There was a small saloon in the rear of the plane and I repaired there for a drink. It was there that I met another fellow American, H. Lowe Crosby of Evanston, Illinois, and his wife, Hazel.
They were heavy people, in their fifties. They spoke twangingly. Crosby told me that he owned a bicycle factory in Chicago, that he had nothing but ingratitude from his employees. He was going to move his business to grateful San Lorenzo.
“You know San Lorenzo well?” I asked.
“This’ll be the first time I’ve ever seen it, but everything I’ve heard about it I like,” said H. Lowe Crosby. “They’ve got discipline. They’ve got something you can count on from one year to the next. They don’t have the government encouraging everybody to be some kind of original pissant nobody ever heard of before.”
“Christ, back in Chicago, we don’t make bicycles any more. It’s all human relations now. The eggheads sit around trying to figure new ways for everybody to be happy. Nobody can get fired, no matter what; and if somebody does accidentally make a bicycle, the union accuses us of cruel and inhuman practices and the government confiscates the bicycle for back taxes and gives it to a blind man in Afghanistan.”
“And you think things will be better in San Lorenzo?”
“I know damn well they will be. The people down there are poor enough and scared enough and ignorant enough to have some common sense!”
Kurt Vonnegut 1963