BOONE SPEAKS His name spells trouble for the ''Good Ol' Boys'' who run bureaucratic American corporations. In his candid, soon-to-be-published autobiography, T. Boone Pickens Jr. reveals how and why he went after Big Oil -- and draws a fascinating self-portrait.
By EXCERPTED FROM BOONE, BY T. BOONE PICKENS JR., PUBLISHED BY HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY. COPYRIGHT (c) 1987 BY T. BOONE PICKENS JR., AND BEATRICE CARR PICKENS.

(FORTUNE Magazine) – FEARED by much of corporate America, T. Boone Pickens, 58, hates to be called a ''raider.'' Yet because of Pickens (left, at the 2B, his Texas ranch), Big Oil will never again be quite the same, and he has not abandoned the chase. Rebuffed in his late-1986 bid for Diamond Shamrock, he recently pressed a new offer that would give the group he heads a 22.5% stake. He started out using a station wagon as his office, and built Mesa Petroleum of Amarillo, Texas, into the largest U.S. independent oil company. Then, when oil prices started to ease, Pickens turned his wildcatter's eye on the behemoths of the industry, taking ''investment positions'' in some of them. Here, for the first time, Pickens relates in hard-hitting detail not only how he went after his prey, but why: Mesa was desperate when he targeted Gulf, he says in this exclusive excerpt from his autobiography, Boone, which will be published in March by Houghton Mifflin Co. His attack drove Gulf into the arms of Socal in a $13.3-billion merger, the biggest in U.S. history -- and a deal that kept Mesa alive. Pickens also discloses the ''dirty tricks'' he says Big Oil tried to use against him, and offers his outspoken views on ''greenmail,'' politicians, lobbyists, and defense industry contractors. He sets down his own advice on how to triumph as an entrepreneur, tells what he's worth and what money means to him -- and heaps contempt upon the heads of corporate America.

THERE IS a club in the United States that has no name. Its influence extends from coast to coast and affects most people in the nation. To me, it's the Good Ol' Boys Club, a loose network of chief executives who run large, publicly owned corporations. It has no bylaws or official headquarters and no official recruitment, but you can be sure that the members keep their eye out for rising businessmen who might qualify to join their ranks. While I was in my late 30s I was invited to join other C.E.O.s from much larger corporations at social and sporting events. They were taking a look at me, and I was flattered to be included. I had been curious and even awed by some of these guys, and assumed they were a bunch of rugged individualists. After all, they had fought their way to the top of big companies and controlled billions of dollars. Instead, I soon came to think, ''These guys really aren't that smart.'' You get to know people well in an informal setting like a hunting or fishing camp, usually better than when you're negotiating a deal with them. Personalities come out. Jimmy ((James E.)) Lee, No. 2 man at Gulf when I first met him over a game of cards, and later its chairman and chief executive, seemed a little slow. I was surprised at how he agonized over each discard. I couldn't help but wonder if he made decisions at Gulf with the same painful deliberation. Hunting trips showed these people in various lights, seldom flattering. It didn't take long to find the liars (the ones who claimed kills when they'd actually missed) or the boastful (those who showed off their expensive foreign guns). One hunting club in particular -- Rolling Rock, near Pittsburgh -- did all it could to make sure its members got a good kill. The ducks were released from pens and flew straight for the lake down below, their tongues hanging out. The gunners stood between the lake and the birds and poured lead into the ducks as they flew over. Some of the ducks that had survived a previous experience got down to the ground and walked to the water. This scene reminded me of what my friend Ross Perot said about the auto industry and its continual complaint about the Japanese. The industry is always saying it needs a ''level ; playing field.'' Perot remarked, ''The 'level playing field' means a field where you own the bats, the balls, both teams, the dugouts, the stadium, and the lights. It's hard to lose that way.'' In fact these executives often made it all too clear that they liked all the odds to be stacked in their favor. Dave Roderick, the chairman and chief executive of U.S. Steel ((renamed USX)), made a speech at one hunting-lodge get-together, and he delivered a dandy. ''Fellows,'' he began, ''I just got in from Washington this morning, and it stacks up like this . . .'' In his best we're-all-in-this- together manner, he talked about how the politicians didn't understand that cheap imported steel undermined the nation's smokestack industries, and that the Japanese were dumping, making it impossible to compete. Clearly we needed quotas and import tariffs to protect ourselves he said. Almost everybody nodded in agreement. They could relate to this problem because the following week they might be on their way to Washington to get protection themselves. I asked myself: ''Is this free enterprise?'' Hunting lodges aren't the only places the Good Ol' Boys meet. You can usually find their corporate planes on the tarmac at the U.S. Open, the Super Bowl, the Masters, and the Kentucky Derby. The clubhouse is movable, and it moves a lot. Often it's afloat: Depending on the season, corporate yachts are moored in harbors from Nantucket to South Florida as well as in Southern California and Vancouver. Sometimes these executives brought their vice presidents along with them. They used them like butlers or valets, and the V.P.s scurried accordingly: ''Where's his coat?'' ''Where's his gun?'' they fussed to one another. The chief executives really didn't like them around, and the feeling was mutual. It was a relationship based on fear. The C.E.O.s didn't particularly like each other, either. All of them are well off, and they all possess enormous egos. But they envy one another, constantly comparing the size of their companies and their executive perks. I remember one day when Fred Hartley, chairman of Unocal, asked me very seriously if I knew how much John Swearingen, then chairman of Amoco, had paid for his house at the Eldorado Country Club near Palm Springs, California. The perks they envied so jealously included the hunting and fishing lodges, the corporate jets, and the yachts, all bought for their exclusive use but paid for by the shareholders. I've nothing against limousines and corporate , planes as long as they are used as tools, not rewards. I use the company airplane. It's fast and efficient, and there are times when it has made the difference between my making a deal and not making it. But all too often the use of such perks goes too far. For example, the wife of one executive used a company plane to take her dog to the veterinarian. Only a few chief executives have ever made any money on their own. In fact most of them haven't made much money for their stockholders, either; they just aren't moneymakers. They are bureaucrats, caretakers. They have learned to move up through the bureaucracy with a minimum of personal risk. It's a special talent. But maybe the biggest problem of all is the absence of financial risk for chief executives, and that is inconsistent with the free enterprise system. Although most C.E.O.s own some shares of stock, their value as an incentive is insignificant compared to that of the four Ps: pay, perks, power, and prestige. According to a Mesa study, the managements of America's 200 largest corporations own less than one-tenth of 1% of their companies' stock but receive salaries in excess of $1 million a year. Believe it or not, 9% of the C.E.O.s from the FORTUNE 500 don't own a single share of stock in the companies they run. For all this, the typical C.E.O. has absolute control over assets worth billions of dollars. I think they should have at least 75% of their net worth in the company stock. The separation of ownership and control is one of the basic problems in corporate America today. The goal of most professional managers is like that of a bureaucrat. The emphasis is on bigger budgets and expanding empires instead of serving the interests of owners. Executives and employees who have a financial stake in the company tend to think and act like stockholders. Having spent time with the Good Ol' Boys at their hunting and fishing lodges, I knew how they thought, the value they put on perks and prestige. I also had gotten a look at their ballroom-size egos and saw how little they knew about their own companies. I realized that we might have some success going after one of these behemoths. I decided that we could outthink, outwork, and outfox the big boys, and that would beat all the money in the world.

Before he made his runs on the oil industry Goliaths, Pickens had successfully expanded his exploration activities beyond the U.S. into Canada and the North Sea. The first ''big boy'' he took on was Cities Service. He was / outbid by Gulf, but Mesa, as Cities' largest stockholder, reaped a $32-million gain. In 1983, with oil prices sliding and Mesa still pouring millions into an ever riskier and more expensive search for oil, he targeted Gulf. Mesa and its backers built up a 13.2% stake in the company, the biggest block by far, dwarfing even the holdings of the Mellon family, whose ancestors had founded Gulf.

WE DIDN'T take a position in Gulf Oil because we wanted a landmark deal, or because I wanted to become a celebrity, or because we hoped to create a national debate about takeovers. The reason was more mundane. We did it because Gulf was an undervalued company in the public marketplace, and we needed to make some money -- fast. We had made $20 million here, $40 million there. You don't knock deals that generate that kind of profit. Believe me, we were happy to have the money from our previous transactions. But by the spring of 1983 it was becoming clear that we needed to do something bigger -- much bigger. It was time for the big mamou. If we didn't pull something off and the industry continued to head south, Mesa was going to be in trouble. We had been spending $500,000 a day to keep our Gulf of Mexico operations going. But we were losing money, and the failure to reduce our exploration budget fast enough was squeezing us. I had to tell Mesa's operating committee what we'd do next. ''Boys,'' I said, ''This is it. We can't drill our way out of this one.'' Twenty-million-dollar deals were not going to bail us out -- we needed $300 million. And we knew one place that offered that opportunity -- the major oil companies. Their stocks sold at a fraction of their real value. They had been undervalued for 50 years in the marketplace, although the managements claimed otherwise. The controversial image that we would probably get for jumping on a major didn't bother me: The big oil companies had been trying to put the independents out of business forever. Maybe this was one time the fireplug would piss on the dog. We realized early that we would be identified as ''hostile.'' It would require us to protect our investment with expensive tactics like a proxy fight or a tender offer. But if we were lucky we could make $200 million to $300 million without a scrap. That would depend on Gulf's cooperation in adopting some of our proposals. But instead of listening to me, Jimmy Lee, Gulf's C.E.O., took the advice of his lawyers, investment bankers, and others in his management group. Gulf Oil was the biggest and most highly publicized deal of my life. There had never been anything like it in the annals of Wall Street. It made me a controversial figure in corporate America, and clearly it changed my life. One oil company director told me not long afterward, ''We spend more time talking about Boone Pickens at our board meetings than anything else.'' My name became synonymous with the corporate takeover, which led to attacks on me by top executives and an avalanche of favorable mail from stockholders. I became a lightning rod in the ensuing debate over the value of mergers, a role I was happy to assume. Upstart Mesa had changed the whole dynamics of mergers and become a landmark in the history of acquisitions. Why it began in Amarillo instead of New York said volumes about the corporate system that Mesa shook up. Everyone else was looking to the past. The Wall Street investment banking firms had for years treasured their work with organizations like Gulf and were afraid of offending these old clients. Mesa appeared on the scene with new determination, an ability to devise its own financing, and an entrepreneur's view of how to restructure the lumbering hallowed giants. The Gulf deal spelled the end of our relationship with Morgan Stanley, our investment banker. Morgan had a client roster full of the FORTUNE 500 companies, the largest in America. The Morgan people realized that advising us on what we were proposing, no matter which company we selected, would alienate some of their clients -- the Good Ol' Boys in spades. They knew their clients better than anybody, and so I wasn't surprised when I got a call from Joe Fogg, then head of the firm's mergers and acquisitions department. ''We've got some problems,'' he began. He didn't have to say anything more. In a way I was glad to see them go. I had more confidence in my own people than I did in any investment banker. After that we used bankers only in special situations, but we no longer relied on them to generate ideas. We were better on the analysis, and we knew what our objectives were. More than that, our people had their money and reputation at risk. And -- not a small point -- when you cut out the investment bankers, you usually cut out the leaks. By the way, it's never smart to trust a roomful of commercial bankers, either. ''Greenmail'' already had become a common practice in corporate America by the time of our Gulf deal. In the first few weeks of the proxy fight this * issue was raised over and over again everywhere I went. What would I do if Gulf's managers offered to buy back the stock Mesa owned for a substantial profit? In other words, are you working for all the shareholders or will you take greenmail? In my opinion, managements who make such payments are squandering the stockholders' money to keep their jobs. There is no other explanation for paying greenmail. I delivered my answer at a public meeting I called in New York City. ''Our objective is to participate in the enhancement of the value of Gulf shares on an equal basis with all Gulf shareholders,'' I said. ''We will not sell our holdings back to Gulf.'' Up till that moment many people had denounced greenmail. But no one had ever before renounced it in the middle of a deal, thereby cutting off a profitable option. There were loud, sustained cheers. However, I soon came face to face with Gulf's real weapon, which dwarfed even its size and money and its ability to call every stockholder eight times -- the Good Ol' Boy network. Our taking on Gulf was a threat to every Good Ol' Boy company in America. Bank trust departments, along with some of the institutional shareholders, whose self-interest actually lay in siding with us, voted for Gulf management and the status quo. I also saw how arrogant entrenched managers can be. Gulf hired a private detective -- several in fact -- to keep track of our comings and goings. One of Gulf's detectives offered a former FBI agent in Amarillo a job digging up dirt on me. Hiring detectives is a common practice by many big corporations. ''Put the heat on the son of a bitch,'' they say, ''and run him off.'' Gulf managers also spread rumors that I was having a love affair -- I wasn't -- and was tipping off my friends about impending takeovers.

In the spring of 1984, Gulf accepted a friendly offer from Socal. The merged companies were renamed Chevron. Mesa made an after-tax profit of $218 million on the deal, far more than Pickens needed to keep Mesa alive and well. Then he moved on, taking big positions in two more oil companies, Phillips and Unocal. Pickens lost both takeover bids, but Mesa pocketed $120 million after taxes. In late 1985 he ''targeted'' Mesa itself, converting the company into a master limited partnership; owners of the partnership units, which trade on the New York Stock Exchange, are spared the double taxation of profits.

A LOT HAS been written in the last few years about management: theory X and theory Y, grids and objectives. Lately there has even been a book telling managers how to do it all in a miraculous one-minute visit with their subordinates, like a holy man conferring a blessing on the workplace. Other books tell us how to dress, arrange our office furniture, even what to order for lunch. Frankly, I think most of this is a waste of time. There are three kinds of managers. Some see changes coming well in advance and may even accelerate the process. Some see changes coming just in time to adjust before it's too late. Some never see changes coming, so they don't adjust. The last group gets run over by change and almost always comprises the arrogant, iron-headed managements who have had it their way for years, and by God, they are going to keep it their way. Goodbye to the managers that can't adjust. A management style is an amalgamation of the best of other people you have known and respected, and eventually you develop your own style. Mine can be summed up pretty quickly: -- Master the art of leadership. A wise woman, retired U.S. Navy Admiral Grace Hopper, expressed my philosophy succinctly when she said, ''You don't manage people. You manage things. You lead people.'' She was right. The important part of being a leader is what goes on inside your own mind -- what you do to yourself, not what you do to others. Part of leadership is taking risks and building confidence in yourself. You have to serve many apprenticeships throughout your life. Show me somebody who won't serve an apprenticeship, and I'll show you somebody who won't go very far. At Mesa, people who are good, strong players find their apprenticeships to be surprisingly short. -- Concentrate on the goals, not the size of the organization. You can't measure a place by size unless it's a football stadium. At Mesa, we work short-handed. That way people have a greater opportunity to advance and less time for office politics. -- Forget about age, which means giving the young people a chance. I have a bias toward youth, but I also think that youth is a state of mind. You can be old at 30 or young at 70. I am interested in whether a person can do the job. Mesa personnel know this well, and it is a great boost for morale. The average age of all Mesa employees is 36.

-- Keep things informal. Talking is the natural way to do business. Writing is great for keeping records and pinning down details, but talk generates ideas. Great things come from our luncheon meetings, which consist of a sandwich, a cup of soup, and a good idea or two. No martinis. -- Keep communication lines open. Communication is crucial -- not the formal stuff, but frequent conversation among the people who make the decisions. My people know that they can talk to me, no matter how busy I am. So when it's time to make a decision I'm ready, with no need for lengthy presentations. Communication means no surprises. I hate surprises. -- Play by the rules. This applies not only outside the company, but inside too. I'm disturbed by what I've seen in the last several years, with people being asked to take early retirement in their 50s while the C.E.O. stays on past the mandatory retirement age of 65. Are any of us so valuable that we should be exempt from the rules? -- Hire the best. I choose people for their intelligence, attitude, and enthusiasm -- people who can do a job better than I can. I never load myself so that people under me aren't challenged. But if you aren't a worker, you won't make it with me. The same goes for people who are not comfortable in a fast-moving operation, who want more time to think or maybe procrastinate. My advice to our people is: If you aren't happy, leave. As for people who drink on the job, steal, or carry on an interoffice relationship, I'll fire them on the spot. -- Keep fit. Physical fitness is an essential part of the best-run companies -- and that includes C.E.O.s. I never had a weight problem because I did things in moderation. But I gradually got out of shape, which is easy to do in your late 30s or early 40s. In 1972 I began to work out. I jogged and took up racquetball seriously. All those things you hear about being in shape are true: I felt better. My stamina improved and so did my powers of concentration. I was getting a lot more done each day and still had energy to burn. Keeping fit has economic as well as spiritual and psychological benefits. In 1979 Mesa built a first-class athletic facility equipped as well as any commercial health center. About three-quarters of Mesa's employees, me included, participate in the fitness program. The Fitness Center saves Mesa more than $200,000 in insurance claims annually. Our records show that employees who exercise regularly average $173 in medical bills a year, whereas it costs $434 for inactive employees. Exercisers average 27 hours of sick leave per year; non-exercisers, 44 hours. -- Finally, enjoy it. We may work hard, but there are no stomachaches. We laugh a lot. If we screw up, then we all screwed up. We move quickly, which often creates an advantage. Some companies operate on a two-, five-, or ten- year plan. At Mesa, we're a different company every two years.

Pickens was divorced in 1971 from his first wife, Lynn, his sweetheart from high school days who bore him four children. In 1972 he married Beatrice Carr Stuart, a divorcee who also had four children. They had met 20 years earlier when both were college students, she at Oklahoma University and he at Oklahoma State University, where he became a geologist. Their courtship included Saturday hunting trips to the 3,000-acre ranch that Pickens owned 90 miles north of Amarillo.

BEA IS A FINE wing shot, and when she went home people at the Amarillo terminal were surprised to see this Oklahoma socialite wearing khakis and carrying a sack of quail. On New Year's Eve, Bea said, ''If our romance is going to amount to anything, I'm going to have to quit smoking.'' I intensely dislike smoking. She went cold turkey. To occupy herself she did needlepoint almost full time, finishing a piano bench cover in two weeks. Bea spent a lot of her time and energy on improving the ranch, which I had never named. Now it was a natural: It would be the 2B, for Bea and Boone. We started a cattle operation that soon became profitable and a wildlife program. We later added 10,000 acres, which gives us a total of eight miles on the Canadian River. Through the years, Bea has planted 10,000 trees all over the ranch, including magnolias, dogwood, and others that aren't native to that part of the country. Women are supposed to be unlucky on oil rigs. But Bea wanted to join me when I decided to go out to a rig in the North Sea, off the northeast coast of Scotland, to watch the test drilling of a new well. ''The crew will raise hell,'' said one of our vice presidents. ''Tell her she can't go.'' ''You tell her,'' I said. She went, and it didn't take her long to know almost everybody on the rig. Once I looked down and saw her talking to the crane operator. She grabbed hold of the basket they used to hoist men and equipment onto the supply boat and looked up expectantly. The operator, a Dane who wore an earring, swung the basket over the side and out of sight. ''Gosh, I wouldn't let my wife do that,'' said the superintendent. I said, ''You have to wear her out during the day so she'll sleep at night.'' We flowed oil on that test, and when it ! reached the surface, Bea surprised everyone by dipping her hand in it. ((Britain's state-owned oil company later bought Mesa's minority share of the field, named for Beatrice, giving Mesa a $31.2-million profit. The British left the name of the field unchanged.)) Bea and I talk about the ripple effect on our family of the wealth I'm creating; as of September 1986, I was worth $107 million, much less than most people assume. I would hate not to leave my children anything. As our wills are now written, half of our estate will go to charity. Our children all work for a living. I believe that one of the worst things you can do to children is deny them the opportunity to earn a paycheck. People with inherited wealth are often terrified that they are going to lose it. Their fathers have scared them to death by telling them how hard it was to make. I think that's one of the reasons that so many wealthy heirs just sit on their money. They're afraid that if they lose it, they'll never be able to make it again. I get a big thrill out of making money. In fact I can't remember a year when I didn't make more money on outside investments -- the stock and commodities markets -- than on my Mesa salary. In 1973 I parlayed $34,000 into $6.6 million in six months, on live cattle futures. But I don't get much of a thrill out of spending money. My needs haven't changed much over the years. I used to say that if I had two suits -- a dark one and a light one -- a couple of bird dogs, and a good shotgun, I would be happy. Now I seem to need 15 suits, a dozen bird dogs, a good shotgun, and a set of golf clubs. I drive an eight-year-old blue Mercedes, bought used. I've been getting free haircuts for the past 20 years. My barber, Keith Clark, made $50,000 on a deal I put him in. ''You have a lifetime of haircuts coming,'' he says. Money is to be respected, and I'm good at getting my money's worth. My grandmother, whom I adored, was a great believer in old-fashioned virtues -- hard work, thrift, forthrightness. She owned four rental houses, and one summer she asked if I wanted to make some extra money by mowing lawns. I offered to do them for 10 cents each. Within a week, I realized I had sold out cheap, and I thought she would let me off the hook. She turned me down. ''This will be good training for you,'' she said. ''Next time, you'll think a little longer about what you're committing to before you jump into it.'' It was my mother who was the disciplinarian in our family, but that description implies a harshness that she lacked. She sometimes spanked me, usually after I had made some wisecrack, but she made sure my free time was spent in ways she considered productive: sports, Boy Scouts, delivering newspapers, or practicing the clarinet. It was Mother who decided I should be called by my middle name, Boone, instead of Tom, like my father. No child likes to be different, and I was no exception. It was embarrassing -- I was called Booner, Ben, Bobby, even Jerome! My mother saw things differently. ''Once people understand your name,'' she said proudly, ''they won't ever forget it.'' There comes a time when the meaning of success changes. By my mid-50s and despite setbacks, I had accomplished more than I had once thought possible. But then I found myself taking a longer, broader view of things. Managements of America's largest companies were systematically getting worse and disenfranchising stockholders. Top executives invented scheme after brazen scheme to protect their own power. It began to seem overwhelmingly important to get this message out to the public. So I took to the road, giving more than 100 speeches a year. I give all my honorariums, which go up to $15,000, to charity. I FREQUENTLY am asked about the long-term effects of corporate takeovers and so-called junk bonds. Both are good questions, but there are even better answers. First, stockholders aren't dumb. They learn about the companies they invest in. If a company really has a long-term plan, management should let it be known. Many companies get credit for their plan, and as a result have a good stock price, sometimes without having any profit. Their shareholders believe in its future. When a company is taken over, its pensioners are protected contractually. And when a company is broken up, the pieces have to employ people too. In fact they often employ more people and are more dynamic. As for junk bonds, they tend to sell in denominations of $1 million or more. They're bought by the most sophisticated financial institutions and individuals, so it's not a case of the unwary investor taking unnecessary risk. Incidentally, the great majority of high-yield financing goes to small, young companies that can't get backing any other way -- the very companies that have been the engine of growth in our economy. As I traveled around the country, such questions made it seem that there was a place for a new kind of organization, established specifically to defend the rights of shareholders. Some 47 million Americans own stock in publicly traded companies, a potentially powerful constituency. I didn't have much experience with nonprofit ventures, but I decided to give it a try. I committed personally to underwrite the first year's budget of $1.3 million to launch the United Shareholders Association, or USA, dedicated to a more competitive America. We kicked USA off in August 1986 with a press conference in Washington, where it is based, and were surprised when more than 100 print and broadcast journalists showed up. I explained the association was designed to help all shareholders equally. ''These are not fat cats we're talking about,'' I said. ''Most shareholders are not rich. The median stock portfolio is worth about $6,000. We want to establish one thing: Shareholders own companies, and management are employees.'' USA had more than 3,000 members in its first three months. There's a place for businessmen in politics and that place is right out in the open, saying what they believe. I am a conservative. In 1986 I helped raise about $7 million for congressional candidates. ''Boone,'' kidded President Reagan at a dinner, ''that's enough for us to take over a small oil company, isn't it?'' As C.E.O. of Mesa, I don't hesitate to send letters to the stockholders urging them to vote for whoever I think is a good candidate. I get a few hot letters back, but that's fine. I want to know where stockholders stand. If I think something will help this country, I'll offer my opinion. I also want more politicians to develop the starch to tell corporate America's C.E.O.s not to come to Washington expecting better treatment than anyone else. They fly in like kings, announced by their lobbyists, and Congress rolls the red carpet all the way from the Hill to National Airport. These guys don't do a damn thing for either party, and what they're up to doesn't help this country. We must reduce the influence of big business in Washington. People are tired of it. Defense contractors are probably the best example of the power of special interests. Their lobbyists wine and dine the politicians and take them on junkets. In my opinion, some of these contractors are crooks and they are stealing the taxpayers' money. If I were a Congressman or Senator, I wouldn't be caught dead with a defense contractor. During a hunting trip, a high- ranking officer in the Defense Department suggested to me: ''Why don't you make a tender offer for a defense contractor? It would do this country a lot of good.'' It's a persistent myth that our country's economic vitality depends on the major corporations. In fact very nearly the reverse is true. Between 1981 and 1985 profits of the FORTUNE 500 companies actually fell by 17%, and jobs in these companies decreased by 10%. We have entered a new entrepreneurial era. Nowadays more and more young people want to get out of school and do what I and other entrepreneurs have done. I have always believed in the ability of talented, motivated young people, and I am optimistic about the future. A new breed in American business and politics is motivated by the same ideals that made this country what it is, ideals that are sometimes dimmed but which always reassert themselves. This new breed will lead us toward success, and that's a story as old as the country and as fresh and exciting as the discovery of an oil field somewhere in the Texas Panhandle.