(Doing an homage to "The Scream" would have been too on-the-money)
California in 1981 - with a budget surplus from only a few years earlier now gone and an economy getting ready to circle the drain, Governor Jerry Brown offered a bleak assessment for the future in his characteristically short State Of The State Address (a whopping 10 minutes), while trying to maintain an upbeat facade. The big hope was Silicon Valley and the burgeoning Tech sector. Remember, in 1981 personal computers were just starting to gain a toehold in our culture and the promise of the Internet was still a few years away.
Looking back at this State of The State I don't think anyone had a clue just how bad it was going to get.
“As I see it, 1981 is a year of testing. Testing our capacity to live within a stringent budget. More than ever we need the cooperation of both parties. From an historic vantage point, we’ve reached a watershed. For the first time since World War 2 state government spending will clearly not keep pace with inflation.”
Even more difficult to imagine 1981 being considered "pretty okay" by current standards. I wonder if we'll feel that way about 2009.