This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

The Campus Economy

Stocks in this article: RHTDEMONGOOGFB

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here is an exercise that will tell you a lot about where the economy is right now.

Go by any major research university. In my hometown of Atlanta, that would be Emory University or Georgia Tech. Or, an hour away in Athens, the University of Georgia.

What are you going to find? Prosperity. New construction. Money. Because that's the beating heart of the American economy today -- new ideas, new discoveries, new technologies. Wealth is moving from the suburban arteries to the beating heart of the college campus.

This has been in process for 20 years or more, but it's only now becoming obvious because the "office economy" of the previous 40 years is fading in importance.

The last time economic truth was this obvious was in the 1970s, when factories started fading away and the office was coming into its heyday. Before that, it became plain in the 1930s, as the farm economy collapsed and the factory became the center of attention.

Offices are becoming less important for the same reason factories did 40 years ago, and the same reason farms did before that. Automation. Productivity will, with a single turn of the economic wheel, quickly turn into unemployment. The advances of the recent past are assumed to continue, so employers in that space won't hire as the economy re-starts.

Networked computers are killing office jobs, and those jobs won't be coming back. What secretaries did, what middle managers did, it can all be done with networked connectivity now. If you're not doing something a networked computer can't do, you will be devalued.

A good example of this, brought up earlier this year by Red Hat (RHT) CEO Jim Whitehurst, lies back on the farm. John Deere (DE), which makes the big machines that made farms into factories two generations ago, is now worth less than Monsanto (MON), which designs seeds.

That's because the seeds Monsanto produces contain enormous amounts of information in their DNA. It's information that's the new currency, and if you're not creating new information all you can do is serve the machines.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,805.41 +127.51 0.76%
S&P 500 1,964.58 +13.76 0.71%
NASDAQ 4,483.7150 +30.9230 0.69%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs