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America In My Youth: It Was A Great Time To Have Lived... 1950's.

It was a Great time to have Lived... 1950's.


College days, broke and looking at the nice new cars. Gas .30/gallon. Pair of good shoes $8.00, fountain soda .10 (in silver coins, by the way)


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You mean back when Blacks

You mean back when Blacks couldn't vote, when women and minorities had no power, when not being staunchly "pro-America" meant social and possibly legal suicide, where the average income was around $4,000, when the highest marginal tax rate was 90%, when government confiscated over 60% of income in taxes, when it was illegal to own gold, where there was a REAL threat of being drafted, where dictators stomped and mangled many nations, when malnourishment was a much bigger problem than it was today, etc. etc.


Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

Are you serious?

I don't remember anyone ranting on and on about how great any of those things were, do you? While you are at it do some math. As was mentioned, gas was 30 cents a gallon, and a soda was 10 cents. According to coinflation.com that silver dime is now worth $1.40, and that gas would be $4.20, so that's not too far off of what these items would cost today. Average income of $4000? Well if we increase that 14 fold, then that would be like making $56000 per year now. Do you think the average income is anywhere near that now?

But on to better and bigger things. Just because someone grew up in the 50's, and has a positive memory of the times, doesn't make them a lover of any of the things you mentioned. In fact, if they were "growing up" during those times, they more than likely didn't affect them in one bit. Hindsight is 20/20 they say, but perhaps you have full time 20/20 and felt the uneasy pressures of the world since birth, perhaps you are a messiah? I don't think that is the case, however you do sound like Oprah, Jackson, and Sharpton rolled up into one "baiter". Just out there looking for something to be even the slightest bit offensive, so that you can point out how horrible someone is for having an original thought that doesn't agree with you.

To be fair, is there a time in your history that you remember with fondness? Give me a time frame, perhaps I can cherry pick a few things from them to "offend" me. Sorry, I have a fondness for ranting against nonsense like this. I grew up in the 80's and I think it was better than today, but obviously it wasn't perfect by any means. Does that make me a lover of all things bad during the eighties?

The average income may have been $4000

but new three bedroom, 2 bathrooms houses in central California were $12,000. They were $17,000 in Los Angeles in the late 50's/early 60's. My dad was a blue collar man and he could afford to buy labor saving machines like clothes washer and dryer and dishwasher for the family. My parents paid cash for all those things, including the family car. Their only debt was the house mortgage. My mom bought clothes and shoes for us kids at Sears and Penney', not Goodwill. All that on $4,000 a year.

Back to the Future?

Back to the Future?

very familiar, much of it--


this looks really familiar--



grandpa and grandma kept their outhouse painted, but it came to look like this after the indoor plumbing was put in--

VERY familiar--


it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

oh, I need to add something here--

I have gotten involved in all sorts of little side discussions from this OP--

which I do appreciate--

I was born in a rural area and lived in a rural area most of my life--

not the same place in which I was born, though--(father taught school; his parents were farmers; even schoolteachers worked the fields in the fall in our part of the world; kids would be let out of school to work the fields)--

for those of us in rural areas in the 50s--

the 50s were about hard work and staying warm in the winter and harvests from gardens and croplands in the fall--

and cows and horses and pigs and chickens--

it was a time we have tended to idealize--

as being more wholesome, but it was also a more sober time--

even the best dads home from WWII had problems with waking up at night in cold sweats from war memories--

it was a more sober time in some ways--

Christmases were simpler; many things were simpler--

but I remember a lot of dirt roads and not many 'fancy' cars, because, frankly, they wouldn't have survived in an area where roads were dirt--


And my grandparents HIGHLY disapproved of Elvis--

so we didn't get to listen to him too much--

Everything was very different in rural areas--

no hamburger 'joints'--

I didn't realize how city kids dressed in the 50s until I grew up; the kids in our area didn't wear blue jeans rolled up with t-shirts; they were farm kids and had to work on the farms; they didn't have time for cars or city clothes--

just regular jeans--

flannel shirts/work shirts--

overalls were big--

I'd love to see some rural pictures--

television brought a very strange world to my grandparents and even my parents--

all the city stuff--

I remember a lot of 'snorting' over it--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

lots of cars--

lots of Elvis, but, oddly, that was what I remember about the 50s--

Elvis and cars!!! LOL!

The 50s did feel safe--

maybe because I was young, and my parents and grandparents were very 'together', solid people--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Growing Up in the 50's

...was really something, at least for me.
Parents "insulated" their kids from "adult issues" and I do remember many Sunday get-togethers with all my cousins, aunts & uncles who all had an impact on my "development".
Children knew their place, and if the grownups were discussing something of serious consequence, we kids were instructed to go outside..it wasn't for us to concern ourselves.
If we were poor...we didn't know it.
And although each family had it's fair share of life, death, misfortune and obstacles, there was a common sense approach to dealing with it all....and keep moving forward.
Many a picture was snapped with the old Kodak camera, either color film or B&W, in front of the family automobile.
Uncle Herb had one of these:
I still have fond memories of a Sunday drive, all of us kids in the car, enjoying the "adventure" of the open road.
Thanks for the pics, and the walk down memory lane.
And if some people here want to discuss issues of "serious consequence"?? Go outside and write your own OP, the rest of us are having too much fun for you to "rain on our parade".

"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!


I have already replied here twice yet apart from the ladies, those automobiles are absolutely beautiful.

Roughly my fav...



The best time is always NOW...

I know it's hard to remember that (God knows I forget all the time), but we've all known that to be true at some point or another. Libertarianism to me is NOT playing the victim as an earlier post implied (forgive me if I misunderstood). Quite the opposite. Libertarianism to me is faith that I can handle it (whatever the "it" is that Life throws at me). Said another way, "No,thanks: I don't need your handout. I can take care of me and mine just fine."

No-one but Paul!

you were probably referring to me

But I agree with everything you said. When people ask me what year I would live in if I could choose, I always say the current year. Yes, some things were better "back in the day", but on the whole things are improving, even from a libertarian perspective.

Tyler Cowen, a libertarian economist, talks about this often on his blog, Marginal Revolution.

When I was talking about playing the victim, I know not everyone thinks this way. But it's fairly common. People that blame their financial problems on the federal reserve, employment problems on immigrants, relationship problems on feminism, economic problems on the federal government, etc.

Boys born in the 40s (and

Boys born in the 40s (and growing up in the 50s) had a pretty good chance of being enslaved by their own government and sent to the slaughter in Vietnam. I wouldn't call that a good thing.

The draft/selective service still exists today for men and boys. Fortunately, there hasn't been an active draft for decades, but the law in many states still requires boys as young as 15 years and 8 months to pre-register or they can't get their driver's license. In all states, boys that don't register can't get government-based student loans or apply to state schools (I don't think) and men can't get government jobs if they aren't registered. There's also that Federal penalty of 10-years of jail and/or $250k not registering.

"Villains wear many masks, but none as dangerous as the mask of virtue." - Washington Irvin


To every thing...turn, turn, turn,
There is a season, turn, turn, turn,
And a separate thread is suggested,
For that reason.....


"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!

Haha, you're right. I'm so

Haha, you're right. I'm so sorry that I forgot to run my comment by the thread dic-tator. I'll be sure to ask for your permission in the future.

Geez, thought this site was about freedom.

"Villains wear many masks, but none as dangerous as the mask of virtue." - Washington Irvin

Love all the memories thru the pictures

I was born in the late 50's, but I remember the 60's well.

Wish my parents hadn't been so naive, so in my late 40's into my early 50's I had to relearn everything about how we've been lied to all these years.

I always suspected something was wrong, and in 2003 I woke up totally. It was a freaking night mare. Made me sick to my stomach.

I look back and can even see how my parents fell for all the propaganda spewed forth from T.V. news. Holy smokes!

I remember my dad listened to a so-called "radical" radio personality before T.V. (Can't remember his name... Johnny Walker?) Then T.V. news took over his attention and belief system.

Unfortunately he died last year at 93, just after realizing it was a big lie. He hated Obama. Couldn't believe the country chose a communist/socialist for president. He's better off now. He loved this country and people.

On the other side of the coin

On the other side of the coin was Operation Mockingbird, United fruit and Guatemala, the Iranian Coup and Operation Ajax, MK Ultra, the beginnings of Vietnam, Hungary, Haiti and a host of other terrible things that the public knew nothing about, but grew fat upon. It does seem like a wonderful time to live in ignorant bliss but I'd trade that for knowing the truth about modern empire any time. Could be wrong here but it also seems like the generation least willing to look truthfully in the mirror.

thank you for bringing this up--

my parents and grandparents weren't aware of these things; my public school teachers were not aware of these things--

I had well-educated parents, but they knew nothing about these things--

that's why 'times were good'--

we were ignorant.

I would rather not be ignorant, but I miss the innocence of the age, nonetheless; the American people were babies--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Ha! Indeed. You beat me to it.

That's the prob with nostalgia... those rosy-colored glasses make fools of us all! (I've been guilty of the same shit. LOL!) Yeah, I see little to celebrate with respect to the decade which continued the Red Scare, fattened up the Military-Industrial Complex, and generally pushed such gross uniformity of thought, appearance, etc.

I can forgive the "Greatest Generation" (as bullshit as that title is) for wanting to keep their heads in the sand, however, after the HORROR that was the Second World War. I chalk up all the baby-making and detachment to a large-scale, widespread--and totally understandable--emotional band-aid(TM) / denial / psychological survival whatchemacallit....

Plus, women penned up at home, after having run the factories during wartime. Working women earning much, much less than men. Sucked to be black or a minority, too. (Sorry, but these are just facts.)

What would the Founders do?

sharkhearted's picture

VERY well said...


Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.

The 50's was 10 years

It's interesting that we memorialize this one decade as the peak of Americana. I wonder if it has anything to do with tv becoming commonplace in homes and simply portraying a reality that never quite existed. Or only existed as a result of war ration weary people becoming consumers. It's interesting to think about because the 50's seem so much larger than life but were only one decade.

Imagine what would of happened

If we didn't have a constantly devaluing debt currency. Production efficiency exploded during the time since then thus massively reducing production costs. If we didn't have the criminal fraud of debt based currency then prices would have actually gone down since then. People's work time requirements for life sustainment would have gone down and people would have more time for family, learning and creative activities.

Instead America has rotted to its very core since then all while productive efficiency exploded. It's really kind of sad to see a nation of people rot away in the time since then.

The most powerful Law of Nature is Time. It is finite and we all will run out of it. Use this Law to your advantage, for it offers you infinite possibilities...

and they told us we would

and they told us we would have all kinds of leisure time and luxuries like robots--only if we worked a little longer

I think what was better back then

was that there were a lot fewer people; there was more room to move around and exist. The population in this country is far too big right now which is why I don't get letting all of these illegal immigrants into the country swelling the population even more.

You can't remember the 1950s with out

The Christmas store displays of Lionel trains, the catalogs of American Flyer layouts. I remember my fort Cheyenne play set, the Davey Crockett coonskin hat and going to the local lumber yard where the guys gave us the wood to build our own tree house.

I also remember the warning about eating the radioactive snow, the duck and cover practice in school. The constant fear of a nuclear war which seemed inevitable when sputnik was launched. Coming home from school one day and telling my father that the president had just announced that the US was going to send a man to the moon! He scolded me, said I was reading those damn comic books again, that it was my imagination, that he had never heard of anything so ridiculous. I made sure he was right infront of the TV at 6:00 PM that day as it was announced. He sat amazed, in a state of unbelief, poured a beer, cracked an egg in it with salt and pepper and said "the democrats will spend money on anything". He was right about that part. LOL


Those days were the best from what my parents have told us.

The sense of community was especially dear to them as well.

The peacefulness allowed for leaving locks on homes or cars open.

Reap what you sow I guess since those times.

ps. no GMO's lol


Born in 55 and in Anaheim CA

Born in 55 and in Anaheim CA I remember...

Gas Regular and Ethyl @ 25 cents/gallon

Could ride in the back of a pickup

I Want to Hold Your Hand

We had a milkman

Cars were huge

You were required to drink and drive ;-)

Kennedy killed, Oswald shot on live TV (black and white) by Ruby, remember being pissed because I couldn't watch cartoons on the weekend

No microwaves, answering machines, cellphones, internet, cable, etc.

Could ride a bike without a helmet

Seat belts were an option

90% silver coins in circulation

Penny candy

And who could forget Les Paul and Mary Ford...


Born in 55 in Merced, CA

I remember all that, too.

But keep in mind: no one talked about child-abuse, people smoked like chimneys, serial killers could easily escape detection, pregnant young women often took desperate measures, Hollywood pumped out fictions that people believed or wanted to believe, and you were a child, so even the things that were being dealt with by grown-ups may have been hidden from you.

One of the reasons we "old people" think the world is going to Hell (in that era, "Hell" was capitalized, although you weren't supposed to use the word H-E-double-hockeysticks) in a hand-basket, is their childhoods were sheltered, so from their point of view the world was pretty nice.

I have two words for that: Charles Dickens.

I'm not sure the world gets worse so much as it churns and cycles. Clearly, a free market and free communication combine to raise all boats. Adjusted for inflation, gas is cheaper, now than it was, then...and it isn't killing us with lead.

On the other hand, the government hadn't yet totally taken over all the social institutions, like churches and charities--people gave voluntarily.

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

Nice post

Very eloquent

I wonder if our parents

I wonder if our parents thought so coming out of War War II or the Korean War?