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JakilaTheHun (99.93)

The End of the Aughts and a New Mentality for the Teens

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December 31, 2009 – Comments (10)

The End of the Aughts

For the first time in over 15 years, I am looking forward to New Year's.  It's extremely rare that I see any  significance to arbitrarily designated ends of years and I thought too much of a deal was made about the numerological importance of the year 2000 and the new millennium (in 2001).  Yet, I'm greatly looking forward to the end of the Goose Eggs' Decade.  

A decade of Brittany Spears, Hummers, excess consumption, terrible action movies with bloated special FX budgets, accounting scandals, mindless unilateral military actions, complacency, and an environment where dou$#ebags like Thomas Friedman were considered "intellectuals".

The decade that gave us Linkin Park, George W. Bush, a brief renewal of McCarthyism, David Lereah, real estate prices that could "never fall again!", gay marriage "bans", the worst economic crash since the Great Depression, and more terrible rap, pop, and nu-metal than one could ever care for.  

With the prolonged economic crash, we are seeing a wave of negativity around America.  One that contrasts sharply with the utopian optimism of much of this decade.  Yet, for once, I at least have a slight modicum of hope about the future.  

The call of the Aughts was a familiar call.  One that always seems to end in the same fashion:

"It's different this time"

It seems like any time the broader populace convinces themselves of that, something disastrous happens.  Two major instances of it's-difference-this-time-ism should be remembered in the 20th Century:  

(1) The 1929 Stock Market
(2) The early 1910's

We're all familiar with the '29 stock market crash, but more forgotten in the shuffle was the mentality that took hold in the Western world from about 1905 - 1914.  The belief was in one of perpetual progress.  War was a thing of the past and we were on the verge of democratically achieving an economic system of true equality:  socialism.  Well, so much for that!  And so much for the boneheaded economic theories of this decade.  

There is some good news lost in all the bad.  While Americans are suddenly more pessimistic than ever, I believe the mentality that has taken hold actually gives us a better chance to succeed. The Aughts was a decade of complacency, but that has started to change in the past 24 months.  Suddenly, major issues such as huge budget issues (Federal and several states), climate change, energy independence, and the transportation system are starting to get commented upon more frequently.  While this by no means ensures success, it is at least a first step.  You can never fix problems if you bury your head in the sand and deny their existence.  There are at least fewer heads in the sand now.

Also, while we have a long, hard road ahead, we are by no means the worst off generation of Americans.  My grandfather fought in both world wars and was haunted by images of WWI even in the late 1980s (right before he died).  And most Americans seem to forget the problems of the late 19th Century, while culminated in a popular "Free Silver" movement, with the aim of causing deliberate inflation in order to allow Midwestern farmers to get out of debt.  Don't forget slavery, the Civil War, the Republic's early crises, etc, etc, etc.  My basic point here is that we have problems very unique to our generation, but other generations have also had to fight through major hardships.  No reason we cannot succeed, as well.  

My great hope is that all the negative that has happened over the past decade will result in a different mentality for the next few decades.  I'm hoping we see an artistic revival, less obsession with status symbols, and a more productive mentality among the American populace.  I'm hoping we see more hard work, more people with ideas, and more risk takers who start their own small business and try to create more long-term value for America.  Maybe if we're very lucky, we'll eventually even get a less screwed up Washington; but don't the farm on that last one.  All in all, I'm simply hoping that the Teens take on a very different character than the Aughts.    

So, as one TMF'er already said, "Good riddance to the aughts."  Let's do everything we can to make the Teens a much better decade.

10 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On December 31, 2009 at 5:52 PM, JakilaTheHun (99.93) wrote:

< /end cheesy speech>

 

Though, I must say that I am disappointed that TMF wouldn't let me post the word "d#@$!%bag".  That's not "profanity"!  I should've used it an extra time to describe David Lereah, as well.  

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#2) On December 31, 2009 at 6:05 PM, XXX222 (< 20) wrote:

I'm only vaguely familiar with T.Friedman personally, but I found The World is Flat to be an enjoyable book. Just curious, what do you find him dislikeable?

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#3) On December 31, 2009 at 7:05 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@JakilaTheHun,
"but more forgotten in the shuffle was the mentality that took hold in the Western world from about 1905 - 1914.  The belief was in one of perpetual progress.  War was a thing of the past and we were on the verge of democratically achieving an economic system of true equality:  socialism."
Yup. We constantly fail to learn from history.

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#4) On December 31, 2009 at 7:27 PM, Tastylunch (29.33) wrote:

for the first time in over 15 years? You are either a lot older or a lot younger than I thought you were.

While Americans are suddenly more pessimistic than ever, I believe the mentality that has taken hold actually gives us a better chance to succeed.

gosh I hope so, but I dunno usually in my experience people only take great chances (and thus great things) if they are optimistic or delusional or both. I cna't count how mnay fellow entreprenuers who ahve told me "if I knew how much work it would be I would have never done it" and the they usually add "but I'm glad I did it." unless they happen to be bankrupt. Then they don't that last part.

I really do hope we lose our cultural "wait until a problem is beyond  obvious" mentality before fixing things. That isn't going to work with the major issues we have in front of us. For having the benefit of readily accessible infromation about history unlike previous world powers we sure don't take advantage of it.

I totally agree, this decade absolutely sucked. It was terrible for my state, terrible for my country, moderately ok for my city, and absolutely awful for my personal life. I'm very thankful it's over in 4 hours. Good riddance

My great hope is that all the negative that has happened over the past decade will result in a different mentality for the next few decades.  I'm hoping we see an artistic revival, less obsession with status symbols, and a more productive mentality among the American populace.  I'm hoping we see more hard work, more people with ideas, and more risk takers who start their own small business and try to create more long-term value for America.  Maybe if we're very lucky, we'll eventually even get a less screwed up Washington; but don't the farm on that last one.

Amen to that

 

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#5) On December 31, 2009 at 10:21 PM, amassafortune (29.55) wrote:

I'm hoping we see more hard work, more people with ideas, and more risk takers who start their own small business and try to create more long-term value for America.

I think you will. Layoffs hit higher-earning workers hard in this recession - people in the second half of their careers. In many cases, these are people with assests, or at least a working spouse who can provide cover for the insurgent exposure of an entrepreneurial adventure. These were also people who spent just enough time as cubicled Dilberts(R) to know they can do it better. Small businesses create 60% of all jobs, yet almost no support for small business was part of the bailouts.

We don't have the right people on the bus for key financial policy and oversight positions in Washington, so economic leadership needs to come from lower degrees. Some of those business leaders are already at work. Others were downsized right into the starting blocks.   

I think Tasty hails from my area. Though hit hard by the decline of domestic autos, foreign makers have been thriving here for 25 years. The city has had a sister city in China since 1996. Despite having key insurance, banking, think tank, chemical documentation, and educational organizations, real estate almost never appreciates faster than the national average. The state was smart enough to set aside a $1 billion rainy day fund, but will pour it out over the next two years. New entrepreneurs need to step up in the next 24 months because optimism will be funded by new taxes in 2012.    

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#6) On January 01, 2010 at 12:02 AM, Option1307 (30.06) wrote:

Great stuff, Happy New Year!

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#7) On January 01, 2010 at 2:33 AM, uclayoda87 (29.31) wrote:

In this current environment, the only entrepreneurs who are not punished for their success are involved in organized crime, since they are exempt from abuses of taxation.  Beyond the drug trade, you can think of organized crime in a broader sense, such as "too big to fail" businesses or organizations like ACORN which provide a political service to incumbents.

Only after our society lets go of its jealousy and allows successful people to benefit from their work will we have the potential for a broad based revival of our economy and country.

It seems that every 100 years or so we have to relearn the Declaration of Independence. 

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#8) On January 01, 2010 at 6:17 PM, JakilaTheHun (99.93) wrote:

Tasty,

 

 for the first time in over 15 years? You are either a lot older or a lot younger than I thought you were

Might be neither; I'm upper '20s. The last time I was excited about New Year was probably before my teen years.  Once I became a teenager, I seemed to move into a much more skeptical and questioning stage and never saw much of a point in New Year's.  So the last time I was excited about New Year's was before I was an adult.  

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#9) On January 01, 2010 at 9:06 PM, Tastylunch (29.33) wrote:

it's a little older then. For some reason I had thought you were 21-23 ish. we are much closer in age than I suspected.

I have to admit that last time I myslef was jacked up for new year's was the millenium for obvious reasons

but as I've aged I've gotten to appreciate the simple pleasure of seeing so many people be happy eventhough I'm not much of a reveler myself.

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#10) On January 01, 2010 at 9:56 PM, ozzfan1317 (80.49) wrote:

Good stuff I too am looking forward to this coming decade and I might be the youngest here at all of 24..lol

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