The family which takes its mauve and cerise, air-conditioned, power-steered, and power-braked automobile out for a tour passes through cities that are badly paved, made hideous by litter, blighted buildings, billboards, and posts for wires that should long since have been put underground.
They picnic on exquisitely packaged food from a portable icebox by a polluted stream and go on to spend the night in a park which is a menace to public health and morals. Just before dozing off on an air mattress, beneath a nylon tent, amid the stench of decaying refuse, they may reflect vaguely on the curious unevenness of their blessings.
- John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society, 1958 in the Washington Post.
"I am struck by our superb capacity to manufacture consumer gadgetry, including electronic games, versus our capacity to produce schools." - LA Times.
Consumer behaviors and priorities seem to have changed very little in the past 50 years and it is remarkable that the corporate world may have made the most progress (however grudgingly) since The Affluent Society. Social activism has matured as well. Perhaps today is a day to ask: What have I done for us lately?
"Making a profit is no more the purpose of a corporation than getting enough to eat is the purpose of life. Getting enough to eat is a requirement of life; life's purpose, one would hope, is somewhat broader and more challenging. Likewise with business and profit." - Thanks to Joel Makower for the quote [from Kenneth Mason, 1979, President of Quaker Oats].