Friday, September 05, 2014

Another Leftist Lie About the 1950's

As you all know the 1950's by every technology and inflation adjusted measure was not only better for everybody, but was hands down the pinnacle of US achievement and capitalism.

Because of this the left does its best to rewrite history, besmirch it, criminalize it, villainize it, and (as if it's not the most tiresome and broken record in their playbook) is remind us just how sexist and racist it was.  The 1940's and 1950's just simply cannot exist accurately in the history books for it is everything that the left hates and the most compelling and damning empirical data that proves socialism wrong.

Because of this I like to bring up the 50's occasionally, citing data and statistics and presenting logical, unemotional arguments as to why it was indeed the best decade in US history.  And today's leftist argument we're going to debunk is;

"Oh yeah!?? know what...the WORLD WAS DESTROYED after WWII and the US was the ONLY country left to build stuff for them.  That's the only reason the 50's had such great economic growth.  It wasn't capitalism!  It was because the world was our bitch!  So..umm...yeah, so there!"

So young lieutenants, economists, Cappy Cappites, and book babes, let us do what the left refuses to and look at the actual data.

To see whether or not the true cause of the booming economic growth in the 50's was due to the rest of the world being destroyed, I decided to look at exports as a percentage of GDP.  To be honest, I truthfully thought there was "some" credibility to the left's claim, and so I was more than willing to adjust US economic growth to account for exports.  However, after pulling the data, I realized I didn't have to bother:

Exports as a percentage of GDP have actually GONE UP SINCE WWII.

Yes, during 1947 exports were at a relative high, but after a 2 decade decline and stagnation, exports have consistently been going up since the 1970's.  Keep in mind a lot of this has to do with services (which were not as prominent in international trade as today), but the argument that the whole world was "just destroyed" and was helplessly dependent upon US exports which explained the booming economic growth we enjoyed in the 50's is just a lie.  And if we consider exports are nearly TWICE the percent they were back in the 50's, it's actually a damning testimony against the creeping socialism we've had since the 1960's (as well as American spending habits that we IMPORT even MORE resulting in a trade deficit).

The primary lesson to take from this though, ladies and gentlemen, is that you can almost always assume the left has never bothered to look up the "facts" they spew.  You, sadly, just have to assume whatever they say is either intentionally or unknowningly false and be willing to spend the 5 minutes to look up the actual data. 


finndistan said...

For the left, "it feews goooowd" trumps any fact.

Recently the World Economic Forum mentioned the part of the reason for the drop in competitiveness as " incentive-sapping taxation and a waning link between wages and work productivity. "... No shit Sherlock.

The newspaper had to report it as apparently there were no other quotes they could use.

Taxation is so that a high level engineer in old Nokia, with four kids and a stay at home mom had less money after the bills than a parasite mom and parasite dad with four kids. Plus the parasite parents were also stay at home, instead of the 47.5 hour workweek plus commute and got the childcare for each kid paid by the daddy fucktardment.

We are comparing a high earner to a parasite here.

So where is the incentive for people to produce, work and create?

Does the leftist propaganda newspaper paid for by my taxes take the clue? Of course not.

The news in the next days was problems facing the financial support for stay at home parents for the first THREE years of the kid, how police is targeting multicultural restaurands for inspection, when these restaurants have been proven to have a disproportionately high record of employing "undocumented" whatevers, how some Finn wants to be the president of somalia, teachers being laid off, that Helsinki is in need of entrepreneurs etc..

The left is a lying piece of cancer, there is nothing one can do in the system by themselves, except to enjoy the decline and hope the water of the pool stays clean while sipping on a whiskey by the poolside.

One thing that makes life a pleasure to live is to listen to leftists complain about the high taxes and their welfare surfer neighbors.

Anonymous said...

The 1950s were a time of high internal demand, baby-boom which fueled demand for big-ticket items and houses, little wage competition via immigration and women pushing into the work-force. The funny thing is that the left vilifies the 50s so much despite high individual tax rates and strong unions. You would think that they would see it as some kind of paradise because of it.

But no - their paradise is based on a super-strong nanny-state, women working 100% and relegating child-care to strangers, multiculturalism, sexual liberation etc.

There is simply too much that they want to besmirch in the 50s despite many arguments that it was the best time for any region for the common man in any time that we can think of: The US 1950s-1970s - never to return in that form.

Glen Filthie said...

Consider the Japanese.

Tokyo and Nagasaki WERE flattened. The bombs literally vapourized everything within a mile radius. The shock waves reached out even further. The mess was cleaned up, and those cities were up and running a year later. Tell me them that capitalism doesn't work. The 50's were pretty good for Japan too.

Interesting...I have some high end precision tools from Japan. Their factory got washed away in the tsunami... and yet, three months later they were up and running and manufacturing, stocking and shipping spare parts AND coming out with new models.

You can't do that in America anymore. Or Poland, or Latvia ...

Grey Enlightenment said...

The left, like a Malcom Glawell book, can only offer anecdotal evidence, wishful thinking and sentimentalism. They tell each other the narratives they want to hear, ignoring all evidence that shows they are wrong. Arguing with a welfare liberal about economics is more for entertainment value than educational value.

CBMTTek said...

I challenged a leftist/progressive/liberal to explain why the 50s were so awful, and how a return to that mindset would be a massive step backward.
Know what I got?
More people were dying of cancer, heart disease, etc..
And, there were more fatalities on the roads because cars were not required to have seatbelts and airbags.

Yep, that is what constitutes an argument.

Kristophr said...

The US didn't really take off until after Kennedy repealed the confiscatory high bracket taxes and corporate taxes.

Then money started pouring into the US.

Minimum wage in 1964 was 5 silver quarters, about $18 in 2014 value. About what store clerks in the Bakkan oil fields are making right now.

50 years of high taxes and fiat money have destroyed that.

OregonGuy said...


As an older guy, hitting college in the '70's, we never bothered ex/im.

"Oh, that's nice," and then on with macro.

Bike Bubba said...

You could argue that low imports made a huge difference, I guess.

Or maybe, per your old job, part of the issue is that the average family back in 1950 had a working father, Mom at home, one car, and low debt due to their 1000 square foot home and a job found without extensive college training required.

Hence there was plenty of money for capital formation, which leads to prosperity.

Sean Conner said...

Wow, I didn't expect my question to warrant such a response. I don't consider myself a leftist (more of a libertarian) but I did feel that WWII (or the aftermath) would have had more of an effect.

Sean Conner said...

I found your source of the data (thanks for the reference). I was able to check back to 1929 (using the annual statistics instead of the quarterly you used). There was the expected dip of exports during the first two years of the Great Depression, and a major dip for WWII, with explosive growth between 1945 and 1947, then a drop to 1950 and then the steady portion until the early 70s.

My interpretation of that is the explosive growth of 45-47 was during the time we were helping to reconstruct Europe and Japan (the Marshall Plan) and the drop and leveling due to Europe and Japan starting to export again. Which isn't an argument against your case---I had never really looked at the data, and I'm amazed at how fast Europe and Japan (with our help) got back on their feet.

Captain Capitalism said...

Hi Sean,

No, it wasn't you. It's the snippy snarky leftists that usually point it out and grate my nerves.


Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Howsabout median wages in the US from 1945 to today, adjusted for inflation?

I think the graph will show pretty clear evidence that wages were higher, thanks to reduced global labor competition due to the aforementioned flattening of industrial competitors, as well as the self-imposed removal of commies from the global labor pool.

I think the wage #s will dip as Japan and Germany's labor come on line, then as communism goes into retreat and larger pools such as China and India come online, the wages will drop even further.

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Anonymous said...

A few thoughts.

First, how much of consumer spending in the '50s was stimulated by war bonds maturing? According to wiki 85 million US citizens bought $185B worth of war bonds during the war. Series E bonds had a guaranteed mininum yield of 4% compounded annually and matured in 10years, so a rough estimate is a quarter of a Trillion dollars at payout spread over '51 to '56. On the top side of the border Canadians bought $12.5B that matured in 6 to 14 years.

Second, when looking at exports how do you factor in the ease and low cost with which goods can be sent now as compared to the '40s? The container ship wasn't invented until the '50s, the modern 18 wheeler truck until the late '60s, and intermodal terminals weren't built until the '80s. The cost of shipping products has never been lower.

Third, implementation of GATT and other free trade agreements have to be considered when looking at exports.


Anonymous said...

When a few million young, working-age men are drafted (and volunteer) into a highly structured and regimented society (the military), much like that of most socialist societies which restricts individual initiative. And then the war ends and these guys are released out into the larger world after seeing the worst that humanity can offer. I suspect they are going to bust their ass in the pursuit of the finer things in life - a wife, family, home. And they know that no one is just going to give it to them.

Just Saying said...

In a battle of the wits - the left is unarmed. It is as simple as that. They will lie, call you names and spout utter non-sense to try to cover it up, but the fact is all you have to do is look at the result of their failed policies. Detroit is the perfect example - Republican were in charge to 1962, and it was a banner... Then they voted in the Democrats, and it is now a burned out husk of a city. The left will try to hide it - but just look it up, don't pay attention to what leftist newspapers say - look at who the mayor was, and who was the majority party since then. The left equals destruction - always has, always will...

Anonymous said...

Debt financing is responsible. Now we are paying for it. You decide if it was worth it.