JR Ball: This has got to be the worst year ever, right? 

    You win, 2020, writes Business Report Executive Editor JR Ball in his new opinion piece. 

    With all the stuff this year has thrown our way, was it really necessary to unleash Hurricane Laura, the strongest Louisiana storm in more than a century, to hammer us into submission?

    Seriously, it’s just plain cruel to have sent Marco to those same shores a few days earlier, and then uncork a monstrosity that sliced, diced and blew its way up the state and into Arkansas. 

    Whatever it is we’ve done to offend, Mr. 2020—on behalf of everyone in splintering Baton Rouge, the not-so-great state of Louisiana, the divided states of America and a world gone crazy—please accept our deepest and most sincere apologies.  

    We’ve had enough mayhem just right in Baton Rouge for our own Allstate commercial, not even including what has happened in the rest of the country. 

    All of which begs the question: Is 2020 the worst year ever? 

    You could argue the Spanish flu pandemic year of 1918 was bad. The same for 1921, the year of the brutal Tulsa Race Massacre. Of course, our great grandparents might remind us that any of the Great Depression years from 1929 to 1933 is worthy of consideration.

    Ball, and every other baby boomer, can tell you 1974 was no picnic. It was a year featuring one of the worst economic downturns post-World War II, an OPEC oil embargo, long lines and high prices at the gas pump, escalating unemployment and a president facing impeachment.

    The closest worst-year contender, for Ball’s money, is 1968, he writes. There was a raging Vietnam War, campus protests, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, police beating protesters at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and race riots sparked by the King killing in at least 110 cities across the nation.

    But here’s the thing, 2020 has pretty much all of that stuff mentioned in those 20th century years—and then some—absent Vietnam and the assassinations. Read Ball’s full column, which details the turmoil Baton Rouge and the rest of the country has endured so far. Send comments to editor@businessreport.com