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Experiment will be the key word
There is a fifty-fifty chance, says Futurist Herman Kahn, director of the Hudson Institute, that working hours will be markedly shorter. Eventually, the American employee will have the option of deciding whether he wants his increased income in money or in greater leisure time. The goal of most Americans will be self-fulfillment rather than self-sacrifice. In everything, the emphasis will be on experimentation. "The idea of redesigning a way of life is going to be the dominant theme of the '70s," says Behaviorist B. F. Skinner. Young people will continue to fear large institutions, he believes, and will be ever more willing to "let this culture alone" and start their own institutions and communities. Education for enrichment or amusement rather than for professional skills will become a lifetime process as universities expand to provide an almost infinite variety of postgraduate courses. In fact, says Marshall McLuhan, older people will have to go back to school to learn basic skills. The young, he says, are not interested in the mundane knowledge it takes to run a technological civilization; the old will have to learn it if they are to keep their world running.
All this will depend on continued expansion of the U.S. economy, which virtually all experts agree will take place. The growth should be impressive, and the experts expect:
> A gross national product of about $1.4 trillion (in 1968 dollars), compared with about $943 billion now. The growth rate should be in the range of 4.3% to 4.4% a year, compared with an average 4% for the postwar period.
> A 40% rise in personal income.
> A gradual rise in defense spending late in the decade, after a decline of about $8 billion in the early years. Defense expenditures in 1979 will be somewhat less than they are today ($81 billion), though they will take up much less, in percentage terms, of the national wealth.
> Enormous gains for knowledge and information industries, recreation and entertainment companies, and home-and apartment-building corporations.
Business will be operating in a new, probably tougher atmosphere. While profit will still be the prime mover, some of the money once considered the stockholders' will have to be sacrificed to the needs of society and to pollution control. Within business itself, the company that knows best how to use information and the new world of the computer will dominate its fielda truth only beginning to become apparent today. The knowledge industry, in fact, may grow to the point where it is the largest single segment of the economy. A new type of executiveone with great flexibility and broad powers of judgmentwill replace the man who is a specialist in one field: the computer will perform many of the tasks that the specialist