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Post WWII Economic Expansion

Uploaded by geoff127 on Apr 22, 2002

“The U.S. embarked on one of the greatest periods of economic expansion in its history.”

America did indeed embark on one of the greatest periods of expansion in the postwar years. People had money, consumers were spending that money, and corporations were profiting from that. New types of companies got started and were succeeding, and older businesses folded because of this. New industries were created which opened many possibilities for the near future. Current workers were getting promoted into white-collar jobs in all sorts of industries, and new jobs were created because of new technology. The postwar era was the beginning of the technology boom, which would transform the world within 50 years. The move away from the cities still continued, and the baby boom was still occurring. All of this made the postwar years some of the best economic years in American history.

During World War II people were earning wages, but not spending much of them. This was mostly because of the small supply of consumer goods, if they were even produced during the war. This meant that the average American consumer had several years of wages saved by the end of the war. Some unfortunate families also had money from the government and insurance companies if they lost a relative due to the fighting in Europe and the Pacific. This meant that at the end of the war Americans had money, and the want to buy new things and give the economy a nice, long awaited boost.

Americans had thousands of dollars saved up, and now they wanted to do something with that money. The obvious solution was spending it. For the first time in years consumer good were once again produced and sold in large quantities. That set-up was a perfect situation for economic growth. Consumer has money, corporation has product, consumer wants product. It’s very simple, the consumer will pay for what they want, and that will cause economic growth because of increased spending. This spending was very obvious, the Grosse National Product increased by 292 billion dollars from 1945 to 1960, which was an increase of almost 150%. That proves how much American consumers were spending compared to the war years.

This increase in buying did not just make the consumers happier. The corporations welcomed the buying increase, because that meant a profit increase for them. The “big three” automotive companies, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, because the...

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Uploaded by:   geoff127

Date:   04/22/2002

Category:   Business and Economics

Length:   7 pages (1,542 words)

Views:   1670

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