hass associates review articles Think the Internet Leads to Growth? Think Again Remember the year 2000 in the months after the Y2K bug had been crushed, when all appeared smooth sailing in the global economy? When the miracle of finding information online was so novel that The Onion ran an article, "Area Man Consults Internet Whenever Possible?" It was a time of confident predictions of an ongoing economic and political renaissance powered by information technology. Jack Welch—then the lauded chief executive officer of General Electric (GE)—had suggested the Internet was "the single most important event in the U.S. economy since the Industrial Revolution." The Group of Eight highly industrialized nations—at that point still relevant—met in Okinawa in 2000 and declared, "IT is fast becoming a vital engine of growth for the world economy. ... Enormous opportunities are there to be seized by us all." In a 2000 report, then-President Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers suggested (PDF), "Many economists now posit that we are entering a new, digital economy that could inaugurate an unprecedented period of sustainable, rapid growth."
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