The coincidence of having two of my three post-college-age daughters home over the holiday and it being the end of the first decade of the 21st century prompted this observation: While New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning economist Paul Krugman called the decade past “The Big Zero” for the economic stagnation that pervaded the Bush years, my daughters’ view of the decade was one of excitement and optimism.
Consider their perspective.
The legislative session that began this week will be one of the most important in years. Key budget policy issues — for the state and for school districts — are on the agenda. Vermont Yankee’s license expires in just over two years, and the Legislature must take positive action if the plant is to continue operating. Much of the session will be driven by the politics of the first open-seat gubernatorial campaign in eight years.
As the first decade of the 21st century slips into the annals of history, a review of the nation’s progress is useful if we are to avoid past mistakes and set a better course for the next decade. And it is as important for individuals to understand, as it is for the nation as a whole.