Energy and technology just might cause an economic boom:
Not only is the price of natural gas declining significantly, but it is getting cheaper relative to crude oil by leaps and bounds. And it's all thanks to new drilling technology (fracking) that has resulted in huge new natural gas discoveries and production in the U.S. It's probably impossible to imagine all the ramifications of this for the U.S. economy, but they are surely going to be very significant.
Oil and gas production in the United States and North America is going to skyrocket in the next 8 years due to strides in natural resource extraction, write Citi analysts in a report published yesterday. In fact, they went so far as to call North America "the new Middle East," at least in terms of oil production.
This—as well as a trend towards declining U.S. energy consumption—will completely transform both the domestic economy and the threats the U.S. will face in the future.
But the pattern is the same: Technology is a disruptive force, and the first instinct of a ruling class is to take control, because any such disruption, however good it might be for humanity at large, is a threat to their own power.
Over the past couple of centuries, things have gotten better because science and technology have advanced faster than the ruling classes have been able to respond.