How Good We Have It…

February 13, 2014

This is installment four of my melancholy posts for this week.

I know there are those who lament how bad things are right now. Unemployment is higher than it should be and many are stuck in low paying jobs that are way below their capabilities. Due to corporate greed and the overwhelming wealth that is stagnated at the top it now takes two jobs to replace the one needed just thirty years ago.  Yes, we are living in some pretty tough times, that is unless you compare it to most  of history past.

If you want to understand how good we have it you need to study history on how it was in the past.  Lets do a little traveling backwards in recent history:

  • 2014-02-12_20-35-11There was the pre-Civil Rights era where  if African-Americans were lynched for simply touching a white women. They were stuck in vastly inferior schools with almost no hope of ever advancing up the economic ladder. They were denied their constitutional rights and made to sit at the back of the bus. Plainly speaking they were second class citizens if even that.
  • Going back a few decades earlier there was the Great Depression where unemployment was several times greater than now. People were literally dying in the streets as there was little to no safety net to hold them up. No Medicare, Medicaid, or unemployment benefits.  It would take Democratic presidents in the future to make those things happen.
  • Going back a few more decades there was the age of the Robber Barons where people were forced to work 80 hours per week in very unsafe conditions for not even enough money to feed their families. There was virtually no regulation of the business sector. No one to represent workers.  Teddy Roosevelt would later make those things happen.
  • Then before that there was slavery which was the norm in this country for more than 200 years. I can’t imagine living with the thought of being owned by someone else!

When we look at those times and so many many before, we should realize that things are tough right now but we have made great accomplishments to get to where we are today. In the end everything is relative.

But that doesn’t help the guy who has been looking for something more than minimum wages for the last six months and now with his unemployment insurance being held up by a bunch of perhaps well meaning but certainly misdirected ultra-conservatives in congress.

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3 responses to How Good We Have It…

  1. 

    I love to watch Dowtown Abbey and wonder which towns person I would have been.
    I so appreciate that I was born in this era. My great grandfather lost three wives to child birth. My father lost his mother in a fire when the elevator stopped between floors. Dad ended up in boarding schools for his entire education- my grandfather rarely visited. My mother lost her father to a stroke- which was slow moving and probably very preventable today.
    As much as I worry about the changing scene for my grandchild, his health and education are much more secure in this era.

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    • 

      Thanks for the additional examples Janette….

      Its kind of like the old saying “democracy is the worst form of government except when you compare it to all the rest”. We need to be thankful for all those things that were made better by previous generations. It should also spur us to get involved in alleviating our current problems.

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  2. 

    I totally agree with both the post and Janette’s comments for it is important to keep one eye on the glass being half full as well as ways to further improve the level within that glass. Sometimes these days,
    It is too easy for me to get into and stay stuck in those areas that aren’t going improving so much right now. A balanced view definitely helps! Thanks

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