Human Beings tend to have short memories for non-tragic events. The best way to change Human responsiveness and engender conformity is to strike precipitously (but not so precipitously that it causes excessive violence or meaningful revolt), ease things (i.e. taxes, the price of gasoline, the interest rate on home mortgages) slightly back down for a time, but not quite as easy (or as generous, or as cheap) as they had been previously -- and then wait for anger to subside and indolence and complacency to set in -- only to pull the same shenanigans again.
If you want to increase price acceptance of an economic necessity, the ideal strategy, politically and psychologically, is to push prices higher on some pretext, and then reduce then, but to a higher level than they were before. Over a period of time, through incremental adjustments and slights bouts of relief, you raise the bar, albeit in increments. People are adaptable (more so than they care to admit) provided that changes are made through a series of small incidents. Prices rise, then they decline to a new, higher, expectation level.
|A Strategic "Sawtooth" Incremental Increasing Of Prices Over Time|
This upward spiraling technique has been the strategy of choice for the producers, refiners and "transport engineers" of fossil fuels for many years. It has inflated every cost associated with logistics and transportation, and has damaged entire sectors of the economy for periods of time. It has never failed because there was always adequate demand, progress or resiliency in the economy at the time of each of spiking incident.
In this ponderous and low-income/ low-employment economy, especially in both Western Europe and the United States, this honored tradition might have finally forced the entrepreneurs, the e-commerce merchandisers, the alternative energy developers, the automotive industry and even the venture capitalists and private equity fund managers to reach a critical mass of drive to start reducing our dependency on petroleum-based energy altogether. The petroleum industry, in combination with some very fateful timing may well have caused a consumer and business sector push to aggressive find, fund and deploy alternative sources of energy.
Sometimes a confluence of economic variables, in conjunction with a long pent-up distrust and distaste for an industry (i.e., big oil) brings about a tipping point and forces a change in technology and demand -- expect both during the course of the next 32 to 36 months.
Expect great strides in the development of alternative energy, the deployment of alternative energy (i.e., hybrid cars, solar panels, windmill farms, geothermal facilities, atomics, hydroelectric energy and even a variety of nanotech, biomass and as yet unveiled organic "green and mean" technologies for energy production to begin reducing the demand for oil. A great deal of capital, venture, investor and consumer dollars, will be heading in the direction of finally reducing the demand for and dependency upon petroleum.
In tandem, we may expect many new and interesting investments (both agri-tech and high-tech) in such sectors as alternative energy; alternative transportation; alternative marketing and commerce, and in other sectors as well.
While the world has not yet agreed upon a way to rid itself of the monetary system and banks entirely (that will require a great deal of work and some difficult consensuses), the perception of oil is a fountain of evil and lies has caught hold...and more excitingly, alternatives have already been identified.
If you abuse people long enough, some of them become innovators and freedom-fighters. Watch out, Big Oil. As the saying goes, "Nothing good lasts forever."
Douglas E. Castle for The Global Futurist Blog.