Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Gas Prices / Thought

It never ceases to amaze me how vast numbers of people keep thinking the same set of thoughts over and over that turn out to be demonstratively wrong, yet they never change the way they think. Case in point, gas prices.

As they went up, we heard TONs of "explanations" as to why they were ONLY going to go UP!:
- Bush / Cheney / Republican conspiracy
- Big oil companies
- Chinese demand
- Real shortage due to too much demand / instability / Arab control

So, as they go up we see story after story of hand wringing, gloom and doom predictions, discussions about it being a "new era of short supply, change our ways, smaller vehicles, etc, etc". As they go **UP**, Gas prices are a HUGE story, and everyone talks about them!

This week unleaded went below $2 a gallon in MN. Not much of story. Hardly any discussion. All the tons of media and "man on the street" predictions about "they are going to go up after the election" and such are of course completely wrong.

It was HORRIBLE news when they went up, but is it even marginally good news as they go down? No, of course not ... the MSM and most of the sheep simply don't believe in good news.

Some of this is of course just "human nature". It is well understood that we perceive a loss much more acutely than a gain. If asked to take a sure buck or a 50% chance at $2, almost everyone takes the sure $1 because they don't want to risk the "loss" of not getting anything. In the job world, a lay-off or a plant closing is big news, 100's of people being hired every week at good jobs across a lot of companies is harder to pin down.

In a world of "rational reporting" however, we would take some of that into consideration and try to learn from our past mistakes so we didn't sound so foolish the next time around. Apparently, I'll have to live a lot more years to see anything like a wider set of people that learn from their mistakes.

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