Saturday, March 3, 2012
Just isn't right
(Educational toy circa 1950s. Note no sexual organs. Wouldn't want the kiddies getting any ideas now.)
Too much going on in the world that isn't right. It almost appears that we took a wrong turn on the time space continuum and landed up in some alternate universe or time. Think Back to The Future when events were slightly altered or It's a Wonderful Life also comes to mind. Seems today right is wrong and wrong is right but then Orwell predicted as much. Some people can have a perfectly good reason or position only to have it turned into something vile and nasty. Recalling "death panels" comes to mind for one. There was the rally cry around childerens' health only to witness funding cuts later in the game. But this is no game even though it feels like the fourth quarter and the home team is down by two touchdowns.
We seem to be watching world events like witnesses of a car crash. Hands tied as the villain assaults a girlfriend only now there's an opposing crowd cheering for the villain. Have we gone mad? Is there not one shred of dignity left in the world? Rude has become the new norm. I remember a time when the least outburst in school would result in a student being pulled by the ear down to the principals' office. The fear for the student was not with the principal but what his old man would do to him when he got home.
Those were the days of Yesteryear (What an antiquated term that's become) but a segue into another started and never finished post. We seem to think in incomplete sentences and ideas. Too much fracking of the gray matter I guess. So I cut and paste. How lazy of me but this is Sunday so who cares about being lazy. Lazy is a god given right.
Just how did parents raise large families way back when? Did I miss some magical formula or secret nobody's telling us? I realize we didn't have as much "stuff" as we do now but was no cheaper back then than it is today. Let me dig through the old brain cells and compare. Life 50 plus years ago was a bit simpler. It's always simpler in the olden days. Let me think what we didn't have. Television wasn't really common place until the mid to late 1950s as I recall. For kids it was not uncommon to all run down to the neighbors' house who were lucky to be the first on the block to own one. That must have been a surprise to the mom who found a half dozen strange kids sitting on her living room floor after school but then times were quite different back then. The gracious host mom would serve Kool Aid and maybe some cookies to the glassy eyed rug rats as they stared at cartoons or the latest Mickey Mouse Club.
Air conditioning was relegated to the corner drugstore or local movie theater. Screens and fans were the order of the day in summer along with pitchers of iced lemonade. Kids only had two pairs of shoes. When new ones wore out they became play shoes for after school street football and baseball. Yes you could actually play games in the street and rarely see a car drive past. And cars were another luxury especially for a big family. Buses were cheap to ride back then ten cents one way with stops usually within a few blocks of home. But then again back then kids actually walked nearly everywhere unless they had a bike. Going to school didn't require hundreds of dollars of supplies either. Pens pencils and paper were all provided. Backpacks? We carried our books under one arm. But exactly how we managed to avoid food poisoning with a brown bag lunch still has me wondering.
I can't remember how Mom fed us all. I came from a somewhat large family. Not huge but larger than most. The fridge was always empty by Friday night so Saturday was grocery shopping day. Just how seven or eight bags fed us all for a week is still a mystery. Although most things were made from scratch. That works with a large family, not so much for a family of three.
A few things come to mind that were very cheap back then that aren't now. Gas and electricity were very cheap back then. It took only a few dollars a month to heat a home. Water and sewer were so cheap the bill was only sent out every six months.
Need to see a doctor or hospital visit? That was covered by company insurance all non profit back then.
So what happened between then and now that changed everything. For one thing the U.S. spent the better part of twenty five years rebuilding Europe and Japan. That involved massive production on our part and included massive demand on theirs. Taxes on the wealthy were 90% back in the 50s and that paid for things like our interstate highways, power grid and much more. So to all the republicans who long for the "good old days" when people could make something of themselves I say " bring it on" but just remember who paid the bill and who did the work.