20 YEARS AGO JUNE 1998
"It is obvious that in many individual cases, 'consumerism' really is little more than a crass reflex often resulting in crippling personal debt. So why is it that, while everybody expresses the heartiest contempt for consumerist behavior, everybody in the world who can do so indulges in it, including most of its critics?"
CHARLES PAUL FREUND
"Buying Into Culture"
"Remember when cheap videocassette recorders first appeared en masse about a decade or two ago? Movie companies rushed to the courts to prevent the distribution of the machines and blank videotapes, claiming their copyrights would be infringed right and left--a concern that seemed to make a lot of sense at the time. Who, they fervently argued, would pay for a movie if they could get it for free?"
"Wild, Wild Web"
25 YEARS AGO JUNE 19953
"You'd think that after 200 years of sound advice by economists, politicians would finally have figured out that free trade leads to growth, prosperity, and fortune, while protectionism leads to autarky, depression, and despair. But it seems that the Clinton administration is determined to continue the addiction to protectionism that blighted the Republican administrations of the 1980s."
MARTIN MORSE WOOSTER
"Magazines: Hollow Threats"
"A lot of ingrates are whining about the fiscal policies of our new president, but not me. I've never done so well. Prior to his inaugural, I doubt if I would have been categorized as 'super-rich,' even by the widest definition. But with Mr. Clinton's new tax plan, overlaid on his campaign pledge to raise taxes only for the highest-income Americans, I easily qualify for fat-cat status. That's upward mobility in Mr. Clinton's America."
THOMAS WINSLOW HAZLETT
"For the 'C-word' throws moderns into such a tizzy that they have great difficulty thinking straight. Witness the havoc wrought when one non-doctor, nonscientist, David Reynard, appeared on Larry King Live and announced that his wife used a cellular phone, his wife contracted and died of cancer, and therefore the phone caused her cancer. How much different are we from our ancestors who blamed their ills on black cats who crossed their paths? Back then, unexplained ills were blamed on witchcraft; today the blame goes to technology."
"Fear of Phoning"
35 YEARS AGO JUNE 1983
"The trend-setters in high-tech are the small, flexible, and innovative high-tech entrepreneurs. They have thrived in competition...