John Naisbitt, the former Utahn who launched a thousand business books with his mega-seller "Megatrends" has a new book coming out: "Toward the Millennium - Into the 1990s," complete with 10 new megatrends, or "partly baked ideas" as he likes to call them.Are you ready for the arts boom? That's one of the trends of the '90s that will take the place of the high-tech parade of the '80s according to futurist Naisbitt. He predicts the next renaissance will be one of arts, literature and spirituality, not cars, computers and video recorders.
Sure, people will still go to football and basketball games in the coming decade, he agrees, but more Americans now attend art than sporting events. For example, last year 75 new opera companies were established in the United States, a three-fold increase over the 27 that were started in 1984.
Nor is the culture megatrend limited to Americans. According to Naisbitt, a new museum is opened every 18 days in Great Britain. In Japan, 220 new museums opened last year; 300 were built in West Germany.
Here are the 10 new "mega-trends" that comprise Naisbitt's view of the the coming decade:
1. The shrinking middle class is a myth. The middle class is becoming larger and more affluent, largely due to the shift from an industrial to a service economy. Information-based jobs are mostly higher paying than those in an industrial economy.
2. The decade of the 1990s will see a renaissance of arts, literature and spirituality.
3. Rural America is booming, as people are leaving cities for improved quality of life. Information-management technology has made it possible to live in a rural environment and work in an urban one. (Naisbitt himself now lives in Telluride, Colo.)
4. The American welfare state is dying. The private sector will increasingly assume responsibility for social services that have previously been under government domain. There is also a worldwide decline in socialism as evidenced by the trend toward privatization in England and "Perestroika" in the Soviet Union becoming "a deep and sincere revolution."
5. English is emerging as the first universal language. More than a billion people worldwide have at least a working knowledge of English and two-thirds of all scientific documents are printed in English.
6. Information technology is driving change. There will be a single worldwide information grid upon which the global economy rests. The computer is used to manage the complexity of this information flow.
7. We are experiencing a worldwide cultural and economic shift from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The Atlantic power bases, New York, Paris and London, are being supplanted by the Pacific powers of Los Angeles, Sydney and Tokyo.
8. There is an explosion of individual entrepreneurs. The October, 1987 stock market crash demonstrated that the "stock market casino" is not connected to the rest of the economy. How the Fortune 1000 companies fare will no longer be a good barometer of economic health in America.
9. We are moving toward a worldwide free trade economy.
10. The traditional "boom and bust" business cycle is being challenged by 71 consecutive months of economic growth. A worldwide economy will dictate new economic theories.