Think Tank based in New Zealand created to identify and publish analytical results of future trends in politics, society, and economics.


The ultimate form of determinism is the enculturation devised model by which humans create their destiny by the sheer force of their cultural dominant traits.  We can see this play out most overtly by that superficial yet profoundly dominant enculturation that takes place in the United States of America.  In this national conscience we find the determinism stronger than most, so profoundly assimilated by the masses they are neither aware nor capable of changing the patterns that will establish their destiny. 

Looking at the emphatic dominance of the enculturated ideals of personal freedom, self-will, and inherent self-righteousness, the people have determined already the reality they will create for themselves over the next 20 years. 

We have only to extrapolate from this dominant enculturation the key facets to determine events and results for existing generations.  The deterministic model we identify in the American culture allows us to verify who will win the presidential elections and how they will win (which we published in August and has now been validated in reality), what the economic climate will resemble, and the major upheavals we can expect not only for the long term but also in the very short term. 

Trends become the determined culmination of the most dominant enculturation.


How Enculturation Processes Determine a Society's Future Trends

By Mark Rais

Today, neither parents nor government are the primary influencers of childrens behaviours. As much as parents and even those in government believe that they have the ability to effectively influence childrens motivations and actions, there is a far more effective influencing agent at work in the hearts and minds of our children. 

The bombarding of thousands of messages across media has instructed children in ethics, moral principals, and priorities often in conflict with those of parents and government.

A Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation report on the exposure to media messages sheds light on the true intensity.  The report titled Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year-olds, notes that a typical 8 to 18-year-old is exposed to 8.5 hours of recreational media content daily.

It is very difficult for either parents, or government role models and authority figures (teachers, counsellors, law enforcement officers) to effectively convey information that is contrary to such a thorough barrage of communication.

Todays children are being programmed through the consistency and proliferation of advertising messages -- not in the dozens, or hundreds, but by the tens of thousands per year.

Children have always had a tendency to reject authoritative voices.  They have always had a tendency to desire immediate physical gratification, whether it is exercised in sex, alcohol, food, etc.  However, never before have parents and government had their voice so thoroughly dampened by countless messages and ethics of someone else.

It is a very real war for the hearts and minds of our children, a war fought between those who care about how well children grow up to be adults and those who care how well they grow up to be consumers.

What happens to a society when inner wants are profoundly emphasised and constantly encouraged is that there is an unforeseen and significant change in behaviour.


Children may be instructed subtly to accept a desire or motivation over what is a parental voice, or even the law.  When this is combined with the pressures and bullying that often accompanies children among peer groups, the force to act on negative desires is extraordinary.

Not all advertising pushes the boundary so far as to provide teaching on a divisive form of ethics or morality.  However, there are substantive numbers of messages promoting behaviours directly in conflict with the intent of parents and those in government.

Parents and government are potentially seen as fundamental inhibitors to a childs desires.

As a result, parents and government become the key barriers to selling products to children because they have the power to:

1. Restrict the level of influence a third party can have over desires and actions

2. Impede the successful conversion of marketing dollars to product sales

For this reason, many messages are subtly encouraging children to challenge voices that do not give them the coached desires.  The result is an increase in anti-social behaviour, because social norms and authority voices are now considered negative by such children. 


In a summary of how strong the influence of advertisements are on children, a New American Dream article notes it is often the case for children nagging parents that No Means NoŚUntil It Finally Means Yes."

In a recent NZ Herald article on violence and video games, it was reported that: Ministry of Justice figuresŚ showed sharp increases in the number of young people aged 14 to 20 caught by police for violent behaviour in 2005 and 2006.  

Such anti-social behaviour is increasing in prevalence throughout New Zealand, in large cities and small communities alike. 

It is substantive enough that leaders such as Taupos Mayor Rick Cooper have begun new plans to respond to the growing anti-social behaviors.


In the United States alone, the advertising market now exceeds over $150 Billion per year.  It is estimated that approximately $12 Billion is spent for advertising explicitly targeting children.

Billions of dollars in advertising expenditures targeting children occurs because it is effective at influencing people.  However, few are willing to make the association between influencing children and the results of their behaviours. 

A growing pool of research now indicates that advertising is a significant influencing agent, especially among children.


In an article in The Nation, Steven Manning reports:

˜The sheer amount of advertising [children] are exposed to today is "staggering and emotionally harmful," says Susan Linn, a Harvard Medical School psychologist who studies media at the Judge Baker Children's Center in Boston.

Todays advertising is not simply creating direct links between consumer and product.  Instead, advertising has taken on a role as ethical instructor.  Advertising now poses as the role model, mentor and cultivator for children. 


There is minimal quantifiable evidence that a particular media message can invoke anti-social or dangerous behaviour in children.  However, the reason is because marketing is not effective when isolated in terms of a message, or an image, or one ad.

Effective persuasion occurs when multiple media are used to convey multiple levels of the same message in coordination. 

For this reason it is often impossible to prove that a particular media message was behind specific behaviour in a child. 

However, if you observe a child, who for example may have a predisposition to sadism, and then have that child observe violence in ads, play violent video games, listen to violent music, watch violent television shows, attend violent sport events, and view violence in movies, a unique formula appears. 


Total number of messages appealing to a desire in child +

childs susceptibility to that desire =

likelihood of acting on that desire

This is a key formula for advertising, or it would not be a billion dollar industry.  Notice that even if a child has negligible predisposition, they may still act on the desire when exposed to sufficient messages.  The point of emphasis is that exposure to the message is a key influencer.

What few people understand is the cost to society when children are exposed to so many, often unhealthy or anti-social messages.


Having advertisements and media messages as the primary influencing agents in the development of a childs desires can directly impact the costs associated with education, health care, law enforcement, justice, corrections etc.  

The American Psychological Association declared in a task force report that television advertisements targeting children leads to unhealthy habits and those children are unable to critically comprehend televised advertising messages. 

Another cost is the decline of childrens maturation into productive and responsible adults. 


This is not a new point. This has been conveyed for some time by leading psychologists and other medical professionals.  The American Association of Pediatrics recently took a direct stand against marketing to children.  In a policy statement the AAP notes that, "Research has shown that young children are cognitively and psychologically defenseless against advertising."


The Pediatric doctors have been expressing their concern for years, including a statement from their Committee on Public Education, stating that, In the scientific literature on media violence, the connection of media violence to real-life aggressive behavior and violence has been substantiated.


Today we face an increasingly violent, sexual, anti-social messaging that is targeting children.  Of course, children have always had a tendency to want to go around authority, to play games and place fun over responsibility.  However, never before have the parents and the government had their voice so thoroughly dampened by the messages and ethics of someone else.

The war we face to help our children develop into socially responsible adults is not between parents and government. 

It is a very real war for the hearts and minds of our children, a war fought between those who care about how well children grow up to be adults and those who care how well they grow up to be consumers.

The most profoundly effective power both parents and government have today is the power to protect children from the bombardment of messages that are often neither beneficial nor benign.

The responsibility that government has is to invoke and enforce laws that ensure children are not the explicit target of media messages that promote anti-social behaviour.  Similarly, parents play an important role in helping to encourage and protect children from messages that are often not beneficial for their development.

Fundamentally, the real issue is whether either government or parents understand that their own voice is being replaced with the voice of another.


Our recent articles and research releases:


World leaders disparage New Zealand Covid response while their citizens die

Wednesday, 25 August 2021, 9:22 am | Mark Rais

It takes a special kind of public figure to openly and repeatedly condemn New Zealand's response to the COVID pandemic, while ongoing outbreaks kill off their own citizens.

The hypocrisy of such leaders calling out New Zealand's response is evidenced by the fact that these same figures shrug off the death of their own citizens. Moreover, the implication that New Zealand should follow their lead into the darkness is odd at best... More >>

Housing Boom Is Global Not Local – Fixing Our Housing Boom Demands A Broader Perspective

Monday, 5 July 2021, 5:15 pm | Mark Rais

The residential housing boom we see is the result of macro-economic dynamics influenced at a global level and perpetuated by the overall monetary system.

Demands that Labour “fix the residential housing price boom” occur when ignoring world-wide trends and monetary dynamics that are positioning the housing market as one of the few remaining stable investment vehicles... More >>

Fixing House Prices And The Limitations Of A Capital Gains Tax

Monday, 7 December 2020, 2:01 pm | Mark Rais

Capital gains taxes are one of several new tax proposals being considered as methods for helping cool the housing market. Unfortunately, such measures, as experienced when applied in other countries, have limited impact on the total cost of houses.

Macro-economic drivers are behind the housing prices and a capital gains tax does not improve these dynamics, as the law of supply and demand dictates that any punitive measures will reduce the total number of houses that come to market. ... More >>

Housing Boom Caused By Massive Inflationary Cycle

Wednesday, 18 November 2020, 8:22 am | Mark Rais

Housing will remain massively inflationary because every conceivable catalyst is at play.

Unfortunately, as I wrote almost six months ago, the massive growth in housing prices is a derivative of overt economic tools that help stoke the very rise in house prices. Extreme low interest rates are the number one most effective method by which you can inflate overall costs, and housing happens to be the most overt vehicle that demonstrates this. ... More >>

One US Senate Race May Indicate The Overall Election Results

Tuesday, 18 August 2020, 7:45 am | Mark Rais

There are many complex and unsteady indicators in the current Presidential race in the United States. Gauging the results, whether Republicans will retain the Senate majority, and who will win the White House becomes less clear each day the election ... More >>

90 Days To Elections: Trends Show Biden Win And Turbulent Transition

Tuesday, 4 August 2020, 3:41 pm | Mark Rais

Biden is projected to win the presidential election in the United States, by both the popular vote and the Electoral College, based on trend analysis 90 days out. Moreover, the cultural trends indicate a particularly turbulent and drawn out transition ... More >>

Are Polls Lying? Trends Shed Light

Wednesday, 29 July 2020, 4:45 pm | Mark Rais

Although several leaders from various parties have taken additional effort this week to discount the results of the latest Newshub-Reid poll (26-July-2020), underlying trends validate most of the results. Political trends often reveal a fundamental More >>

The Housing Market Is Underpinned By Four Catalysts

Friday, 24 July 2020, 1:22 pm | Mark Rais

The housing bubble predicted by many to burst is unlikely to occur unless there is mass unemployment. Even then, government intervention similar to that seen with the initial COVID-19 response, including mortgage and wage subsidy schemes, will ... More >>

The Pandemic Is Not Over

Wednesday, 22 July 2020, 2:52 pm | Mark Rais

The government’s effective response to the outbreak of COVID-19 is as much a beacon of success as it is an unfortunate reality of timing. Whereas significant numbers of countries that had been stemming the tide of the virus now again face explosive ... More >>

A Grand Threat To New Zealand During This Pandemic

Thursday, 16 July 2020, 8:43 am | Mark Rais

As the media focus is explicitly on those thousands returning to New Zealand, it has largely ignored the reality of where the actual pandemic threat originates. Stats NZ has recently noted approximately 21,124 people arrived between April and June. ... More >>

Growing Arrivals Require Broader Approach To Pandemic Response

Wednesday, 15 July 2020, 3:59 pm | Mark Rais

Latest data from Statistics New Zealand verifies that approximately 21,000 people in total arrived between April and June [1]. With such a large number of arrivals during the pandemic lock-downs, there are increasing concerns regarding the costs ... More >>

Six Key Drivers For The Real Estate Market In New Zealand

Wednesday, 15 April 2020, 7:11 am | Mark Rais

There are six key drivers for the real estate market in New Zealand, and most are currently underpinned by stabilising events. It is unlikely that any substantive downward trends in the real estate prices will occur in the near term. This is underpinned ... More >>

Success or Failure of CGTdependant on Macro-Economics

Friday, 22 February 2019, 10:58 am | Mark Rais

The newly proposed capital gains tax (CGT) has the potential to beneficially improve economic conditions, especially for low and middle earners who would see an exempting of a portion of their income tax. But such beneficial results can only come if the ... More >>

An emerging rental crisis caused by macro-economic drivers

Friday, 18 January 2019, 2:22 pm | Mark Rais

The new tenancy law changes and investment tax proposals, although quite sound in their intention, may unwittingly combine with emerging negative macro-economic forces. More >>

Trapped in the age of Nuclear Deterrence

Wednesday, 6 September 2017, 9:46 am | Mark Rais

The standoff between nuclear giant United States and newcomer North Korea is a remarkable reflection of a past age. It is the quintessential example of the cold war era ideology where nuclear weapons were foundational to power and deterrence. More >>

False Data is the greatest threat to humanity

Wednesday, 2 August 2017, 3:12 pm | Mark Rais

By Mark Rais Two Artificial Intelligence (AI) bots appeared to go rogue forming their own language, which the human computer scientists that created them could not translate. More >>

Fallacies promoting housing collapse - Mark Rais

Tuesday, 9 May 2017, 1:05 pm | Mark Rais

If you read the top headlines or listen to New Zealand political debates, the housing boom and immigration are key concerns. What many seem to be ignoring is the very serious looming decline in the global economy and major decline in housing growth. More >>

The end of the Housing Boom

Friday, 16 December 2016, 5:23 pm | Mark Rais

There are a number of factors why housing has been on full throttle for the past three years in New Zealand. However, two of the most substantial drivers are about to change. The fulcrum for this change is founded in international macroeconomic ... More >>

Low interest rates are creating broader instability

Monday, 3 October 2016, 10:56 am | Mark Rais

By Mark Rais The housing market is becoming untenable for reasons not currently emphasised. The demand is underpinned not only by market forces driven from home owners or those looking to purchase a beneficial investment. It is also bolstered ... More >>

Proposed Land Tax will have detrimental long term affects

Tuesday, 3 May 2016, 2:25 pm | Mark Rais

Proposed Land Tax will have detrimental long term affects Mark Rais The national median price of houses sold last year was $450,000, according to statistics from REINZ (Real Estate Institute of New Zealand). A proposed Land Tax at the recommended ... More >>

Interest Rate Cuts Fail When Applied in Isolation

Tuesday, 2 December 2008, 9:56 am | Mark Rais

Repeated reductions in interest rates do little to resolve underlying economic issues. Instead, any strategy that will overcome the impending volatility of 2009 must tightly coordinate several key growth drivers. More >>

Clash of Super Powers in an Age of Global Conflict

Wednesday, 8 October 2008, 3:53 pm | Mark Rais

Three powers now flex for rule in our modern world. The world has not experienced this type of struggle since the 1930s, when unyielding socio-political ideologies spawned by ambitious leaders began to drive daily events. More >>

War for the Hearts and Minds of Our Children

Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 3:47 pm | Mark Rais

Today, neither parents nor government are the primary influencers of children’s behaviours. As much as parents and even those in government believe that they have the ability to effectively influence children’s motivations and actions, there ... More >>

Mark Rais: Oil Rules The World

Thursday, 13 July 2006, 11:28 am | Mark Rais

Five of the top ten highest revenue earning companies on earth are oil companies, according to the just released Fortune Magazine summary . Perhaps more importantly, of the top ten companies, nine of them are either oil companies or automobile companies. ... More >>


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