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Surviving the New Economy

The Lure of Risk: Surviving and Welcoming Uncertainty in the New Economy

The new economy made risk and risk taking desirable, and this is one of its enduring social consequences. After decades of growing concern with job security, downsizing, and corporate cutbacks, the lure of risk during the dot-com boom made the lack of security seem like a choice—and a good one at that for those working in the potentially lucrative technology industry. The lure of risk—and by this I mean the idea of taking chances—has replaced the fear of uncertainty as the predominant economic rhetoric for the new economy. This shift was subtle, but important as risk and risk taking in economic life now imply active choices while uncertainty connotes economic passivity and forces beyond one’s own control. For high-tech firms and start-up Internet companies, skyrocketing stock prices during the late 1990s gave risk the shiny luster of potential wealth for employees, justifying in individual terms both the profits and losses that came with the stock market crash in 2000.

Link To Full Chapter.

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