Gasoline at $7.50 a gallon is something nobody should go into denial over because there are going to be big problems from prices at levels I've suggested, including:Click here for the entire Money Central column.
Will there be any U.S.-based auto manufacturers left? The answer depends entirely on how fast they can transform their product lines. Chrysler is in deep trouble already. That probably means more stress for the Midwest.
Will there be any domestic airlines left? The so-called legacy airlines (American, United, Northwest, Delta and Continental) would either try to combine into one big carrier or simply disappear. They're having serious troubles surviving as it is. This means big troubles for cities where these airlines operate hubs that generate thousands of jobs like Atlanta, Cleveland, Newark, Houston, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Memphis and Minneapolis-St. Paul.
How will big convention cities survive? Places like Las Vegas, New Orleans, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Houston have thriving convention industries, all built around the capacity of airlines to transport conventioneers to and from the destinations relatively cheaply. Emphasis on the word "cheaply."
How will tourist destinations like Florida or Hawaii cope? Add to that places like, say, Williamstown, Mass., whose Williamstown Theater Festival is a big draw, or Ashland, Ore., home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. They're not close to major cities.