Goodbye to the aughts

by YES! Weekly staff

This week we bid adieu to the aughts — this first dismal decade of the 21 YES! Weekly chooses to exercise its right to express editorial opinion in our publication. In fact we cherish it, considering opinion to be a vital component of any publication. The viewpoints expressed represent a consensus of the YES! Weekly editorial staff, achieved through much deliberation and consideration st century — and we’re thinking this one can go ahead and let the door hit it in the butt on the way out.

It wasn’t all bad, of course. Surely great strides have been made in research and technology — what was once known as the “World Wide Web” has increased its virtual geography exponentially while websites became more efficient and access got faster and more readily available. Also, pretty much everyone has a better cell phone than they did at the start of the decade. There have been notable accomplishments in the arts, diplomacy and charity as well. And even people who disagree politically with Barack Obama should admit that the election of the first black president represents a significant milestone in American history.

But let’s be real here. In the US, the decade began with a hotly contested election and an incompetent administration, which was almost immediately tested with an abhorrent act of terrorism and responded with an inexplicable invasion of the wrong country.

Domestically we saw our nation’s policies lead to intense political division among our citizenry, soaring costs of necessities like gasoline and food while the values of our homes plummeted in the worst financial crisis this country has ever endured.

Fewer people are working; more are on government assistance; tax coffers are at historic lows; storefronts are empty; growth has been squelched. Meanwhile the gap between haves and have-nots has widened into a formidable canyon.

And so we say goodbye, good luck and good riddance to the worst 10-year period anyone around here can remember.

Now, poised on the cusp of a new decade, we humbly suggest a new direction for our nation, its leaders and its people.

We posit that prosperity is not truly prosperous unless it is shared by all. We say that healthcare is a right and not a privilege. We insist that it is small companies and not giant corporations that are the backbone of our economy and should get at least equal consideration when it comes to lending, bankruptcy and bailout. We say that no matter what you believe about changes in the earth’s temperature, using less energy is a good idea. And we suggest that the best thing you can do for your country is to inform yourself about the issues by reading newspapers and then vote every single year.

It’s a new decade, people. The page has turned. It is up to us what will be written upon it.