Worst. Decade. Ever. (apparently not the 1970s afterall!)


They swear no babies were harmed in the making of this image.

They swear no babies were harmed in the making of this image.

Time mag ran a cover story in 2009 about the 00s, dubbing them “the worst decade ever.” The author of this article, Andy Serwer, cited the financial crash as the number one reason why the past ten years have been awful, but also advances the hypothesis that the 00s were the decade when all of the tough choices that the government has failed to make for the past century have come back to haunt us. Serwer points to the 2007 bridge collapse in Minnesota as the poster child of this syndrome:

“How many other bridges, roads and dams are death traps–in–waiting? No one knows, but you can’t help wondering if squeezed maintenance budgets are making our country less safe. A 2005 report card on American infrastructure by the American Society of Civil Engineers (which gave mostly C’s and D’s) estimated that the U.S. needed to spend $1.6 trillion to bring our roads, highways, bridges and dams into good shape. Sure, the engineers are looking for work but know that the U.S. spends only 2.4% of its GDP on infrastructure, as opposed to 5% in Europe and 9% in China. Here again, why should a politician spend money today to fix something that won’t collapse until tomorrow? Especially if he or she could get re-elected by cutting taxes instead.”

Ouch! It’s too true.

But take heart: Serwer also argues that “there’s a natural cycle to history”, and that unless you are a total pessimist who “believes that this country is in the throes of a deep and permanent decline”, you have to see the bright side and hope that the teens of this century will bring better things.

Do you agree that history operates in this type of logical manner? Not sure I do.

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