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America 1950 vs. America 2012
The Economic Collapse ^ | 03/01/2012 | Michael Snyder

Posted on 03/03/2012 9:42:11 AM PST by SeekAndFind

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?



TOPICS: Business/Economy; History; Society
KEYWORDS: 1950; 2012; america

1 posted on 03/03/2012 9:42:15 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

For me it’s a mixed bag. Great time to be a child. Love the technology of today. Hate the politics and morals of today.


2 posted on 03/03/2012 9:48:20 AM PST by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: SeekAndFind

You can describe the (really) “good old days” all you want, but minorities and feminists will play the civil rights card on you all day long.


3 posted on 03/03/2012 9:50:02 AM PST by yetidog
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To: SeekAndFind
I'm definitely in favor of tossing aside the 21st century. We are in a bad place right now, and I would much rather go back 50 or 60 years.

Of course, some Freeper will be along in a minute and accuse me of fervently wishing for the return of slavery, segregation and/or Jim Crow.

Feelings of nostalgia often seem to be interpreted as unbridled race hatred. Don't know why.

4 posted on 03/03/2012 9:50:19 AM PST by ClearCase_guy ("And the public gets what the public wants" -- The Jam)
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To: ClearCase_guy

RE: Feelings of nostalgia often seem to be interpreted as unbridled race hatred. Don’t know why.

Maybe it has something to do with civil rights for blacks in the 1950’s.


5 posted on 03/03/2012 9:52:30 AM PST by SeekAndFind (question)
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To: Coldwater Creek

RE: Love the technology of today. Hate the politics and morals of today.

How about having the technology of today with the general morality of the 1950’s...

They are not mutually exclusive.


6 posted on 03/03/2012 9:54:23 AM PST by SeekAndFind (question)
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To: SeekAndFind

The economic collapse is not an accident it’s a plan.


7 posted on 03/03/2012 9:55:13 AM PST by Vaduz
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To: ClearCase_guy

I often think how it would be to live back then. They had many of the things we have today- tv, air conditioning, movies etc. Of course no computers, but book work nicely.
It would take time to adjust but you could survive.


8 posted on 03/03/2012 9:55:21 AM PST by Mmogamer (I refudiate the lamestream media, leftists and their prevaricutions.)
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To: SeekAndFind

And to this day they bash McCarthy. Seems he was right all along judging by how leftist commie slimebags have all but destroyed this country.


9 posted on 03/03/2012 9:57:19 AM PST by GrandJediMasterYoda (How ironic that Ann Coulter should write a book called Treason.)
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To: yetidog

I’ve had some conversations about this with people. And they frequently say that the ‘50s were terrible, with blacks at the back of the bus, and women in the kitchen, not in the board room.

Everything like this is a mixed bag. There was greater consensus about moral behavior back in the old days. In some ways, families and family values were stronger. There was not nearly as much illegitimacy, nor was illegitimacy encouraged or subsidized. Does everyone know that there was a time in this country, when a girl who got pregnant without a husband couldn’t just go down and get on public assistance? Our social policies reflected different values then.

It seems that the liberal view of this subject is that if you liked certain things about the old days, that you want to turn back the clock in every way.


10 posted on 03/03/2012 9:58:23 AM PST by Dilbert San Diego
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To: Mmogamer

The irony is with so much technology and information in our fingertips today, our young kids seem to be on average, less literate, less educated and less well informed.

I would blame this to their incessant focus on the trivial.


11 posted on 03/03/2012 9:58:43 AM PST by SeekAndFind (question)
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To: SeekAndFind

My good buddy and I always talk about which era we would have rather grown up in. The 40’s, 50’s win, hands down. This country had it’s problems but we still had our morals. The values of the populace were still intact. Society today is a complete mess. My daughter will grow up in a completely different America than even I grew up in (late 70’s early 80’s).


12 posted on 03/03/2012 9:58:50 AM PST by hillarys cankles
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To: yetidog

Yes, they will. But minorities and women are worse off today than they were 50 years ago.

And we have minorities and women to blame for that fact.


13 posted on 03/03/2012 10:01:19 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This mean Liberals and/or Libertarians (Same Thing) NO LIBS.))
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To: SeekAndFind

The downsides of the 1950s. Boring as heck. Swamp coolers instead of a/c. About the only source of current information was via radio, with early television little more than “radio with pictures”.

Transportation was on state roads that were generally not that hot, and often downright dangerous.

Polio and any number of childhood disease were still common, and medical care was as often as not just palliative.

The Red Menace and the growing threat of nuclear war. Pollution getting worse and worse.

In much of the US there was still a lot of gratuitous racism and segregation. Until Eisenhower, the Democrats controlled everything. What happened in Washington was only known to the public when they felt like telling, which was not often.

Food was pretty bland. Flour, fat, meat, sugar, salt in endless combinations.


14 posted on 03/03/2012 10:08:16 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: SeekAndFind

I love 2012 and all that it brings. You have to accept the good with the bad. In the 1950’s many wives and kids were beat up by their dad’s when he got home from work. It is still that way today but it is more easily to press charges against him. The technology of 1950 is practically zero compared to today. 2012 is fine for me.


15 posted on 03/03/2012 10:08:32 AM PST by napscoordinator (A moral principled Christian with character is the frontrunner! Congrats Santorum!)
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To: Responsibility2nd
But minorities and women are worse off today than they were 50 years ago.

I agree 100%.

16 posted on 03/03/2012 10:12:00 AM PST by ClearCase_guy ("And the public gets what the public wants" -- The Jam)
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To: Responsibility2nd
It was a mixed bag for different people. Gov't enforced rules where minorites couldn't marry whites, etc.

The US was partly able to prosper because of the destruction of Europe and Asia. That's alot different now.

17 posted on 03/03/2012 10:12:35 AM PST by Theoria (Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul sounds like an Islamic terrorist)
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To: SeekAndFind
In 1950, blacks were not enslaved on plantations.

In 2012, blacks are enslaved on the Democrat plantation.

18 posted on 03/03/2012 10:17:37 AM PST by anonsquared
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To: SeekAndFind

I love that bottom picture. That’s Cripple Creek, Colorado and it hardly looks any different now. I spent the night in a hotel on the extreme right side of that picture overlooking that scene.


19 posted on 03/03/2012 10:19:09 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: SeekAndFind
For those of us who grew up during that period, we were lucky enough to be born in the greatest times of America. We've experienced what it is like to be without today's novelties like TV, Computers, and cell phones, and we survived.

It wasn't a sad time because we didn't have those and other marvels, we never heard of them, so we didn't miss them.

I remember my Dad coming home with a new Ford, with factory installed turn signals...THAT was a biggie then.

I remember people laughing about that "useless" radio band called "FM"...it was only good for classical or "elevator" music.

I recall "Stereo" being a new and exciting way to listen to music. Record companies put out special Stereo "demo" records so we could hear the sound of a train moving from one speaker to the other, and jet plane sounds whizzing through the living room.

We we did finally get TV, it was a 7-inch, black and white screen that took 5 minutes to warm up before you got a picture, which was usually "rolling" or skewed beyond visibility.

Beer in cans had to be opened with a "church key", the puncture type can opener, as did the early "canned" sodas.

My mother did our clothes with an old wringer-type washing machine, and hung them on the clothesline to dry. My grandmother still boiled them in a big iron kettle in the backyard.

My grandmother lived 16 miles away, yet it was "long distance" to call her on our old dial telephone...and you had to go through the operator to make the call.

In our age group we are privileged to have seen all these moments in history and watch technology change from things our kids would find ancient, to the rise of digital age.

We are the ones who should be in a place to judge America's progression, or regression. We know how it was then without seeing it through the prism provided by some 25-year-old journalism graduate.

We KNOW what life was like under Eisenhower, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Carter, and Reagan...we don't have to read it in some revised history book. The media can't tell us that Reagan wasn't great, we lived the era and we know that things were much better under his watch.

We also sat in gas lines in the carter years and paid double-digit interest on everything. That is how we know where this obama administration is coming from, and where it's headed...we've lived it.

It's been said that the concept of history for most of us begins when we were born, everything before that is just what you read and hear from elders. For those of us who came along in the 40's, our concept of history is based on being there, not reading about it or making it up to suit our current purpose.

I think the late 40's and the 50's were just a brief moment of the real America, or it could have been because we were just happy, carefree kids, safe in our world with very few responsibilites.
20 posted on 03/03/2012 10:19:38 AM PST by FrankR (You are only enslaved to the extent of the entitlements you receive.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Racism evident in American politics
http://www.norwichbulletin.com/columnist/x1142168592/John-Foster-Way-Racism-evident-in-American-politics#axzz1o25LlqBU


21 posted on 03/03/2012 10:24:37 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (You can't invade the US. There'd be a rifle behind every blade of grass.~Admiral Yamamoto)
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To: SeekAndFind

Of course the decades mean car models to males. LOL! Actually, the sixties was the beginning of America’s demise. The feminist movement, which was anything but feminine; the free love movement; the “Me generation”;The credit card; the environmentalist movement which brought on government control of our lives, and the mass migration of manufacturing off shore; the disappearance of the dress code; no prayer in schools; you name it, and the sixties was when it all reared it’s ugly head. That was when Satan drew his mark in the sand and has been gaining more territory every year since!

Now the fifties were the last of the America I loved. You lived within your means, you practiced the rules your parents instilled in you; you kept your word and your oaths; hoer ego was held in check; the June Cleaver days I long for where you never locked your doors; the kids had to be home in time for dinner;television was clean; most of us had a sense of irresponsibility; and we did not turn to the government for any help at all; taxes were nominal; Doctors and hospitals were affordable; and a dollar bought about Wait ten or $l5 or more will buy today! Give me the fifties every time!


22 posted on 03/03/2012 10:26:39 AM PST by Paperdoll (On the cutting edge)
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To: SeekAndFind

Incidentally, I had that Buick only it was Blue with a white top.


23 posted on 03/03/2012 10:28:03 AM PST by Paperdoll (On the cutting edge)
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To: SeekAndFind
You can't go home again.

Europe and Asia destroyed themselves 70 years ago. That left us on the top of the heap, the world's greatest political and economic power.

All that wealth was bound to have an effect on our national character. People came to feel entitled to their affluence and all the perks that went with being top country, and with that came symptoms of decline.

There were some signs of "planned" decline: there was an assumption that we could outsource manufacturing the things we consumed to other countries with cheaper labor and less regulation and a feeling that this would make them or keep them our allies. But even without that "managed" decline, other countries with lower production costs were bound to become our competitors, and the triumphant mood of the postwar years was bound to turn sour sooner or later.

24 posted on 03/03/2012 10:32:54 AM PST by x
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To: SeekAndFind

Always a mixed bag, depending on which aspect one emphasizes.

But I have to admit, 1950 would be so comparatively refreshing, on a cultural level, just to get away from the vomit-inducing vileness and ugliness of today. The country has become a total moral cesspool. It’s mind-boggling how depraved things have gotten.


25 posted on 03/03/2012 10:39:59 AM PST by greene66
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To: SeekAndFind; ClearCase_guy
Maybe it has something to do with civil rights for blacks in the 1950’s.

It's stereotyping. Yes, there was racism in the 1950s and a majority of young Americans like me were determined to end it. While the battle was successful, the spoils went to the Marxist New Left which stole the Civil Rights agenda from Dr. King. New Left radicals took over the Democrat Party and have since used "racism" as a propaganda battering ram to destroy traditional American culture.

Without the Marxists -- who had long searched for a means to destabilize America -- Blacks would have integrated peacefully and successfully into society. Instead they were radicalized via the Black Power movement and were alienated from White culture. LBJ's Great Society also put many on the permanent government dole to "protect" them from the ravages of "mean-spirited" Whites, even though the Black family was destroyed in the process.

Using the Civil Rights model New Left strategists have successfully Balkanized the U.S. As one who lived in our wonderful unified country of the 1950s I find it tragic we've been manipulated into a permanent state of being at each others' throats on the basis of class, race, sex, age, income, etc. The Marxists carefully exploited the age-old technique of "divide and conquer."

26 posted on 03/03/2012 11:05:36 AM PST by Bernard Marx
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To: SeekAndFind

Back in the 50s there was a strong black m iddle class that didn’t depend on government employment.


27 posted on 03/03/2012 11:21:36 AM PST by chesley (Eat what you want, and die like a man. Never trust anyone who hasn't been punched in the face)
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To: FrankR

Amen and amen!


28 posted on 03/03/2012 11:24:31 AM PST by chesley (Eat what you want, and die like a man. Never trust anyone who hasn't been punched in the face)
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To: chesley
Back in the 50s there was a strong black m iddle class

And nobody in the media will dare mention that the "Great Society" drove black unwed births from under 20% to 75%.

29 posted on 03/03/2012 11:27:36 AM PST by nascarnation (DEFEAT BARAQ 2012 DEPORT BARAQ 2013)
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To: Bernard Marx

Very well said!!


30 posted on 03/03/2012 11:38:41 AM PST by ClearCase_guy ("And the public gets what the public wants" -- The Jam)
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To: Dilbert San Diego

And rightly so. If you(male or female)were irresponsible enough to be unmarried & create a child, you SHOULD NOT be able to get gov’t assistance. Why should I, or anyone else, have to pay for YOUR mistake??? For a good many years now, it’s always someone elses’ fault & we’re sick of it.
I’m not saying things were perfect, but it sure was a heck of a lot better...even the 70’s were ok. I got paid 2X per month. One check paid the mtg. & all the bills. The other check bought food & went into savings. Now, I throw the bills in the air. Those landing face up get paid (IF I have enough), the rest wait until next month. How does the Gov’t expect people to live this way when they get OBSCENE amounts of money for running our lives??????


31 posted on 03/03/2012 11:51:53 AM PST by SCARED
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To: FrankR

AMEN! Kids played outside with their friends & their imagination...not on the couch with video games. We were healthier, too, with food from the backyard garden. Fresh tomatoes...yum!!

Sure we had the threat of the “Cold War”, but that’s what kept everyone in line. This country was strong then.


32 posted on 03/03/2012 12:00:38 PM PST by SCARED
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To: Paperdoll

If people were more moral back then, I have yet to read a reason so many lost theirs so easily a few years later. People who had strong morals in 1954 just up and decide in 1964 to throw them in the garbage? I have yet to read how that happens. Perhaps the “morals” were exceedingly flimsy.


33 posted on 03/03/2012 12:52:37 PM PST by AceMineral (Some people are too stupid for their own good.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I would gladly go back to 1950 but only if I could warn people not to end up like 2012 and not get treated like a madwoman.

Folks back then would likely never believe America sixty years into the future would be like it is today. It would sound too improbable.


34 posted on 03/03/2012 1:22:20 PM PST by Catmom
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To: SeekAndFind

I enjoyed the muscle car wars of the late 60’s and now they are back with the Shelby GT500, Camaro and Challenger. Now all we need is Chrysler to bring back the ‘Cuda.


35 posted on 03/03/2012 1:23:45 PM PST by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: Dilbert San Diego
I’ve had some conversations about this with people. And they frequently say that the ‘50s were terrible, with blacks at the back of the bus, and women in the kitchen, not in the board room.

The thing about blacks is this was only true for about 4 or 5 states, the rest of the states equal rights pretty much was the thing. Also, things were changing in the south and would have gotten better even without the civil rights movement. In fact some of the civil rights idiots were responsible for many deaths of blacks as a results of their meddling. As for women in the kitchen, just how terrible was that? Most husbands I knew back then didn't care if their wives worked but most wives didn't want to work. How hard could it be, and this was their attitude, to cook 3 meals a day with modern(and they were very modern compared to 40 years prior to that)appliances, clean the house for about 1 hour per day and have the rest of the day off. Most wives knew they were essential to the family and to raising the children correctly.

Tell me how much better off families are today with latch key children and no one home to discipline the kids or too tired to do so after working all day or night. Especially since the family had declined and single parents abound in today's society. 50s were better, I was there and I know. We were much freer then than we are now and blacks were gradually winning the war in the south slowly but surely.

36 posted on 03/03/2012 5:35:00 PM PST by calex59
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To: AceMineral

No. It doesn’t work that way. It starts with one thing, the destruction of a beautiful country is much like the destruction of a beautiful cashmere sweater! It starts starts with one tiny moth hole. Then as other moths gradually appear, more and more of the sweater is devoured.

Around l964 the Jonson Administration passed Medicare. And there went the affordability of health care! The tax bite widened. People were lured into buying what they couldn’t afford with credit cards, making it necessary for mothers to go to work rather than stay home and raise their children. So the public schools took over! The schools replaced American history with sex education, the new math and “social Studies”!

Marxism spread purposely from within, until we gradually got to the point we now find ourselves.

Have your heard about the Canada wolves, breeding pairs of which have been released into rural areas? Canadian wolves, twice the size of our timber wolves, are killing horses, cattle, other livestock and pets. Canines can produce a litter in little more than two months. The pups are not collared as the original pair were, so they cannot be tracked. The wolf slaughter of the private property of ranchers and farmers is terrible! If this continues, they will find it necessary to give up and move to the cities, which is exactly what the environmentalists want. It’s a gargantuan land grab if I ever saw one!

We do not enjoy a proper press any longer. The media, the courts sand the government are all together in the push toward the New World Order, which is not new. It is Fascism. It is Marxist. It is evil! For the lack of knowledge it now may well be too late!

Cause and effect. It is gradual, but if it is not moral, the effects are always lethal.


37 posted on 03/03/2012 5:40:29 PM PST by Paperdoll (On the cutting edge)
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To: Dilbert San Diego

No. 1950s America was great compared to what ya have today.

Today ya got daily drive-bys, back in the 50’s, drive-ins.

High schools in the 50s had shooting teams and gun clubs.

Nowadays, a 4th grader drawing a pic of a gun brings in swat teams.

No one cared about government as it wasn’t bloated, out of control, corrupt, attempting to control everything ya do.

Homes were affordable, few if any ghettos, mass murders, mass school shootings were unheard of and sadistic deviant behavior was not celebrated...

Most people kept the same job for 25 years or so, and had a good retirement...

The U.S. had secured respected borders in the 1950s, and no one back then would tolerate a lawless invasion of tens of millions....

I could go on for 20 pages.


38 posted on 03/03/2012 6:04:07 PM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: SeekAndFind

GAllon Gas cost $.27 in 1950 would cost $2.42 in 2010 adjusted for inflation.


39 posted on 03/03/2012 6:10:37 PM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks SeekAndFind.
40 posted on 03/04/2012 7:27:11 PM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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