America’s Best Decade

The Washington Post

Andrew Van Dam, writing for The Washington Post:

So, we looked at the data another way, measuring the gap between each person’s birth year and their ideal decade. The consistency of the resulting pattern delighted us: It shows that Americans feel nostalgia not for a specific era, but for a specific age.

The good old days when America was “great” aren’t the 1950s. They’re whatever decade you were 11, your parents knew the correct answer to any question, and you’d never heard of war crimes tribunals, microplastics or improvised explosive devices. Or when you were 15 and athletes and musicians still played hard and hadn’t sold out.