Do you remember when gas was only two dollars per gallon? It seems like only yesterday! Wait, it WAS only yesterday! But today, we face three dollars and, in some places, even more. I have a feeling that we'll never again see gasoline below two dollars. It's The Law of Perpetual Discomfort and its sister-in-law? The Law of Greed?that will keep prices high. Let me explain what I mean.In 1958, a house cost $18,200, a gallon of gas was 30 cents, and the minimum wage was $1.00 per hour.
In 1968, a house was $26,600, gasoline was 34 cents, and the minimum wage was $1.60. In 1978, a house was $62,500, gasoline was 65 cents, and the minimum wage was $2.
65. In 1988, a house was $138,300, gasoline was 96 cents, and the minimum wage was $3.35.
In 1998, a house was $181,900, gasoline was $1.12 per gallon, and the minimum wage was $5.15.
What's the point? There hasn't been a 10-year period in which the prices of anything went down!.I came up with the phrase "The Law of Perpetual Discomfort" to describe the market conditions in which we have been living for the past 40 years. Prices rise to the level of discomfort, settle until people get comfortable, and then slowly rise again. Over a 40-year period, the average price of a house increased by over $160,000. The price of gasoline during that same period almost quadrupled.
A postage stamp costs 10 times more today than it did in 1958!.The Law of Perpetual Discomfort is the by-product of a law that most businesses embrace?The Law of Greed. The Law of Greed simply says charge as much as you can for your products and services making sure you maximize your profits. The price of crude oil will fluctuate some and we might see gasoline prices dip slightly. But, if crude oil returned to its 1958 prices, we would never see gasoline at 30 cents per gallon. Why? The Law of Greed and it's sister-in-law, The Law of Perpetual Discomfort.
.Think about it for a moment. If there is a drought in the Amazon, gasoline prices go up.
Mud slides in California produce higher gas prices. Wildfires in New Mexico and gasoline prices go up. The oil companies use every excuse imaginable to raise their prices. Most of their reasons have nothing to do with their businesses; but The Law of Greed demands they take advantage of every consumer. Because of over-inflated gas prices, you and I are part owners of corporate buildings all over the world.
We own yachts, planes, luxury cars, and season tickets. Oil executives don't seem to be curtailing their activities because gas prices are up; instead, they are living better than ever!.It's The Law of Greed that causes retailers to want to sell you extended warranties on their products. I had an interesting conversation with a young man regarding an extended warranty on a computer I was purchasing.
"Would you like to purchase the extended warranty for only $129.95? It covers anything that breaks for three years. If we can't repair it, we'll replace it.".
"Are you so certain that this computer is going to break that you have to sell me a warranty to cover it's shoddy workmanship?"."Uh, no sir, we just want to make sure that you're covered just in case something goes wrong."."But, we know that your company makes a lot of money on these warranties. They know, on average, that the computer will not break over three years and that the $129.
95 will be straight profit to them, right?"."Uh, so I guess you don't want the warranty?"."Right, I don't even want the computer now!".
You see, a society that embraces and encourages greed will never see prices go down. You and I will be forced to live within the boundaries of The Law of Perpetual Discomfort as people come up with more and more ways to take advantage of us and offer services that are little more than thin veils over their greed. People in 1958 probably couldn't imagine a day when homes would cost more than $100,000. Today, most people can't imagine finding a home that costs that little!.What's the solution? Don't believe everything you hear! Think about it before you purchase an extended warranty.
Think about the long-term consequences before purchasing or leasing a vehicle that gets 5 gallons to the mile! The most dangerous weapon you have to fight corporate greed is your brain. A thinking consumer is a dangerous consumer. that's why there are few advertising campaigns that can be classified as intellectual. When consumers use their brains, advertisers get worried. Think about it!..
Dr. Terry Hadaway is an author, motivational speaker, university professor, and conference leader who is recognized as a leading authority on elearning, decision-making, and adult education. For more information, visit his ecampus at http://www.rapidfirelearning.com.
By: Terry Hadaway