TSJones wrote:I remember the '60's quit well....
1. houses were smaller back then and less insulated against weather.
2. long distance telephone usage was extremely expensive.
3. cars had fewer amenities, a radio cost extra, engines lasted only 100,000 miles, tires lasted 20,000 miles, mufflers, 50,000 miles, motor exhaust produced clouds of smog, there were no three point seat belts or crash bags or side bars inside car doors to protect from side crashes, no collaspsible steering wheel to keep from spearing you like a fish in a head on collison, no anti rupture gas tanks, etc., etc., engine needed a tune up every 3,999 miles or so.....
4. medicare, medicaid, voting rights act and civil rights act all became a reality in 1960's, something we take for granted now days.
5.far more people are now covered by medical insurance.
6. No more military draft, head shave and sent to a far off war unless you volunteer. half my platoon in the Marines were draftees. warfare has been transformed by computers and machines.
7. Italian food was considered foreign. I never had a slice of pizza until 1967. I thought canned chow mein was Chinese food. never had a burrito until 1971.
8. there were three TV channels, maybe.. a lot of towns only had one or two.
9. You got cancer, usually you died.
10, heart by pass surgery was rare for most of America, as was hip replacement.
11. I learned to program by using punch cards. batch computers worked on one job at a time, there was very little real time on line computing. printers had to wait and take its turn, no spooling of printing while waiting for printer to finish..
I cud go on nad on.......
but generally the good old days weren't so good........
also hard to get a stock brokerage account, no stock firm wanted odd lotters.......and very hard to get up to the minute stock quotes, generally odd lotters had to use mutual funds.....
oh, and you could get arrested for buying ***** and commedians got arrested for using for using foul language in their acts.
New York City you could not perform w/o a caberet card which ruled out guys like Thelonious Monk who used drugs. so you could hear Thelonius play jazz on radio and records but not see him in NYC. In New Orleans Louis Armstrong after he was famous was not allowed to have a white musician play with him on stage. Louis never went back to his home town again.
there were no black people on tv until Bill Cosby broke the color barrier on the tv show ISpy.
I never met an Asian until a Japanese girl came to our high school as a foreign exchange student. As evil and racist as Alabama was, she fought like hell going back to Japan and resisted her parents and went to college in Alabama. She really dug it in the US.
Ah, the Wonder Years!
I grew up in India at the time, but knew enough about life in the US even then.
1. You could walk out in the middle of the night with your girl without fear of being mugged in the street
(unless you lived in a really bad part of town). In India we kids could ride around on our bicycles all day around the neighborhood without worries of being run over by a rampaging bus or lorry.
Plenty of homeless still on the streets
2. Cars were few and didn't work well, but you didn't have to sit in traffic for two hours every morning to get to work
3. If you got cancer, sure you probably died then and not that much has changed, you still die but you do that on a ventilator for weeks while your relatives decided who gets the life-insurance. Today nursing homes are nothing but ventilator-farms. Millions are still uninsured or under-insured.
4. Sure, you have civil rights and a Black President, but white policemen still shoot unarmed black people in the back and rampaging white youth decapitate black men while dragging their bodies behind their pickups - just for fun.
5. No more draft, but it is till the poor and underprivileged who volunteer for the armed forces. How many rich lawyer/doctor/wallstreet families send their kinds into the force?
6. Morbid obesity is an epidemic in the US, I ought to know, I deal with these people on a daily basis. Too much variety of food still does not mean GOOD food, it is the same McD junk people eat.
7. Too much television still does not mean they tell the truth. Reality shows, shopping channels and game shows actually mean there is little of value. Unfortunately this malady has afflicted the rest of the world as well.
8. Now we have people with smartphones, constantly glued to them even while crossing the street, no people-to-people interaction, texting each other even when standing in the same line, sexting in high school.....
I could go on and on too.
The point I am making is that advancements in technology, computer science, food choices, healthcare, societal mores and legislation have not necessarily brought us greater happiness or a better quality of life.
Greater life expectancy is not from treatment of cancers but from better public health, vaccinations, control of infections and in some cases better nutrition.
Ethnic and racial biases still exist, religion is an even bigger problem in the world today than it was in the '60s.
The biggest difference, IMHO is in the perception of America (and by extension the West in general) in the world. In the 60s, the United States was considered the leader in academics, research, technology, science, quality of life, fairness and justice. A place that everyone wanted to come to to pursue a higher level of education. The Universities were considered the best, the power of the USA was palpable at every level of life everywhere in the world.
Today that reputation has been tarnished badly, decline of research and academia, inadequate funding for basic sciences, continued belligerence in an increasingly polarized world, stubborn pursuit of partisan international politics and a blunderbuss approach to problems that require great subtlety and tact has made the US of A, a place people across the world love to hate. Economic refugees still stream across the borders, but then they also do that into India. A very sad fact and partly our own doing. No longer a shining beacon of light to lead the world and yet a power that everyone expects to fix everything that is wrong with the world puts it in an unenviable place.
As with so many other nations, inept and often handicapped leadership has just made matters that much worse.