Between 1947 and 1960, the average real income for American workers increased by as much as it had in the previous half-century. Over the same period, the GDP soared 220%. Consumption of personal services increased by 3 times. In 1960, per capita income was 35% higher than even the boom year 1945. The GI Bill contributed to the building boom of the late 1940's and 1950's, thanks to the loans granted to veterans. The technological breakthrough increased productivity. R&D emerged as a major industry in its own right. In the mid-1950's, the American economy crossed the line from an industrial to a post-industrial state, with white-collar workers outnumbering blue-collar workers. And the vitality of the Labor movement was no doubt affected by that. Huge corporations created a new managerial personality which was called the Organization Man. It was as much involved in mastering the art of interpersonal relationship as in accomplishing its professional task.
[...] Ginsberg became a kind of guru of the Beat generation, a guru of the American youth counter-culture in the late 1960's. He acquired a deep knowledge of Buddhism, a religious element of love for all sensitive entered his work (late poem: Planet News; 1968). As a historian put it: "people as diverse as Humphrey Boggart, Jackson Pollock, or James Dean (symbol of the restless, confused and idealistic youth of the 1950's), share the image of trying to understand chaos or to interpret the meaning of a world destroyed by war and to find a place for individuals who wanted to create their own freedom, controlled by structures beyond human influence". [...]
[...] He had a pragmatic attitude at a time when a political debate was marked by what would be the school of consensus, an ideological consensus, viewed by Hofstadter and Reinhold Niebuhr, theologians, denouncing the ideologies and developing a pragmatic and voluntary attitude. Although Dwight D. Eisenhower, as president, was viewed as incompetent, he knew how to use his apparent blunders to promote his own views and intentions. A few historians have insisted that Dwight D. Eisenhower ignored or even suppressed profound social problems that would eventually come to endanger the country. He refused to start tax cuts in the middle of 2 recessions. He was not active on the issue of Civil Rights. [...]
[...] More and more critics marked out floors inherent in the economic structures of the 1950's. The 1950's were boom years for big business and corporate forces, after taxes ranged from a low $16bn to a high $26bn in 1955. Corporate assets rose from $441bn in 1945 up to $1200bn in 1960. Undeniably, it was a period of mergers and expansion, however by the end of the 1950's, 1/3 of the nation wealth was held by of the population. The bottom 20% of people had less than of that share. [...]
[...] The number of station skyrocketed grew from 6 in 1946 up to 442 in 1956. As Max Lerner, a student, put it: "TV has become the poor man luxury because it is his psychological necessity". It altered the shape of culture bringing people from the most different backgrounds to the common experience. A generation grew up with new heroes. For many people, it seemed to reinforce the Conservative celebratory values of the dominant culture. For example, the view of assimilation upward a mobility and ethnic nostalgia in a famous series remember Mamma". [...]
[...] Consumerism was one of the main consequences of prosperity and growth, with mass consumption of goods, services and recreational material in the 1950's. The proliferation of shopping centres and a new advertising culture were part of the consumer oriented economy. The Harvard economist J.K. Galbraith published his best-seller the affluent society in 1958. Later, he published The new industrial state in 1967, which was a remarkable description of the state of economy and social matters. Recreation and entertainment also developed (Disneyland and amusement parks). [...]
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