Megatrends (Magill Book Reviews)
In 1956-1957, the transition began from an industrial, blue-collar society to an information, clerical, white-collar society. Information is now mass-produced and globally disseminated instantly, yet without selectivity and values.
The second trend is from forced technology to high tech, which balances human response or “high touch” with technology, recognizing that technology cannot solve all problems or do away with the need for responsibility and discipline.
A third trend is the emergence of a global economy replacing national ones. The United States can no longer expect to be the industrial leader but should welcome production sharing and world trade as a contribution to world peace.
Fourth, business management will shift from short-term planning to long-term perspectives, motivated both by concern for the environment and by economic necessity. Banks will have to rethink their function in a world of electronic transfer of funds.
Fifth, America is rapidly decentralizing business, politics, and culture, resulting in a more diverse society, one in which unions, the presidency, and the Congress are obsolete while states and regions are important.
Sixth is the shift from institutional help, provided by government, medical institutions, the school system, and corporations, to self-help through home gardening, hospices, alternative cancer treatment programs, natural childbirth, parental involvement in education, venture capitalism, survivalism, and various self-help groups.
Seventh is the shift from representational to participatory democracy, resulting in a largely nominal two-party system, in the appearance of many nontraditional issues on the ballot, and in activist shareholders and worker involvement in management.
Eighth is the related shift from hierarchies to networks as the pyramid structure collapses. This shift and the previously mentioned one indicate that the facilitator and the empowerer of others will be rewarded rather than the autocrat.
The ninth shift is from North to South, specifically from Northeast to Southwest and Florida, resulting in the emergence of three dominant states (California, Texas, Florida) and ten new cities of rapidly expanding possibilities.
Tenth is the shift from either/or to multiple options, leading to more roles for women, flextime in the workplace, various arts, specialty foods, cable television, and religious variety. Clearly this book provides important analysis for diverse aspects of American society.