This is a personal perspective of the years between 1980 and 2000. This post is not meant to provide you with a high-level view of the world during this period. Instead, it is from the viewpoint of the 34-year-old to a 54 year-old with some pretty significant Aspie traits, although I didn’t know it had that name.
The years between 1980 and 2000 were pretty calm, at least from the standpoint of those that preceded and came after them. As usual, we injected ourselves in various places in the world where we were really not needed. But at least except for the Beirut bombing in 1983 where over 240 kids in the U.S. military lost their lives, there were few war fatalities. But something very fundamental was happening during those years.
First off a second-class actor from Hollywood became president, and that would be the beginning of changing the perception of how we are governed. He let it be known early on that he believed that government was the primary problems with all our troubles at that time. It was at this point that I turned away from the Republican Party. I believed that government was there to do the people’s business and therefore was a very necessary part of what made America great.
One of the first things he did was to make a Draconian cut to taxes. His budget director, David Stockman, told us that reducing taxes, especially on the wealthy, would mean money would trickle down to create more jobs for the middle class. That never happened, instead the national debt skyrocketed and except for a brief time in 2000 hasn’t slowed down since.
The most significant event during this twenty-year period was the collapse of the Soviet Union on December 26, 1991. Of course every Republican around at the time claimed responsibility for the collapse. Rather than hash this all out I am giving you a graphic to the right.
This event was followed quickly by the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification. Germany showed us how to do reunification right and have been a world leader since that time.
On a cultural note, this was the period of Generation X, that is those born between 1975 and 1995. They were very different from the Boomer generation that came before them. Their political/change activity was practically nil. That would reverse itself when the Millennials came on the scene. More about that in next week’s post.
The 1980s was known the “Greed decade” in English-speaking countries. This period was the birth of the “Yuppies”. Here is a little bit about how Wikipedia described the 1980s. It was also called the “Me” decade.
The “eighties” are also well known for their extreme fashions, such as “big hair”, New Wave, punk rock, funk, or preppies. Rap music first started to get big in the 80s, and often went with breakdancing in what is now called the “old school” days. Many developments were also made in computer technology during these years, and video games became popular.
What can I say about the 1990s? It was generally known as “Peace, Prosperity, and the Internet”. A centrist Democrat occupied the Oval Office and for the first time in my lifetime the US budget was balanced, at least for one year. The hyper-inflation of the 1980 subsided and jobs were being created at a feverish pace primarily due to the “Internet Bubble” which would collapse before the decade over.
On a personal level, this period was the time for some pretty drastic changes. I would get married for the first and only time near the age of forty in 1986. I would also lose that last shred of hearing and go completely deaf in 1988. I would also change basic careers during this time to one I loved.
Next Wednesday I will cover the period between 2000 and 2016.