©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
In the 1990s, one of the greatest economic expansions in human history hitched a ride on a tech wave. The spread of computers and Internet software created a rare productivity burst that lifted incomes at almost every level and thrust the government into surplus. In the early 2000s, a tech bubble and a terrorist attack muted economic growth for a few years, before the United States discovered another engine in the housing market. Skyrocketing home prices increased wealth, encouraged middle-class Americans to borrow against the value of their abodes, and elevated the financial industry.
The tech bubble burst and the housing bubble detonated. Do we need something to replace them, and if so where will the next boom come from?