Opinions & Views

Cracked Crystal Balls

The forecasters have had a bad year. That uncertainty of acuity that charac­terizes those who predict the weather has long been obvious; the predictions of their brethren in the field of econom­ics are similarly infamous. President Reagan's economic policies were sup­posed to make 1983 a disaster, but the economy is rapidly improving. The only worrisome aspect of the recovery is that economic forecasters are now waxing more and more optimistic. Alvin Toffler and Jeremy Rilkin are forecasters who attempt much more than mere meteo­rologists or economists, and whose reach is almost certain to exceed their grasp by an equally greater margin.

Mr. Toffler seems an earnest soul who tries to be objective and to call the shots as he sees them. His latest book, how­ever, could just as well have not been written. There are two reasons for this: first, anyone who has read The Third Wave will already know everything Toffer currently believes about the future; second, the format of the book requires a tiresome dialogue with a leftist who asks all the usual Marxist questions. Consequently, Toffler has to recount the well-known failures of Marxist analysis and prediction. This is made all the more wearying by the informed reader's im­mediate recognition that if the leftist could really hear the answers he would long since have stopped asking those kinds of questions.

Mr. Toffler makes a constant...

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