February 27, 2011

Even fifty years ago the days of Mom n' Pop were numbered.

It's always interesting to look at situations and cultural/economic shifts in our society and think they are recent phenomena. The whole question of where Small Business stood in the wake of Big Business and the threat of monopolies was something on people's minds as far back as the 1950's, and further back when you take into consideration Anti-Trust Laws were introduced and enacted for a reason.

But in 1957, when this broadcast of the Sunday Talk Show New World aired, it was a concern among a lot of people and this was just around the time the Shopping Center (precursor to the Shopping Mall) was just starting to make its presence known in Mainstream America as the Suburban sprawl began and cities started to decentralize.

And of course, there was an economic consideration, as well as legislative one.

Henry Bison Jr. (Counsel – National Association of Retail Grocers): “I think the tax laws today are discriminatory against small business. I think furthermore they are leading to monopolistic tendencies which our anti-trust laws prohibit. I think, actually when you come down to think about it, the tax laws and our anti-trust laws are in major conflict with each other today.”

Could Mr. Bison and the others on the panel have imagined the wholesale deregulation and eradicating of Anti-Trust Legislation to take place beginning in the next decade? I really doubt it.

But then, the world was changing faster than most people were prepared for and there were a lot of distractions.

Here is the complete broadcast of New World as it originally aired on June 9, 1957.

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