Megatrends 2000: New Directions For Tomorrowby John Naisbitt, Patricia Aburdene
An invaluable guide to a rapidly changing world
Nearly two decades have passed since thepublication of the groundbreaking national bestsellerMegatrendsand a remarkable number of itscontroversial prophecies have come to pass. Nowthe forecasters who accurately predicted the shape ofthe '80s turn their sights on the coming new century.And what they see will… See more details below
An invaluable guide to a rapidly changing world
Nearly two decades have passed since thepublication of the groundbreaking national bestsellerMegatrendsand a remarkable number of itscontroversial prophecies have come to pass. Nowthe forecasters who accurately predicted the shape ofthe '80s turn their sights on the coming new century.And what they see will astound, excite, and profoundlytouch the lives of each and every one of us.
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Boom of the 1990's<
In the decade of the 1990's the world is entering a period of economic prosperity.
There is no single factor behind the economic boom, but instead an extraordinary confluence of factors. We are in an unprecedented period of accelerated change, perhaps the most breathtaking of which is the swiftness of our rush to all the world's becoming a single economy. Already it may be said that there is no such thing as a U.S. economy, so enmeshed is it in all the other economies of the world. There won't be any such thing as a European economy or Japanese economy or Soviet-bloc economy or Third World economy either.
U.S. companies create and sell $81 billion in goods and services in Japan. Is that part of the U.S. economy or the Japanese economy? Are Korean stocks purchased in London by a Turk part of the Korean, British, or Turkish economy? Of course, they all are part of one economy, the new global economy, and that economy is on a booming course as it races toward the year 2000.
It is as if America's fifty states were economically self. sufficient with little trade among them and then were suddenly Integrated into a single economy. Imagine the economic explosion.
The economic forces of the world are surging across national borders, resulting in more democracy, more freedom, more trade, more opportunity, and greater prosperity.
This chapter is in three sections. The first section deals with the forces behind the creation of the coming worldwide economic boom and the strong role the United States will play in it. The second section, ('High-Wage Economy") is about the affluentcharacter of an information economy, using the United States as the prototype. The last section.(" 1992") is about the historic coming together of the twelve countries of the European Community and the implications for the rest of the world.
The Global Boom
The doomsayers in our midst hate to hear that economic good times are just around the comer, so sure are they that the United States and the world are going to hell in a handbasket. Starting with the Club of Rome's The Limits to Growth (1972), doomsday books have become a growth industry. Population watcher Paul Ehrlich surfaces every couple of years or so to warn of the end of the world, apparently unembarrassed that earlier predictions are now viewed as hysteria. President Jimmy Carter's "Report on the Year 2O00" was proved wrong before the ink was dry. An energy crisis was seen around every corner. During seven years of uninterrupted economic growth in the United States, there were predictions of certain recession or depression every other month. Many economists have foreseen impending global economic collapse for a decade.
Their dismal record notwithstanding, the doomsayers still get a lot of help from the media. Bad news or the prediction of bad news is news. Good news is more often than not ignored. Consider how the three national television networks in the United States treated the unprecedented years of economic expansion in the States beginning at the end of 1982. Ted Smith of Virginia Commonwealth University conducted a study for the Media Institute in Washington, D.C., called "The Vanishing Economy: Television Coverage of Economic Affairs 1982-1987." Professor Smith reviewed the tapes and transcripts from the three nightly news shows on ABC, NBC, and CBS. He found that "as the economy progressively improved the amount of economic coverage on network television news progressively declined" and got "progressively more negative *in tone." Furthermore, for every year he studied, "the number of negative economic stories exceeded the number of positive stories by a ratio of 4.9 to I or more." And "as the performance of the economy improved ... the ratio of negative to positive stories increased steadily from 4.9 to I in 1982-84 ... to 7.0 to I in 1986-87."
In the 1980's the better the economy got, the worse its press.
Within the overwhelming good news, we will, of course, have some bad news; it will be amplified by the media; it will be fanned and misinterpreted by the doomsayers. We cannot allow ourselves to be crippled by their negative scenarios. The booming 1990's will continue along their prosperous path.
Economic Considerations More
Important Than Political
The new global economy cannot be understood if it is thought to be merely more and more trade among 160 countries; it must be viewed as the world moving from trade among countries to a single economy. One economy. One marketplace.
This is the next natural level in the economic history of civilization. In the beginning we had economically selfsufficient villages. The self-sufficient city-states that followed traded very little. For hundreds of years we then had a collection of macroeconomic nation-states, largely economically self-sufficient. Within the nation-states the economic tasks over the years were divided up. Now we are well into the process of resorting economic tasks among nations and moving toward the economic interdependence that implies.
In the global economy, economic considerations almost always transcend political considerations.
Over the centuries heads of state were all-important because the relationships among states were primarily political relationships. With economic relations on the ascent, a country's CEOs are now often more important than their political figures. Sweden, for example. Who is more important and known, Jan Carlzon, head of SAS, and Pehr Gyllenhammar, head of Volvo, or the top political figures whose names are not even known outside Sweden?
In the global economy, presidents, prime ministers, and parliaments are less and less important.Megatrends 2000. Copyright � by John Naisbitt. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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