Age 65 to Dead

Just what was it like back in 1969? This short snippet from an ad in an old Harvard Business Review (March-April 1969) provides a clue. Remember, at the time, we thought we were on the edge of something very connected. Why is this useful? Compare it with what you know today as “connected” and you’ll see the difference immediately. Combine it with the current attitudes of the above age demographic and you’ll be blinded instantly at the difference in scale. Literally, your future could depend on your making this connection.

The ad was for General Telephone & Electronics. It read simply:

“What’s the connection between General Telephone and Bell Telephone?

Our lines are connected. Our corporations aren’t. Our lines are also connected to the lines of all the other telephone companies in the United States. About 2,000 of them altogether. The phone business is made up of more than Bell and us, General Telephone, the second largest telephone company in the country.

But we’re not only a phone company. Our full name is General Telephone & Electronics. In addition to owning and operating about 30 telephone companies and making phone equipment, we also manufacture color television sets. And color television picture tubes. Radio and lighting products. Rare metals, chemical and plastics. And parts made of metals and plastics…even if we’re in different businesses than Bell, we still have our connections.

All of our more than nine million phones are connected to the other 100 million telephones in the United States…So anyone who has one of our telephones can call anyone else who has any other telephone company’s telephone. And vice-versa.

It’s simple, when you have the right connections.”

And that, friends, is as clear a statement of the world of age 65 to dead as I can come up with, short of summarizing “Business Has a War to Win” by Irwin Miller, also in that same issue, where he states that our formidable enemies are Russia and Red China, but more to the point: OURSELVES as a nation. (One thing Miller did say in this diatribe that did make sense in my recollection, citing a distinguished industrialist, was “when the elite groups of societies continued to pursue their own interests in the face of mounting crisis, and failed to adapt to change, those societies did not survive.” That still holds.)

Business was literally called upon at that time to provide the vanguard in the “war” against the very population of the USA…against labor, against customers who narrowed their profit margins, against government, and most of all from the children of that era, who set such little value on things important in the 1950s, like the importance of business, for example. Worst of all business was under attack from educators, who “have the nerve to criticize business and at the same time…(state that businesses sic) have the duty to support higher education in ever-increasing demands.”

And lest we forget, business was also under attack “by the church, by the very nations we have helped most and…by racial minorities, who are better off here than in any other nation, and are making more rapid progress.” In short, Business went to War to “grapple with internal threats”. This entire article sets the tone for what happened next — and what’s been happening for the last forty years. Has business won its war?

So here we are, in 2008. Examine what has happened to the above assertions. Remember they were made in 1969, and ask yourselves if, in spite of changes that have been made, anything has changed in the MINDS of this demographic in mainstream America.

It is for all of you to put these pieces together. I think the 18 to 34 year old group already knows the answer. (Just search “18 to 34 polls” on any search engine to get to their results.)

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