Recently, one of our temporary helpers here at Oil and Gas Investor has been telling me about the popular 1980’s television shows “Dyansty” and “Dallas.” I’m pretty sure my parents didn't allow me to watch these evening soap operas, since I was mostly watching “Care Bears” and such at the time. But after hearing so much about the lush lifestyles of the oil tycoons and their families in these sitcoms, I can't help but reflect on how such sitcoms would never make it into the evening TV lineup of 2008. These characters were fabricated at a time when the oil industry was at its peak, and we may never see such a jetting peak again. Over the last year, I have asked many industry veterans at our Hart conferences if they worry about ever hitting the low that the industry hit in the late 1980's. Time and time again, there response has been something like, "No, because we will never hit such an outrageous high again. We're on more level ground now." In addition, taxes for the higher echelon of society have only increased since the 1980s, limiting the allowance for extravagance. However, I wonder, as many in the industry do, how effective the current tax system is. And I wonder how effective Obama's proposed system to raise taxes on families that make more than $250,000 annually will be. Aside from the moral that taxing the wealthy could lead to an attitude of national "underachievement," I wonder if raising taxes on the wealthy will have a huge effect on philanthropy. Many of the greatest givers in our nation are also the hardest workers, who happen to bring in the largest paychecks. We'll never get back to the days of "Dallas" and "Dynasty," for better or for worse... –Lindsay Goodier, Online Editor,;;