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America 1950 vs. America 2012

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Would you rather live in the America of 1950 or the America of 2012?  Has the United States changed for the better over the last 62 years?  Many fondly remember the 1950s and the 1960s as the “golden age” of America.  We emerged from World War II as the wealthiest and most powerful nation on the planet.  During that time period, just about anyone that wanted to get a job could find a job and the U.S. middle class expanded rapidly.  Back in 1950, America was still considered to be a “land of opportunity” and the economy was growing like crazy.  There was less crime, there was less divorce, the American people had much less debt and the world seemed a whole lot less crazy.  Most of the rest of the world deeply admired us and wanted to be more like us.  Of course there were a lot of things that were not great about America back in 1950, and there are many things that many of us dearly love that we would have to give up in order to go back and live during that time.  For example, there was no Internet back in 1950.  Instead of being able to go online and read the articles that you want to read, your news would have been almost entirely controlled by the big media companies of the day.  So there are definitely some advantages that we have today that they did not have back in 1950.  But not all of the changes have been for the better.  America is in a constant state of change, and many are deeply concerned about where all of these changes are taking us.

There has never been any society in the history of the world that has been perfect.  America was flawed in 1950 just as America is flawed today.

But that doesn’t mean that we should not reflect on how much things have changed over the past 62 years.

So which version of America would you rather live in?

America 1950 vs. America 2012 – you make the call….

In 1950, a gallon of gasoline cost about 27 cents.

In 2012, a gallon of gasoline costs $3.69.

In 1950, you could buy a first-class stamp for just 3 cents.

In 2012, a first-class stamp will cost you 45 cents.

In 1950, more than 80 percent of all men were employed.

In 2012, less than 65 percent of all men are employed.

In 1950, the average duration of unemployment was about 12 weeks.

In 2012, the average duration of unemployment is about 40 weeks.

In 1950, the average family spent about 22% of its income on housing.

In 2012, the average family spends about 43% of its income on housing.

In 1950, gum chewing and talking in class were some of the major disciplinary problems in our schools.

In 2012, many of our public schools have been equipped with metal detectors because violence has become so bad.

In 1950, mothers decided what their children would eat for lunch.

In 2012, lunches are inspected by government control freaks to make sure that they contain the “correct foods” in many areas of the country.  For example, one 4-year-old girl recently had her lunch confiscated by a “lunch monitor” because it did not meet USDA guidelines….

A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.

The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.

The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs – including in-home day care centers – to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.

In 1950, the United States was #1 in GDP per capita.

In 2012, the United States is #13 in GDP per capita.

In 1950, redistribution of wealth was considered to be something that “the communists” did.

In 2012, the U.S. government redistributes more wealth than anyone else in the world.

In 1950, about 13 million Americans had manufacturing jobs.

In 2012, less than 12 million Americans have manufacturing jobs even though our population has more than doubled since 1950.

In 1950, the entire U.S. military was mobilized to protect the borders of South Korea.

In 2012, the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada are wide open and now there are 1.4 million gang members living inside the United States.

In 1950, there were about 2 million people living in Detroit and it was one of the greatest cities on earth.

In 2012, there are about 700,000 people living in Detroit and it has become a symbol of what is wrong with the U.S. economy.

In 1950, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was slightly over the 200 mark.

In 2012, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is threatening to soar over the 13,000 mark.

In 1950, corporate taxes accounted for about 30 percent of all federal revenue.

In 2012, corporate taxes will account for less than 7 percent of all federal revenue.

In 1950, the median age at first marriage was about 22 for men and about 20 for women.

In 2012, the median age at first marriage is about 28 for men and about 26 for women.

In 1950, many Americans dressed up in suits and dresses before getting on an airplane.

In 2012, security goons look at the exposed forms of our women and our children before they are allowed to get on to an airplane.

In 1950, each retiree’s Social Security benefit was paid for by 16 workers.

In 2012, each retiree’s Social Security benefit is paid for by approximately 3.3 workers.

In 1950, many Americans regularly left their cars and the front doors of their homes unlocked.

In 2012, many Americans live with steel bars on their windows and gun sales are at record highs.

In 1950, the American people had a great love for the U.S. Constitution.

In 2012, if you are “reverent of individual liberty“, you may get labeled as a potential terrorist by the U.S. government.

In 1950, the United States loaned more money to the rest of the world than anybody else.

In 2012, the United States owes more money to the rest of the world than anybody else.

In 1950, the U.S. national debt was about 257 billion dollars.

In 2012, the U.S. national debt is 59 times larger.  It is currently sitting at a grand total of $15,435,694,556,033.29.  Surely our children and our grandchildren will thank us for that.

One of the only things that is constant in life is change.

Whether we like it or not, America is going to continue to change.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, about 70 percent of all American adults were married.

Today, only about 50 percent of all American adults are married.

We are more independent, less religious, more addicted to entertainment and more doped up on prescription drugs than Americans used to be.

We have a higher standard of living than Americans in 1950 did, but we are also drowning in an ocean of debt unlike anything the world has ever seen.

For a lot more on how the U.S. economy is doing in 2012, just check out this list of interesting facts.

So is America 2012 a better version than America 1950 was?

Have we made progress since then or are we going backwards?

Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below….

  • “Everything is perfect about the past except how it led to the future.” Homer Simpson

  • mark

    Many things have improved. Medical science has really taken off. Our schools have gone way down. It seems that we are over regulated, but at the same time when you drive past a oil refinery they don’t smell like rotten eggs (H2S) like the did in the 1950’s. I like the internet and all of the places like this site that you can read. I do not like the spending the government does and I can still go to Church each week. As I said in the begining, many things have improved and then many things have gone down hill.

  • Victor

    I wish it was 1950 again….. You should do an article like this one, but show what rights and freedoms we had in the 50’s and what we have left now in 2012.

    • Gil

      For White men that is. The ’50s sucked for women, children and minorities.

      • “For White men that is. The ’50s sucked for women, children and minorities.”

        Yeah, and look how much better off everyone are now…

    • Nickelthrower

      Rights in the ’50’s? Where have you been?

      Young men were sent off to Korea to fight yet they were not allowed to vote.

      This is the time of Jim Crow which is something we should all be ashamed of.

      HUAC and McCarthyism were going nuts and ruining people’s lives in their never ending hunt for Reds. People were being Blacklisted in the Film Industry, Newspapers, Radio, TV and in the Universities.

      Homosexuals could be arrested right off the street with many states employing methods such as forced castration for those unwilling to conform.

      I’d much rather be here.

      • Jeff

        I could not agree with you more. Things were nearly perfect for WHITE MEN in the 1950’s.

        Everyone else got the left-overs.

      • prolly not

        “Homosexuals could be arrested right off the street with many states employing methods such as forced castration for those unwilling to conform.”

        Are we to generally link that to people that were actually sterilized here in the US under the Democrat sponsored Eugenics program or can you cite where/how that occurred?

        • St. Lukes School Teacher

          The streets of D.C. are the most dangerous due to the problems in the area, especially the SE section which is Anacostia. Just read the news reports and you will understand the dangers of D.C. streets!

          • “The streets of D.C. are the most dangerous due to the problems in the area”

            What a shocker!

    • Bettijo

      Yes, Victor. I would like that too.

    • Donald Wilson

      You are absolutetly correct. We had our problems, however, today sucks bigtime.


    • Kelly

      That’s a great idea because so many people just don’t realize how much we’ve lost. Political correctness has so taken away our right to free speech… There are so many areas where we’ve sacrificed our liberty without even realizing it! I’d love to see an article like this!

    • Victor

      @ Gil, Nickelthrower, Jeff, and prolly not… Have any of you heard of the NDAA, Or Patriot Act laws? If not read them. Both laws listed above took everyones rights away no matter what your skin color is, or what your sexual preference is. Plus, if you take time to look it up, we have ten times more stupid laws put in place than what we had in the 50’s that can now land you in jail. Example, try selling someone a gal. of raw milk to anyone in front of a cop and see what happens; Back in the 50’s, that wasn’t a problem. Also, try the same selling lemonade at a stand in front of a cop..& see what happens. thats just two example’s, there is thousands more. In 2012 you can land in jail a lot easier compared to the 50’s. Almost anything you do know is against the law depending on government or state laws. Thats why we now have more people in jail than anyone else on the planet.

  • ScoutMotto

    We are about to get thrown waaaaay backwards with the way things are going.

  • Horhey

    Well life did get worse. But….the worried about nuclear annihilation. Hide under your school desk during a near detonation? Okay. People had a higher moral as citizens, but the nations were still doing business as usual. Women were women and men were men, now many are confused. 1950s for me.

  • Gary2

    1950-no civil rights-South segregated

    Again-the conservatives are racist dreaming about a time when minorities were legally segregated.

    Michael-your entire post proves this.

    1950-3 TV stations–Yuck!!
    Lead in the fuel and a dirty environment, rivers thank you!

    What % of the population lived without running water?

    Very expensive phone thanks

    • John S

      Early 1950… NO television. Can’t get much better than that.

    • U could be a half-wit

      “Again-the conservatives are racist dreaming about a time when minorities were legally segregated”

      ..Uhh, at Democrat hands there dummy.

    • MisterC

      Only a couch potato would miss TV(the one-eyed monster). Try reading a book. Oh, I forgot, you can’t read well that’s why you is ‘po’.

  • Gary2

    In 2012, the U.S. government redistributes more wealth than anyone else in the world.

    I only wish this were true!

    Tax the rich and spread the wealth! Make the rich pay and pay and pay!

    • Rodster

      OWS drivel. 😆

    • “In 2012, the U.S. government redistributes more wealth than anyone else in the world.

      I only wish this were true!”

      Do you have links to substantiate that?

  • Gary2

    Boy the cars were ugly back then…

    • Michael


      I will have to disagree with you on that one.




      When your buddy Obomber and/or his successors start launching predator drone strikes in asylum states airspace to start executing dissidents, the last thing you or anyone else will have to worry about is an ugly car………

    • Rancher

      Cars rocked back then. I wish they were built much the same now. Currently they are all about the same in looks…

    • Doug

      At least they didn’t all look the same.. It’s hard to tell one model from another these days without having to look for a nameplate.

  • Craig

    Interesting article, but I do have to agree with Victor. The big change is in the amount of our freedoms that we have lost. Our finances will collapse next, and we are in process. In the next few years our financial losses will be on the same order of magnitude as our loss of freedoms.

    One quick example:

    In 1973 I got my first car. It was a 1964 Olds F-85 with a 330 rocket engine. I paid $250 for it, and it just ran great and I could put 8 people in it if I had to. But here’s the thing. I wasn’t required to get the car inspected. I wasn’t required to have my seat belt on when I got in. None of my friends were required to have the their seat belts on when they got in. And I was not required to have liabiity insurance that now cost $2500 for a teenager! Plus the engine was so simple to work on–no anti-pollution jazz that they have all over engines now. It was a great car to ride around in on the weekends or go to the drive in theater. It had a great heater in it too. Gas was about 45 cents/gallon.

    Think of the legal requirements now days just to own and operate a vehicle. Oh, and my F-85 didn’t have an electronic governor on it like cars do now days to limit its top speed. It didn’t have an event log so that anybody could find out where I had been in it. Awh, yes, life was a lot freer. The car’s top speed was 115MPH, and the speedometer went to 120.

    • Rancher

      Dude i have the 1965 olds cutlass convertible in HS. Same power plant. Soooo coool Also a 442 convertible a couple years later in production. My dream car now is still a 1969-71 olds 442 convertible….. they are called the bankers muscle car because of the creature comforts. I like Those Things as well.

      I see them on the TV auctions but I must be there to inspect them. I would sell some toys I have now to do the deal if it was clean. I liked those older rigs so much I made my career out of wrenching on them and did well enough to retire at 50.

      • Craig

        Rancher they say the 1970 442 with the W30 package was the ultimate among those cars. I would love to have one of those, but they are rare. They had at least 400HP.

  • Gil

    One reason Americans had it good then was that most of the world was under Socialist/Communist rule hence the U.S. had little world competition. Now that the rest of the world is competing on the world this mean Americans have to work harder for less pay lest people take their business elsewhere. Oh yeah, the fact that the U.S. has become more Socialist/Fascist over the last fifty years doesn’t help either.

  • Georgiaboy61

    I’d take 1950 without hesitation, but then again, I am a historian and have always been interested in the past. In complete seriousness, life was better then in the ways that matter most to me.

    • Jeff

      You bring up a good point; it is a matter of perspective.

      There are many things about the 1950’s that appeal to me (even though I was not born until 1961). But I could not live in a country without civil rights for minorities and gays.

      • Rancher

        I could…

      • “But I could not live in a country without civil rights for minorities and gays.”

        While I’d prefer to.

    • Professor

      I am a woman who graduated from high school in 1964. High school biology teachers used black ink rollers to blank out anything pertaining to reproduction in our text books because the board of education considered line diagrams of a uterus “dirty”. My mother had died young, so I went to the library to learn about reproduction. I checked out a book, my father saw it and went ballistic, he reamed out the librarian for “dispensing filth”.  There was no such thing as birth control pills and boys had to dodge neighbors to ask the local pharmacist for condoms which were not allowed to be displayed in plain sight. Two good friends got pregnant… no surprise…nobody told them the facts of life either. One had to leave town to spare her family’s honor and was forced to give her child up for adoption, something that haunted her the rest of her life. The other one, with her boyfriend, drove all the way to New York to get an abortion. It left her sterile. 

      I had to fight to go to college. My father said it was a waste of money to educate a woman because I would undoubtedly get married and no self-respecting man would ever allow his wife to work.

      Later, my boss, a senior VP at HP thought sexual harassment was one of his job perqs. 

      When I opened my own company and was in the middle of negotiating a deal,  male clients would inevitably smirk, motion to one of my male employees, and say  something like “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about the terms, little lady, us menfolks will take it from here.” 

      Today I see Republicans pushing to outlaw legal abortion and prohibit contraception and I see blowhards like Rush Limbaugh calling a well educated, beautifully mannered female college student who dared to step up and speak out, a slut and a prostitute and announce to the world that he demands to see her in sex tapes. I see a Republican Federal Judge publicly insult both the nation’s first President of color and the Presidents white, well educated, professional archaeologist mother in the most vile manner imaginable. 

      And I don’t see a single Republican presidential candidate, Republican senator or Republican congressman denounce any of it.  So the Republicans would have us return to the social mores of the 1950’s, where women were subservient and had to have their husband’s permission to do just about anything, when buses were stenciled “Colored to the rear”, where lynchings were still common. When contraception was wishful thinking and abortions were illegal, leaving unfortunate young women to the mercy of back-alley procedures which frequently killed or maimed  them. Oh yes….a return to the good old 1950’s……

      Over my dead body.

  • Brad

    In the 1950’s the top Federal tax rate on the wealthiest Americans was 91%. Today it is around 35%. Seems to me we redistributed wealth a heck of a lot more in the 50’s than we do now. In fact, we do so little of it now that the gap between the rich and the poor is greater today than it has ever been, virtually destroying the middle class. I don’t know how you can say the US now redistributes wealth more than anyone else in the world. I have relatives in Denmark who tell me about how all Danes have a basic safety net way beyond what we have here (including free health care) which can only be achieved by extensive wealth redistribution, much more than what we do here.

    • Kevin2

      Denmark does not have ICBMs, Aircraft Carriers and all the rest on the bang bang stuff.

      Controlling the world is expensive.

    • Scott

      No one except maybe a handful of people actually paid 91% back then, the rates really only existed on paper, the rates didn’t kick in until an extremely high income for that time was reached with a substantial portion of that income exempt, and with the generous loopholes that were available the top rate was practically non-existent. So even the very few people who paid the 91% rate really didn’t pay 91%.

      The combined Federal, State and local tax burden for the average American is much higher today.

    • Scott

      Ask your relatives about the young Danes leaving Denmark after getting their educations to make more money elsewhere at lower income tax rates. That causes a brain drain needed to support the nanny state. Even the government there knows the system is not sustainable.

      And economically, the Asian countries with lower tax rates and regulations are kicking Denmark and the rest of Europe’s ass.

  • Emily

    Oh yes, the 1950s. Polio was scaring everyone, if you were a women or a person of color, you were a second class citizen. No real means of birth control, think about what that meant and how much of our behavior was effected by that consequent. We were entering our second war in ten years and Israel was just trying to survive its birth. The majority of people lived on a farm and if there was a doctor within a hundred miles of where you lived, you were lucky.

    Change is happing at an ever accelerating rate, its hard to get a firm grasp of where you stand in all this change, but I for one, thrill at being on the forefront of this wave of change. We can’t live in the past or moon about its loss, we must live in the present and fight for the world we wish to live in. Fight and live or do nothing and die!

    • Hmm

      No real means of birth control? Ummm, don’t have sex?????

      • gary2

        Aytollah Santorum sponcer says use asprin between your legs. They did have asprin back then. What more do women (gals) need?

    • “No real means of birth control”

      – Abstinence.
      – Sterilisation.
      – The diaphragm.
      – The “pill”.
      – The IUD.
      – The condom.
      – Less secure methodes as “counting days” and “coitus interruptus”.
      …were invented before or during the 1950s.

      “think about what that meant and how much of our behavior was effected by that consequent.”

      Yes, it seems that morals were at higher levels back then…

  • George Kadlec

    An anthropologist by the name of J.D. Unwin initiated a study with the premise that marriage was not necessary and possibly even detrimental to the development of great societies. At the end of this study he completely reversed his hypothesis.

    “Perhaps the definitive work on the rise and fall of civilizations,” writes Fitzpatrick, “was published in 1934 by Oxford anthropologist J.D. Unwin”:

    In “Sex and Culture,” Unwin studied 86 human civilizations ranging from tiny South Sea island principalities to mighty Rome. He found that a society’s destiny is linked inseparably to the limits it imposes on sexual expression and that those sexual constraints correlate directly to its theological sophistication and religious commitment.

    Unwin noted that the most primitive societies had only rudimentary spiritual beliefs and virtually no restrictions on sexual expression, whereas societies with more sophisticated theologies placed greater restrictions on sexual expression, and achieved greater social development.

    In particular, cultures that adopt what Unwin dubbed “absolute monogamy” proved to be the most vigorous, economically productive, artistically creative, scientifically innovative and geographically expansive societies on earth.

    The following are grave words for the USA that come from noted Harvard sociologist Pitirim Sorokin who found no culture surviving once it ceased to support marriage and monogamy. None.

    Now we can do a basic analysis of marriage in the USA. Current illegitimacy rates are as follows:

    Black 73%

    Hispanic 53%

    White 29%

    for an overall rate of 41%. Of illigitimate births for women currently under 30 the percentage is 53%. In 1950 the overall rate of illigitimacy was 3.9%. The future of the USA has been written. Once the moral corruption begins the fall of a country is inevitable. Only a reversal could stem the tide but I believe that it is now too late. Once a society degenerates to the level it has in this country and the west in general, it is doomed.

    The only remaining question is how much time do we have left?

    • urbanshadow007

      You do know the Romans were quite heinous in sexual expression, and they were on top for a long time.

      Plus all of our politicians, and powerful men cheat and have always cheated, it’s like a given.

      For prosperity or wealth are based on economic principles. That’s it. Human nature is human nature.

    • “The future of the USA has been written. Once the moral corruption begins the fall of a country is inevitable.”

      Or of the whole West. Today’s West probably can’t survive, and I don’t think it deserves to either.

  • Tapper P.

    Even with all the decline I’d rather be alive now.

    We get to witness major things. WIII will probably be one of them if the profiteering bankers convince sheeple America that Iran is some real threat, which of course it is not.

    They were also more backward back then when it came to religion. They didn’t have the resources to expose such things for the scams that they are.

    We are living in the short period of years right now where knowledge is available to all, but unfortunately so many still wish to cocoon themselves in ignorance and bigotry. They squander the opportunity to advance and learn in favor of clinging to delusion.

  • Emma

    Very nice article Miachel!! Kudos to your writing.. Though I was born much after 1950, I seem to like the then America from your description…

  • Martin

    Hum, the 1960’s saw the draft and the useless war in Vietnam.

    I can’t remember where I read it recently, but the point was made that the US had (arguably) lost every war since WWII. The Korean war was a stalemate, the Vietnam war was a loss, the ongoing war on poverty is a joke – we have more people than ever on food stamps. The war on drugs is a disaster – we have more people in jail than any other country, and the distribution is highly biased. The war in Afghanistan is slated to be a bigger morass than Vietnam, the Pakistanis hate our guts and the Afghanis are going to end up pissing on our soldiers before that war is over. The war in Iraq was a waste, the whole area is now unstable. The war in Libya is a net loss, no foreign leader is going to ever trust any “western” pact with anglo-american backing.

    The american character itself is flawed. The competitiveness is too antagonistic, more win-lose than win-win. We have become risk averse hypochondriacs, and degraded into zero-tolerance anal retentive a-holes with way too much tolerance for fascist little pricks pissing on the sovereign rights of individuals and nations. No wonder, then, that our own domestic liberties, and the economic well being derived from it, is eroding away.

    We where the “policemen” of the world and we did a lousy job. Maybe we should have looked at playing a better follow-up role involving more brotherly love (coach, team-mate, doctor, partner, … ) than Big Brother-ism (police, and world-wide-warlord). More tolerance of individuals and less tolerance towards autocracy and its various authoritarian relatives.

  • Paul

    “Today, only about 50 percent of all American adults are married.”

    I believe that number would be higher, if gay marriage were permitted all over the states.

    • Jeff

      Agree 100%

    • Rancher

      Ha ha ha ,,,, another spin for gays.

    • Robot

      YEAH IT WOULD BE 100%.

      Because we all know that gays make up the other 50%.

  • jp

    I don’t want to go back to the fifties simply because I’m a racial minority. We still have a lot to learn, but unless you were of the white privileged class, good god, back then it was like the dark ages.

  • Bill

    Wonder why my post does not record?

    • Bill

      Sure enough-when I include a certain link it does not record.

      What’s up Michael?

      • Bill

        The article I am trying to link to is White Hats Report #37. I hope you can find it by other means because two attempts to include the link in a reply have failed.

        Perhaps Pandoras Box doesn’t want to be opened?

      • Michael

        Sometimes the software I am using on the site is a little buggy when it comes to posting links in the comments.


  • Martin

    A microcosm of what is wrong with America:

    Recently a 4-way intersection near my house got a brand new pair of “christmas trees” full of high-end cameras (4 each), flash lights and speed sensors. Yet, the roads are full of potholes.

    We have more crimes on the books than criminals.

    We have more TSA agents, less travel agents.

    We have more Walmart, less Sears stores.

    We have more taxes than tariffs.

    More lies, less truth to power.

    We have more seat-belts and air-bags, fewer cars made in the US.

    We have more laws, regulations and more idiots to enforce them, less taxpayers and justice.

    Hate speech is not ok, unless it is progressive racists talking about WASPs and/or “terrorists”.

    We have more government and less freedom.

    It does not take a high-school diploma to figure out how this one ends.
    A computer generated reckless driving ticket, automatically charged to your credit card while swerving to avoid potholes.

    This sorry empire needs to be tossed in the same trash heap together with the British colonial empire of old. Hopefully before there is no one left to run those ugly windmills that power the traffic cameras.

    • Lennie Pike

      The fine for that traffic ticket will be deducted from your credit card, but that card will actually be a chip embedded in your right hand or forehead and there will be only one police force worldwide.

      Coming soon!!!

      • St. Lukes School Teacher

        The 666 Mark Of The Beast will be a good christian beast according to the Obama Muslim Christian Church in the area of Silver Spring, Md. near the metro just blocks from Wayne Avenue and the church teaches the real truth of the beast being a good beast.

  • Joanie

    I was born on Sept. 3, 1945. I remember the 50s & 60s well. They were magnificent times.. if you were raised in a middle class/upper middle class area, like I was. I was lucky. Not everyone was. I remember while I was enjoying my lifestyle, others were not. But, the poor in my area of middle-class Connecticut, were few. My grandmother and I would feed people we knew that were poor. I remember two families. That was it. I remember feeling sad about it. I think the big difference between then and now.. was “self sufficiency”. It still existed. WE had a big garden, we grew our own food, vegetables, even fruit trees. I went out in the garden at 5 AM with my Grandpa and tended to the garden before he went to his private Barber Shop for the day. The only scary thing I remember was the Cuban Missle Crisis. My Dad was a WWII Vet, and he made a shelter in our downstairs basement for us. We had a room he made which was lined with cedar. I always drove in beautiful cars. I actually remember when the times began to change. After JFK was assassinated, this country was never the same again. Never seemed to have a country that had the courage and the leadership again. Not that kind of leadership. Not that kind of “vision”. That is what we have lost. Then the money changers filtered into the governmental process again. Focus was on the needs of the few, and we never recovered. WE always had the innovation, the vision, the energy as a nation, but without good leadership, and power in the hands of those who care about everyone winning in a society, not just the few, it will always lead back to where we are now. Self-centered, detached, plutocratic government, that is asking for an uprising. Yes, life was never perfect, but it’s not about perfect, it’s about shared sacrifice and vision, and the courage to help each other as a society, and respect for all humanity. That is what existed then, in the 50s, 60s. I remember helping my neighbor. Little did I know I was helping all of humanity. That is where we have failed.. miserably.

    • mondobeyondo

      And that’s one of the big differences between then and now. People actually cared about their neighbors back then. Today, many people don’t even know who their neighbors are, much less try to help them.

    • Kevin2


      Thanks, well said.

  • Tel

    In 1950, the entire U.S. military was mobilized to protect the borders of South Korea.

    In 2012, the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada are wide open and now there are 1.4 million gang members living inside the United States.

    Think of it as creative outsourcing. Gang members are known to protect their territory.

    The War on Drugs has been a great boon to some 🙂

  • Harold Crews

    What you’re saying good things about the 50’s and how they were better than today? What are you a racist and apologist for segregation?

    That is the level of political discourse in the United States today and it is a big problem. It is also why political reform is all but impossible.

    • Michael

      Obviously there were some horrible things going on back in 1950. I mentioned this fact in my article.

      There are some things that are better about 2012 and a lot of things that are worse.

      I think it is a good thing to evaluate how things have changed as a nation over all these years.


      • Harold Crews

        Sorry but I was not clear in the original post. The point was is that critics such as Gary2 won’t give you the benefit of the doubt on even the obvious. They will use any little thing even it is some twisted implication devised by them that you never in fact made to destroy you and drive you from the table. Reform can come only an open and free political system. An open and free political system requires open and free political discourse which we do not have. We have instead political correctness.

  • Rodster

    Wow what a difference, great article Michael. 🙂

  • r.bitting

    ” Where there is no revelation, the people cast off resraint: Proverbs 29:18… Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day: For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off “… Proverbs 23:17

  • It easier today to live a 1950’s lifestyle than it was in the 50’s. Greed and instant gratification are the main reasons people are struggling today.

    In 1950:
    – People lived with their parents until they married
    – The average U.S. home size was half it is today
    – Several families shared one telephone line
    – They were content with one floor model TV and free broadcast channels
    – Families shared one car and kids walked to play
    – Credit card balances were paid off at the end of the month

    Our family lives similar to 1950. We own one car and a 750 square foot which means lower payments, fees, taxes, insurance, maintenance, and utilities. Our lifestyle is why we were able to build an off-grid retreat debt free rather than spend $1,000 a year on vacation.

    Americans are born free. We enslave ourselves.

  • View from Abroad

    “In 1950, the U.S. national debt was about 257 billion dollars.

    In 2012, the U.S. national debt is 59 times larger. It is currently sitting at a grand total of $15,435,694,556,033.29.”

    In 1950, the top income tax rate was 91% and was applied to income above $250.000 (which would amount to about 2 Million 2011 Dollars).

    Might there be a sinister connection?

    (btw – now, after following this blog for 1 1/2 years I strongly doubt the editor or a lot of the frequently commenting readers would really like to go back to 1950)

    • Scott

      No one except maybe a handful of people actually paid 91% back then, the rates really only existed on paper, the rates didn’t kick in until an extremely high income for that time was reached with a substantial portion of that income exempt, and with the generous loopholes that were available the top rate was practically non-existent. So even the very few people who paid the 91% rate really didn’t pay 91%.

      The combined Federal, State and local tax burden for the average American is much higher today.

  • grandpa

    Everything then could be fixed at home. things that were broken actually had useable parts. How bout that global warming thing?.. consider the water vapor of all the industry back then . Where is all the snow now? the weather we have now is like 150 yrs ago when the indians settled here in the NE… out west? think china.. and they want to run hydrogen cars better build an Ark.We also didnt have so many educated idiots running our counrty , Just idiots. least they had an excuse.

  • andy

    Hello? Red Scares? Lynching? Imminent nuclear war?

    BTW, most of that “redistribution of wealth you complain of” is in one direction – UPWARDS! and this practice was hardly unknown back in the ’50s – they called it “government-regulated capitalism” and attributed the success of their economy to it.

  • Jim

    Rome, Carthage, Athens, Egypt, etc., etc., etc…were all the economic/military powers of their times and now we still can view some of their magnificent buildings, still have some their laws/rules on the books, can enjoy their written history but they are essentially gone. Unfortunately, this too will happen to the US. It was a wonderful experiment, but unfortunately, will come to end…INTERNALLY. It’s unfortunate that far too many people have to be led to water, told what to do all the time and have become almost 100% dependent upon government to survive. Also, the disparity of “super wealth” within the US (and globally), widens every single day with “great wealth” being ammassed by very, very few (maybe 0.05%) while the vibrant “middle class” is being placed in line with the poor. The poor, whose elevation by government to “middle class” is perpetuated by a culture of dependence…in essence will jointly become, if it hasn’t already, a sad “culture of poverty”. Hopefully, the US will survive, but history tells us “NO”.

  • Pat Henry

    My vote is for the ’50s.

    Life was better, liberties were secure. As to technology, internet and social networking. Yeah, not so much. All three have led to the decline of community. Technology gives you the illusion of communication, the internet may provide more information but the risks and decline of morals go along with it, social networking (facebook) gives you the illusion of community but really allows you to have a sense of community not neighbors that will help each other.
    Not to mention your money still had a value backed with silver.

    Naw, the ’50s would be much simplier and happier times.

  • Ralphieboy

    No question that tecnological advancement has taken a quantum leap , having greatly improved communications. Yet today in our urban environments, neighbors ignore each other. Medical technology has also advanced, but our pharmacogically-based system is killing us, as is a diet of heavily processed and additive laced foods.

    While once communities pooled resources and looked after our poorer neighbors, today most communities have split apart, and the federal government has established a permanent underclass.
    In the past, even the most desperate shunned “charity” as shameful, yet now most demand and expect it.

    For entertainment, most people played cards or board games, and tv was but a part time novelty. Hence, we actually had meaningful conversations and interpersonal relationships. Not so much today. In those days, if we got depressed, we got into action, helping others and not thinking so much about ourselves. Works a lot better than medicating with dangerous and toxic drugs.

    We also sought to advance ourselves, reading good books, listening to classical music. And we actually had true, classical education where grammar was taught, sentences diagrammed.

    Finally, we learned the sharp distinction between good and evil, and the overriding importance of faith.

    Of coursee , there remains pockets of this in the flyover states, and TExas is a place where many of these values remain, a reason why I am proud to be a Texan.

    Iactually believe that tough economic times will be a good thing ultimately, forcing us to get back to self reliance, and back to the things that have true meaning in life. Wwe have had it too good for too long, and this has made too many of us unappreciative and ungrateful, not to mention cynical and mean. In our comfort, we have surrended our liberties to the government and banksters.

    I have always rejected dependency on government and corporations, on Wall Street and “investment advisors”. I have been self employed most of my life. I have remained debt free. And come what may, my family will have a roof over their heads, plenty to eat, and a way to protect themselves in the worst of times. Self reliance is the only way to go, and the only dependency that remains for me is a dependency on my Father. Most Americans have been suckered by the Big Lie . Too bad so few of us have been taught real history, or have an even basic nderstanding of the Constitution. We have lost our way as a country, and I can only hope that perhaps one day we will find it again out of the wreckage of tne approaching storm.

  • Marc

    Love this blog and check it at least 4x / day, but as an African-American attorney who knows what rights we have now compared to 1950, I’ll still wholeheartedly take the 2012 version, thank you very much.

    Lynchings in Alabama and Mississippi took place as often as a passing rain shower in Florida.

    • John S

      Yet in 2012 Planned Parenthood kills 1 million black babies a year and that’s just dandy, I suppose.

      • “Yet in 2012 Planned Parenthood kills 1 million black babies a year and that’s just dandy, I suppose.”

        Not “dandy” but far too few.

  • Kimberly

    Hi Michael! Hope all is well. What did you mean when you wrote, “In 2012, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is threatening to soar over the 13,000 mark”? Why do you say it’s a threat?

    • Michael

      I didn’t mean that in an ominous way. I just meant that it was poised to cross that mark.


  • JDubya

    Looking at the past through rosy tinted glasses. While the 1950s were a great era for middle class white people, you must recall that the 1950s also meant:

    That our school children were taught that a nuclear attack was imminent.

    At any time, a draft notice might show up in your mailbox.

    If you were black, get to the back of the bus and stop looking at the white women.

    The nation bailed out Eurpoe (Marshall Plan).

    The nation bailed out Japan.

    The cars of the 1950s had (at best) half the useful life of a car made today.

    Taxes were much higher in the 1950s.

  • Tallmark

    We had talented entertainers like Elvis, Frankie, Annette, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, etc. (50s and 60s). What do we have now? Lady Gaga, Puff Daddy, Snoop Dog. A bunch of sluts and no talent hacks.

    • xander cross

      Elvis had talent? The Beatles? No, You mean, Ray Charles, The Tempations, Barry White.

  • Xander cross

    Let’s see, a black male living in the 1950’s vs now, let’s see, in the 50’s you had sundown towns, mass racism against blacks, white people killing minorities, yeah, I will defiantly take now.

    • gary2

      the 1950’2 were a conservative ************************-legalized discrimination.

  • i’vegivenup

    Things started changing for this country when prayer was taken out of schools…Eisenhower’s warning about The Military Industrial Complex was ignored…JFK, RFK, and MLK were assassinated…Viet Nam…and Watergate. These events were the seeds for government distrust and started the downward spiral we are in now. Greed and corruption in government…corporate power…and the out of control Federal Reserve are the end results of the seeds planted in the 50s and 60s….

  • Csaba

    This is a little out of topic here but there are some news coming out of Europe that Vladimir Putin issued a arrest warrant against George Soros !! Figured I share it with you guys …. Sounds like a interesting update !!

  • Jas.

    Ah, the 1950s. The red scare. Segregation. Lynchings. The draft. No access to The Pill or legal abortions.

    No past is perfect. Many of those things listed were, in fact, better … as long as you were a white male with orthodox political views. There are some very good things about modern times.

    Go watch “Midnight in Paris” for its take on what a “golden age” really is.

  • We had the best schools in the world. Now we have schools that are in serious decay. The government system is the problem. The people need the ability to vote with their feet and leave a failing school and have the funding follow them.

  • Cinderella Man

    I love the Back to the Future movies cuz Ive always wanted to visit the past at that time in America. We were great back then, had a thriving middle class, the women were straight, and the cars kicked ass and the gas was cheap. I totally would have been a greaser, I dig the whole James Dean style!! There were problems too, not everybody was treated a an equal but you didnt have all this hate and resentment like nowdays. Back then fathers knew best, supported his family, the mom could stay home, and the kids were not doped up zombies. They built tree forts and went fishing. Now the father has no responsibilty, can leave his woman and kids cause the state will pay for them, Mom is stressed out and cant sleep and is more prone to heart attacks cause she has to work and take care of the home, the kids are overmedicated and addicted to internet and xbox. We are living in a parallel universe compared to back then. It sucks and this whole thing is sad. God needs to hit the reset button, fast!!!!

  • Jodi

    When is America going to wake up! When I post this stuff on FB nobody seems to read or comment. It’s amazing how many people don’t care. Wow!

    • Michael


      Don’t get tired of trying to wake people up. The people that do wake up will thank you in the end.


      • Jodi

        I will never give up!

    • Jeff

      FB is shallow and stupid. At least you can have an intelligent conversation here. This forum is for thinking people.

    • mondobeyondo

      I know. But they can tell you who won Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars last night…

  • Kevin l

    I’m just looking forward to my home in heaven where thieves cant break in and steal …

    • T.M.


  • Rancher

    Long ago was… long ago. Our children and grandchildren will learn and read about it in books. I think they will wonder about and wise for a more simple life when one turned in at dark and did not stay up later with electronic entertainments. Where the family sat down together at dinner. Where Dad’s taught sons and daughter taught by Moms.

    It will soon become more and more like reading about the old west and how people walked or rode horses and wagons. Where a trip to town or anywhere was planned and with true purpose…. Where getting home did not mean parking the horse but taking the saddle off, rubbing it down, feeding and water, shelter and then you went inside….

    It meant sleeping well because you worked so hard you did not need a freaking gym membership to get any exercise.

    For just about every so called new advance we create an industry to treat the symptoms. Just how many sleep aids and mattress commercials do you see….. Just how many drug ads full of deadly side effects?

    We longed so much for the old days I actually just got off the train going to no where and took myself back in time. I rebelled against the machine. Been doing it for many years now….

    We live on a dead end mountain dirt road. Yep dirt and not because we can not afford something better but it brings less people and modern things pavement brings with it. No public water, sewer or gas. We do have electricity but we can survive with what we can and do produce just fine.

    We are surrounded with beautiful views and no neighbors. We have locked gates… We go to our smaller town when we want to. For me once every couple of weeks works fine. My wife and I play poker and other games at night and not stay up past nine. We dine as a couple….We sleep just fine and the only traffic noise is comprised of some howling coyotes off a ways.

    Fresh eggs from the chickens and off to the days chores…. Yes life is a choice and you alone must make yours. I have no compassion for those who elect through their choices to suffer in life. There is land for sale out here, some with a home on it. It all depends if you have the drive to go back in time or stay in the rat race chasing your freaking tail all year long.

  • Tarheelbilly

    There were quite a few noticeable differences, some for the better, some for the worse. Don’t forget that in 1950s personal liberties that many of us take for granted now were not extended to many people in the population. Black people, women, and other minority groups wouldn’t be so quick to laud the wonders of the 1950s. Although I agree that times were much “simpler” then, they weren’t necessarily “better” for everyone. Great article, though.

  • A U.S. dollar is now worth approximately 3 cents in purchasing power.

  • McKinley Morganfield

    “In 1950, the United States loaned more money to the rest of the world than anybody else.

    In 2012, the United States owes more money to the rest of the world than anybody else.”

    This alone explains all your other points.

  • d d

    You mean “overt” America 1950. The days of baseball, Chevrolet and penicillin. To make a long story short, after WW2 the GI Bill was passed because if the plutocracy screwed over 10 million WW2 veterans the walls might have come tumbling down for real. 1947 the CIA was created and the covert war against the American people began. Many criminal and barbaric acts were conducted against the American people such as the spraying of bacteria in NYC 1956 and 1966. Flu epidemics in schools. Baseball, apple pie, penicillin. One must study the history of the take over of the republic by a plutocracy in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve to understand that the good old days were just the overt good old days to prevent any possible push back from the WW2 veterans. With that threat no longer existing you have exactly what we see today in a nation of wussies and that is both overt and covert tyranny.

  • Houston

    One of the things I remember from my teenage years as a high school student at Dallas Thomas Jefferson, we celebrated 50’s day. Happy days was the dominate TV show. Yes this was the mid 70’s. Me, TJ Patriot class of ’77. I have not been to school in a long time. 60 years from then to now and 30 years from then to now.

    Another thing I remember, 1957 was the last time a black man like me was publicly lynched, at least that was what I was told. I would say that to my self as I saw all the cute girls run around in their poodle skirts. Some of the guys would slick back their hair and wear tee shirts and blue jeans. There was a sock hop.

    I prefer the 50’s. Men like m farther could get 3 jobs if he wanted. Men like my farther did not abandon their children. I have no kids of my own. Maybe we were better off with out 900 channels of #$%@ on the TV to choose from. I like to remember a time when there was no 70% illegitimacy rate in the black community. Maybe I prefer a time when to the number one killer of black babies was not his own mother.

    There are a lot of things I would trade today for the way things were in the 50’s.

  • OH NO

    In the 50’s it was about the quality of life and enjoying it, less restrictions less goverment, responsibility, accountibility now 60 years later you don’t have any of that it’s about quantity and serving oneself, most people want to stay ahead of the next person or project that “image” of wealth or power it’s all about me me me me ,everything is an inconvenience so they make there own rules( sounds like a politician), and when the shtf there are no rules and it’s going to be me me me even more Lord help us and the furture generations.

  • matt

    Interesting, by nature things will go from order to a state of maximum disorder or entropy. not just a different time, it is a different world. the comparison is insightful but the two times might as well occur on separate planets, they are metaphorically. in answer i would prefer the 50’s. people thought of others first, then themselves.

  • The 1950’s and ’60’s were not so good for blacks, women’s rights or hispanics.

    • Richard Allen

      Fred you’re wrong there Blacks had far more employment, had better paying jobs,less crime then today. Even when i lived in South Carolina, in the 80’s I was more afraid of redneck trailer parks after dark then the public housing projects. Because the Blacks there knew one false move against a stranger and/or white it could be months before the police would stop their hourly patrols…..messin up their “bidnezz”

      • xander cross

        You are just plain lying on this one. A common trait among conservatives.

  • Joanne

    You need to take into consideration population growth. Yeah, 1950 was great but almost every malady we have today is because there are too many people.

  • Wayne

    I agree Victor. Funny how the article mostly focuses on money (prices in particular, as if incomes weren’t lower then) and on odd irrelevances such as adults marrying later (maybe it’s because we’re not producing kids fast enough to keep the Social Security ponzi scheme alive?)

    • “and on odd irrelevances such as adults marrying later”

      How is that irrelevant?

  • What would be and interesting comparison also would be the precentage of regular adult church attendance in 1950 vs. 2012. I know that you would find a decline in worship to be directly related to an increase in social ills. (crime, divorce, etc,)

    Just a thought.

    • Jeff

      How interesting. Perhaps our government needs to make church attendance mandatory, like it is in Iran?

      • “Perhaps our government needs to make church attendance mandatory, like it is in Iran?”

        I don’t think that would do the trick.

  • Although the contrast that you make is stark and well-made for the most part, a huge difference that you do not make that affected all Americans was the officially segregated society that existed. As much as technology, the advancements made by people of color has been dramatic.

  • I was a freshman in high school in 1950. Being female, there were certain things that were expected of me and many options not open to me. I am glad that has changed. I bucked the system and didn’t do the former and pursued the latter. I’m glad I did that. But I dearly miss most of the rest that we have lost. In those days right was right and wrong was wrong. Today’s world is upside down and the bigger a crook you are, the less chance you’ll ever be called on it. Corruption is endemic and the general population has been totally dumbed down. The constitution is no longer the law of the land which has led to chaos. Personal responsibility is a concept no longer understood. Integrity is a word no longer mentioned. At 75, I am very, very sad.

    • zombiespacedog

      Well said. I was born in 1961, and even then I was still able to enjoy most of the innocence carried over from the 50s as a child. I blame the turmoil of the late 60s for turning us on the “progressive” path we are now.

  • Imaplaneiac

    If I could, I’d go back to the future! ( Anybody know how to contact ” Doc ” Brown?!). I was born in January 1950, so I can verify what Michael reports above!

    There was yet ANOTHER shooting in a ” school ” in America, today; in Ohio! Another indication of the spiritual & emotional sickness which infects far too many of her youth!

    The first US President who I remember was Dwight D. Eisenhower. To quote President Eisenhower: ” We will bankrupt ourselves in vain search for absolute security “. Quite prophetic, the General was! We now have Robin-OWEbama-Hood. No further explanation is required.

    As I’ve blogged in an earlier article, the majority of Americans have degenerated into routinely living a life of evil, perversion and wickedness of all sorts!

    When Almighty God wiped clean the evildoers from the Earth with the ” Great Flood ” , in Noah’s time, ONLY eight ( 8 ) Righteous men were there preserved! It’s only a matter of God the Father’s patience … until His Divine Justice requires His Judgement of America!

  • Eva

    Sure, some things were better than but I’m not going to be Uncle Rico and wish I lived in the past all the time. No time for that – just embrace the present and make the best of it, to lead to as bright a tomorrow as possible. In any way possible. I am insinuating working to change what isn’t ideal about our country by getting involved.

    • the goernment is taking more of our money than we even made in 1950. think about that with todays population.

      • beachbum

        It’s not the government that’s taking your money it’s the Rich,the rich are the government that’s who is running the country……….

  • Joseph

    Is college worth it anymore?

    • jim

      College has become just another scam, along with banking, food and health industries.

      • Peter Beard

        Which is what people who didn’t go to college or failed and dropped out say. Those of us who went? We are making more money and have our hands on the levers of power…and that is good enough for us. LOL!

        • pault

          To shore up these diploma mills, pretty soon a college degree will be required to get a job as a dog catcher. There was an interesting story published on the net about a college grad who admitted he couldn’t read. A college degree once meant something. Today????

    • echofoxtrot

      No, college is not worth it. College never prepared me for deliberate discrimination against men and white people, nor did it prepare me for the culture which allows women employees to get away with all manner of misconduct. Frankly, truck driving is better, although it comes with it’s own set of problems.

  • TJ Hof

    If you used the 27 cents that you had in 1950 to pay for a gallon of gas today, you would have change left over. Dimes were all silver in 1952.

  • madsr

    I am not black, but would like to speak to the comments about the 50s being bad for blacks. I do agree we do not want to go back to the time of no rights for blacks or women. That would be totally nuts, I just don’t want anyone to mistake my intent. The Tuskegee Institute says about 3446 black were lynched along with 1296 whites from the mid 1800s to 1968. Today approx.8000 blacks a year are murdered and 10s of thousands wounded. My only point is it was safer to be black back then than it is now.

    • Rancher

      My question to you Sir is…who is killing (murdering) all the blacks. Perhaps you should be more concerned about who is doing the killing and if you want to with the race card…then what race is killing most of the blacks?

      Now don’t go blaming other races either….

      • Token Aussie

        Unfortunately…….they are being killed by other Americans…….

        • Just the Facts

          Today most blacks murdered are murdered by other blacks. Their community has been destroyed by socialism, which takes responsibility for the children and women from the men and puts it on the taxpayer. They have been enslaved by welfare. A very high percentage of violent crime (40% of it) is reflected by this fact–fathers are absent. Fathers discipline usually. Nigerian immigrants do extremely well in the U.S. Most are very well paid health professionals with strong families and often have businesses. Most Nigerians do better in the U.S., as a group, than most whites. It is all a matter of culture. If you have a destroyed culture, this will happen. Strong cultures lead to success. I don’t see Jews or Chinese in street gangs in L.A. or Detroit. (Yes, there are triads in Hong Kong and California, but they don’t shoot people all the time.)

        • Gerard

          Funny how the U.S. folks only hear about crimes against blacks. What about the over 4,000 white farmers in Zimbabwe who have had their farms stolen from them? Any justice for them? They used to fed much of Southern Africa. Now the people are starving… No compensation, no global outcry. Nothing from Obammie the commie. Nobody cares if a white man in Africa is attacked or robbed or murdered. I remember when a white family was beaten to death a few years ago in South Africa. It didn’t even make the local news. Only an obscure radio station covered it. Freedom and equality under the law are vital for a civilization to prosper.

          • I.J.94

            It is sad and unfortunate that a story like this wasn’t covered. Understandably, not every Caucasian who settled in Africa went there to oppress and control the African inhabitants, so using that they were the descendants of their oppressors doesn’t hold water. However, comparing this act to nearly 200 years of slavery and 100 years of oppression thereafter is preposterous. Secondly, comparing insufficient coverage of one murder to hundreds of years where the murder of African-Americans in the U.S. was widely publicized, condoned, and even encouraged only weakens your argument. What’s under-representation compared to and overwhelming accepting position towards murder and defacement of another people b/c of their skin tone. No one talks more passionately about his rights than he who in the depths of his soul doubts whether he has any-Nietzche. You Obviously you feel that the white people don’t have the best possible life. No one does. Every race, both genders, and each socio-economic level has it’s issues. Please quit wallowing in self-pity and recognize that others suffer the same, if not more than you at the hands of unjust systems that exist in our world. If you truly sympathized with the injustice, as opposed to the skin color of the people who were attacked, you would feel equally disgruntled for these people as you would for any group subject to injustice.

      • echofoxtrot

        Rancher, consider that black-on-white interracial violence occurs many times more often than the converse (FBI statistics).

    • terrwyn

      At least black people were working back in the 50’s. And they didn’t ride in the back of the bus out here in Ca. I sat next to them all the time on my way to school and they were going to work at all different jobs not just maids and janaitors like some want you to believe.

      We took the bus and streetcar to downtown L.A. to go to the show and walked safely back to the streetcar at midnight when the show let out.
      Hardly any crime to speak of back in the 50’s.
      It was completely safe to be out and about.

  • Steve

    Economist Richard Wolff explains what is happening. From 1820 to 1970 wages in the U.S. rose because there was a labor shortage. People cam from Europe to get jobs that were far higher than in the “old country.” When U.S. employers tried to pay low wages, the immigrants settled in land in the West. U.S. employers were then forced to raise wages to get them back or attract new immigrants. But in 1970 three things happened: 1) computers 2) women in the workforce and 3) minority groups in the workplace. The labor shortage became a labor surplus. U.S. employers started to do two things: 1) freeze wages while inflation went up, and, 2) destroy jobs by outsourcing, H1-B visa insourcing and automation. U.S. workers produced record profits which the emploters acquired – keeping the “lion’s share” for themselves. U.S. employers then offered credit cards and student loans to unemployed Americans to make even more money. For 40 years this bubble has grown and grown until in 2008 it burst- ushering in the 2nd Great Depression. Unlike the anti-Vietnam War protests which were defused by the end of the military draft in 1973 and Vietnamization in 1974, there will be NO END to job destruction!
    Make that the starting point of all your thoughts and actions. THERE WILL BE NO END TO THE JOB DESTRUCTION!

    • gary2

      Economist Richard Wolff:

      Great economist. Go to WBAI in New York to listen to his economic update each sat. You can download the podcast.

      He is a wonderful and insightful economist and really tells it like it is.


    America 1950 vs. America 2012::??

    No comparison. Today you have the state of California and the city of Los Angeles contracting with the hated “red communist” Chinese to rebuild roads and bridges. Other cities, as have been cited here numerous times, are in decay and are “Roman Style Ruins”.


    • Jklol

      Learn how to spell AMERICAN before posting.

      • FarmerJohn

        I’m fairly certain, given that the entire post was correctly spelled and punctuated, that the Kafka reference was intentional.

  • Cinderella Man

    Well Joanne you should be glad your mom decided to keep you!!! You population control freaks should lead by example when it comes to reducing the population!!!

  • Progress is a damned thing. The technological advancements has allowed the State to kill Western culture and left society a rather decadent craphole.

    Material wealth can never replace living in a decent, just society. Unfortunately, no one cares anymore.

    • pavan

      I agree with Hans. We are free from all those traditional ways of living. No more multi-generational families living on the farm. In fact, we barely have families at all. One group of women will work their whole life and maybe have a designer baby at 40. Another group will have multiple babies with multiple fathers and live on the dole. Few children will have the experience of growing up in a home with a Mom and Dad. Ain’t progress great. Now everyone needs to work to pay taxes to support Leviathan. Leave it to Beaver is a distant memory.

  • mondobeyondo

    There are good and bad things about both eras.

    Back in 1950, minorities and women were heavily discriminated against. There was open segregation against African-Americans. Women were relegated to the duty of staying home and fixing dinner in time for when hubby came home (just about all ’50’s sitcoms follow that theme. Leave It to Beaver, Donna Reed, etc). And there was also the threat of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, the McCarthy scandal, etc.

    But it also seemed to be a friendlier and more romantic time, not to mention so much simpler. I didn’t grow up in that era. But it would have been cool to have actually had a milkman deliver milk to your door, a family doctor who actually made house calls, and a paperboy who would throw your newspaper on the front porch (sometimes on the roof, if he had bad aim). They’re all gone now. We still have the mailman, but he might not be around for much longer, the way the Postal Service is losing money.

    Well, we do have the Internet now in 2012, polio is all but cured, and you can flip through any one of 10,000 tracks on your MP3 player. But we also have a federal debt larger than the Death Star, gas is approaching $4.00 a gallon, and there is imminent threat of a war with Iran. Oh well, some things never change.

    If only we could combine the two eras – minus the bad parts, of course. That would be bliss. Browsing the Internet while watching “The Honeymooners” and Mickey Mantle on an HDTV. All while Mom was making a homemade roast beef dinner. Yeah.

    • Rancher

      Bet a lot of women would love for their hubby to get a job that is worth enough so they can stay home and all that. I know plenty of them. Also women where big time in teaching so careers were open even then…

      As far as blacks having it bad back then…I am seeing posts saying they still seem to be complaining about their plight even now. Got a black president and still they say it ain’t fair. So as long as it ain’t fair I would go live back then…

    • terrwyn

      If you did grow up in that era then you would know that not all women stayed home for crying out loud. My Mom was the only stay at home Mom on our entire block. Everyone else’s Moms worked at the aircraft factories, swimming suit factories, Chef boyaredee canned food factory.
      There were jobs up the yang yang. Anybody that wanted to work was hired. My grandpa was 70 when he retired from the railroad. Moved to L.A. and immediately got a job as a night watchman at a factory. There were jobs, glorious jobs everywhere.

    • John

      I like this one, combining both eras.

    • “Back in 1950, minorities and women were heavily discriminated against. There was open segregation against African-Americans. Women were relegated to the duty of staying home and fixing dinner in time for when hubby came home (just about all ’50′s sitcoms follow that theme. Leave It to Beaver, Donna Reed, etc).””

      Sounds like a dream to me.

      There are times I wish I could live like people do in “Happy Days” (or at least “That 70s Show”).

  • Richard Allen

    As somebody who is a little on the chunky side (not frinkin obese)I miss my old cars 86 chevy cavalier station wagon…with the bench seats .being scrunched up has taken a lot of fun out of long range driving.

    And without a good paying job in a long time I had no choice but to take my fathers little ford escort after he passed away.

    Otherwise, computers, smart phones, ipods.lcd tv’s…make life easier and you can live in a far smaller space then before.

    Yet we built tons of 5 bdrm 4 car McMansions for 2 people..

  • mondobeyondo

    Oh, about the cars back then.

    They were simple, not to mention beautiful to look at. My dad could remove the four-barrel carburetor on a Chevy, take it apart, clean it and put it back together again. You didn’t have to pay a mechanic every time the “check engine” light came on.

    Try doing that on one of today’s vehicles.

  • xarkgirl

    Seriously, folks? The 1950s were an anomaly caused by a world devastated by war. We were the only ones with untouched infrastructure, perfectly poised to reap the benefits of a global market ready to rebuild. To declare that economic success as evidence of superior “values,” reveals a complete lack of understanding of historical context. The ’50s were heinous for huge swaths of the population, which you might not know because even the discussion of their plight was suppressed. It begat unbridled consumerism. It launched our insatiable demand for cars and ensuing dependency on gasoline and foreign oil, no small factor in the woes of modern America. To pretend that those years are independent of our current predicament and represent a “better” way to approach governance is naive at best. For those waxing nostalgic, I think Hemingway said it best: “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”

    • urbanshadow007

      You rule xarkgirl with that comment, thank you for bringing us back to reality. 🙂

  • Toon

    As an African American, I would have to take 2012 (with all of its problems) over the Jim Crow/KKK/Lynching era of the 1950s. Now if you said, say, late 60s (when racial equality was a primary concern, with the civil liberties laws, and a strong middle class and industrial base), I might have a different take.

  • Shale Librans

    Central to the whole problem is one fundamental mis-acknowledgement. That Land…I Say Land is the implement of power and oppression. First, Private ownership and profit in land is what empowers the usurpers with legal reason to displace or kill people who live on the land and second the privelege of private property in land causes most of the worlds wealth that is both inherent in land and generated through directed action to be paid to those owners. When the people wake up and realize that the fundamental assumption in the principle of liberty is that we are all Sovereign Potentate. Though we may be children, though we may be simply young or to some degree still irresponsible only means that we have not yet attained the full ability of self governance. The collection of land rent for (land space, water, timber, oil, orbital pathways etc.) the purposes of forming public revenue is the only sane and fair way hold as Sovereign stock the benefits of land as well as to trammel the usurpers.
    Reward only directed action that brings true wealth and you will create a class of providers and the world will be well. Continue to allow “commodities” to be traded and profited from and you will continue to have war and the empowerment of Big Brother. Good luck humanity you’re on your own.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    I had yet to be born in the 1950s, but I am old enough to have grown up in the 1960s and 1970s—and without a doubt, things are, in many respects, much worse than they were when I was growing up. Granted, the country had its share of problems back then: racism, the draft (before the draft was ended in the 1970s). But while there was always a poor underclass in this country, you also had a strong, robust middle class and a ton of manufacturing jobs. Getting a college degree pretty much guaranteed that you would earn at least a decent living, and there were plenty of blue-collar jobs that paid good, family-supporting wages. Now, the poor are becoming the majority. This country is in terrible shape. Between a broken health care system, a dying middle class, an increasingly abusive police state, a sky-high federal deficit, a decaying infrastructure and a currency that is on life support, there is no reason to be even remotely optimistic about the future of The Banana Republic of America (formerly the USA). And that’s what we are now: a banana republic.

    This rotting, decaying Third World horror movie is not the America I grew up in. That America had its share of problems, but the good outweighed the bad. Now, the bad by far outweighs the good. The future looks incredibly grim in The Banana Republic of America (formerly the USA).

    • DB200

      El Pollo de Oro, this is spot on. I awakened to the concept of the BRA after seeing the chaos of Katrina.

      However, in the 50s it was almost impossible to emigrate into the USA. So the impoverished Europeans who wanted to emigrate with their large families went to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Before 1914 they would have gone to the USA. By doing that, the USA excluded a lot of hard working, law abiding, entrepreneurial people.

      • Han Empire of Despotism

        Just as well. They and their descendants are better off over there. The U.S. has been demolished by socialism.

        • John D.

          uh…, public schools, roads, social secrity.. just to name a few things.., People in most of europe and canda are better off than us..oh ya, one thing..they are bigger on socialism. learn something..

          • Ashton Poocher

            Learn how to spell. It’s SECURITY, not secrity

          • gregsmastiffDudley

            The growing up with dreams of youth inspired capitalism. . Now we have a nanny state called obama’s
            heaven on earth. I despise obama and everything he represents and including his special hand picked Marxist czars…

    • Nathaniel Thuo

      Okay, this is a pretty unfair question, but who did you vote for? Most people who complain voted for Hillary, yet she didn’t believe that the US was crumbling. Only Donald Trump believe that the US has lost track.

  • Larry

    RE: In 1950, a gallon of gasoline cost about 27 cents.

    If you used a 1950 silver quarter, you could still buy a gallon of gas…if you counted the value of the silver it contained!


    I wish it were 1950 again. Then we’d have 62 years left to go before total economic collapse and a civil war.

  • Piglet

    “In 1950, the entire U.S. military was mobilized to protect the borders of South Korea.”

    I would hardly list the outbreak of Korea’s civil war as a plus. In the early stages US forces were being beaten not just badly, but embarrassingly. When the Chinese intervened to prevent their country from being invaded (as Gen. MacArthur publicly said he planned to do once he reached its border with North Korea – he thought they would be a push-over, and US forces could go back to being stationed in China, as they had been since the latter half of the 1800s, except for WW II), the beating they gave us was nothing short of humiliating. No wonder it’s the “forgotten war” – people don’t want to remember what really happened. They also don’t want to remember that our allies in the South Korean Army actually committed more atrocities than the North, and that as they were slaughtering unarmed men, women, children by the thousands in both the North and South, our own military officers stood by and watched. (The pictures are available online. Gruesome.) It ground on for three years, several million lost their lives, both North and South Korea were left in absolute ruins, the border was left almost exactly where it has been three years earlier, with the “free” south ruled for harsh dictators for decades to come. Even worse, this “limited” war had nearly led to another world war, and it perpetuated Senator McCarthy’s infamous Red Scare. Oh yeah, the 1950s were a swell time… Need I also mention that if someone was black in American 1950, this wasn’t such a wonderful time as whites may recall?

    • Han Empire of Despotism

      And the Chinese murdered over 80,000,000 of their OWN people in the “Cultural Revolution”(communist era). A rather charming lot, ey?

  • zach

    america also very racist in 1951.

    • mondobeyondo

      And in 1952… 1955… 1964…

    • Dave 1946

      Not all of us… not the majority of us, and not all of the rest were white

    • echofoxtrot

      And now we have a BLACK racist in charge…and his AG Holder dismissed charges against black racist thugs who intimidated white voters during the 2008 election….does that make you feel better?

  • Winston Hackett

    1950 average wage: $2,799
    2011 average wage: $41,673
    15 times more today than 1950

    Gas in 1950: $0.27
    Gas Today: $4.00
    15 times more today than 1950

    What’s changed?

    • Tom_moT

      What’s changed? More thermonuclear warheads.

      • Jack Myswag

        but less real danger of an all out nuclear war, like it was in the 50s

  • Tatiana Covington

    I’d take today, in a heartbeat. Why? 62 years of science and technology, are why. Back then, we were terrified of polio. Then in 1954 the vaccines appeared. By 1980 polio was gone from the US.

    That’s just one example. As I once remarked to a friend: “Poor Queen Victoria. All she had was the British Empire. I have genetic engineering. And the internet. And robots. And atomic power. And computers so powerful that they can design enzymes from mathematical first principles. Why today, there are even a few people working on the faster-than-light question.”

  • Lugnut

    Border unprotected with Canada??? You yanks might find that really handy when you flee your jackboot fascist dictatorship.

    • Tom_moT

      that’s Fascist with a capital F, sir.

  • Tom_moT

    Well, I was -6 in 1950. I remember watching TV when I was 2. Is it worse now than then? Of course. It will get even worse than you can imagine in the near future. World War II was 5 years removed, the Korean conflict was approaching, Stalin was in power, McCarthyism was beginning, stock car racing was moonshine runners. Go watch Happy Days.

  • 50’s and 60’s were the best years of my life. I am not complaining about today. Although the news around me doesn’t look good for my children and grandchildren.

    I was 13 years old in the 60’s. My older brother and I, and two of my best friends spent two weeks in the Ventana Wilderness without any adult supervision. We were just kids then, and we didn’t see another human-being all that time.

    My two boys got to do the same thing. However, how many kids get to do that today? Most parents wont let their kids out of their sights for more than an hour.

    • gary2

      Getting old sucks but the alternative is worse!

  • T-man

    I don’t think that 1950’s attitudes toward homosexuality were anything to brag about.

    • Devon

      Another positive in the fifties….the homo agenda was nowhere to be found…we are rotting from the inside in the Western World (I am in Canada…same problems)….queer marriage, transgender bathrooms….yeah…we are really progressing!

  • flek

    We the people are to blame.
    We fell asleep at the wheel.
    The founders warned us if we weren’t vigilant
    we would lose our republic.
    Today the republic is nearly lost.

    We’ve descended into a nightmare:
    Indefinite detention, assassination of our own citizens, terminator drones flying over the country, fiat counterfeiting, illegal income tax, tax on just about everything, wars without end, nanny socialist control state, militarized police force, schools like prisonds, gestapo-like TSA, non responsive government that doesn’t change course no matter who is elected…and on and on and on.

    • Jeff Ludwig

      To flek. I like this comment. You are speaking for me as well as yourself. All the best in this sorry world.

      • I agree Jeff fleck is right on. We need a third party – these are two wings of the same vulture.

    • We get the government we deserve, We the people need to wake up and take back our country from both these parties. They are taking turns playing us!

  • jim

    One of the great things about 2012 is the ability to murder your first born without being convicted a murderer. I’m sure this has gone over very well with the creator and our decline has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    • Gay Veteran

      who is getting away with murdering their first born?!?!?!?

      • zombiespacedog

        I’m sure you knew what the op meant.

    • Jack Myswag

      dude, a fetus is NOT BORN. Anybody whose born, and is killed, thats MURDER.
      And if a fetus is in it’s third trimester, it cannot be aborted, that’s illegal, unless it threatens the mother.

      • zombiespacedog

        Whether you are killed as a fetus or killed right ow, you are just as dead! You were a fetus once and that was still you, just at an earlier stage of development.

  • Barn Cat

    Back in September, 1978 I came to Wisconsin. I applied at the Neenah Foundry. Was hired on the spot at $5.67 an hour. Using an inflation calculator that would be like $12.00 an hour today. My first apartment cost $160 a month. It only took me one paycheck to pay my rent. Back then there were good jobs for people coming out of high school.

  • Plenty of “racism” in the USA today.

    I lived with it for decades in California when living and working within a Chicano majority.

    From being shot at to beatings…

    I was one of the dreaded and often despised Gringos and/or for being a USA citizen.

    Not long ago the Los Angeles police chief publicly said that it was genocide regarding the Chicanos constantly murdering USA citizen Blacks.

    The Los Angeles times conducted a teat a few years ago; send non-Chicanos to the barrios to seek a rental house or apartment and/or a job.

    Over and over, the non-Chicanos were sent away while Chicanos were able to get the job or place to live.

    The information is on the Web but it is not PC for the mass media to inform the rest of the USA about today’s realities.

  • Will

    Life was easier in the 50’s but people were also somewhat brainwashed. Ignorance is bliss. Knowledge today is so accessible it divided us as a country. Especially since our rulers got greedy. Would you rather die a happy robot or an awakened human?

  • Lorraine

    Everything has changed since the 50’s & 60’s. Being born in 1950, I wish I could go back to simple things in life. Like growing up with just one TV (black & white) and only had a hand full of channels to choice from. Going outside to play for hours, and not worried about getting mugged, or abducted. Eating dinner at the table with the family. Going to the drive in movies. Today we have so many choices to choice from. It makes me dizzy.

    • Josh

      Crime is back down to 1950/1960 levels

  • Orange Jean

    What a LOADED question, Michael! Well, I was born in 1950, in a working class family with 2 parents and 4 brothers. I remember some good but plenty of bad also. A LOT of the kids I grew up with had alcoholic parents (usually the father), who would beat the living crap out of them and the mother on a regular basis. My parents hated each other, only had married due to social pressure that they were getting “old” (dad was 40 and mom 27) and must be something wrong with them if they were single. They never divorced but were 100% miserable and my mom abused prescription pills and was abusive (to me mostly – being “in charge” of me, as the only girl).

    One of the worse things I remember growing up is the rigidity of the social norms and expectations that you would “conform”. I am white, I lived in a town that was about 99.9% white (only 1 family I am aware of that was mixed), mostly a mix of Irish & Italian; but God forbid you were anything different. I remember being harassed for being short, for wearing glasses, and because my family was considered “odd” (mostly because my father hated sports, and his older brother used to beat him for it).

    My families ancestors were Polish and Portuguese, although Catholic my parents left the Catholic church, but sent us to the Congregational church … all of which was treated like a crime against nature. There were several families who were French (probably French Canadian) and they were harassed for being French! One of those families had the audacity to have a wife who was Maori (I believe he met her during the war, stationed in the Pacific)… I never even SAW the wife, though they lived down the street from me. One family was Jewish, the daughter was harassed in school … not because of her religion (we really didn’t know anything about it), but because she ate EGGPLANT! God forbid!!

    Was it “safe”? Well we thought so most of the time, if you ignored POLIO (our moms were terrified of it), and there were a few pedophiles in town. When a hurricane, blizzard (or once a tornado) was coming you didn’t necessarily know it.

  • Orange Jean

    … oh, and I forgot to mention, the 1/2 French-1/2 Maori family also had a BOMB shelter. My oldest brother was terrified of the atom bomb and most of what I know about “prepping” came from him convincing me as kids that we were going to need to know how to survive some terrible war.

    There were some good things too – I loved my brothers, and I liked being able to play out in the woods and swamp by myself without needing adults watching me every minute.

    I would HATE being a kid today though, I think that would be a lot worse. On the other hand, I do wish I was about 20 years younger myself… a lot easier to deal with the unexpected when you are younger if you are healthier then (which I was), and felt like you had a future.

  • Doug

    If there was a time machine to take me back to 1950 I would be first in line. The majority of people today couldn’t give a ******* about their fellow man. It’s all me, me, me. I want this, I want that. Chivalry is dead, morality is history as is responsibility for your own actions. I stay away from the outside as much as I can. I know for a fact I was born 50 years too late.

    • bigA

      Make it happen! Become the change you want to see. You have the chance to go for it. Whatever ‘it’ is for you.

    • BlackConservative

      “The majority of people today couldn’t give a ******* about their fellow man.”

      I disagree. Today is much better then the 1950’s. But then again I would not have a choice to go to a good school, or marry a non-black person without fear of lynchings or simply being denied because it was illegal.

      Today is a much better time for me but if I was white I guess it would have been pretty nice.

  • ssj12

    Only two things I disagree with that are actually good things are the DOW possibly moving past 13k (wont last with the next economic crash looming), and less religious. Religion has been the cause of prejudice for centuries, why do we want people to be religious again?

    • zombiespacedog

      Man’s nature has been the cause of that.

  • pams

    In 1950 there was polio and women had very little say in the direction of their lives. No thanks.

    • Devon

      But their was also no radical femnazis …..that was surely a plus!

  • just me

    I was running around in the fifties and will take those days anytime. A person could leave his job and have abnother job in 15 minutes. you could walk thru any city at anytime and not be worried about getting mugged. you could take people for their word and trust them. My first car in 1953 was a 1948 dodge and i could take every nut and bolt out of it, get any part i needed at the junk yd for pennies.gas for most of the 50s where I lived was under 25.Houses were cheap, rents were cheap,food was cheap.
    then came big government and lawyers and war mongers, none of which could mind their own business. by the middle 50s they were killing the family farms and when the farms left America you see what they started afted the business, so now we’re all circling the drain.

    • BlackConservative

      False. There weren’t many jobs and the police could legally mug you while everyone would look the other way. Some things were better in those years but a lot has gotten better thanks to conservatives.

  • I think America would like to recovering from
    many bad events. Because education sector is progress. Lot of talents still living in America,
    including the talent diaspora.The land of melting
    pot, and opportunities still remain.The life-style
    of the West are mobilizing to the East, the land
    of the most spiritual life in the world.
    Please stop the wars,because it impacts to the
    bad image of America, and economic decline still
    hit America. I praise P.R. China,the largest population in the globe. It is great for
    creating the big nation in the world by
    creative economy, and plan for peaceful, and spirituality.

    • Han Empire of Despotism

      You praise one of the most brutal, wicked countries on the planet 70% of whose water is contaminated. Most of the rivers are polluted. Cancer causing waste sites are ignored, with over 70,000 riots a year? With a secret police who wander around controlling every little aspect of life. China is so corrupt, most of the rich are leaving. The food is dirty. The air is toxic and the local governments are just thugs who steal peasant land and give them a pittance in return. China supports North Korea who murder and starve their own people and threaten to blow up the democracies of East Asia with nuclear weapons and export drugs to finance their failing economy. North Korea sticks Christians in concentration camps for their faith and shoots people in the back for leaving the country. The infant mortality rate in Tibet and Xinjiang are probably 1,000 times higher than the rest of China. Look at a map of neonatal deaths in China. If you are not in an ethnic Han Chinese area you are doomed. Chinese Han genocide has accomplished almost complete ethnic cleansing in Inner Mongolia, where few people even speak Mongolian any more. In Xinjiang, the Chinese have come over by the millions to take over and destroy the local language and culture, just as they have put 1/6 of Tibetans in gulags for political reasons. Tibet is not China and never will be China. The langauge, culture, people,etc. are completely different. China is just an imperialist cancer in Xinjiang,Tibet,Inner Mongolia and Manchuria,where the language and culture have been destroyed by Han Chinese imperialism. China now claims ALL of the Spratly Islands and a Japanese Island. China claims over 90,000 square miles of Indian territory and stole a huge chunk of Kashmir, India in the 60s. China is a dangerous threat to Asian security. China also has fought a border war with Vietnam and Russia. Vietnam annihilated 50,000 Chinese troops in the battle of Cao Phong and has purchased 3 billion dollars in mini attack submarines. They are ready, but will probably give in because of corrupt Vietnamese generals who pander and betray their country for money.

  • Dave 1946

    You know… I have been a proponent, a fanatic, a nostalgic supporter of buy made in the USA for decades now.
    Born in 1946, you might say, that I have seen the best of this wonderful land and its people.
    But… I became excited the other day when I discovered Levi’s, yeah, our good ole denim Levi’s actually Made in the USA.
    I went to the web site and about crapped my wallet.
    $140.00was an average price.
    Now I am not cheap, but can’t afford much of that…
    If this is a sign at what prices will be, to bring-it-back … then I believe our job base, of upward mobility and robust economy, is doomed to extinction.
    What’s Lost is Lost, and never can return.
    Labor Unions began causing the exodus, greed, and politicians playing the international game perpetuated it, and we the people bought into it.
    Now folks we are stuck in the hardening results … the cement of a global economy.

  • JoeD

    1950’s? Please. Cars were death traps and if you were diagnosed with any type of cancer you might as well start digging your own grave.

    All of this nostalgia for a past that was a complete mirage. The USA was in an enviable position becuase it had the only functioning economy after the Second World War, and everyone benefited handsomely as a result. Where it all went wrong was when we assumed that the Postwar level of prosperity would be the new norm despite the fact that Globalization was on the horizon.

    • zombiespacedog

      You can find many examples of things that were “worse”, but that doesn’t mean the CULTURE as a whole was worse. And THAT is what most are pining for when they look at the 50s.

  • Jack Myswag

    you neatly left out how in 1950 we were completely racially segregated. Have you seen or read “The Help?”,
    In 2012 … oh wait… nothing much has changed.
    Changes are mostly optical.

  • Bill

    Lived in those years and enjoyed every day of them. But, I just thought of something more wonderful, Obama had not been born yet. Yep, those were the good old days.

    • jace

      Is this satire? Or are you really this racist/stupid?

      • Cyndi Williams

        Racist??? He basically said he didn’t like Obama, and you got racist out of that??? What, you can’t read? Now who is stupid?

      • Ashton Poocher

        You really come off looking stupid with that comment. Maybe you better go back and finish high school before you comment out in public.

      • Anthony

        It is possible to view Obama and his presidency as bad or negative without race being an issue. Lets not assume something that isn’t actually in the comment.

        • John

          Exactly, I dont hate him because he’s black, I hate him because he’s a terrible president!

      • Robert S.

        So when Obama says he does not like John Benor does that make Obama a racist?

    • Sally

      No president is perfect however the blatant hatred and disrespect that Obama is ridiculous. I mean people treated Bush with more respected and that man signal handily drove the United States down. Bush not only caused one but TWO wars! Double the debt people and he was warn but still decided to attack. He also deregulated Wall Street which gave them more power to take shady deals. Cutting the taxes for the wealthy I mean I could go on and on about Bush. Not saying Obama is perfect but people treat him like crap the way they constantly interput him when he gives interviews and yells at him. No one did this too Bush (expect for that shoe toss).

      • 1Johnny

        People dislike Obama because he is a liberal and the implementation of bad policy, not because he is black. And you really need to look back of GW Bush’s presidency. The media treated him many time worse than Obama. Obama is getting pass by the majority of the news outlets (because they too are liberals).

      • Ryan Frye

        He didn’t cause the war. The president actually can’t declare war without the approval of congress. The Iraq war was started because they found evidence that Saddam was working towards a nuclear arsenal, and we already knew he had chemical weapons that he had already used before. The war in Afghanistan was started when the Taliban government (A government the US helped established) didn’t follow their promises are working for a better situation for the people, and they became highly anti-west. And they too were trying to get chemical and nuclear weapons.

      • jon

        Obama doubled bush’s debt

      • deegee

        I think that you should learn how to right good English before you comment.

        • HT

          You mean write, right?

        • Ingrid Woydak Segal

          Learn how to write well. Sally, you make me laugh. Your English isn’t any better.

      • saigon68Petrus Ky

        Sally you are repeating DNC lies.

  • Liam

    The U.S. is not only off shoring our jobs to Asia, we are destroying some of the few sources of jobs in the U.S.–healthcare jobs. Working conditions and pay are so bad, that hospitals would rather just recruit hundreds of thousands of Philippine nurses to work in U.S. hospitals. They work hard. They don’t complain about problems, no matter how serious and they do their jobs. Add to this the fact the fact that schools producing health professionals are so plentiful that quality is being compromised and education inflation is ruining health professions. These diploma mills are destroying salaries and the quality of education produced in America today.This destruction of the middle class is all happening from within our borders..That is why doctors make so much–they control how many MDs graduate from med schools, thus they artificially inflate their salaries.

  • Peter Beard

    It was a gReat time…IF…

    You had money, weren’t black, and weren’t a woman, that is. 😉

    • I have always said There was room for improvement . As a women – I can assure you – we are still lacking equal rights under the constitution, still make less for the same job and murdered at the rate of 4 a day as a result of DV. Our children are not safe at home or on the streets . In that regard nothing has changed.

  • Jessy

    Ok, some of that may sound good, but what’s missing are the comparisons regarding the fate of woman or anyone who was not a white male. A lot of what is going on today is so ridiculous I find it difficult to believe a democratic society let it get this far. I also do not understand some of the hot topics for candidates. It makes me feel as if no one remembers we are supposed to have a separation of church and state, and considering how our economy is we may want to consider a separation of Wall Street and state. If people are not upset enough to demand change with everything that has gone on since 2008 I am afraid to think what it will take to get the public up off their butts. Is America asleep or just day dreamin of the “good ole days”

  • yuri

    Hello every one.

    It is sad to read this article about decline of American Republic. Soon America will not be superpower as it was in 50’s. In the book of Ezekiel chapter 31 Bible describes what was the situation with Pharaoh of Egypt. In those times Egypt was the greatest power on planet. Also America is now is the greatest power on earth. And look what happened to Pharaoh of Egypt. Verse 12 describes fall of Egypt. Same thing will happen to America. American economy will crash soon under the heavy dept.

    Soon will start WWIII that will crash all the political system. Then the UN will come as ruler for short time. And after this God’s Kingdom will destroy all world rulers and it will stand for ever. Daniel 2:44.

    • St. Lukes School Teacher

      The Obama Christian Church run by Pastor Frank Caverty says that the plot against General Petraius and Obama was stopped by Obama’s good christian spirit. Obama is the good Muslim God in America and by October 21st of this year, Obama will be God of the world. We worship and praise Obama real good because he is just like Christ.

  • Act Like Winston Churchill And Say “Ahhh”

    Will the recession make the 1930’s Great Depression look like a children’s comic strip? According to some doomsday articles, “A Financial Armageddon” is in the works. I have some feeling that we will recover from this demise. The job market is poor but not quite bad. At least, not yet. The prognosis is a rather mixed venue. The debate is still in the Senate until this ambiguity gets adjudicated with the Ways and Means Committee. Newt Gingrich used to play the rastifarian and say “A-men” but being conceded is like being the oxymoron but Gingrich is smart. He has the facts. He is just hedging his bets like a good skilled gambler until he gets his opportunity to speak his mind without any red tape or controversy. He wants a fresh but UNbised dialogue to the public. If you want to go REPUBLICAN, vote for Gingrich to be president when Obama’s term is up, says ME!

  • blah

    who is the author of this? i want to use it in a academic report so i need to properly cite it

  • vikki

    MORAL DECAY thats whats wrong with the world ,,the usa is forsail and so is our souls

  • SML

    When my mother (born in 1943) vacationed in the Southern USA as a child, she remembers seeing segregated signs, and one redneck told her his ridiculous racist opinions about African-Americans.

    • Exposer

      Well, it’s only fair to pay back for the 3-5% Americans who had owned slaves and to ship you back to your great, powerful ancestral homeland: Africa. There, you will be united with your kin and will not have to deal with us racist rednecks anymore. I’m only assuming these are you people, seeing how you seem to be the anti-white type.

  • Cindy53

    Here’s my answer to your questions:
    In 1950, corporate taxes accounted for about 30 percent of all federal revenue.
    In 2012, corporate taxes will account for less than 7 percent of all federal revenue.
    This is a big reason why we have such a large federal budget deficit. The wealthy and corporations have NOT been paying their fair share of income taxes for the past 30 years (since Reagan).

    In 1950, redistribution of wealth was considered to be something that “the communists” did.
    In 2012, the U.S. government redistributes more wealth than anyone else in the world.
    For the past 30 years the government has been redistributing wealth UPWARDS via the tax system – which is why we have such gross income inequality in the US today. In 1950, the maximum income tax rate on the wealthy was 91%. In 2012, the maximum income tax rate on the wealthy is 35%. In the 1950’s this country was prosperous because we had redistribution of wealth DOWNWARDS (through high tax rates on the wealthy, a strongly unionized work force that demanded a bigger share of wages when profits increased, stimulus spending via the GI Bill, the Marshall Plan, and the interstate highway system, and a government not run by corporate lobbyists).

    In 1950, about 13 million Americans had manufacturing jobs.
    In 2012, less than 12 million Americans have manufacturing jobs even though our population has more than doubled since 1950.
    Over the past 30 years, Congress (at the behest of corporate lobbyists) has made it easier and easier for corporations to move American jobs overseas and get a tax break to boot. In addition, so-called “free trade” agreements,which largely benefit the wealthy and corporate CEO’s, bleed even more jobs away from America. In 1950 union membership in the US was almost 35% of the workforce. In 2012 union membership has fallen to about 7%, resulting in stagnant wages for most Americans, even though corporate profits are at an all time high. We now have a government of, by, and for the corporations and wealthy 1% (instead of a government of, by, and for the people).
    Wake up America!!

  • cynthia curran

    Well, the 1950’s white poverty was around 20 percent. It basically white down to around 8 to 12 percent for the 1970’s and up. As for houses they were alot smaller and wives stayed home and white kids had to share thier clothing with sibings. Many places in the US didn’t still have indoor plumbing and whites lived in worst conditions in rural areas than today. Today the worst areas are heavily hispanic like the Texas border. As for the factory jobs, the average white makes a lot better money in a white collar job if they have one. Factories usually average Engineers incomes which are much higher than the guy on the assembly line which in states like California are done mainly by immirgants from Mexico or asian not blue collar whites. Assembly line workers make only between 10 to 15 dollars an hr. In factory work you have to become a machinsts to make the rates over 20 per hr.

  • I P Standing

    nafta and civil rights killed things

    • Phil Hartman

      dead wrong. things started to go south in the early 70s and what happened around that time: oil price shocks, lowering of taxes on rich, decreased spending on R&D, and competition emerging from Japan and Germany and China. That killed the US economy, not some wishful thinking over racial superiority.

      • george

        and the US was distracted by drugs and hippies and protests of Vietnam and other wars in asia – so it was the politicians with no vision including, as someone pointed out, impossibility of immigration from europe at that time.

    • BlackConservative

      Right giving people like me rights was the downfall of the US. And you wonder why blacks don’t vote conservative.

  • JKeylon

    Yeah 1950 was great as long as you were white, christian, english speaking, and whatever else you were supposed to be…to fit the 50’s mold.

    • Warren


      This whole looking back on the 50s through rose tinted glasses is really immature and weird. you know, the grass is always greener!! life CAN be anything you want in any decade, but you have to actually work toward it.

      I’ve heard older people complain about things like bike helmets now!! “when I was a kid, we didn’t have bike helmets and WE all turned out fine!!” OR, you didn’t know anyone that died from a head injury. Snap out of it, folks! Just because things were good for you, doesn’t mean every single person in the universe experiences life through you.

      Can we all just get over this crap and work NOW for a better tomorrow?

      • john

        There is some truth to what you are saying re “nostalgia” etc., however, facts are facts and going from #1 economically to #13? is a BIG DEAL.

        • zombiespacedog

          Not to mention, the decay of the family, decline of morals, lower work ethic, higher poverty, selfishness, shrinking middle class, more people on government handouts, entitlement mentality, etc … is not “nostalgia”, it’s the reality of our modern times.

      • zombiespacedog

        Sometimes working for a better tomorrow means looking at history to learn from it, and not burying your head in the sand to the direction things are going now.

    • Exposer

      Last time I checked it was white men who had colonized and built the United States through blood, sweat and tears- and not 4-5% of owned slaves who were sold from their “brothas” in Africa who had enslaved them to be sold off as merchandise to pick some cotton.

      You’ve just proven how dieversityleeches the life out of our society, thank you.

      • Now are you sure it didn’t have anything to do with the native americans who were here first and partially used as slave labor only to be then moved to “reservations” from land they had inhabited for centuries? Or maybe an entire work force that was based off people bought on 1 cont. and forced to work on another for 2 centuries while all the while being told they were property. Maybe you need to actually read some history books before you make wild generalizations. Not to mention it wasn’t diversity that brought on the plague, the dark ages, WW1, or WW2.

        • zombiespacedog

          You mean the same “Native Americans” who used to enslave other tribes. And killed men, women and children with no hesitation because they lived a tribal warrior culture? Oh, and weren’t actually native to North America. Give me a break. You act like it was a one way street with only “white man” being the bad guy. The human race since it’s beginnings have done these things. Started wars, spread disease to people without immunity, enslaved people, etc. …Of ALL skin colors.

      • Namaps

        “But we only BOUGHT the slaves!”

        Yeah… that sure is a compelling argument that makes your blatant racism entirely acceptable and reasonable!. [/sarcasm]

        • Guest

          He said nothing racist. Stop playing that card!

      • Pete K.

        many people never mention that 80% of the slaves sold during the big slave-trade… were sold to south american countries, only 20% made it to the USA.

        • saigon68Petrus Ky

          More like 5%.

      • Erin

        Wow. You are what is wrong with America.

    • Other then that what was wrong with the 1950’s. If the 1950’s didn’t have racism. Would there be anything wrong with it. Back in the 1950’s you could own your own house without paying years to pay it off. You might actually meet a women who wanted to be your companion and not your enemy. Even in the 1950’s. Black families were mostly intact. Look at the Black community today. Most Children are being raised by single mothers. Its been shown that boys raised in a single mother homes are more likely to become criminals, commit suicide or become homeless. And dont forget all the drug laws that have destroyed black families that were past long after the 1950’s. Sure there was lots of racism. But even then the black families where far stronger. It dose not excuse the racism. Frankly if i could trade our economy with that of the 1950’s i would

    • Erin

      THANK YOU. Seriously.

    • Gcruzer142

      and a man, dont forget being a man

    • Nathaniel Thuo

      You are altruistic, which is so shameful. Well, even Spain and Portugal were White and Christian,

  • Leonardo F. Saints

    I wish I had lived in the decade of 50 in time where the United States was the land of oportunidades.But I am of the 21st century despite being young my generation scares me every day.I don’t know where we stop.

  • Michael Rogers

    A very interesting list and I’d give everything I have (lots!) to return! Yes, there were problems, particularly if you weren’t male, white, at least middle class and not evangelical.
    We were being told by “doctors” that COOLS were good and as now, manipulated by corporations to their benefit and the areas of the country that STILL are the most bigoted, ignorant and hateful were even worse!
    Overall the 50’s were wonderful and the 60’s better for more, particularly here in California.

  • gabor

    Stop and reverse globalization, as it only benefits some of the largest corporations but not the small and medium sized companies that offer most of U.S. based jobs. Then go back to the full capitalist system, with some help to those who cannot work, but reduce dependence on the government. Assign the welfare of each State to the State and not to the bureaucracy in Washington. Get out of the U.N. and the World Trade Association and bring home our manufacturing jobs, even if it costs more to produce in the U.S. People will just have to adjust to it. Finally make schools stricter for learning and reduce or eliminate much of the socializing and partying. Period. Nothing short of these measures will save our country.

  • old man cold war

    You have some flaws in your list. .27 cents in 1950 is about 2.50 according to the CPI.

    So gas has gone up about .50 cents to a dollar (or two) a gallon depending on where you live. Given the vastly better MPG modern cars have we are better off now.

    Using the same calculation your 3 cent stamp is .27 cents. So the real cost of stamps has gone up about .25 cents in 50 years. Big deal.

    In the 50s getting on a plane was a big deal and it cost a lot to do ride one. Now it’s just a glorified air bus that almost anyone can afford. Why would I wear a suit and tie to be crammed into a big tube? No thanks.

    Manufacturing jobs? What’s that? Robots are the present and future of manufacturing. There aren’t any factory jobs where 200 guys can stand around a conveyor belt and make products in the US. You have 200 robots for that. Those jobs are never coming back because they have been made obsolete. The only reason they persist in places like China is because workers were cheaper than robots, but even that is starting to change.

    The US should tax its corporation and wealthy and cut its enormously out of control military budget. Then money could be spent on things that make life better for US citizens. The answer is simple but I guess it will never be repaired. The US has a very broken voting system that prevents more than 2 parties from ever gaining traction and the 2 parties in charge enjoy it that way.

    The only reason the US manages anything is because of its strong economy. Now that strength is waning and the US will have to come to the realization that it can’t afford world-wide military games and wealthy/corporations who won’t pay taxes.


    Even with all that I still wouldn’t want to live in the 50s. I enjoy all my cheap technology too much to go back in time and pretend that Leave it To Beaver was representative of the era like some people seem to think.

    • The only thing I can Agee with you on is the two party system! Hey like it that way !
      On the other hand there are more of us then them so we can do something about it if and when we the people start caring more about the country as a whole then me me me!

    • observer

      With you on all points except the defense budget. Defense spending as a % of our GDP hasn’t exceeded 30% for the last 20 years. It was nearly 70% of our GDP in the 50’s. Even 9/11 had a negligible effect on the portion of our GDP that is spent on military funding. We don’t spend nearly as much on defense as we have historically. The fact that we spend more than the next 14 countries combined is a shock figure to throw around, but it is irrelevant when compared with the spending trends of our past. Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security each cost as much as our entire defense budget on their own. Ballooning medical cost and zero regulation on service or product mark-up on medical supplies and services are partially to blame.

  • bryce simmet

    back then it was so much better. 27 cents for gas. that seems pretty damn good to me. and america now is just lazy and wont get off their butts to do ridiculous. some wont even mow their own lawns. it is crazy

  • bryce simmet

    back then it was so much better. 27 cents for gas. that seems pretty damn good to me. and america now is just lazy and wont get off their butts to do ridiculous. some wont even mow their own lawns. it is crazy. america is unbelievable these days. we and us are so lazy

  • Ile

    How much a service maid get paid in 1950?

  • Mr. Smith

    Just today, my next door neighbor, who was born in 1953, told me that (for all the social problems that existed during the 50’s) drugs were very rare then. That is one reason why she wishes she could return to the 50s.

  • “Have we made progress since then or are we going backwards?”


  • sarhy

    i think i wouldav been better off living in 1950 XP

  • R Hall

    I expected a better analysis than this.
    Example: in 1950 an average home cost $12,000 and the average income was $xxxxx
    in 2012, the average home cost is $250,00 and avg income is $28,000
    so while the costs of goods have increased, the income level has not, and therefore we need two income families to afford to buy a house.
    You also make it sound like SECURITY GOONS want to do what they do, I am sure they are not, but since there are fanatical people who will use any method (babies, shoe-bombs, box cutters, etc…) to kill us, I will give up a walking breezing through airport security to make it to my destination.
    How many people were on welfare in 1950? How many now? in 1950, immigrants came here to be US citizens, in 2012 they come here to plunder and pillage, and they don’t bother trying to speak the language.
    And Yes – My daughter will eat what I put in her lunch, no-one will tell me deep fried chicken nuggets are healthier than a sandwich, but it seems like new-yorker will allow themselves to be told how big of a soft drink they can buy.

  • JBenz

    All I hear from you guys is complaining. Why wouldn’t the US outsource to other people who will work HARD for them and not complain. The 50’s were great because of the the mindset of the people in the 30’s and 40’s. Hard work drove our country. Now kids get trophies for trying and people that work hard don’t get the ancknowledgment they deserve so what is there to motivate people as they grow up? It is an always changing environment and we as people just haven’t adapted to the vastly improving technology fast enough. I am 26 and feel like I was one of the last generations to be able to play outside but also play on a videogame system. Most of you seem to be alot older. Wise and closed minded. The simple ways of the past were great if you only focus on the positives but without the technology of today many of us wouldn’t be alive. I would like a more simple life. Maybe we can all hope the Mayan 2012 prediction means the collapse all that we know of technology and we can live back in the stoneage. Too bad many of you don’t know any true skills and would be useless in that type of society.

  • Flipflopcowgirl

    Interesting analysis in the comments. My thoughts: not only could families survive on one income, Dad wasn’t working 80 hours a week. Families had less technology and more time together in a smaller house. I’ll take that even WITH an outhouse over broken homes. Communities had more control over their own lives versus centralized, federal control. Not bad. Inflation and socialism hadn’t yet driven costs up so high that we became work-crazed. Credit was used narrowly, enabling people to do something called “saving.” Again, not so bad. Yes, faith was important but is that horrible? Schools still made it their business to teach the three Rs versus progressive nonsense taught today. Not bad!

  • Its when things were normal

  • cmmn

    As far as economics where concerned better, better wages better opportunity’s, you would reap the reward’s
    of hard work ingenuity and innovation! But left much to be desired when it come to equal rights.

    This has switched place’s though, the innovation that’s changed how we do thing’s has given big business an excuse to raise cost at a rate of 2 to 1 compared to wages, when in fact it has lowered cost. The electronic’s
    purchased today such as computers and cell phone’s are way over priced. you could say about 90% is profit including the service’s associated with them. And don’t forget the erosion of labor’s ability to stem these trend’s. When the majority of the people cease to benefit from this economy at a sufficient level the economy will fail and that civilization soon after, no matter how well we have improved our moral

    If you think i am a doomsayer or some one with a liberal agenda no i’m merely paraphrasing world history books. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the best of both era’s but i would not choose between the two.

  • DJ

    in 1950 the top tax rate was 84%, in 2012 it’s 38%… how’s that for “redistribution of wealth?”

    • zombiespacedog

      Do you really think anyone paid 84% of their marginal income to the IRS back then? Those tax rates were marginal rates and in addition EVERYTHING was deductible.

  • ERB

    Whilst the 50s were an amazing age its foolish to hang on to the past as if its something we can return to, the fact is yes America was great in the 50s but, it also had a lot of bad aspects; lack of civil rights, widespread poverty and primitive are just a few of the examples. The highlights and low points doesn’t diminish many of the great things that we have now, better social care and civil rights, better technology (such as new medicines and machines – even things such as the internet), less of a threat of nuclear war and a better understanding of how our world works.

    In comparing the past to the present, you create a paradox the present only exists because of the past and asking to choose between the two is nonsensical. the 50s were both good and bad and our modern world is both good and bad hanging on to the past is not going to help anyone move forward, and it most definitly won’t help us improve our present.

  • Joshua Adams

    The world actually meant something back then. The youth coming of age now and for future ones is best described as the “deprived generation”. Deprived of quality music, entertainment,… constant paranoia, lives being dictated by overbearing the police state, and horrific crowding EVERYWHERE you go! Not being able to drive from pt A to B without stopping every couple hundred feet at increasing traffic signals that last minutes at a time, and chickenshits clogging the streets, very dangerous…I could go on and on; from a young persons perspective who is aware of what the real world WAS and IS its a sad sad age to live in and its declining RAPIDLY!

  • alexxxxxxxxxxg

    Well, Im only 14 years old, and for a 14 year old girl you would think that technology is life like most teenagers. But thats not me. yes i have a phone and tv and computer and ipod but im not proud of it. but since i was so used to it its hard to go without them. so every once and awhile i hid all electronics for a week, i didnt use the computer or text or go on my ipod or even watch tv and let me tell you it was the best week of my life. i was is the happiest mood the whole time. technology really brings people down. and i got so much more down than i usually do and i wish i could go my whole life like that. Ive ALWAYS wanted to be a teen in the 1950s so bad. i would be seriously PERFECT in that time period. i LOVE the movie grease i have 2 cds of grease, the movie, isent the characters fanmail and more. i love that movie and why i love it so much is because first of all its a great movie with great songs but also because im jealous. i want to live in that time period with the dancing and the hair and i love that type of music and the way they go out to diners and car races and actually go outside and do stuff more than just sit and watch tv and it just bugs me that thats the kind of life style im living in. thank you so much for posting these websites because i love to know everything about it. I wish there was a time machine so i could just go back even tho i wouldnt be born. i would just watch peoples lives and be interested in all the fun they have. and drive in movie theathers. why cant my life be like that. WITH NO TECHNOLOGY!!! and ive never had a boyfriend or anything but i dont want those messed up texting relationships. or asking them out over text. i want them to have to call you. or ring your doorbell. be braver than a text when you dont have the awkwardness. so many things i could go on and on and on about. please tell me more about it. I LOVE THIS KIND OF STUFF. i love how you do more fun things and have to find stuff to do! like wwhen i had my no technology weeks i was 10 times more happier and got more stuff done, went to bed earlier, and got to do a lot more than i would have if i had technology. sorry for all this i just really needed to speak my mind. Its a different perspective than most of you have on it because i never lived it, but also i got a polaroid camera for christmas and im in love :))))))))

    • george

      check out the band pink martini

    • alex

      It was also a very sexist time during which, as a girl, your life goal was to be pretty, marry young and have 4 or 5 children. Careers were not well paid for women. Then you are forced to STAY married no matter how cheating or abusive your husband turned out to be. I am an escort too. If id been one in 1950, it would have been nearly impossible to work independently without the internet. Escorts then paid off many people in order to receive client lists and protections. I would not like to go to 1950.

  • I am so liberal that I call myself progressive. If you are super conservative please read this. Seriously. Just read it and don’t get all pissed off till the end. If you do, I promise to read what you have to say…

    Corporations are completely out of control. When you award an organization, whose sole objective is profit and who has no conscience, the rights of a man in our legal system there can only be abuse of those rights.

    I understand what this article is really about. It’s about how we the people have been screwed over in the past 60 or so years. I completely agree. With my whole heart. But many in the GOP need to realize that while the government has been ineffective and in some cases complicit to the great theft of the American Dream, the true thieves are the corporations. Jesus only showed unrestrained anger once in the Bible. And it was directed at the money changers. The Banks and the insurance companies are the true culprits here. The next time you are in a major city look up. Whose name is that on top of the tallest buildings?

    It is my most ardent desire that many conservatives see that many of us progressives are much closer to them on many issues then they realize. These banks and insurance conglomerates and other moneyed interests have a real stake in keeping us separated and hostile to each other. I am not hostile to ANY American unless they are hostile to me first. I ask you to do the same. Don’t let TV or radio tell you how to view someone. Make you own decisions. And don’t use the cop of how you once you saw someone fitting some description do something horrible so all people fitting that description are the same.

    • saigon68Petrus Ky

      Really? You just dissed Republicans. You are biased and prejudiced.

    • Nathaniel Thuo

      The only justified complaint is with regard to corporations which use government support to gain a competitive edge.

  • Wendy

    My father told me that Women have “Screwed Themselves” with the Feminist Movement. They used to have it easy… Yes women used to be able to be as lazy as they wanted to be… Now anyone can be as productive or as lazy as they want to be… That’s progress.

  • thisarticledepressesme

    Remember going to highschool football games? The diners? Being friendly to adults and not cursing at them?

    …yeah. I remember.

  • Brandon Andrews

    Typical mid-20th century romanticization. Every single person looks fondly on the era they grew up in. The past is seldom better than the present. Let’s compare the 50’s to the present. In 1950 blacks didn’t have the same rights as whites. In 1950 the Cold War was in full effect and the Korean War was just beginning. You mention that housing was more expensive. You ignore the fact the average home size has doubled since the 50’s. You mention the price of certain items such as gas. These are more expensive b/c of inflation. Inflation is a necessary byproduct of a government that issues a fiat currency. You also mention US debt. Actually most US debt is held the federal government itself not foreign countries. You mention the median age for marriage. How is that relevant? People are waiting longer to marry… and that’s a bad thing? You mention that the Dow industrial average is much higher than in the 50’s. That is a sign of great economic growth. You also bring up that people are more independent and less religious. Also good things. Religion is in my opinion the last great evil in this world. And finally you criticize the US for being “doped up” on prescription drugs even though prescription drugs have improved quality of life and eradicated numerous infectious diseases. A nation can’t move forward and live in the past

  • TitanBrand


  • Alexis Dozier

    1950s plz i hate my teen life now

  • andrew

    i’d much rather live in 2012 america. sure a gallon of gas was 27 cents, but what was the median income? comon, these are all relative. this list is completely bias.

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  • 109718by Needs to check Facts

    I blame the baby boomers. They did this. Why are the young taking care of this generation of lazy bums who blame everyone but themselves.

    • KediZ

      I blame the lazy hippies who have passed on their lazy and “entitled” mentality to their offspring.

      • zombiespacedog

        It’s both.

  • bpollen8

    There were some things that were really bad in the 1950s, and this article mentions the lack of internet being one of the worst things? Wow. That’s telling. Consider the racism that was prevelant…black people literally could not get many decent jobs. Or women. Yes, more marriages lasted longer, but that was partly because women were forced to stay with bad husbands for financial and societal reasons (there were no no-fault divorces). It was also legal to beat up your wife and children. So the food prices were no better then than now? Good deal. But that’s only if you were able to make a decent living; a large segment of our citizenry were kept from doing just that. As a woman, I am proud that I’ve worked hard and bought a home and car and own them outright. I am beholden to no one. I don’t have to put up with a philandering or drunk husband. That would not have been possible in the 50s for most women.

  • Claudegirl

    Thanks for the insight that was put so very logically. I am with you all the way. It does surprise me how many people that have lived in the 50’s to present seem to have very short term memories. As my Dad always said to me growing up, “the public has a short memory”. I thought when I was young that my Dad was a bit of a pessimist but now that I am older, I think he as really just a realist

  • Anthony

    If we don’t like the way things are then we need to take action and change things.

  • Erin

    Oh yes, I would LOVE to live in a time when I had little rights. Sounds super fun! Yay. This article is insane.

    • KediZ

      And you think you have more “rights” today?

      You have so many “rights” when a Mayor has a say on how many OUNCES of SODA you’re allowed to consume. WOW – so many “rights”.

  • Not for me

    If I wasn’t black sure I would the 1950’s a swirl why not. However for some reason I don’t think I would have enjoyed the 50’s as much as you say (sarcasm) . If you weren’t white during this time period you were basically screwed.

    • KediZ

      And you’re screwed if you vote for the party of mental slavery – the Dem party loves to control its victim-mentality herd of sheeple.

  • Phobe

    I don’t know why anyone would want to go to that time period. Not only was it extremely racist to minorities but also women were treated like crap. Check out some advertisements of the 50’s that are online saying things such as “Why you beat your Wife”, or “Why a Women belongs in the Kitchen”. That may not seem like much but if you are a female say good bye to your education even if you do go to college it was very unlikely for her to get hired. 1950’s may have had a great economy but the society back then was completely ignorant and it was the norm. I would much matter live in this generation even with all our problems than live in the 50’s where if you weren’t a white male you were treated horribly. Their is a reason why all those Women’s Groups were formed stop looking at the materialistic things of the 50’s and look at the shallow society.

    • Melody

      Perhaps you do not get the point of the article. Yes, we have progressed on certain things quite well. However, in the larger scheme of things we as a whole country a far worse than in the 50’s. By the way, I’m a woman and love being in the kitchen and the womens’ groups were formed so that we could have a choice. Too bad we’re all idiots now, because when we decide to have children we simply drop them off at daycare making it someone else’s responsibility to raise them and off to work we go so we can have all that materialistic crap you think was only in the 50’s. And by the way, most families were much happier during that period of time.

      • zombiespacedog

        Well said Melody!

    • KediZ

      You can thank the Democrats for all the anti-civil rights and racism.

      It was the Democrats who formed the KKK. Dems fought AGAINST civil rights for blacks and women.

    • zombiespacedog

      The canned liberal response. Because you can find some bad, that means
      everything was “horrible” – or that the good is irrelevant! By the way, the whole country was NOT racist! And
      not all women were “treated like crap”. Women could have careers and jobs (though I give you that there were not nearly the opportunities today), but many CHOSE to raise families and actually loved it. While pockets of very open racism occurred (primarily in the South), the whole country was not racist. The 50s saw numerous civil rights laws passed. Overall, the culture then was far better for most, family stronger, morals stronger, middle class stronger, work ethic better, less government dependance. Less of an entitlement culture. less selfish and actually cared more about each other.

  • Nicole

    The comments really melt my heart. I’m glad to see that present Americans want to go back to the 50s. That comment from the 14 year old girl inspired me to go a week without technology. There’s so many things I wanna get done. And I’m just obsessed with the 50s. Morals, chivalry, WE WERE AMERICA. Now, I am not sure…this country may be the best but it seems like Mars nowadays. Maybe if enough people worked towards it we would be able to live in a 1950s sort of way. It will never happen, but we just need to go back. We have to. I wasn’t even born then, I’m quite young…but we have to go back.

  • Ryan Arko

    A few of those points are inaccurate, and I feel safe to accuse the inaccuracy of being blatant.

    * There are metals detectors in schools because violence has gotten so bad. Actually, crime, especially violent crime, is at a low, even in 2012. “Violence in schools has gotten so bad” would be a little bit more accurate as technology improves. Colubine would have been worse if the kids had smart phones to coordinate. They could have watched their actions in real time or streamlined their planning with faster connection speeds.
    Still, the boom in overall violence was around 1980 and has decreased significantly since then.

    *Detroit had 2 million citizens, now has 700,000 citizens. This happens. Empires rise and empires fall. Back when Detroit was as big as it was, the automotive industry wasn’t as expansive or regulated as it is today. Now, there are companies across American and the world who make automobiles. Many even make better automobiles with a smaller carbon footprint, so the preference would shift business out of Detroit.
    Then you take into account the wealthy business owners who would rather pay foreigners $2 a day instead of locals $15 to $45 an hour, and there goes the business in Detroit.
    Silicon Valley was nothing. It became something. And as time progresses, it will be nothing again. Rise. Fall.

    * 80% of men vs. 65% of men being employed. Women work now and not just in supportive positions. They are doctors instead of nurses. They are lawyers instead of stenographers. Business owners instead of secretaries.
    We also have men choosing to stay at home to tend the house. Men choosing to raise their children.

    *More independent (nothing wrong with that) less religious (still too religious), more addicted to entertainment (very debatable), and more doped up on prescription medication (says you and conservative nutjobs).

    Here’s the thing about citing resources. When you make a statement, it needs to be supported with unbiased, neutral sources. See, you’re saying “America is bad today.” So then you would need to provide citations that don’t lean to any political ideology. This would show that regardless of your own beliefs, the neutral facts would support your claim.

    However, your citations (aside from a treasury link) are all bible-thumping, far-right conservative websites. If I want to prove the world is round, I don’t go to a youtube video. I go to proper sources.
    If you want to prove the world is in moral decay, you don’t go to blog sites that are trying to prove their already formulated opinion that it is. That’s not science. That’s not how it works.

    As a writer, you sure know how to put together fantasy, but as a “truth-teller,” well, you’re obviously a man of God. So ask yourself: what does your God think about 9th Commandment Breakers? How does your God view lying tongues and deceitful people?

  • Anton

    The way America is goin why should we deserve everything we have for much longer, our government leadears can burn in hell for killing the american peopleple by waging false wars just to line there pockets with blood money.

  • Ualum

    You’re focusing on the rise and fall of one economic class of people, namely, white middle class. I will even go as far as saying white, middle class, MEN. Economic restructuring, white flight out of the cities like Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland, etc. were due to a series of economic choices driven mainly BY those who controlled the industries: whites. The winners in the restructure were mostly white, those who now choose to ship industry overseas, those who now choose to live in the suburbs and not in the “Crime” areas because they can afford to move there, and those who now decline to reinvest in economically broken and desolate areas on the basis of greed in the name of “personal liberty”. Also, since the 1950’s this same class of people have not had to fight for their right to attend schools, fight for their right to vote, to own property, to own businesses, etc. Gas is expensive now? Then explain to me why we export most of our crude to China instead of using it for our citizens. Explain to me why we tell folks that American made renewables are costly, so we subsidize the hell out of foreign oil and in the same breath complain when our F-150’s are made out of aluminum instead of steel to SAVE gas! The logic here is pretty misguided.

  • Robert S.

    I was born in 1942 so my developmental years were spent in the 40’s and 50’s. Without any hesitation whatever I would give up every so called advantage of the 2014 year and return to the 1950’s. It was the decade of amazing prosperity and we all survived without 24 hour stores and Sunday shopping. Families were REALLY families back then and the “Day of Rest” meant just that REST for ALL people since stores were CLOSED and we survived just fine. When I die my last thought will be about BACK TO THE 50’s and maybe, just maybe that will be my eternal reward!

  • Ardeare

    We are worse off.

    In 1950, corporate taxes accounted for about 30 percent of all federal revenue.

    In 2012, corporate taxes will account for less than 7 percent of all federal revenue.

    The modern day republicans are nothing more than security guards for the 1%.

    • zombiespacedog

      That’s because we are losing corporations (by closing, or moving out of country) at an insane rate due to high taxation and regulation. You can thank DEMOCRATS for that!

      • JamesFickbohm

        the maximum corporate tax rate in 1950 was 50%. Today it is 35%. Over half the companies on the Fortune 500 list pay 0% or less in taxes. About 30 pay negative tax rates. If we are losing companies, it’s not because of the tax rates, but because labor is much cheaper in other countries.

  • Whiteguilt

    If someone disagrees with you, pull the racist card! You really made sense with that statement, Olympia, because he clearly said that he hated Obama for his race.

  • KediZ

    haha! Here’s someone who’s talking about “invalidating” and entire argument – when HE comes out and thinks he can validate HIS argument with the Huff Post as his MAJOR SOURCE!

    Now that’s what I call a CLOWN.

  • Ryan Frye

    this is not true. Since the 1950’s the US manufacturing industry has tripled in size. There is so much false information in this I can’t take any of it seriously.

    Also the price of things doesn’t matter considering that minimum wage is 90% higher than they were in the 1950’s. By today’s standards the price of gas back then would actually be around 4 dollars.

  • Matt

    I would rather live now.

    You can keep your money. I care more about racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice.

  • G

    Give me 2012. Although there’s still racism, at least I can walk up the street without being lynched.

    • zombiespacedog

      Instead you get shot through the wall of your house by a stray drug dealers bullet and you are raised with no daddy.

    • zombiespacedog

      Unless you are white and walking through the hood, then you just get beat to death or shot.

  • Dorothy

    First off, I’d like to say that a lot of these facts aren’t necessarily pointing out bad things.

    In 1950, a gallon of gasoline cost about 27 cents.
    In 2012, a gallon of gasoline costs $3.69.
    In 1950, you could buy a first-class stamp for just 3 cents.
    In 2012, a first-class stamp will cost you 45 cents.

    True, gas and stamps cost more, but we also make more on average. The min wage in 1950 was $0.75/hr as compared to $7.25/hr now. If you calculate that out, we actually pay 3% less now. Also, the average car only got about 16mpg in 1950 as opposed to 2012 where the average was 20mpg. So overall, a pretty decent savings as opposed to 1950.

    In 1950, more than 80 percent of all men were employed.
    In 2012, less than 65 percent of all men are employed.

    I’m not even sure how accurate this is, but I’ll assume it is fairly accurate. This “fact” doesn’t take into account that now we have lots of women in the workforce too! Some of the unemployed men chose to be unemployed. More men are opting to be a stay at home dad while their wife is the bread winner. In 2012, women made up 58% of the workforce as opposed to 34% in 1950. Women can also have technical careers, own businesses, and run entire companies which was generally not allowed in the 1950s. Coming from a woman with a career in a very technical field, I really appreciate this.

    In 1950, about 13 million Americans had manufacturing jobs.
    In 2012, less than 12 million Americans have manufacturing jobs even though our population has more than doubled since 1950.

    True, we don’t manufacture anymore but there is a surplus of technology related jobs open. Society changes along with their wants and demands. In todays case, people want the latest technology therefore thats where the majority of jobs lie. In essence, one type of job went away, but another type has increased significantly.

    In 1950, the entire U.S. military was mobilized to protect the borders of South Korea.
    In 2012, the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada are wide open and now there are 1.4 million gang members living inside the United States.

    Ok, this one is just dumb. For one thing, the first fact has nothing to do with the second, we didn’t mobile our military to protect South Korea’s border in order to protect illegal aliens coming into the US. Secondly, not all Mexican and Canadian illegal aliens are gang members. Many of the 1.4 million number were born and raised right here in the US. To tie it all together, in 1950 there wasn’t much military protecting our Mexican and Canadian borders. In fact, we most likely have a larger border patrol now than we did back then.

    In 1950, corporate taxes accounted for about 30 percent of all federal revenue.
    In 2012, corporate taxes will account for less than 7 percent of all federal revenue.

    In this case, agreed 1950 is definitely better than today.

    In 1950, many Americans dressed up in suits and dresses before getting on an airplane.
    In 2012, security goons look at the exposed forms of our women and our children before they are allowed to get on to an airplane.

    When you increase security, you lose some freedom. I agree that the flying situation in the 1950s was much better (minus the suits, I like being comfy in my jeans and t-shirt on a plane).

    In 1950, many Americans regularly left their cars and the front doors of their homes unlocked.
    In 2012, many Americans live with steel bars on their windows and gun sales are at record highs.

    Completely geographical and I wouldn’t say “many” Americans live with steel bars on their windows. Another thing to point out would be that there was often someone always at home in the 1950s (usually the wife) and even I leave my doors unlocked when I’m home today.

    In 1950, the American people had a great love for the U.S. Constitution.
    In 2012, if you are “reverent of individual liberty”, you may get labeled as a potential terrorist by the U.S. government.

    This just flat out isn’t true. If you announce that you are revent of individual liberty, you’re not going to be put on a terrorist watch list. We are still more free to state our opinions than any other country. In fact, we’re more free to state our opinions than we were in 1950 (this is my opinion, my husband disagrees with me).

    In 1950, the U.S. national debt was about 257 billion dollars.
    In 2012, the U.S. national debt is 59 times larger. It is currently sitting at a grand total of $15,435,694,556,033.29. Surely our children and our grandchildren will thank us for that.

    The debt worldwide has increased significantly, with some countries even declaring bankruptcy so it’s not just us. I’ll be one of the lucky ones that gets to help pay it off and it sucks. I do wish we could have kept the debt lower.

    You’re also missing some facts, like these:

    In 1950, women couldn’t vote
    In 2012, women can vote and often do

    In 1950, minorities did not have the same rights as white people
    In 2012, civil rights is a reality and people of all backgrounds share the same rights (still not perfect, but much better than the 50s)

    Long story short, I think the 1950s were probably a great era if you were a white male but for everyone else it wasn’t ideal. As a woman, I appreciate that I’m now able to vote and to hold a highly technical career with the potential to advance into upper management. I’m also glad that minorities are treated better and share the same rights we do. The 1950s seems like an interesting era, and I wouldn’t blame anyone for wanting to go back but for me I’m happy right here 🙂

  • Bryan Tint

    Burma was certainly better in 1950 compared to 2012!

    • Bryan Tint

      Burma also had Yank Tanks like USA and Canada before March 2, 1962.

  • AlanGee

    It’s ridiculous to post “then vs now” prices without adjusting for inflation. It’s also ridiculous to compare dis-similar items.

    In 1950 a car cost half of the average gross annual salary…..and had very limited features. A TV cost 1/3 your annual salary…….and only had 3 black and white channels.

    In 1950 airplane travel (especially international) was reserved for the very wealthy. Telephone calls were prohibitively expensive. Homes were 1/3 the size and had fewer comforts.

    ……and of course the economy was good. The worlds factories and cities were still in disrepair from WWII.

  • 재도

    I blame the Marxists that infiltrated our society through Feminism in order to divide and conquer. Child abuse and neglect, broken families, crime, so many problems have risen WITH Feminism… It is no secret these children from the families destroyed by Feminism grew up to be criminals.

  • Joe

    I think many of the issues harming America are by design. Kissinger opened China and look at the result, our dollars flow there and they upgrade their military. Open borders bringing in the 3rd world and not their brightest, an intentionally poorly educated citizenry all make control of our government easier. America is under the control of people who do not love her.

  • Nathaniel Thuo

    America is till having those characteristics today

  • Fiks

    “In 1950, redistribution of wealth was considered to be something that “the communists” did.”

    Never heard of the New Deal, huh?

  • Ming lai Choi

    Isaiah 65:21-23 Who would not like to have a home of his own, a place where he and his family could feel safe and secure? In today’s world, however, adequate housing is a serious problem. People are packed into crowded cities. Many have to manage with makeshift dwellings in shantytowns and city slums. Having a house of their own remains a mere dream for them.
    we will live with secure. Under Kingdom rule, the desire of every resident to have his own home will be fulfilled, for it was prophesied through Isaiah: “They will certainly build houses and have occupancy; and they will certainly plant vineyards and eat their fruitage.” (Isa. 65:21) Yet, having a home of their own is not the only prospect. After all, some today live in their own home, a few even in a mansion or on a grand estate. But there is always the worry that the home can be lost through some financial reverses or that burglars​—or worse—​will break in. How different everything will be under Kingdom rule! The prophet Micah wrote: “They will actually sit, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, and there will be no one making them tremble.”​—Mic. 4:4.

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