Employee Celebrating in the 2000s

An introduction to the 2000s

Thankfully, the warning that the end of civilization was upon us was a false alarm. Nonetheless, the decade got off to a bumpy, nervous start—and in many ways, things never quite simmered down. Americans optimistically envisioned the 2000s as a time of hope and boundless prosperity. That all changed on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

This event was arguably the decade’s defining moment. Without warning, three simultaneous terrorist attacks from the friendly skies crippled the nation and shocked the world. The aftermath of 9/11, as it came to be known, impacted the 2000s with war in Iraq, another conflict in Afghanistan, terror alerts, economic turbulence and intensified political bipartisanship at home.

Employees Looking Cool in the 2000s

Arizona facts and national milestones

The decade of the 2000s can be described through a series of cryptic descriptors: Y2K, iPod, 9/11, Katrina, Twitter. Here’s a quick look at some of the factors that shaped America, and Arizona, in the first 10 years of the new millennium.

  • People are in no mood to party on New Year’s Eve 1999. Instead, they fret about the Y2K threat: an inherent coding problem that could cause computer networks worldwide to fail in the transition to Jan. 1, 2000.
  • The average lifespan in the U.S. reaches 77. 5 years.
  • The 2000 presidential election is contentious, controversial and razor-close. Texas governor George W. Bush narrowly defeats Vice President Al Gore after manual vote recounts in some Florida counties.
  • Increasing upwards of 24.59 percent, Arizona’s population grows to nearly 6.4 million between 2000 and 2010.
  • With an emphasis on fresh produce plus natural and organic foods, Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market opens its first store in Chandler (2002).
  • Hurricane Katrina strikes the Gulf Coast with deadly force on August 29, 2005, leaving a broad swath of destruction, flooding and human misery in its wake. FEMA describes it as “the single most catastrophic natural disaster in U.S. history.”
  • In 2008, Barack Obama is elected the first African-American president of the United States. He immediately begins work on his signature legislation, and in July 2009 the House unveils its 1,000-page plan for sweeping healthcare reform.
  • Our obsession with technology and virtual relationships grows astronomically as LinkedIn launches in 2003, Facebook goes online in February 2004—boasting one million users by December 2004—and YouTube (2005) and Twitter (2006) quickly follow.
  • Beginning in late 2007, a subprime mortgage crisis leads to countless defaults and foreclosures—contributing to a severe economic recession that not only affects the U.S. economy but also rocks financial markets worldwide.
  • No one is lukewarm on this divisive topic: Al Gore and An Inconvenient Truth (2006) thrust global warming and climate change into the collective consciousness.
  • Low-cost Allegiant Air begins service from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa in October 2007.
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Volunteer Painting in the 2000s

BCBSAZ fun facts

At the start of the new decade, BCBSAZ was the state’s largest health insurer, and we held onto that position throughout the 2000s. After the election of President Barack Obama, discussions of healthcare reform issues dominated the news in 2009, and BCBSAZ prepared to adapt.

  • BCBSAZ enters 2000 with 1223 employees and hits a high of 1567 employees in December 2008.
  • In summer 2006, BCBSAZ launches telework, and the initiative is a win-win-win. Employees gain better work/life balance and job satisfaction plus lower commuting costs; their managers report increased teleworker productivity; and the company sees reduced turnover/absenteeism while realizing workspace savings.
  • The Fall 2008 Shades of Blue employee newsletter cover story features long-time employee Jody Chandler, Senior Vice President and Chief Service Officer. The article is illustrated with a timeline of Jody’s 44 years of service to BCBSAZ, dating back to June 8, 1964.
  • BCBSAZ closely monitors healthcare reform efforts in Washington throughout the summer and fall of 2009. While making plans to adapt to the rapidly changing healthcare environment, one thing never wavers: our commitment to our members and our community.
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Kids Exercising in the 2000s

Pop culture fun facts

“’Cause they say two thousand zero zero, party over, oops out of time…”

Prince may think he’s all-knowing, but he got this one wrong. On Jan. 1, 2000, we officially waved good-bye to partying like it’s 1999 and welcomed the once-in-a-lifetime dawn of a new year, a new decade, a new century and a new millennium! Times were often grim throughout the decade of the 2000s, but pop culture came through, providing a welcome escape from life’s hard realities.

  • The 2001 World Series is a nail-biter to the end—Luis Gonzalez hits a bottom-of-the-ninth single in Game 7, cinching the win for the Arizona Diamondbacks over the New York Yankees.
  • At the 2002 Super Bowl in the New Orleans Superdome, U2’s moving halftime show pays tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11.
  • Anyone remember Super Bowl XXXVIII (2004)? We’ve got two words for you: Wardrobe malfunction.
  • Adventurers and superheroes rule the box office: The Bourne Identity (2002) leads to four brilliant films, Iron Man (2008) stays strong with four, Spider-Man (2002) weaves a spell with five movies to date, and The Fast and The Furious gets off the line in 2001 and picks up speed with seven blockbusters.
  • Rom-coms and chick flicks also create sparks in the 2000s (Bridget Jones, Legally Blonde, The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, 27 Dresses, Wedding Crashers, 50 First Dates).
  • From the first novel in 2005, the Twilight saga captivates. Darkly romantic movie versions quickly follow—spawning a host of books, movies and TV shows with vampires, werewolves, zombies and other otherworldly lead characters.
  • Tough times call for a good laugh. TV comedies Two and a Half Men (2003), The Big Bang Theory (2007), How I Met Your Mother (2005) and Modern Family (2009) deliver.
  • Reality TV (which may be the ultimate oxymoron) explodes in the 2000s. Enduring favorites include American Idol, Top Chef, Survivor, The Biggest Loser, The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars. (Don’t even get us going about all those “real” housewives.)
  • Still perfect after all these years: As beautiful and iconic as ever, Barbie celebrates her 50th birthday on March 9, 2009.
  • Female artists shine throughout the 2000s—heavy hitters include Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse, Pink, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Adele. Shout outs to Coldplay, Kanye West, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z, too.
  • Tech-y, futuristic looks give way, post-9/11, to a fashion mash-up: super-low rise jeans, designer handbags, velour sweatpants and Uggs, boho chic and retro. For guys, it’s soul patches and fauxhawks with bleached tips, studded belts, baggy cargo shorts, and arctic-white Air Force
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Employees Exercising in the 2000s

2000s: what did it cost?

Belt-tightening became a way of life for many American families who were impacted by the economic fallout after 9/11 and again by the recession in the latter part of the decade. Here’s a sampling of cost-of-living prices in the 2000s.

  • The average income in 2000 is $40,243—more than enough to bring home the bacon ($2.97 per pound) and a dozen eggs (89 cents).
  • The median price of a single-family home in Arizona peaks in June 2006 at nearly $265,000, after which the housing market sharply declines in the late 2000s.
  • In 2000, oil tops $30 a barrel, and it takes $1.26 per gallon to put gas in the car. Those prices look great compared to what the same commodities cost in 2009: $53.56/barrel for oil and $2.73 per gallon for gas.
  • Something to write home about: a postage stamp costs just 33 cents in 2000. (Stamps rise to 42 cents in 2009).
  • In-state college tuition averages $6,585 as the decade comes to a close.
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