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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of gasoline has increased by 26% in the last year and oil increases show no sign of slowing down. Similarly, the bureau notes that grain and dairy-based products have increased by double digits in the last year. And, we are all aware of the weakening dollar and its effect on the cost of goods coupled with less available credit. Further, as noted on the Bloomberg newswire, Fannie Mae forecasts a drop of 7% to 8% in home prices nationally in 2008. None of this is good news. In short, all our members are feeling the pain of this seemingly perfect storm of economic poor tidings.

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