Importance of the Economy.
By 1950 people generally recognized that the nation's economy—the financial performance of its businesses—affects every American personally. The security of our jobs and how much we earn doing them, the cost of the goods we buy, the price we pay to borrow money, and the interest we get by saving it are all directly related to the health of the economy. During the 1950s the American economy was the strongest in the world.
Biggest in the World.
A nation's prosperity is measured by its national income—the value of all the goods and services it produces, also called the gross national product (GNP). By that measure, as by many others, the United States was the unquestioned world leader after World War II. In 1950 the U.S. GNP was $284.6 billion, and by the end of the 1950s it had increased to $482.7 billion. American exports reached alltime highs as they steadily increased during the decade, and the amount by which the value of exports exceeds the value of imports, called the trade surplus by economists, had never been higher in peacetime. People all over the world were willing to buy the products American workers produced; automobiles, electronics, furniture, chemicals, glass, metals—anything bearing a tag that read "Made in the U.S.A."—were respected internationally for their quality and reliability....
(The entire section is 633 words.)
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