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Were The Good Ole’ Days Really That Good?

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I came across some stats from a report that was issued in 1962, 50 years ago.   Life was probably much less complicated back then.  Most families spent more time together, and there were certainly many less distractions as well.  But, in some other ways, technology has added some good things to our lives.  One thing is years.  In 1962, the life expectancy for an American was 69 years.  Today it is 79.   For those who entered high school in ’62, only 49 percent actually graduated.

Today the graduation rate in the U.S. is 80 percent. The measles vaccine had not yet been introduced, so 9 out 0f 10 children would contract measles.  Some suffered long-term side effects.  When you suffered a cold back then, chicken soup and Vick’s VapoRub were your options.   And for a fever, doctors would recommend aspirin and liquids.  Today we have Tylonol Cold, Theraflu, Benadryl, Zicam and many more medications.

Need cash for the weekend?  Now we have ATM’s, debit cards and weekend banking hours.   In 1962, if you needed cash for the weekend you had better see the bank teller before 4 p.m. on Friday.   Of the 63 million cars on the road fifty years ago, only 8 million had seat belts, and the shoulder harness had not yet been introduced.  Now, of the 125 million cars on American highways, nearly all have seat belts, 85 percent have anti-lock breaks, and 80 percent have driver sand passenger airbags.

One more stat:  Most new homes and government buildings being built in 1962 still used asbestos insulation, and nearly half had walls with lead-based paint.  Both are now illegal due to proven health risks.  Were they the good ole days, or not quite so good?  You be the judge.

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