Skip to comments.Where Were You in '62?
Posted on 07/28/2012 3:55:27 AM PDT by Kaslin
Fifty years ago, in the summer of 1962, America was a far different place from what it is today. President John Kennedy was presiding over Camelot, and despite fouling up the invasion of Cuba, his approval rating hovered at around 80 percent. Unemployment was 5.2 percent with the average family income at $6,000 a year.
Most Americans did not have much money but made do. Millions bought Elvis Presley's record "Return to Sender" and went to see "Lawrence of Arabia" in movie theaters. At home, "Wagon Train" was the top TV show.
Years later, the film "American Graffiti" featured the ad campaign "Where were you in '62?" Well, I was on Long Island, hanging around. During the day, we swam at the Levittown pool and played stickball in the street, and in August, my father took us to a lake in Vermont. Also, we went to Jones Beach and baked in the sun without block while secondhand cigarette smoke engulfed us on the blanket.
My folks had little disposable income, certainly not enough for air conditioning or a color television set. But again, there was little whining in my working-class neighborhood. We had fun with what was available. Most everybody worked. Nobody was on welfare.
In fact, just 6 percent of Americans received welfare payments in 1962. Now that number is 35 percent. More than 100 million of us are getting money from the government, and that does not count Social Security and Medicare, programs workers pay into. This is a profound change in the American tradition.
Also, we now have close to nine million workers collecting federal disability checks. In 2001, that number was about five million. Here's my question: Is the workplace that much more hazardous than it was 11 years ago? Is our health that much worse?
The answer is no. What we are seeing is the rise of the Nanny State.
Self-reliance and ambition made the United States the most powerful nation on Earth. But that ethic is now eroding fast. Instead, many Americans are looking to game the system, and the philosophy of "where's mine" has taken deep root. About half of American workers pay no federal income tax, leaving the burden to be shouldered by the achievers. As The Edward Winter Group once sang: "Come on and take a free ride. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!"
Presiding over and joyously encouraging this societal shift is the purveyor of social justice President Barack Obama. His entire campaign is now built around making the rich "pay their fair share." And where will that money go? To those in need, of course. And those legions are growing larger every single day.
Fair-minded people do not begrudge a safety net for Americans who, through no fault of their own, need help. A compassionate society provides for those battered by life. But what is happening in this country is far beyond a helping hand. We are creating a dual society. In one corner: Americans who work hard to succeed. In the other corner: folks who want what you have.
And the second corner is the growth industry.
” As The Edward Winter Group once sang: “
That’s, “EDGAR Winter Group”.....
In1962 I was 4. My Dad was about to go Vietnam for the 1st of 2 tours. In the 50’s he fought in Korea, in 1941 he was getting breakfast when the Japs invaded Pearl Harbor. My 11 year old sister took care of me for awhile because my Mother had a nervous breakdown. Neighbors pitched in to help us.
Nobody took anything from anybody. You did what you had to do.
I was 12 years old,remember it well. Dad used to go up a ladder to move the antena so we could change chanals on our bw tv. Life was good
Riding in the back of a Duke Power bus because my nanny wasn’t allowed in the front.
Our national debt was $298.2 Billion on 30 June 1962.
Not all of the changes in our country have been bad.
I remember when 1962 was only 20 years ago when it was still common to see cars from then on the streets and the music wasn’t old enough to even be considered retro.
It was like what 1992 is to today.
Playing over a friend’s house (I was five years old then).
“Not all of the changes in our country have been bad.”
Of course, not all change is bad.
I was 18 then, and the country was one hell of a lot better then it is today.
It has been in a steady decline ever since.
I am quite thankful that I have the choice to experience life in other countries.
I was 6 years old, dad was alive, family was growing, had fun summer with friends swimming and outdoor fun. Transistor AM radio and victrola for music. B/W TV for Saturday AM cartoons. We rode our bikes everywhere—helmets?
Couldn’t play enough baseball.
Rode our sleds in winter and built snow forts .Life was more than good.
I was 10 years old and growing up in the lovely, bucolic village of Cranbury, NJ. No color TV, no AC. We played baseball and rode our bikes for fun, cooled off under the sprinkler, walked down to the corner candy store for a treat, or bought a cone or Popsicle from the ice cream truck that came around every evening. Dad made a few thousand a year, first as a milkman delivering milk and cream door to door, and later as a clerk in an office. But we owned our home, never went hungry, and went “down the shore” every year for vacation. It all seems so long ago.
Our standard of living is much higher now than it was in 1962.
How exactly has the country been in decline?
I was almost 21 and engaged to my future husband
Now, 50 years later, I'm not so sure I'm better off. After a 25 year career in the Navy and a 15 year second career as a defense contractor, I have retired. Not rich, but comfy. Raised 4 kids through college who are now raising their own families. I have 6 TV's in my house, 3 computers and a GPS in each if my cars. Over 200 channels on the cable box; only a dozen or so are worth sitting in front of. My local newspaper is 50 % advertising and tilts to the left. I'm on my fifth cell phone and only use about 5% of its functions. My annual taxes are roughly 8 times my father's 1962 annual salary.
If I could, I would go back to 1962 in a heartbeat.
I was fresh out of college and just starting my career. I had been pretty much apolitical, but became as excited about Jack Kennedy back then as our young people were for Obama in 2008. He turned out to be the only Democrat I ever voted for.
Summer '62 -- between Jr. High and High School.
We walked a mile to Jr. High, took the bus to High School.
First kiss in 1962, and yes, I do remember her name.
But I'll never tell... ;-)
I would go back, too. Things weren’t perfect, but a whole lot better than they are today.
If we would have been told what American society would be like in 2012, we never would have believed it. Glad I won’t be here in another 50 years but I dread it for my children (and grandchildren if any).
I was 26, a 1Lt in the Field Artillery back from a tour in Korea and stationed at Ft Totten, NY. “Way up north of the Imjin, Guarding freedoms frontiers. We are the first of the First Team, We are the eyes and the ears.”