Post by Paul S Person
On Wed, 1 Jan 2020 16:23:22 -0600, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire
Yes, I know that the decade does not really start until the "1" year.
But, we are here now with the prefix !
I thought that only applied to millennia ... but I suppose the same
reasoning applies to centuries and decades.
I remember being told the 21st century didn't begin until 2001, so it
isn't just millennia, but I'm not at all sure I believe it of
centuries, and only believe it of millennia with difficulty. (Most
eras, in this sense, don't live a thousand years. So it isn't silly
to say a first millennium is qualitatively, and perhaps
I find it *very* hard to accept that we should bother with this kind
of imbecilic precision with respect to decades, and would need a
*much* better reason than "So the first decade comes out right."
Nobody born in the first decade is around to argue the point, so why
should I care? Is there *any* better reason than that?
2010 - After the recession. The Tea Party started, quoth English
Wikipedia, in 2009, Occupy not until 2011, so that could go
either way. On balance, though, I think 2010 is in the
2010s. Internationally, the Arab Spring didn't start until
*December* 2010, which argues for linking 2010 to the 2000s in
at least some countries.
2000 - Before 9/11, and before the recession. Clinton is still
president. Linking it to the 1990s makes sense.
1990 - First Iraq war. Before the recession. Linking it to the
1980s makes sense.
1980 - Carter is still president (this works every other time), the
hostages are still in Iran, near as I can tell stagflation
continued. We tend to stereotype the 1970s with stuff from
their first half, but linking 1980 to the late 1970s makes
1970 - The early 1970s are in many ways an outgrowth of the late
1960s; I don't see any obvious dividing line to put 1970 on
one side of.
1960 - Eisenhower is still president. None of the stuff we think of
as the 1960s is happening yet. This already starts to change
in 1961, Kennedy changing our approaches to both Vietnam and
civil rights. Linking it to the 1950s makes sense.
1950 - Not sure. McCarthy gets started in early 1950, though, which
argues for linking it to the 1950s.
1940 - The US is still at peace, so for us, obviously, linking it to
the 1930s makes sense. For most of the world, the same
argument links 1940, the first full year of WWII, to the 1940s.
The most obvious exception is the USSR, which wasn't at *peace*
in 1940 but whose war changed enormously in 1941. Oh, and OK,
"Roosevelt is still president" doesn't mean much, so no, it
doesn't *always* work every other time. 
1930 - The Depression started in 1929. Linking 1930 to the 1930s is
a no-brainer everywhere the effects of the stock market crash
1920 - Wilson is still president. Economic problems related to the
end of WWI, the Spanish flu, and the Red Scare all continued,
making a link to the 1910s pretty obvious.
So this is six out of ten that clearly, for the US, link to the
previous decade better than to the succeeding one.
But that still isn't going to keep me from thinking and saying that
we're in the 2020s now.
 So how many presidents first elected in a 6 year have been re-
elected? 1796 - no. 1816 - N/A. 1836 - no. 1856 - no. 1876 - no.
1896 - McKinley is our first winner. 1916 - N/A. 1936 - N/A, but he
was still re-elected in 1940. 1956 - N/A. 1976 - no. 1996 - N/A.
2016 - remains to be seen, but the historical record doesn't look
Other first years - 2. 1792 - yes. 1812 - N/A. 1832 - N/A.
1852 - no. 1872 - N/A. 1892 - no. 1912 - yes. 1932 - yes, and how!
1952 - yes. 1972 - N/A. 1992 - yes. 2012 - N/A. Rather better.
4. 1804 - N/A. 1824 - no. 1844 - no. 1864 - N/A. 1884 - yes,
sorta. 1904 - no. 1924 - no. 1944 - N/A. 1964 - no. 1984 - yes.
2004 - yes. Also better.
8. 1808 - yes. 1828 - yes. 1848 - died. 1868 - yes. 1888 - no.
1908 - no. 1928 - no. 1948 - no. 1968 - yes. 1988 - no. 2008 -
yes. Rather better.
0. 1800 - yes. 1820 - no. 1840 - died. 1860 - yes. 1880 -
died. 1900 - N/A. 1920 - died. 1940 - N/A, but he was still re-
elected in 1944. 1960 - died. 1980 - yes. 2000 - yes. So this is
a good cohort for re-election, but also by far the most dangerous
cohort (besides 1840, 1880, 1920 and 1960, the presidents elected in
1860, 1900, and 1940 died in office). Huh. Since we seem hell-bent
on electing a septuagenarian this time, 2020 may revive that
"President for Life". A title and status Trump was wishing for at one