Just two quick things to note regarding the past decade: One, culturally speaking, one could do far worse than read every article from The Awl’s look back at the aughts (or whatever). Some are much better than others, with the ones that grabbed me being the essays from huge events I completely forgot (i.e. the Duke Lacrosse scandal).
Two, economically speaking, things seemed to be a disaster for America, but Tyler Cowan of Marginal Revolution points out that despite a flat GDP, the past decade was actually quite good economically speaking. This is a global economy afterall (the notion of an American company being moot), and on a worldwide scale many countries flourished.