Even after crumpling up and trashing the foil and paper that once covered the “aughts,” the instinct to look back is hard to fight. There was war and peace, great music, movies and art, sweeping political victories and bad news for black America. Yet we have to let it go; the newest decade—the “tweens,” let’s say—is ready to be unwrapped. While forward-looking lists invariably open the door to future mockery (see sister site Foreign Policy’s list of bad predictions for 2009), the new decade promises so many radical and interesting changes to the way we live, move and vote—any writer would be hard-pressed to turn down the opportunity.
Without further ado, the view from 2010:
1. The Stimulus Gets Down to Business
The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, enacted in February 2009, was sold as a lifeline for the American economy—and the American worker. While macroeconomic experts debated the appropriate size of the bill, few now question the usefulness of $787 billion geared at staving off the economic crisis that President Obama continues to call “the worst … since the Great Depression.” The ARRA has already funded the extension of unemployment benefits and subsidies for insurance coverage, as well as tax credits for parents and college students and a host of construction projects. But almost a year after its signing, clauses designed to prevent waste and fraud have meant that only a fraction of the money has been put to use. In 2010, the full brunt of the Democrat-led spending blitz will reach American schools, highways and bridges—offering a better sense of the bill’s impact on the economy to come.
Bonus: Track the stimulus’ impact in your neighborhood here.