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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
    San Francisco

    What Happened?!

    This is waaay

    I stumbled across this image recently and it got me thinking. What has happened to our expectations and dreams. In 1971 American Airlines was offering this type of luxury (sure it is dated and probably dangerous with those heavy nut bowls flying around the cabin) but in an attempt to increase their passenger numbers they removed seats and added luxury. In 1968 in Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey Pan Am was offering similar luxury on their flights into space. As we know Pan Am never made it to 2001, much less space. In the 60's and early 70's there was an optimism that we could accomplish anything. Work hard and put the best minds to it and anything was possible. JBL was building speakers with beautifully hand crafted cabinets and exquisitely machined and finished drivers buried in them that no one would ever see but their pride of craft made them do it instead of shaving pennies to maximize profits with unfinished frames and magnets.

    In the 80's with the deregulation of the airline industry and the financial gymnastics of the "Me Generation" we see American Airlines inventing a new way to attract passengers with the AAdvantage Program. This was the first frequent flyer program and it allowed passengers to "get something for nothing". Also during the 80's Sam Walton's Five and Dime store burst out of Arkansas and the South with it's SuperCenters and Sam's Clubs. The American Marketplace loudly proclaiming we want more for less. Now they weren't asking for more quality, they just wanted more. Today we expect to pay ridiculously little for things. We expect to fly to London for $200 and we expect to buy a complete Hi-Fi for $500. Today the successful airlines are those like Southwest who are flying Greyhound Busses in the sky. They have less room, less non-stops, less food, less service.

    Recently a friend was out of town on business he asked one of the guys he was working with where was a good place to get breakfast in that town. He was told to go to Shoneys. He asked, "Is the food really good?" The answer was, "Well no, but it is all you can eat!"

    I guess that pretty much sums it up... this _ _ _ _ is almost as good, but it's cheap!
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