*Racism and segregation
*No Polio Vaccine
*Household abuse and Drug suppress ts for women
*Less health hazard aware public
The true positives
* Healthier environment such as air and no fear of global warming
*Most of the Middle class could get anything that they wanted
*Stronger family unit
*Easier ways of travel with cars and later highways
*cost of collage
*a almost universal optimism that pushed many people threw the day
*just trying to be normal and fit in, no an excess or over saturation on trying to make everyone some kind of next president or great leader.
*A tighter neighborhood tha helped raised the children
*Relativley peaceful even enough for most kids to Walk to and from home.
*admitedly more natural foods when actually ate
*Technology lasted and was VERY much easier to take care of (bet you some of them hard working stay at homes would have made great plumbers and electicians)
*PEOPLE TOOK CARE OF THERE OBJECTS BETTER THAN PEOPLE DO TODAY.
*Men dressed more professional (this is more opinionated, but I just love the cloths)
*Kids could do minor jobs like newpaper kid and such.
*Way better portions
* AN INCREDIBLE STYLE (opinion, but the 1950s and early to mid 1960s looked very beutiful just aesthetically)
*More colorful building and cars
* A lot, but not all mainstream music sucked until about 1955, Sanatra and others kept music going, but jazz and Rock gave it the boost it needed.
Like any other decade it was mixed, with good and bad, I just think that there were some goods that we as a culture, have left behind. If not for the sexism and racism, it may have been actually almost dreamy.
It was nearly impossible for women and minorities to aspire to most professions or hold public office. In many places racial minorities couldn't even vote. Censorship was rampant. (Banned in Boston...) Life expectancy was much lower and there was great fear of diseases like polio and believe it or not smallpox in some places. Air and water pollution were horrible and getting worse(read Rachel Carson's Silent Spring)Witch hunting anti-communist were rampant. On the flip side of the coin people were deathly afraid that International communist were winning and our way of life would come to an end. The draft was still in effect which meant a small portion of the population (for teenage boys) n affect were used as sacrifices to protect the rich and Powerful. I could go on and on with this. To be fair there were some good aspects of the 50s that got lost in the changes made in the 60s and 70s to eliminate the evil parts of the 50's, but those good things can be had by anybody willing to make a few small sacrifices so at least today those things are a matter of choice not crammed down people's throats.
There was much more racism, sexism, and even more persecution of people who openly differed in the political and/or social viewpoints, plus gays and lesbians were rightly afraid to come out. Also, bullying was much more accepted as a "rite of passage", and women were required to "know their place" and stay in it.
The fifties were an interesting decade of Rock N Roll, soda fountains and poodle skirts that I am sure brings a lot of nostalgia to those people who lived through it, but it also had its dark side. In America, I'm sure the 1950's was a much better decade if you were white, male and not gay.
Actually I like the 1960s and later. But the 1950s is the corruption of the class that dominated most of life in the 1940s and before. Well for one people truly believed in cooking good food in those days. The 1950s brought an end to that, because starting in the 1950s, there went the neighborhood with McDonald's (more like McCrap, and I don't mean that in a racist way). Ridiculous and stupid notions of the future were common in the 1950s. Sci-fi and all that garbage were alive. I think the 1950s was the beginning of the Social Revolution too. New York can do vice in a more classy way than Los Angeles. Hollywood is garbage. Overall, a crappy decade! Thankfully many things revived in the 1960s.