There's this myth that things are worse or harder today than they were in the 50's, 60's, or 70's.
However, the truth is that median (typical) incomes are much higher than they were in the 50's and 60's, and as high as they've ever been, even adjusted for inflation.
(I'm in my late 30's, so I also saw the movie when it came out, and remember those times.) The truth is that Americans today have far more opportunities than they've ever had in the past. It helps to get an education, of course, but that's also much easier than in the past. So the same values of hard work, honor, etc., can pay off just as much today as ever (if not more so).
The "Downward Spiral" of global trade the above poster notes is actually an upward spiral that has been lifting standards of living everywhere around the planet, including here. (White male incomes are again as high as they've ever been, and incomes for women and minorities are MUCH higher today. Incomes in places like Japan, China, and Europe are also much higher than they used to be.
Because of this trade, we benefit from cheaper goods and services, including things like cell phones, flat screen tvs, computers, and other products that were unimaginable 30 years ago.
And because of this global trade, there is much less chance of major global wars in the future, because we are tied together by mutually beneficial trade.
Yes, some of our dirtier, harder, and more dangerous jobs have been farmed out elsewhere. But is that really such a bad thing? In other words, don't believe the hype, do some research, and look at the entire picture before making judgments. It's always natural to look back and believe things were better in the past, but this isn't necessarily the case. My 5th grade teacher, in 1979, told me that someday people would look back at that time as "the good old days", even though inflation and unemployment were high, industry was suffering, etc. In other words, that nostalgia didn't always make much sense. He was right.
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