In 1980s America, there was a lot going on. It’s remembered as the decade of excess, of wealth and power when greed was good and yuppies abounded. People were patriotic; they were starting to work longer hours and more and more women entered the workforce from the period after WWII when women went back to the home. Working moms and a rising divorce rate led to latchkey kids who came home to an empty house after school and shared custody between moms and dads. The government got its first dip into the big spending that never stopped.
But it wasn’t all glitter and glitz. The upper and lower class division sharpened. Thousands of mentally ill patients were turned out of institutions and the homeless population skyrocketed. Women may have been working but the process of shattering ‘the glass ceiling’ was still dog-eat-dog. Wall street made us think the second Great Depression was right around the corner every week. World conflicts abounded, and crack and AIDS showed up on the streets of America.
But, technological advances made this an extremely exciting time to be in. For the first time the world grew up a generation used to watching TV from birth; a generation completely ignorant of smallpox and polio. This was also the decade when the U.S.S.R. collapsed, creating new countries and opening up to the world through the glastnost policy. The Cold War ended and we all thought the future was so bright, we’d have to wear shades.