The Next Economy

Last week, economists declared that the recession actually began in March. Now they tell us. No wonder economics is called the dismal science; it took the volatile combination of crashing dot-coms, a shrinking Boeing, and the fallout from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks for the rest of us to see it. The local economy filled with much hot air over the last go-go decade: Crazy amounts of money poured into the dot-com sector while wild predictions flew about the never-ending expansion of the New Economy. Turns out, the New Economy is not immune from the good old-fashioned boom and bust.

This week, we survey the damage: James Bush gets gloomy looking at the big picture, and gloats over the end of the computer gang's political revolution; Rick Anderson gleefully checks the bottom line of the local superrich; Geov Parrish shudders over the fate of the poor; Nina Shapiro explains why Boeing will make matters worse; and Erica C. Barnett looks at the consequences of Belltown's real-estate boom.

In hindsight, it's really no surprise the bubble burst. It sure was fun while it lasted.

George Howland Jr.

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