Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What do we remember about the 50’s and how it relates today

There are many interesting facts we all need to consider in regard to the 50’s over the situation we find ourselves in now. This is especially true in regard to our government.  Enjoy this in remembering before you continue just reading about the 50's - http://oldfortyfives.com/TakeMeBackToTheFifties.htm/

That was the last decade our nation and government had a surplus in revenues over debts. We were still on the gold standard so government couldn’t print currency in excess of our treasury in gold to support its value. Social Security funds were off limits for any use/payment by government other than the rightful beneficiaries when they reached age of retirement which at that time was 65. We had the most vibrant and strongest “middle class” in the history of the world. The media reported the news rather than give opinionated slants to every story, event or circumstance of public interest and concern. There were social issues beginning to build and gain momentum so let’s look, as best we can trust/believe in statistics, to better appreciate/understand why, what and how our society was, has and is changing. Bear in mind as you read this how those in government/seats of power and control use these to promote their agendas over the “common good”.

The population in 1950, according to the U.S. Census, was approximately 151,500,000 citizens up 14.5% from the previous decade. By the end of the 50’s it had risen approximately 18.5% to over 1,800,000. Compare this to the 2000 Census of 281,421,906 and I’d bet that count didn’t include many we now call “illegal aliens”.
In the 1950’s, 60% of U.S. households fit the traditional family structure of a working husband, a homemaking wife, and kids. By 1999, married couples with children (including families where the women work outside the home)constituted only 24% of households, and 2020 projections are merely 20% of households and I‘d bet this is now fewer. Although the family is the U.S. cultural prototype (and in some cases “ideal”), the 1950’s were an aberration compared to the diversity prior to and after the 50’s.
We are living longer, healthier in our old age, have an influx of minorities (especially Hispanics). We have seen a cultural shift in
perceptions of marriage accompanied by the liberation of women, minorities, homosexuals and many are choosing not to wed or have children.
How have demographics changed?
First, we are living longer. Throughout history, children have been the largest percentage of the population, and high mortality rates shrink percentages of each age group as they grow older. Now, children under age 10 constitute only 11% of the population, and soon there will be equal numbers of each age group. This means married couples who raise children are waiting longer to have children, having fewer children, and once their children move out, have a longer post-child rearing stage. Married couples without children have become the largest U.S. household demographic, projected to be in the range of 40% of households by 2020.
During the post-family but pre-retirement stage, people have the highest income of all demographics. The median income of households headed by individuals aged 45-55 is estimated to be $54,148 and in light of today‘s economic downturn that would appear to be lower. Since we are not only living longer, healthier in our old age, the elderly are physically more able to live independently, and social security benefits allow them to do so financially. This means that single person households are growing and the average household size is shrinking. Can you really believe your social security will survive much longer with our government being broke?
Second, the ethnic minority population is growing, through a combination of
continued immigration, a younger populous, and higher fertility rates. Hispanics and African Americans each account for 12% of the U.S. population and by 2020 Hispanics will account for 17%. In 1999 a full 50% of Hispanic family households have children compared to 40% for African Americans and 33% for non-Hispanic whites. Many differences in family structure also exist between minorities. Hispanic families are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to be extended families living under one roof and more likely to have multiple “nested” families living under one roof. Also more likely to have grandparents (especially grandmothers) raising children. This also means these statistics may well be skewed in regard to ethnic minorities. This speaks volumes in why we need to address immediately our “illegal alien” situation and not wait, care or be concerned with Federal government. This is NOT a social/racial issue, it's an economic issue.
Third, our society has moved toward greater equality and emancipation from
conservative doctrines. Some feel the 50’s were a time where women were often miserable and felt “trapped” at the home. Women now have greater opportunity in the workplace, have access to contraception and abortion, and are considered entitled to decide their family status. This has led to more women living alone and financially independent, more single mothers by choice, and a slow relaxation of the stigmas associated with unmarried pregnancy. In 1959, 45.4% of single-parent families were widows, in 1992 this had dropped to 4.9%. With the liberation from traditional roles also came the liberation of both men and women from conservative ideals of the marriage. Divorce rates steadily rose thru the 1970’s to presently about 56% of all first marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. Remarriages as a result meant 33% of the U.S. population has a step-relative and step-families estimated to outnumber first-marriage families. 40% of all marriages are remarriages. Meanwhile the marriage rate overall is declining. Single parent families are a growing demographic. A vast majority of these families are headed by mothers, about 85% of divorces end with custody awarded to the mother. Divorce law often fails to take into account economic inequalities between women/men and child support often favors men. This means mother-headed single parent families are the poorest of all family groups in most cases. An estimated 47% of these are below the poverty line (by the way, this poverty line was developed by government to institute a means of justification in giving social benefits aimed at minorities). The difficulty of working while raising children and simultaneously being subject to wage discrimination makes it very difficult to exist in this family structure. The same holds true for grandmother-headed families. These stats vary from State to State, one local community to another, however they are indicators and concerns.
I happen to concur with this and feel strongly those who truly need help can best be addressed on the local community level, not the Federal government. It’s a bureaucratic nightmare loaded with inefficiency and costly government administration. In actuality with common sense, realignment, adjustments all the above can be addressed in a way far less burdensome and entangled in government/judicial/administrative red tape.

Now let’s look at the value of your dollar as estimated in the course of history/events:
For instance in the decade of the 50’s the U.S. dollar adjusted for inflation/deflation ranged in value from $7.5 to 6.7, in the 60’s from $6.6 to 5.3, in the 70’s from $5 to 2.7. This simply means the value of your dollar was diminishing in terms of what you could purchase during each decade since the 50’s. Once our nation abolished the “gold standard” to support and back the amount of currency being printed government began increasing spending, debt and eroding/undermining the value of our dollar and in the process the credit worthiness of our nation. To put that in perspective as it relates to this decade we look at this in relation to events/actions effecting our economy.
2002 - 2008 - The dollar fell 40% as the U.S. debt grew 60%. In 2002, a euro was worth 87 cents vs $1.36 on April 13, 2010. (Source: Federal Reserve Foreign Exchange Rates; Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Historical Exchange Rates)
2008 - The dollar strengthened 22% (April 2008-March 2009) as businesses hoarded dollars during the credit crisis.
2009 - The dollar fell 20% (March 3-December 1) due to concerns about the $12 trillion U.S. debt.
2010 - The dollar rose 6% against the euro (January 1-April 17) due to the weakness of the EU's economy.

Now I’ve in some ways addressed the what, how and why we are in this mess. Relax, don’t panic, no need to jump on your soapbox full of concerns. Read and re-read what is stated herein. If your still with us, there is a solution and it will surprise you in how easily the ship can get back on course however it is imperative you drop any and all doubts, fears, barriers to what you believe as “conventional wisdom” and open your mind before we begin to disclose how it can and will become “reality”.

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