How Has the Country Changed in Your Lifetime?

Andrea L. Kassner By Andrea L. Kassner, 12th Apr 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2co57nje/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Personal viewpoints and observations about changes in our society in the last 50-60 years. I have experienced most of what I saw in the past either directly or indirectly.

A Few Changes in Our Country 1956-present.

How Has the Country Changed in Your Lifetime?

Oh My! Oh My! The changes in the United States during my lifetime is one of the fastest changing eras in American history. Our country has gone from agricultural producers to the mechanical age and to the electronic age.

In just the last 60 years of my life, I have seen and experienced changes in the economy, social changes, environmental changes, and international changes. Talking to friends my age, it mostly comes down to politics. I don’t want to limit this written conversation to politics. However, we can’t overlook politics, either.

When I was born in 1956, General Dwight David Eisenhower, a World War II Army hero, was president of our country. He was known to support nuclear deterrence, increase pressure on the Soviet Union during the Cold War, establish NASA, and threaten Korea with nuclear annihilation. He was more involved with international intrigue than American political activities.

Socially, Eisenhower continued New Deal agencies and expanded Social Security. (Not like Republicans of our current era.)

In my lifetime, I have seen presidents come and go; namely: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald Ford, James Earl Carter, George H. Bush, William J. Clinton, George W. Bush and the current president, Barack Hussein Obama II.

It seems that our country has become more divided by political parties, social values and morals, racial tensions, and environmental issues.

Seems to me that many politicians are hell-bent on blaming the poor for economic difficulty while the politics of this time strives to cut social security, Medicare, funds for homeless women and children. Not to mention, some politicians and citizens increase spending in our military budget. After 9/11, military spending increased as a result of the terrorist threats. Terrorism is a viable issue, but so are the social inadequacies of our time. The military spending is approximately 55% of our country's total budget. Where are our priorities?

I can’t remember a time in my life when our country was not at war, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and many smaller conflicts in between. The more wars we engage, the more money lines the pockets of warmongers. The survivalist mentality emerges in me from my personality when I know the next war or unnatural disaster could be in my backyard. I want to make sure that I have a hole in our country where my family and close friends can bug out with stockpiled food and water supplies. I know the probability is high that some sort of weapons will be necessary for hunting. When the SHTF, I want to be ready.

When I think about changes in my lifetime, I also remember how gas prices have changed from approximately $.25 per gallon to over $2.00. I remember the oil embargo of the 1970’s when oil shortages drove prices up, and gas stations had cars lined up for a block or more. If I remember correctly that is about the time when minimum wages and gas prices began to compete in the family budget. A minimum way for me in the ‘70s was anywhere from $1.25 to $2.15. At those times, I worked as a full-time waitress, and then in a lighting factory that produced fluorescent lighting fixtures.

Cars and car prices have changed in the last 50-60 years. There are more makes and models now than ever before. When I was a kid, three or four car companies existed in our company. I can remember Chrysler/Plymouth, Chevies, Fords, American Motors. I also remember Audi and Volkswagon, but I think they were imported. And the prices, good grief! A car didn’t cost an arm and a leg back then, and interest rates were reasonable. Today, a new truck costs half of what a home costs.

These days, gas, groceries, a cheap phone, rent, and utilities take up most of a poor person’s budget. Most of us can’t afford medical care unless the government pitches in a little. Out of town, vacations are unheard of because of expenses. New cars are out of reach for the poor. And a car repair costs more than a doctor’s visit. I don’t know if I like this brave new world of environmental tragedy, racism, gun violence, and computer games, games, games.
I could go into more changes that have occurred, but that would take pages and pages, I think.
Let me know your thoughts after reading my remembrances. It’s been kinda fun.

Tags

1970S, Cars, Economics, History, Personal Experience, Personal Observations, Politics

Meet the author

author avatar Andrea L. Kassner
I was raised and educated in Spokane, Washington attending and graduating from Community Colleges of Spokane. My A.D. is Liberal Arts with English concentration.

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Comments

author avatar Lyndy
13th Apr 2016 (#)

I can't agree with you more, Andrea. I remember when we didn't have to lock doors in our neighborhood, although my parents did. We lived in a large city at one time, lol! I know everything increases in price over time but it seems for most of us, it's hard to afford a nice car or home. Things were so much "softer" back then. I can honestly say, if I were young again, I wouldn't bring children into this crazy and frightening world. Good article.

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author avatar ginaguo
14th Apr 2016 (#)

Yeah, I think everyone must go through all the vicissitudes of life. My American husband was born in 1962, passed away in 2015(last year). I really can't believe such a fact that most of Americans can't afford medical care. When he was in US, he once coughed wildly, but he failed to see the doctor, he told me that he didn't pay medical insurance. As result, only 15 months after he came to China, he left this world forever.
He told me that when he was a child, China and US were enemies. it's such an amazing thing for him to enter China. I feel so funny, most of Chinese dream to go to US, American people are just ignorant about China. He even never realised that China was so poor! He was like a big fool! But I also don't realize that it's true that most of Americans can't afford medical fee. I always feel US is like a heaven, the most wealthy country in the world! It seems that there're poor people in US, too.

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author avatar ginaguo
14th Apr 2016 (#)

his american family all refused to come to China, dealing with his funeral.because they fear to go to a totally strange country. I also failed to get American visa. Oh, I don't know why God arranged such a big tragedy. Internet has changed the world a lot, but the old generation still lives in the old memory. They only exclaims that the world changes a lot, they never ask how and why the world changes a lot.

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author avatar ginaguo
14th Apr 2016 (#)

I just set my American husband's photo as my Phone background, thus I can see him everyday. because I don't want him to die, I want him to live with me forever.
When he was alive, I was in China, he was in US, it's Internet which linked our hearts tightly. After 5 years of waiting, we finally met each other in China. Who knows he only had 15 months left to me? Now he is in heaven, I am in mortal world! Why are we always in different world?

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author avatar ginaguo
14th Apr 2016 (#)

Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently--they are not fond of rules...You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things...They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do. --SJ

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author avatar writestuff
15th Apr 2016 (#)

Great article. Your reflections are honest and effectively show the largeness and smallness of this country. Poised at a fork in the road: take the path that honors American values or the path that dis-honors American values. In my lifetime the change went from us & them; them & we; thee & me; me & mine; and lastly I & no more.

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