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OH, THOSE YUPPIES, MY FRIEND, ARE BLOWING IN THE WIND: THEIR DECADE’S COMING TO AN END

SHARE OH, THOSE YUPPIES, MY FRIEND, ARE BLOWING IN THE WIND: THEIR DECADE’S COMING TO AN END

They came, they spent, they dined out, they conquered, but by the end of the decade they began to fade away.

Bewildered by their sudden rise power, we didn't even know what to call them untill the 1984 presidential race when political pundits came up with "yuppie" to describe the young voting bloc responsible for Gary Hart's brief success and Ronald Reagan's longer one.The word stood for "young, urban professional." Think tanks defined the group so narrowly that pollsters first concluded there weren't enough yuppies to be sttistically significant. Pollsters were wrong.

Only a few million aggressive, well-paid urbanites met the financial standard for "yuppie." But the name captured the ambition and acquisitiveness of an entire decade. It came to signify everything we wanted and everything we loved to hate.

Yuppies didn't want to work 30 years to get the things their parents had. They wanted those things now. And they never doubted they could have them.

Their brazen sel-certainty was their trademark. So was their greed and their impatience. The college students who believed in the '70s that their protests could stop the Vietnam War believed in the '80s that their wheeling and dealing could revamp whole corporations and give them the good life - now.

Millions got the power and affluence they aspired to. They, in turn, beame role models for the millions more who saw it and wanted it, too.

For the first two-thirds of the decade, yuppies were invincible. But in 1987, the stock market dropped 508 points on a desperate Monday in October.

Predicting the lay-offs of 50,000 young Wall Street Turks, the national media began tolling the death of the yuppies.

But the bells tolled too soon. The actual death was slower, quieter and more the result of a "kinder and gentler nation" than a capricious Dow Jones.

We changed presidents. During the cleansing ritual that comes with a new leader, we took a second look at overselves. Worn out by our pace, bored with our greed and softened by maturity, we were ready for a new direction.

It is fitting that Alex keaton disappeared from our lives as the decade drew to a close. Yuppies are beginning to disappear from the national limelight. The hard edges of status, impatience, overconfidence and greed that so clearly defined them are blurring, softening fading...