Forget those atomic-powered, sky-high-living Jetsons, life in
the 21st Century may be one of Yankee frugality, Internet colleges
and door-to-door salespeople
* * * * *
WILLIAM HANNA and Joseph Barbera were wrong. Life for the
typical middle-class family of the 21st century will be far
different than it was on "The Jetsons."
For one thing, George won't be commuting to work at a place
like Spacely Space Sprockets Inc. in an atomic-powered bubble each
day. More likely, George, a victim of corporate downsizing, will
have become a self-employed engineering consultant working out of a
modern, digital home office dominated by a videophone.
George, wife Jane, daughter Judy and son Elroy will be an
anomaly as well; the majority of Americans will have ceased living
in nuclear, Ozzie-and-Harriet families years before.
As for the Jetsons' digs in Skypad Apartments - raised and
lowered on huge hydraulic lifts to avoid bad weather - a more
likely scenario will be a home in the exurbs or beyond, possibly
part of a rural "technotribal" community that pools and shares
resources from child care and elder care to auto and dental care.
Nor will a robot maid whisk Elroy off to school via pneumatic
tube. When he does attend a formal education center, he'll probably
get there by taking the interstate bikeway/hikeway system. Most of
the time, though, he'll be home schooled the 21st century way -
online, by interactive computer.
At least that's what Gerald Celente, founder and director of
the Trends Research Institute, forecasts in his latest book,
"Trends 2000: How To Prepare for and Profit From the Changes of the
21st Century" (Warner Books, $24). Among his other predictions for
An emphasis on "clean" food that is free of additives,
preservatives, pesticides and artificial hormones. We'll shop at
healthmarts instead of grocery stores, carry out from tofu huts
instead of Pizza Hut, and replace suburban front lawns with edible
landscaping - from vegetable patches and herb gardens to berry
bushes and orchards.
The return of door-to-door salespeople offering everything from
vitamin counseling and aroma therapy to software installation and
Sabbaticals and family vacations taken at longevity centers -
part spas, part universities - where the emphasis is on fresh air,
clean water and learning to lead more physically, spiritually and
emotionally healthy lives.
Celente, 50, has been engaged in crystal ball-gazing since
1980, when he developed "Globalnomic" forecasting from his office
in Rhinebeck, N.Y. A former government affairs director for a trade
association, he traces his inspiration for trend tracking to a New
Year's Eve date Jimmy Carter had with the Shah of Iran.
"President Carter characterized the Shah as an island of
stability in the Middle East . . . when all I'd been reading about
was the country in turmoil, the secret police, the excesses of his
dictatorial regime," says Celente. "So I started to think about the
implications of this - the probability of a successful revolution
and the price of oil and gold going up. And I started playing the
Celente struck it rich enough to quit his job in Chicago, moved
to the Hudson River Valley and began earning a living by using
current events to predict future trends. …