According to a survey by Pew Research, the current decade is regarded by Americans as the worst since the Sixties.

The Sixties themselves were regarded as "positive" by 34%, while 15% regarded them as "negative"; on the other hand 42% regarded them as "neither", and 8% said they did not know.

The Seventies, Eighties and Nineties improved on those scores more or less uniformly.

The proportions were, respectively:

Positive: 40, 56, and 57 (that is, more and more people regarded them favourably)

Negative: 16, 12 and 19 (a mixed trend, but relatively minor)

Neither: 37, 27 and 22 (fewer and fewer people were sitting on the fence)

Don't knows: 7, 5 and 3 (probably the least important, but reinforcing the trend above)

From these figures, one could conclude that Americans view these decades as increasingly positive.

With the current decade, however, we see an abrupt reversal: Only 27% regard the decade as positive, 50% regard it as negative, the proportion of people who regard the decade as neither postive nor negative, as well as those who don't know drops further (respectively to 21% and 2%).

Probably many factors contribute to this sudden change in view in the USA. In India and China, I am pretty confident that most people would regard the current decade as either "positive" or at least no worse than previous decades. I wonder what the verdict would be in most other countries in the world.

Professor Prabhu Guptara