Some people are saying they're the worst decade ever, but that's more true for the global relations of the United States than for the level of human well-being in the world as a whole. Even in the U.S., a lot of social indicators improved. Elsewhere Chinese growth continued, Indian growth moved into the big time (in the gross reckoning we're already at well over two billion people), a lot of Eastern Europe was successfully absorbed into the EU, Indonesia made slow but steady progress. Brazil may have turned a corner, and Africa had a better-than-lately decade in terms of economic growth. Communism didn't really come back. Admittedly the Middle East is a tougher call. Canada did strikingly well, as did Australia. There was lots of progress on public health, including in the war against AIDS. The internet truly blossomed and human creativity continued.
For a lot of you it feels bad, but it's not obvious that the naughties have been such a terrible decade overall. By the way, that home prices fell was overall a good thing; the roofs on those homes still keep out the rain.
I thank Bryan Caplan for a discussion related to this post.