America 1956 vs. America 2016

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Top Tier Gear USA


Is America a better place today than it was back in 1956?  Of course many Americans living right now couldn’t even imagine a world without cell phones, Facebook or cable television, but was life really so bad back then?

60 years ago, families would actually spend time on their front porches and people would actually have dinner with their neighbors.  60 years ago, cars were still cars, football was still football and it still meant something to be an American.  In our country today, it is considered odd to greet someone as they are walking down the street, and if someone tries to be helpful it is usually because they want something from you.  But things were very different in the middle of the last century.  Men aspired to be gentlemen and women aspired to be ladies, and nobody had ever heard of  “bling”, “sexting” or “twerking”.  Of course life was far from perfect, but people actually had standards and they tried to live up to them.

So how did it all go so wrong?

Could it be possible that life in America peaked back then and we have been in decline ever since?

Before you answer, I want to share with you a list of comparisons between life in America in 1956 and life in America in 2016…

In 1956, John Wayne, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe were some of the biggest stars in the entertainment world.

In 2016, our young people look up to “stars” like Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.

In 1956, Americans were watching I Love Lucy and The Ed Sullivan Show on television.

In 2016, the major television networks are offering us trashy shows such as Mistresses and Lucifer.

In 1956, you could buy a first-class stamp for just 3 cents.

In 2016, a first-class stamp will cost you 49 cents.

In 1956, gum chewing and talking in class were some of the major disciplinary problems in our schools.

In 2016, many of our public schools have been equipped with metal detectors because violence has gotten so far out of control.

In 1956, children went outside and played when they got home from school.

In 2016, our parks and our playgrounds are virtually empty and we have the highest childhood obesity rate on the entire planet.

In 1956, if a kid skinned his knee he was patched up and sent back outside to play.

In 2016, if a kid skins his knee he is likely to be shipped off to the emergency room.

In 1956, “introducing solids” to a baby’s diet may have meant shoving a piece of pizza down her throat.

In 2016, we have “attachment parenting” which advocates treating children like babies almost until they reach puberty.

In 1956, seat belts and bicycle helmets were considered to be optional pieces of equipment, and car safety seats were virtually unknown.

In 2016, millions of us are afraid to leave our homes for fear that something might happen to us, and if something does happen we slap lawsuits on one another at the drop of a hat.

In 1956, many Americans regularly left their cars and the front doors of their homes unlocked.

In 2016, many Americans live with steel bars on their windows and gun sales are at all-time record highs.

In 1956, about 5 percent of all babies in America were born to unmarried parents.

In 2016, more than 40 percent of all babies in America will be born to unmarried parents.

In 1956, one income could support an entire middle class family.

In 2016, approximately one-third of all Americans don’t make enough money to even cover the basics even though both parents have entered the workforce in most households.

In 1956, redistribution of wealth was considered to be something that “the communists” did.

In 2016, the federal government systematically redistributes our wealth, and two communists are fighting for the Democratic nomination.

In 1956, there were about 2 million people living in Detroit and it was one of the greatest cities on Earth.

In 2016, there are only about 688,000 people living in Detroit and it has become a joke to the rest of the world.

In 1956, millions of Americans dreamed of moving out to sunny California.

In 2016, millions of Americans are moving out of California and never plan to go back.

In 1956, television networks would not even show husbands and wives in bed together.

In 2016, there is so much demand for pornography that there are more than 4 million adult websites on the Internet, and they get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.

In 1956, the American people had a great love for the U.S. Constitution.

In 2016, “constitutionalists” are considered to be potential terrorists by the U.S. government.

In 1956, people from all over the world wanted to come to the United States to pursue “the American Dream”.

In 2016, 48 percent of all U.S. adults under the age of 30 believe that “the American Dream is dead”.

In 1956, the United States loaned more money to the rest of the world than anybody else.

In 2016, the United States owes more money to the rest of the world than anybody else.

And there is one more thing that I would like to share with you before I wrap up this article.

This is what the New York skyline looked like on March 31st, 1956…

New York Skyline 31 March 1956

And this is the kind of thing that we are seeing displayed on the Empire State Building these days…

New York Skyline Kali

For those that don’t know, that is an image of the Hindu goddess of death, time and destruction known as Kali.  And next month a reproduction of the 48-foot-tall arch that stood in front of the Temple of Baal in Palmyra, Syria is going up in Times Square.

So now that you have seen what I have to share, what do you think?

Has America changed for the better, or has it changed for the worse?

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Contributed by Michael Snyder of The American Dream.

Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream , The Truth and Economic Collapse Blog.

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  • Clementine

    I didn’t need to read that article to know the world is going to sh*t and America is leading the way… I thought that was just common knowledge.

  • rsdallas

    My late father-in-law would often speak of the 1950’s. He was lower middle class and worked in a machine tooling shop. He always said it was the BEST of times. He said I’d work all week, pay all of my bills, save a little and still have plenty to go out and to eat and buy a big steak! I forget what he said his pay was, but I remember it was a shock to hear because of how little it seemed to be. He would say he never had any worries about not being able to afford anything within his means.

    • Frank

      Your late father-in-law was a man who knew the importance of living within his means – something that, dare I say it, most Americans have no concept of. Except for my home mortgage, I incur no debt that I cannot settle/pay at the end of each month. Living a humble life, without need (or want) for all of the newest, flashiest material things makes life a whole lot simpler. Those who are able to do this will lose so much less than the Consumer-Debt generation when the music stops. Our national economy is driven by consumer debt, we are constantly subjected to a barrage of marketing, telling us that we NEED this or that – and it’s all lies based on greed. Most Americans have their individual priorities mixed-up, mostly for the sake of vanity and self-worth – at the expense of their humanity.

      • What will you do when you can’t make the mortgage after the ATM collapse?

        • Frank

          In that scenario, there probably won’t be any way for anybody to make payments – if electronic banking has collapsed. They’ll have to fix the system or provide another means. The banks will be striking deals with home buyers just to recover the loan Principle, forget about the Interest.

          • When it happens, the same cash that was king during the Great Depression will assume the throne once again, and I’ve got plenty of it. The resulting deflation will put me into a paid-for small house and a sub-compact late model car, w/o remote control.

          • Frank

            If others are paying attention, like I am – and you, they will be pulling cash out of the bank and either using it for daily expenses or stashing it. There’s practically no interest being paid on Savings accounts these days, Negative Interest Rates are being implemented in other nations (Japan) – the US will surely follow when the banks start to go down, and we could get the same treatment as the citizens of Cyprus and Greece. Everybody should be aware of what’s happening in Japan with Negative Interest Rates – people are buying safes and pulling their money out of the bank, causing a negative spiral and exactly the opposite of what the Japanese gov wanted to happen. They wanted people to SPEND, but scared people don’t spend, they save and hoard. That’s why the US Gov doesn’t tell The People the truth about the true state of our nation and our economy – people would be scared, maybe even panic, and stop spending everything they have, and more (running up debt).

          • The paper will have a very short viability since it will be changing in value as it is dropping in supply. I haven’t left anything in any bank in excess of what is required to pay for either online or telephonic purchases with debit cards for many years. I have never had any credit cards (other than 3 store cards and a gas card, all long gone) and I have absolutely no debt of any kind. I pay all of my routine bills (storage space, auto insurance, etc.) by the year, just before due.
            When the plastic stops working and the banks are closed (as explained at, people will be consigned to their cash on hand, which is slight in most cases. When the banks hit the cash flow wall, they will be accepting PMs in payment for anything they can get it for, which will include any non-performing loan or debt. The resulting real estate and automotive defaults will make the Great Depression look like a cake walk. All will accept barter if they can or must. All commodities will be pennies on the pre-collapse dollar.

          • Frank

            Do you think the big banks, taking on over 3x the debt risk and Derivatives since 2008, know some secret about how they will fare if it all “collapses”? Like they’re going to get a free pass, again, or something? Its like they’re operating with no risk, as they continue to make high-risk loans on houses and now auto loans. If the banks go down, and take depositor’s money in the process (“Oops, sorry, that’s just the breaks. Do you want to make another deposit?”), people will move away from banks and there will be a huge shift.

          • The largest banks have become the dumping grounds for the largest and most toxic “assets.” When the time comes, their assets will disappear in that black hole. I’d like to buy the local Wells-Fargo building and make it into a hostel.
            Most financial institutions are using all of their paper like Monopoly money, just to maintain cash flow and the appearance of liquidity, which is drying up in the cash market, which is why they are imposing new limits on cash withdrawals. This is being exacerbated by the hoarding of the dollar in failing foreign markets, where the majority of our currency has circulated for many years.

      • pulpmillguy

        Like I tell people…the American way is buying crap you don’t need with money you don’t have to impress friends you don’t like…

    • I managed a service station (which few have seen in decades) when I was 19 year old, during the OPEC oil embargo. A gallon of regular gasoline and a pack of cigarettes were both 38 cents. It costs a lot more to smoke than to drive now.

  • disqus_LATgE14cG2

    If you think it’s bad now, just hide somewhere and watch, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

    • Bethannfshelton

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    • Doris Hudson

      “my room mate Maria Is getting paid 98$/h on the internet.”….two days ago new Silver McLaren P2 bought after earning 18,512 Dollars,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k Dollars Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with. extra open doors &. weekly. paychecks… it’s realy the simplest. work. I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. 87 Dollars, p/h.Learn. More right Here!oi3574➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsFirst/GetPaidHourly98$…. .❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:::::!oi3574…….

  • This only demonstrates that I am one of the few in the world who has observed and proven that it is much easier to lower ones cost of living than to increase one’s income in the inflation age. My annual income has never exceeded $25K and I have never been in debt, a key consideration in my survival success. I will become eligible for social insecurity the end of october, and I won’t be surprised if I’ll be able to live on whatever they’ll give me.

  • All we have to do is bring back the rule of the original law.

  • Kate Janeway

    I don’t agree with everything on the list and lots of things are left out. Why omit the many spousal rapes, children killed in car accident because of no safety belts and baby seats. What’s wrong with Lady Gaga? What’s wrong with parents not being married? Neither Bernie nor Hillary is communists? The American Dream has always been a lie. And finally, USA have never been a christian nation. Read the Constitution!
    I thought this was a site critical of the RW and the militarization of the cops, but I guess I was wrong. It’s obvious you’re more interested in spreading propaganda from a militia point of view.

    • Reverend Draco

      Bernie is communist, from head to toe.

      Goo-goo whatshername is borderline retarded – having earned a spot in the Top 4 Dumbest Song Lyrics In Music History.

      The pictures at the end. . . nice to see some recognition of some of the 5,000 different gods being worshiped right now.

      I suppose I, and the rest of my generation (and all previous generations), are amazingly godlike to have survived without all of the fucking retarded bubble-wrapped bullshit of the modern world.

      Stupidity is supposed to hurt – and if you’re really stupid, you don’t survive to pass on your genes.
      A big part of the problems pandemic in the modern world is because too many fucking morons have survived to breed, thanks to sealbelts, air bags, and rubber dirt at the increasingly PC playgrounds. . .

      Remove all of the warning labels and bubblewrap, let the idiots die. As they should and once did.

    • Rusty3

      You, my dear, are an idiot!

  • Tatiana Covington

    Ain’t America great!

  • Razedbywolvs

    My dad told me stories of getting harassed by the police in the 50’s. He got arrested for braking curfew sitting in his driveway.
    They didn’t have “twerking” but they did have the Twist.

  • Gil G

    1956 – coloured folks were segregated from the White folks and a recent court case reminded men you could still legally kill a Black guy who got out of line.
    2016 – White folks have racial integration and have to watch what they say or be called racist.
    On the other hand, what was so special about Elvis Presley and Marylyn Munroe? One was a pop start indeed like Justin Bieber and the other’s claim to fame was being good-looking. Don’t forget John Wayne may give the appearance of the archetypal tough guy yet he never went to war as opposed to Audie Murphy.

  • harry freeloaderII

    I grew up in the fifties so I know that everything in your article is true. That’s just ONE reason I’m so PO’d at what this country has become. Instead of statesmen in government we’re stuck with scumbags like the Bush & Clinton cartels that kids and young adults believe is the “norm.” The government has stolen American’s hope for a better life now and a prosperous future for the next generation.

  • spin43

    Only the people can reverse direction. Don’t depend on government.