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What effects did America’s prosperity have on the way life of different social groups in US society?

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Introduction

What effects did America's prosperity have on the way life of different social groups in US society? In 1950 there were 23 600 000 home owners, the average wage of a factory worker was $55.83 a day and the gross income per head of the population was �7000 sterling. This was higher than any country in Europe. Consequently, for most white Americans the 1950s were a time of prosperity. Because of this the lives of most Americans changed. Many Americans moved into the rapidly growing suburbs. Roosevelt's 'New Deal' had provided long-term low interest rate mortgages. This meant more and more families were able to buy their own homes. This number was dramatically increased when Mr. Levitt started making flat-pack houses that were transported on the back of lorries. These houses made up mile upon mile of identical streets. Not only were these houses identical but the lives of the people living in them were stereotyped as well. ...read more.

Middle

Fuel consumption wasn't an issue. The motor industry picked up on the 'keeping up with the Jones's' phenomenon and started producing the same cars with minor adjustments or refinements. Tail fins, bumpers, and radiator grills were all added in different styles and sizes. This meant that cars quickly looked out of date. Advertising helped convince families to buy a new car regularly. Unfortunately this caused some real problems. Scrap yards became bigger and more common. 'Gas guzzlers' as they were known caused petrol smog and air pollution. It was sometimes impossible to have your windows down while driving through the highways of major cities. In this case the prosperity of the country changed the lives of most people for the worse. Even if it wasn't apparent at the time. The jobs around the house that usually took all day could be finished in a morning thanks to the boom of consumer goods like fridges and vacuum cleaners. ...read more.

Conclusion

This money was spent on the new industry that had built up around them. The new craze of rock and roll provided records to buy. Fashion, magazines and the movies also took a high percentage of this money. However they found that a safe, secure life style was boring. They had not lived during a depression or in wartime like their parents had and so found new ways of fulfilling their need for excitement. Films and music icons like Elvis Presley and James Dean were the perfect idols for teens at the time. The life of most teenagers was dramatically changed by the prosperity of the country at the time. By 1960 there was 32 800 000 home owners and with more homeowners the standard of living was greatly increased. People had more money and they spent it on a lot more non-essential items. Unfortunately Black Americans in particular were still undermined and persecuted. They had a high rate of unemployment, low wages and had the poorest housing. This meant that they did not share in the prosperity. ...read more.

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