Do observations from past portend future angst?

old gas station

I was reviewing some casual observations made way back in the 1950s and 60s when we were blissfully ignorant about what the future might hold. I was struck by how gravely we underestimated the twists and turns society and the economy would make by the turn of the century.

To wit:

cheap gas

‘It’s getting to where you can’t buy a new dress for less than $15.’ (What exactly is a dress, and who wears them anymore?)

‘Have you priced the new cars. It won’t be long before $2,000 will only buy a used one.’ (If you’re lucky.)

‘I’m afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since Clark Gable said “damn” in “Gone with the Wind, it seems all the movie stars are saying it.’ (I’m not even sure damn is considered a four-letter word any more – so many new ones have taken its place.)

‘Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? One day they could earn more than the President.’ (How does $275 million sound? The President on the other hand earns a measley $400,000.)

‘I wouldn’t be surprised if gasoline reaches 50 cents a gallon.’ (Who could have imagined paying more than $4 a gallon at the pump.)

‘If groceries keep going up in price, it’s going to be impossible to buy a week’s worth of groceries for $20. (That’s about the cost of a gallon of milk and two boxes of cereal today, not including the gas to get to the store.)

‘If cigarettes keep going up in price, I’m going to quit. A quarter a pack is ridiculous.’ (Cigarettes now stand at more than $3 a pack and some 45 million Americans are still smoking. I guess everything is relative.)

‘If they raise minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.’ (Minimum wage this week hit $6.55.)

‘Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter?’ (I don’t even know what it costs to mail a letter any more since I use e-mail most of the time.)

One thought on “Do observations from past portend future angst?

  1. Stamps are 42 cents now. Absurd! They are going up about every 3 months now.

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