Dot-Flop Deserved

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Formerly envious, naysaying, Old Economy types have turned smug in the wake of the dot-com downturn. According to a poll by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 67 percent of Americans believe the recent dot-com financial woes were caused by “irrational exuberance� and the search for fast cash; 56 percent attribute the industry's failure to poor business plans; and 39 percent blame youthful and inexperienced management. Most Americans seem to be rubbernecking — fascinated but not overly concerned. Although 67 percent of adults are aware of the New Economy decline, and 30 percent are following such developments closely, only 26 percent think the slowdown will have a major impact on the American economy as a whole.

THE GENERATIONAL AND GENDER DIVIDES

Seventy-eight percent of those aged 50 to 64 feel that blame for the dot-com failures should be placed on risk-taking investors, while just 58 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds feel the same.

Major Causes of the Dot-com Disaster Total 18-29 50-64 Men Women
Risk-taking investors looking for fast money 67% 58% 78% 70% 64%
Poor business plans 56% 49% 61% 59% 53%
Youthful and inexperienced management 39% 34% 44% 42% 36%
*Columns do not add up to 100 because multiple answers were accepted.
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project
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