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Davis Journal

We’re better off today than in past decades

Jan 04, 2021 10:28AM ● By Bryan Gray

  There are at least three distinct advantages of growing old: a man can spend money on automobiles instead of diapers, there is no fascination in looking “cool,” and the passing of the years offers a sense of perspective lost among those who think Beyonce is a sex goddess and Garth Brooks was the founder of country music.

Here is my perspective as we begin the new year…Despite the unstable economy, the polarization of politics and the uncertain spread of the COVID virus, we are better off today than in past decades.

Unlike 50-70 years ago, families now have multiple vehicles per household, and our homes are stocked with more electrically-powered appliances and technology that we could dream of even 20 years ago.

Yes, politics have become bitter and we have yet to inoculate many Americans from racial bigotry. Then again, we no longer see the same type of religious bigotry as we did 60 years ago when John F. Kennedy, a Catholic, ran for the presidency. 

It wasn’t long ago that AIDS raised the specter of widespread catastrophe with Karl Malone uneasy about being on a basketball court with an infected player and a Utah talk show host cautioning people about swimming in public swimming pools or eating at a restaurant.  AIDS has not yet been cured, but the victims receive stabilizing treatment and there is not a daily AIDS watch in the obituary pages.

Women today have more career options than they did in past decades…The abortion rate continues to decline…Longevity has generally increased…There are major gains in cancer treatment…The number of American soldiers bogged down in foreign deserts decreases each year…Cars and trucks sport new features and last longer than they did 40 years ago.

We still must guard against terrorism, but that is nothing new.  Some 30 years ago a kook was terrorizing people with tainted Tylenol, and previous generations were nervous about Soviet missiles capable of destroying silos in Nebraska.

We had the Cold War.  We survived it.  Americans now are more concerned about global warming than they are of a weaponized Castro government in Cuba.

We even survived the past election amid all of Trump’s sour grape tirades and unending Burgess Owens-Ben McAdams television ads.

Now if we can only survive “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” television series!