America in the Global ’90s

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

The editors of the highly influential KIPLINGER WASHINGTON LETTER and the magazine CHANGING TIMES are extremely bullish on America. They acknowledge the nation’s many problems but see them all gradually being resolved as a result of accelerating technology and expanding world markets. They believe that the trade deficit is largely an illusion, something the government should not try to rectify by drastic methods. They also believe that the federal budget deficit will continue to decline as a percentage of the Gross National Product because of anticipated lower interest rates, higher taxes, and curbs on government spending.

Like the newsletter itself, this spinoff publication is terse and liberally sprinkled with headings and captions, so the busy executive can find what he wants in a hurry. In the great tradition of prognosticators, the Kiplingers hedge their bets. They expect increasing competition with Japan and increasing cooperation with the Soviet Union--providing that glasnost and perestroika have the good results that Gorbachev anticipates.

Most of the advice on how investors may profit from their preview of the future is confined to the last twenty pages and is disappointingly vague. Although they predict that the Dow Jones Industrial Average will reach a fantastic 6000 by the beginning of the twenty-first century, they prudently refrain from recommending specific securities. They caution that “the fundamental principles of sound investing--diversification, a long-term orientation, investing regularly, buying value rather than the current fad--do not change from decade to decade,” and the last caption in the book reads “TRUST YOUR OWN INSTINCTS.”