State of Business: Where Are the Tinkerers?

Historically, the U.S. has been the most inventive of modern nations. Telephone and television, the cotton gin and the airplane, Thomas Edison's magic lamp and Henry Ford's indestructible Model T—these are but a few of the wondrous works of Yankee tinkerers. Such inventions have enriched society and stimulated the economy by spurring consumer demand, putting men to work and raising purchasing power, which in turn spurs demand afresh.

But today some businessmen have a new worry: not since television has the U.S. developed any major new product so dramatic that almost all American families feel compelled to buy it.

Instead of...

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