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An examination of some of the "major characteristics of change that will face Canada and the world in the 1980s." The economic future of the Western industrial countries is not optimistic in the medium-term outlook. Basic problems facing policy makers are "the high cost of unemployment and inflation, and the fragility of the trade-off between price stability and growth." Some of the topics examined include the "failure of communist countries to achieve their production goals;" Third World extremism and confrontation; high energy prices; domestic policy problems creating a "heightened polarization of views;" protectionism; commodity agreements; nationalism; a decline in the authority of capitalism; government intervention. Problems need not overwhelm potential.