High oil prices create a demand for ethanol which uses corn. The weak dollar makes American products cheaper overseas. Wheat is thus exported and the domestic prices have to increase to attract wheat products to stay domestic.

As acreage shifts from wheat to corn, and the weak dollar makes both more expensive, all products that use wheat like pizza and breading for fried chicken goes up sharply in price. Wheat has more than doubled in the last year.

As a result of the crappy housing market, timber is as cheap as it has been in decades. Steel has risen sharply in the last few months. Building codes requiring metal studs (up 50% in price in the last few months, as opposed to timber which is at a 20 year low) make construction more expensive at a time when construction is depressed.

The point of this economic rant is that our economy is very complicated and interrelated in ways that are difficult for even the brightest planners and economists to predict. If you include commodity and currency fluctuations, it is practically impossible.

This is why central government planning rarely works. In fact it usually creates problems no one could foresee.

The secret to a strong economy is low taxes, low regulation, free trade and a strong currency. You also need scientific reasoning, individual freedom, and respect for private property. Beyond that- government meddling is counterproductive.