Friday, May 27, 2016
#101: Good Old Days
Is it okay to admit that there were plenty of problems in the past that need to stay in the past, while at the same time also pining for many of the good things that seriously need to make a comeback?
Take the 1950s and 60s. Yes, it sucked that women were forced to stay at home barefoot and pregnant, black people were forced to sit in the back of the bus, gay people were forced to remain in the closet, and everyone else was forced to live in fear of a potential nuclear winter—and, by all means, the social progress we’ve made since then is far superior to the outright prejudice and paranoia that existed back then—but can we also admit that the time period also had some of the best rock and roll music, an even better space program, and an overall robust postwar economy?
Say what you want about “traditional gender roles” back when women stayed at home while men went off to work, but at least the economy back then was good enough that one man’s salary was able to sustain his family and allow his wife to stay at home without having to work, as opposed to today when both spouses struggle to pay the bills even with both of them working multiple jobs.
But of course, leftist statists always try to rebut this point by insisting that it was their economic policies that allowed for such a robust postwar economy, which was allegedly created through higher taxes on the rich, higher union participation rates, and overall higher wages.
To that, I would rebut that the rich also had a more lenient tax code with plenty of loopholes and deductions that allowed them to keep most of their money, unions actually served the best interests of their members rather than served as the political rackets that they are today, and higher wages were backed by sound money through gold-backed currency rather than the fiat currency of today.
Think about it: back in 1964, the minimum wage was $1.25 and could be paid in five silver quarters. Nearly 50 years later, those same five silver quarters have a collected worth of $15.15, wheras our paper money is worth way less than that. If our currency was still backed by gold and silver, rather than by government fiat, workers could still live comfortably off of such a wage without it having to be raised.
So yes, the 1950s and 1960s weren't exactly the idyllic past that the Baby Boomers imagine them to be, but that doesn't mean there weren't a lot of good things about them. The bad stuff like racial segregation and Cold War paranoia certainly belong in the past, but other things like gold-backed currency are in desperate need of a comeback. Call me old-fashioned that way!