During the twentieth century Americans endured two world wars, the Korean War and the Vietnam war, ten years of an economic depression and in parts of the country, an environmental catastrophe in the 1930s.
For much of the century health insurance was non-existent for most people as were pensions or any retirement vehicle.
In the early years of the century many legal immigrants struggled to exist and advance.
Communicating with loved ones took days by mail, especially those overseas in war.
Until the late 1930s most of rural America had no electricity.
For the first half of the century the average home was 1500 square feet (today it’s 2500). People owned one car, if any.
As recently as 1950 only 34% of the population age 25 or more had completed high school or more.
Young men had to be concerned with the military draft.
In the 1970s and before a 20% downpayment to purchase a home was required. Interest rates on 30-year mortgage were 9% and higher. Yes, it’s harder to buy a home today because prices have out paced incomes, but why is that? Because couples with two incomes and able to put 5% down bought more than they needed and could afford helped to drive prices higher. And maybe because government encouraged buying- we know how that ended. Housing prices would not have increased sharply if they weren’t selling.
In 1920, 469,924 measles cases were reported, and 7575 patients died; 147,991 diphtheria cases were reported, and 13,170 patients died. In 1922, 107,473 pertussis cases were reported, and 5099 patients died.
Dwell on the above for a moment and then think about the 21st century and all the complaining that we do.
Somebody has a lot more money than I do. My Social Security benefits aren’t enough. I have student loans. I work two jobs. That guy doesn’t pay his fair share. The cost of day care is so high. I deserve to be paid more money. The system is rigged.
And then think about how much of what we complain about is related to choices and decisions we have made during our lives. 🤔
21st century America is not all that bad despite what you are being told each day.
Many people work their tails off to provide for their families and plan for the future. They do so without worrying about Bezos’s wealth and they didn’t ask for loans to be forgiven.
Like Americans before them they do what needs to be done.
Categories: Observations on life