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Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:09 PM

To those Americans who pine for the "good ole days"....

What about segregation, Jim Crow, and the generally racist attitudes of the population?

What about the utterly dismal lack of rights for women, in so many things-in their marriages, in work (for those that did work..), in social norms and convention, in cases of rape or sexual abuse in general?

What about higher violent crime rates and rates of domestic abuse that went unreported?

What about the lack of rights and constant fears of violence, shame, and ostracizing for members of the LGBTQ community?

What about the lack of alternative, counter-culture, or otherwise "different" lifestyles, for young people as well as old people?

What about the general obedience of much of the population to authority figures and lack of alternative media?

What about the Cold War military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned America of-and the lack of response or concern to that (at the time)?

There were many good things about the "good old days" of the 1940s through the 60s (since that is usually the era most Americans who talk about the "good ole days" refer to). There were also many horrible things, especially for many demographics that had no political voice. Let's not forget what was good about those days, but at the same time, let's also not forget what was most decidedly NOT good about the American past.






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Reply To those Americans who pine for the "good ole days".... (Original post)
YoungDemCA Feb 2013 OP
Brickbat Feb 2013 #1
YoungDemCA Feb 2013 #2
el_bryanto Feb 2013 #3
Spider Jerusalem Feb 2013 #6
iemitsu Feb 2013 #10
Cirque du So-What Feb 2013 #4
Puzzledtraveller Feb 2013 #5
randome Feb 2013 #7
Populist_Prole Feb 2013 #8
iemitsu Feb 2013 #9

Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:17 PM

1. Holy shit, you're right. If we went back to 1950s-level taxation, unionization and domestic

manufacturing levels, we would have no choice but to go back to the social attitudes of the time as well.

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:21 PM

2. Where did I imply anything of that sort?

The economic boom of the post-war era, for what it's worth, was enjoyed by much of the American population, but by no means all of it, in no small part because of said social attitudes.

I know that a lot of things were better back then for many people, but as I stated above-that by no means applied to everybody.

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:22 PM

3. More Succinct than I would have said i

Essentially accurate though. When people talk about what they liked in the past, that doesn't automatically mean they want everything to come back.

Bryant

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:41 PM

6. Except that the 1950's economy had very little to do with any of those things

the USA was the only industrial economy not substantially disrupted by WWII; American factories weren't bombed, the USA didn't have to devote its resources to rebuilding. Also, in 1950? Total world oil production was 10 million barrels a day, of which 50% was produced in the US. Today? The US accounts for maybe 10% of total oil production and doesn't enjoy the industrial advantage over other countries it formerly did; going back to 1950's rates of taxation and union membership wouldn't magically bring back 1950's economic conditions.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:36 PM

10. Bringng back old tax rates would not magically

recreate the economy of the 1950s but it would go a long way toward re-establishing some equity in our economic and political lives.
Time travel is not the answer to our current problems but close examination of history can provide us with information to improve our current situation.
Raising taxes on the rich would, in fact, provide the resources which could be used to improve the lives of most Americans. There is simply no will in America to do that. We look at those, with less than we have, as victims of their own poor choices without taking into account the very real factors that dictate the demographics of dispossession.
We have opened up the doors of higher education to a more diverse crowd but at a price that will create a class of debt peons, not provide freedom of choice or movement.
Income inequality is the major problem in America today. Nobody should be defending the rich against a tax structure that would make life better for all Americans.
If heavy taxes on the rich bothers you, an even better solution would be for workers to receive fair compensation for their labor. Then the rich wouldn't be so rich and the poor wouldn't be so poor. Then we would recognize the value we all possess rather than thinking that only the few, those with all our resources in their pockets, had value.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:26 PM

4. Trouble is

there are still plenty of people around who look at all the things you mention and don't see a downside. They typically vote repug.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:28 PM

5. For me, the good ole days were..

Record stores, Sony Walk-mans, hanging out after school, in person!

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:50 PM

7. Embrace the Present.

The Past is gone and the Future doesn't exist.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:52 PM

8. Lots of dunces I know like to cherry pick and conflate old & new

As if they can conflate the best of both. They'll wax nostalgic at 32 cents/gallon gasoline, 35 cent loafs of bread, 2500 dollar cars, and then look at me like some smartass killjoy when I ask them: Well how much did you earn then, 5 dollars an hour? Same for the bigger picture: Doctors that made house calls, a job situation that enabled a single working class earner to own a home and support a family, vibrant quaint downtown areas, a plethora of publicly funded nice spiffy things ( libraries, parks, public works projects ) and all, yet want everything cheap cheap cheap.

Selfish dolts, the lot of them.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:11 PM

9. There were certainly many things about the "good old days"

that were not so good and it is fair and honest to recognize that as truth; however, whatever social gains we have made, since then, have been countered with a loss of economic and political power. On the surface it looks as if we have become more inclusive but the numbers of women and ethnic-Americans who now have political and economic clout either don't or aren't allowed to exercise that clout to help those Americans who continue to struggle.
Official "Jim Crow" segregation is gone but Charter schools are re-segregating our public school system, with the blessing of many in society, even many here on DU.
Women and minorities have gained a louder voice in our society but, in exchange, we have all lost rights that have been sacrosanct and considered the underpinnings of our uniquely (and supposedly wonderful) American-ness.
Some types of violent crime are down but the reporting of violent crimes is up and is, in fact, the tool being used to strip us of long held political rights.
Media choice is far more narrow today than it used to be. Most media outlets are owned by four mega-corporations. The only alternative is found online and poor Americans don't have computers or access to the internet.
The middle-class is shrinking and losing the political and economic power that it once enjoyed while working-class Americans now foolishly call themselves middle-class (financing their fantasy with easy credit which will result in peonage not upward social mobility).
Americans are no less obedient today than they ever have been, and though more have access to higher education today, we may have fewer/weaker critical thinking skills than our grandparents (who possessed common sense).
Fewer of us attend church but we're more likely to accept ideas that have no basis in fact.
The military Industrial Complex has not gone anywhere. It is the catalyst for our loss of political and economic strength.
Many, who had no voice, during the "good old days" now have one but those voices are only heard in an echo chamber that never reaches the halls of power or is so muted when it arrives that the messages are lost.
Life was not idyllic in the "good old days" but it is not so today either. We have traded one set of problems for another.
Americans have demanded greater equity and social progress but what we have been granted is only the appearance of progress, in fact our lives are far less free or secure than they were decades ago.

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