The best of times

Photo by Robert Linder from

My teenage years were during what many feel were the best times, the late 40’s and early 50’s.  The war had ended and after years of food, gas and clothing rationing, our economy burst at the seams.  Clothes were funny (not to us then), with lots of material, huge shoulders, long skirts for women;  and the cars:  so long and so wide, huge fins, terrible gas mileage (gas was 25 cents a gallon), and the future looked so great.

GI’s had the right to go to college, guaranteed loans to buy houses (new houses were from $10,000 up, cars around $2500) and we felt that when we got married, our kids would have a brighter future than we did.

OK, so today we have the web, electronic marvels abound, and a pretty lousy world for many.  If you have a degree you no longer have a guarantee of a job, and the so-called middle class is heading south; and money is definitely not trickling down.

This is not a Republican or Democratic thing;  for whatever reason this is where we ended up.

Every one talks about whether or not you are patriotic;  that does not mean waving a flag or just supporting our troops.  Either the Americans of my generation were gullible or far more patriotic;  when we were told to conserve and ration, we did.   Everyone made sacrifices to support the war effort.  Prices were controlled (by the government).

When the Vietnam war came about, those in charge (again Dems and Repubs) wanted people to not be affected, so we were not told to choose between “butter and guns”.  No restrictions were imposed, we did not sacrifice in any way, and our debt grew and inflation came about.  And future wars came without sufficient reason and we just accepted it.

From that point on we have never been asked to save, buy bonds, hold back and look where we are.  And when things turned into an almost-depression (or maybe a real one), the solution given was to go out and shop.

So  now all of us are no better off (except for a select few) and the pols are all afraid to cut any of the real cuts that are needed (and not just ones that affect the already distressed middle and poor classes).  We shouldn’t just blame them, we all went along with it.

God Bless America.


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