The Beginning Of The End
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America 1950 vs. America 2012

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….

  • Josh

    “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.

      • BetterSafeThanSorry

        “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!

          • BetterSafeThanSorry

            “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. :lol:

    • BetterSafeThanSorry

      “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…

      • BetterSafeThanSorry

        “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?

    • BetterSafeThanSorry

      “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.

    • BetterSafeThanSorry

      “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

  • Prepared Pastor

    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.

  • http://yahoo 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.

      • BetterSafeThanSorry

        “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.

  • Scott Christie

    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.

  • Jock Doubleday

    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.

  • http://theeconomiccollapse Fred Grindle

    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?)

    • BetterSafeThanSorry

      “and on odd irrelevances such as adults marrying later”

      How is that irrelevant?

  • William

    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?

      • BetterSafeThanSorry

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

        I don’t think that would do the trick.

  • http://TheEconomicCollapse John Schatz

    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.

  • Carole Aus

    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.

  • 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.

    • http://google Hilbillary85

      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!!!

  • Hans Palmstierna

    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.

    • BetterSafeThanSorry

      “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…

  • 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

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