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Summary and Comments

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1998-05-08 08:09:58





FORBES is in the midst of y2k schizophrenia. The hirelings are all convinced y2k is a non-event, and that those who worry about it, let alone act on it, are silly. (But silly people make good copy, which is why they can't resist us.)

Meanwhile, the Chairman of FORBES, Caspar Weinberger, is very concerned about y2k's effects on the world. In the April 20 issue, he wrote: "We need to recognize the magnitude of this problem, the cost of not fixing it, and the need for most businesses, large and small, to assign the highest priority to Y2K. If we do so in the next 20 months, American skill, ingenuity and production genius may be able to avoid the worst. Sadly, however, most companies and government agencies are still only surveying the problem, making inventories of what needs to be done and merely talking about it when the problem cries out for action now."

Who should you believe: the hirelings or the former Secretary of Defense?

It is as if the hirelings had not read the Chairman's warnings.

The hirelings are salaried people who are unemployable if y2k shuts down the banks. Their careers will end. So will their pensions. As a writer, I have faced this problem, and I have taken defensive action. I know what I'm facing. The hirlings haven't faced it. They will find it difficult to face. They will defer facing it. But before the year 2000 rolls around, the crisis will be upon them. They will not know what to do. Advertising revenues will plummet. The firings will begin. The writers of today's y2k hatchet jobs will get the axe. The free market will do its merciless work. They can ignore y2k today; they cannot avoid it in 2000. As Joe Louis said about a nimble-footed bum-of-the-month: "He can run, but he can't hide."


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