Dolphin With Rabies

Life on beautiful Cape Cod.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Irrational Exuberance

My accounting book displays irrational exuberance. The start of each chapter profiles a perky entrepreneur, typically a dot-commer. It's all very upbeat and we're gonna party like it's 1999. (Oh wait, people were all worried about Y2K then. Well, the economy looked good anyway.)

I'm used to lousy economic times. I was in elementary school during the seventies, and was very aware of the adult anxiety surrounding me, even if I didn't quite understand all the causes. Everyone worried about money. When I entered middle school, school programs were cut. When I entered high school, school programs were cut. When I went off to college, I think financial aid had already been cut. When I entered the job market in the early nineties, my prospects were bleak.

Those few years in my lifetime when the economy wasn't taking a swan dive into the toilet, those were good years. It was nice to live in an era that felt prosperous. Too bad it couldn't last longer than it did. For once I'm doing the right thing for the times, I'm biding my time at my current job, and acquiring new skills (hence the accounting class) while waiting for the economy to bottom out.

It's okay for me, I'm used to it, but what about my younger classmates? They had some reason to believe that the economy might be in good shape when they entered the job market, that they might have a chance to be one of those perky entrepreneurs. I'm sorry it didn't work out for them.