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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Price of Progress

1960 Main St. USA
Lately I’ve been hitting a special nerve (in a good way) with my followers on Facebook (Being 50).  My page is about remembering the great times we lived in, from everyday lifestyles of the 1960’s, and 1970’s to now.  I regularly get wonderful comments about how my followers wish things had not changed so drastically.  I am in full agreement but life is what it is.  You can’t embrace the scientific and social progress, without experiencing some mild to drastic changes depending on the progress.
Everything that comes along eventually changes the landscape and necessitates a change in the rules that society abides by.  The 1950’s were a very special time in which our parents had been raised by parents that were bi-products of the Great Depression.  Thus our grandparents were very conservative and wouldn’t spend a nickel for fear that it would be needed the next day or next month.  Some parents would even mix saltine crackers with scrambled eggs to maximize the meal even if they could afford two eggs for every family member for breakfast.
Our parents became a little more progressive, and enjoyed their lives to a different level but still conservative.  Our parents still maintained a rainy day fund, after all they still didn’t enjoy sick leave and vacation or health insurance from their jobs.  If you had a reasonable savings, perhaps you could plan on a sensible vacation, otherwise you worked all year round.  God forbid you fell ill, you may have to take time from work and not be earning the income that you were accustomed to.  I am aware that there were exceptions, where the person might be working for a relative, and some special consideration might be extended.
The majority of employers in the 1950’s were made of small businesses (better known as mom and pop operations).  Those small businesses were getting a small return on their investment, because they weren’t gouging the customers as corporation do now-a-days.  All you have to do is check the disparity in paychecks between the front line worker of a large corporation and the millions paid to the CEO and top administrators.
Once again digress.  The object of this post was to write about the wonderful memories we have of a more enjoyable time in our lives when life was so basic, and simple.  As late as the mid-1980’s my cable costs were $7.95 per month, but now you get many more channels you might say.  The funny thing is I now have less time to sit and watch the television than I did in mid-1980.  I still watch maybe 4 to 6 channels, and don’t need the other 800 plus channels.
1976 Chevy Monte Carlo
In 1976 I paid $7,200.00 plus tax license and financing for a 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo (loaded).  Today a similar type and equipped car starts at over $30,000 (a 2014 Impala SS starts at $64,000 fully loaded) (the same price applies to a 2014 Camaro SS).
I am grateful for all the medical advances however, and unfortunately the average American can’t afford it.  Have you compared your utility bills lately to even the 1990’s?  To top it all we use to drink free water, now we have been sold on the idea that we must get our drinking water from a plastic bottle.  At a time when cities and States are fighting to ban plastic bags from grocery stores we produce more and more plastic waste from water bottles.
Once again life is what it is, I’m just passing on what I’m hearing on my Facebook page.  May I recommend that you enjoy a cup of tea or a cup of hot chocolate (or your favorite drink for that matter) before you go to bed at night, and spend the last 20 or 30 minutes before you close your eyes remembering the great times you spent growing up amongst your brothers and sisters, cousins, and friends.  If you are like me your thoughts will transfer into your dreams and you most likely will wake up relaxed and happy (happier).  The best is yet to come…

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