Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Events that change your life 

I was visiting with one of our younger faculty last night, reflecting on the things that change us. As I mentioned in my post yesterday about picking baseball MVP's (I've updated that today) I was doing sports economics back in the early 1990s. Indeed, one of my downfalls in my profession is to be a butterfly, flitting from topic to topic without making a real niche for yourself, and that was me for the first eight or so years after graduate school. Luckily that did not bother the tenure committee!

Anyway, I recall when it started to come together in fall 1988 when I was flipping channels between the Dodgers/A's World Series (the Kirk Gibson limping home run Series) and CNN where there were protests going on throughout eastern Europe. I kept watching this with Mrs. Scholar, who as a new bride dutifully tolerated her husband's monopoly on the remote. (Those were the days!) I remember asking my dissertation advisor, at whose school I was taking a year from SCSU to visit, "how does one undo a state-run economy," and in particular, "how does one undo a monobanking system" where the central bank and the commercial banks are one in the same? Little did I realize that I'd end up making that the focus of the next fifteen years of my research life. Slowly I tossed every other topic aside as being less interesting.

So it's with a little bit of nostalgia that I note today the fall of the Berlin Wall. I agree with Stephen's sentiment: Thanks President Reagan.