it for the hilarious story of the Louis Rukeyser "investment cruise" to the jungle.
I agree that some of these are a bit slow, but it's a rather fun walk through the 80's and 90's, looking back.
I thought the narrator was great.
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