The Meeting Place

Is life better than 50 years ago?

Half of all Australians think life is better than it was 50 years ago, according to a recent survey, with 33 per cent of the those surveyed believing it was worse.

The findings come from a global survey of 43,000 citizens of 38 countries including Australia, which found that those most positive about life today compared to half a century ago live on Australia's doorstep in the Asia Pacific.

There were big discrepancies by age group in Australia compared to other countries: 63 per of those aged 18-29 believed that life was better today compared to only 41 per cent of those aged 50+. This was the second biggest differential between young and old of any of the 38 countries that participated in the survey, behind only the United Kingdom.

What do you think? Is life today better than 50 years ago? What factors do you think have made life better or worse over the last 50 years?

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Life is so much better for me than it was for my mother or grandmother. I don’t mean just now either. It was extremely hard work for women in past generations with no washing machine or mod cons.

Entertainment is abundant now. Movies are brilliant with the technology that movie makers have at their disposal. You can even watch recent films on big screens at home.

Modern technology is wonderful. If you are not able to get about much then the internet is a godsend.

Travel would be too hard for me so being able to visit destinations online makes me an armchair traveller. There is so much to read. You just type in a word or phrase and up pops a myriad of things to read and even research that would not be possible 50, 30, or even less years ago.

I often imagine what my mother would think if she was alive today. She would love the modern TV with the big colour screen and entertainment at the push of a button. Her life would be so much easier as well giving her more free time.

Lucky to be alive in 2017!

Yes the Internet is wonderful and my Mother would have loved it to a she loved to learn as I also do,  and the internet is wonderful for that

That is fine for those of you who view the world from an armchair and see only the things you choose to see. Easy for you to say 'I'm alright Jack' but the question was not about you in particular.

So much has changed in 50 years.   The most harmful is the introduction of technology,  which has seen the advent of high unemployment plus the seduction of our younger generations.  The space race and ongoing development of nuclear weapons is an enormous worry for many of us oldies.  The development of man-made materials has added greatly to the contamination of the Earth's environment,  along with our love of the motorcar. Industrial development has caused major changes in some of the world's  most beautiful countries, and most of this has been driven by greed plus the rapidly growing world population which together have caused unsustainable draining of Earth's resources. On a more popular level, junk food and indolence have caused major health issues for advanced countries in the form of widespread obesity.  Discipline and self-discipline have undergone a large degre of deterioration over the past few decades.  Most people have the idea that all their desires must be fulfilled now, not things that should be waited for and worked for.   None of these problems existed in any great way 50 years ago. 

Jenny you echo my sentiments, you rightly identify many causes for concern.

I would add that the reasons for these changes are as follows.....

Greed is driven by the Trade Wars, customers today are seduced by prolific advertising which raises unaffordable expectations and a desire to keep up with the rich and famous, resulting in unsustainable debt, high rates of poverty and homelessness in all advanced countries, which, to some extent, was alleviated 50yrs ago by Government funding. This funding is now being redirected toward the ongoing development of nuclear weapons.

The UK is listed as the 5th richest country in the world with the 3rd highest Defence Budget.

Australia, a British Commonwealth Territory, occupied and Governed by the UK, is a key factor in that it holds 30 per cent of the world's uranium deposits.

I doubt that any of the people surveyed were aware of the underlying reasons for change, which makes this survey totally irrelevant.

People live longer and healthier lives 

more equality 

World is a lot closer with internet and cheap air travel

Information at your fingertips 

less poverty 

higher standard of living for all - including 3rd world countries 

and much much more 



As long as you have enough money, life can be good anywhere, fifty years ago or a hundred years ago. When I was growing up we were not rich or poor. We had enough and enjoyed a good life. Kids fifty years ago didn't have all the trappings of today's spoilt brats, who have come to expect everything on a plate. We grew up on fresh air, fresh food and lots of grandmas around in Italy. Great life, who needed a lot of money?

That said, I would not change my life today in any way. So many new inventions, technology has soared, scientists have a handle on curing so many diseases and poverty is declining, slowly for some countries but it's moving. It's a great world to be in. 

Agree Ray, I'm glad to be around in this technological age.

Get rid of Trump and the little chap from N.Korea, Milo and Pauline Hanson and all will be well.



Getting rid of you and your troll family - priceless

for everything else - there’s Mastercsrd 

Advice to a troll…

As empty vessels make the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest blabbers...

Another thing we had 50 years ago was good tasting food - great tasting fruit and veg which tastes NOTHING like it used to these days.

Fifty years ago we had washing machines, television, vacuume cleaners, and antibiotics. We also had a people who talked and cared about each other, both neighbours and family, and acted honestly. What we didn’t have were drugs and a high crime rate and people constantly trying to scam something. Modern technology is great, but I would still prefer to live in a world where you feel safe. My mother never locked her door, and nothing was stolen, I have three locks on mine and still have people coming in stealing stuff as soon as I go out. Because I am old and single I am considered ‘fair game’ to be ripped off at every opportunity, with government and the medics etc wanting to keep me alive with no real quality of life until they have completely emptied my bank account.

Yes you are right Mrs Hedgeho, far nicer living in the innocent time,  we never locked the doors either everyone in the area were good Friends and looked out for each other too -- these days in suburbs no one knows anyone or cares about each other  -- it is a bit different in country areas though


Some very interesting comments...

Of course life was different 50 years ago and will be even more different 50 years from many pros and cons. I think some enjoyed life..others suffered hardships. Fifty years ago I was a 10 year old with nothing to do but enjoy life..parents made all the decisions and we had no choice but to step into line! Now seems to me children are mostly in control and it’s getting worse. Don’t get me wrong..I’m all for children being intelligent and well a matter of fact I consider it a priority.. but.. one of the main ingredients that seems to be missing in many families is parental control. In the main the reason is mothers usually have to go out to work to help the family budget whereas when I was a child mothers usually worked at home. These days people are very time poor..

The last 50 years have brought a lot of good things..poverty has been alleviated to a great degree globally and in this country health care is vastly improved. So many wonderful things have happened in the last half became more accessible for many..nutrition improved and many people realised the value of a good education.

For me one of the greatest things to have come out of the last 50 years is the Technological Revolution. I can’t imagine my world without the internet in particular. The internet means different things to different people..for me it's a global news channel..a social incredible research service and a media smorgasbord. Yes..I love it all..but even this has its drawbacks..there is the danger for some of missing out on human relationships..and becoming more and more closeted in their own little worlds..

In spite of any perceived disadvantages..I’d say the last 50 years have brought many great things and I hope I live to see at least what the next thirty will bring!


Yes Thea,  in days gone by Mothers stayed at home and brought up their kids -- they didn't give birth and then farm the kids out for whoever to look after -- very wrong IMO -- and so bad for the Kids -- if you are not willing to have your Child/Children and stay at home and teach/look after them and bring them up right --


Trouble is PlanB..these days some have no's a real dilemma..

I only wish one day workplaces will have least in that way mothers can have more contact with their young children...

I know it is hard these days but IMO it is no good or it is darn cruel to have a Child if you are not willing to be a proper parent -- a Child needs to be with its Mother and be taught right from wrong and also to enjoy their lives by doing simple things and learning as they go -- ie studying nature among many other things -- that do not have to cost the earth.  Childhood is very short as is life and better to enjoy your life with each other than have some fancy home and car etc

"Childhood is very short as is life and better to enjoy your life with each other than have some fancy home and car etc"

Yes I do agree with that observation PlanB..I've seen this happen first hand where in some families it's just money for jam..meaning the new mercedes when the slightly older car could have sufficed..


Expert warns that Fukushima fuel cores have “melted into the groundwater”

Friday, May 20, 2016 by


March 11, 2016 marked the fifth year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster. Although the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has taken strides to decommission the power plant, they have yet to locate the missing nuclear reactor fuel, suggesting the cores have completely melted into the groundwater.

In 2011, a 9.0 earthquake rocked the coast of Japan, which spurred a tsunami that crippled three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. Since there was no water to keep the reactors cool, they began to overheat and melt.

The melted fuel rods gave off hydrogen gas, which caused all three units to explode. More than five years later, no one is sure how deeply the cores melted into the Fukushima site. Remote control robots can’t even withstand the dangerously high radiation levels.

Radiation on the rise

After the the third explosion occurred at the Fukushima power plant on March 15, 2011 in Unit 2, the radiation detected at the power plant was 400,000 μSv/h (microsieverts per hour), which can be lethal to humans if they’re exposed for long enough. To put this into perspective, 100,000 microsieverts per hour is enough to cause severe radiation poisoning.

In addition to contaminating the surrounding air, water and soil, radiation bleeding from the power plant has tainted shipments of vegetables and fish. Even in 2016, there have been reports of radioactive tea and seafood shipped from Japan.

TEPCO and the Japanese government have continued to undermine the severity of the disaster, while the mainstream media has been virtually silent in regards to the ongoing debacle.

‘Chernobyl on steroids’

Arnie Gundersen, nuclear engineer and founder of Fairewinds Nuclear Energy Education in Burlington, Vermont, told media just a few days after the catastrophe that Fukushima was “Chernobyl on steroids.”

The reason for the comparison between Chernobyl and Fukushima is that the TEPCO nuclear reactors’ cores melted to the ground. More than five years later, many experts suspect the cores have melted through the concrete floors and contaminated the groundwater seeping into the power plant from nearby mountain runoffs.

At present, approximately 400 tons of groundwater flood the radioactive reactor basements each day. TEPCO’s only solution to the problem is to store the tainted water in a growing number of tanks. As of fall of 2015, almost 800,000 tons of radioactive water were being stored in more than 1,000 industrial tanks near the Fukushima site, reports Earthfiles.

Gunderson recently traveled to the Fukushima Prefecture for a month to gauge radiation levels in parking lots, sidewalks, grocery stories and nearby wildlife.

Commenting on the gravity of the situation, Gunderson said, “Scientists and engineers knew exactly where the nuclear core was at Chernobyl a year later. But not Fukushima! We’ve got three nuclear cores that are in direct contact with groundwater. Now that means the containment broke and water is coming in and there is contaminating the ground water. So, clearly the liquid releases from Fukushima are way, way more severe than Chernobyl.”

I would imagine (as I wasn't around 50 years ago) that in Australia and the West generally, that the country was predominantly white, and Christian, and would remain so for the foreseeable future.


Since then, not only have we (well, 'they' would be more accuate) abolished ethnic discrimination in immigration and the ethnic basis for the nation, but encouraged foreign cultures to retain their religions and customs for the sake of 'diversity', which is, strangely enough, sold to us a benefit.

No public debate, or referendum on this issue is allowed, and to even to peacefully resist it is to be a thought criminal.


Eventually, this situation will result in the descendants of those who founded Australia and the West to lose their demographic majority, and this will spell the end of the West as we know it, not a question of if but when.  Lost tribes stripped of coherent identity or history, slaves to global elites.  This is not to mention the threat from a growing China or militant Islam sparking civil war in Europe.


With the government, media and universities all unapologetically supporting the trend toward reverse colonisation, only a major, protracted and ugly conflict where many lives will be lost will reverse it, so we can once again dream of the future we deserve, for our children's children and beyond.


Who would have thought of this 50 years ago?


you must be having the same problem with your iPad as Brocky.

I'm talking about all those spaces, LOL

The Pew Research Center recently asked 43,000 respondents in 38 countries whether life is better today than 50 years ago. Back in 1967, the Cold War was tense, the United States was facing widespread riots, the war in Vietnam was escalating and Israel fought the Six Day War with its neighbours. In those days, somebody commuting to work would not be surrounded by people staring at their smartphones and hooked up headphones, while something like the internet was totally beyond comprehension. The research found a deep sense of division, despite all of the advancements made over the past five decades.

Considering that their country was being torn apart by a brutal war in the late 60s, it comes as little surprise that 88 per cent of people in Vietnam consider themselves better off today. Pew found that countries that are positive about their economic situation tend to be more upbeat today than 50 years ago. That can be seen in India which has seen its economy develop rapidly in recent years. 17 per cent of people in India say things are worse off today than in 1967 while 69 per cent think things are better. South Korea and Japan, two other countries who underwent massive economic transformations in the past 50 years, are also very positive. 

In the United States, things are gloomier with 41 per cent of people feeling worse off today. France and Italy are also negative with 46 and 50 per cent of respondents feeling worse off now than in 1967 respectively.


Infographic: Is Life Better Or Worse Than 50 Years Ago?  | Statista


Excellent stuff there Banjo. From the chart, I can see most of Australia think we're doing all right.

The Vietnam results are just as one might expect, considering the turbulent history.



What can I add to the topic.? 50 years ago I had my first baby. We didn't want a big wedding and all the fuss associated with it. We had a Civil wedding, no party and no wedding gifts. That's the way we wanted it. It was very hard for us as we started from scratch. We bought funniture from the second hand store, and loved every minute of it. We did own a second hand  car which was a luxury in those days. We got our first black and white t.v. in the 70's and that was our formal entertainment. We never cried poor or asked for assistance, we were very happy. We raised our boys up to be grateful for everything they got. We did have a struggle when we put them through a private school, and it paid off in the end. Both boys are very successful in their chosen careers. Struggle street need not be a drawback, I was bought up to not envy others that had it better than we had. Too many people today want all the latest technology. Their children want all the latest ipads and t.v. games. The parents put themselves into debt with their credit cards etc. We always said, "If you can't afford it, don't buy it".

It was a simple life.

I owned little, a ute, toolbox, tucker box, some clobber and went where my work took me, mostly outback at that.

I camped all over the place, picked up those looking for a ride, never felt any threat or danger from anybody . Very few pretenders about the shop back then.

Happier ?  I don't know. I am a pragmatist and make the most of where I am or the situation I find myself in.

It is possible to harness the deprivation, adversity and danger one encounters on lifes journey and turn them in to assetts to be used in the future. Same for all the kindness, assistance and love encountered along the way. Soak it all up and you will be happy enough no matter where you are on your journey.

It is all good.

Take it easy.


Couldn't agree more Shaggy.  

I can relate to both you HOLA and Shaggy

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