|| Print ||
|Monday, August 24, 2009|
I am facing the horrifying realization that 1980s fashion is back with a vengeance this season: big shoulders, leggings, oversized knits, MC Hammer pants (ask an old person), zippered ankle boots. I was just as hooked on Dallas and Dynasty as the next sap, but I really hate the idea of dressing like Joan Collins again. What next? Mall bangs?
Flash, trash and cash pretty much summed up the decade and once around was enough for me, so it is really disturbing to see signs that the ’80s are infiltrating other areas:
Eighties flashback: The early 1980s saw the country in a deep recession. Bankruptcies spiked 50% from 1981 to 1982; ag exports declined; crop prices fell. By mid-1982, the number of bank failures was rising steadily; by the end of the year, the FDIC had spent $870 million to purchase bad loans to keep banks afloat.
Now: The country is in a deep recession, with spiking bankruptcies, and falling crop prices and ag exports. Bank failures are rising steadily. Pricetag: We’ll have to get back to you.
Eighties flashback: The 1987 movie Wall Street immortalized the phrase, “Greed is good,” uttered by the ultimate slimy Wall Street bad guy, Gordon Gekko (played with perfect slick-hair villainy by Michael Douglas).
Now: Casting has begun for Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps. Douglas again will play Gordon Gekko. The entire U.S. banking and financial industry gets a starring role. Greed never sleeps.
Eighties flashback: Michael Jackson’s Thriller album was at the top of the 1982 charts.
Now: Michael Jackson’s Thriller album is at the top of the You Tube views.
Now: The U.S. car industry goes bankrupt. And there's no supermodel wife to spice up things this time.
Eighties flashback: Apple Computer released the Macintosh PC in 1984.
Now: In 2015, Apple releases the iPhone93s, which beams you to other planets while it makes you bacon and eggs for breakfast and massages your feet. Oh, wait. Hold that for the Flashforward column.
Eighties flashback On Oct. 19, 1987, the Dow plunged 508 points, losing 22.6% of its total value, surpassing the one-day loss of 12.9% that began the stock market crash of 1929 and foreshadowed the Great Depression.
Now: Wash, rinse, repeat.
Eighties flashback: Throughout the decade, Michael Milken rode high as the junk bond king and was eventually sent to prison for multiple violations of U.S. security laws.
Now: Oh, so many choices, but let’s go with Bernie Madoff for $65 billion.
I have to stop before I get depressed and resort to listening to the Go-Gos to cheer me up. (Note to 2009 self: They're touring again!) But maybe that’s not a bad thing, considering what we’re dealing with. But in the immortal words of Veronica in the 1988 movie Heathers, still the best and meanest of all mean-girls films: If you were happy every day of your life you wouldn’t be a human being. You’d be a game-show host.
|A Complex Portrait: Immigration, Jobs and the Economy|
|Woman of Steel|
|Kill the Meeting|
|Fed's ability to regulate questioned|
|Budweiser to move away from Clydesdales|
|Mergers lucrative for departing CEOs, but not necessarily shareholders|
|Senators ask, but get no real answers regarding safety from air bag executives|
|Senate investigation says Wall Street misused commodities businesses|
|Amazon says its cloud services will run on renewable energy|
|Home building falls in October due to apartment sector|
Is your business ready to join us in the call for action? This opening panel includes Oregon businesses who will discuss why they signed the Oregon Climate Declaration, the investments they are making to reduce carbon emissions, and how their actions are affecting their companies.
Get ready for two days of special events produced with the EPA, Portland Timbers and ISOS before and after the GoGreen Conference on October 16.
Plenty of employers seem “dazed and confused” after the recent vote to legalize marijuana. In light of Measure 91 passing, what are some issues for private-sector Oregon employers to consider?
Rotary’s Oregon Ethics in Business aims to raise consciousness about business ethics by honoring exceptional companies.
Barran Liebman’s annual employment law seminar is an industry classic.
Is my drug-free workplace policy up in smoke?
More than 400 "Change Makers" will gather to invest in a socially sustainable community.