In 1941 publishing magnate Henry Luce proclaimed the dawning of the American Century, and by the mid 1960s, if one looked at the business community, there was every reason to believe he was correct. At home and abroad American business was preponderant. The domestic economy was growing, unemployment was down, firms were increasingly productive, and technology was fueling constant innovation. Historians Louis Galambos and Joseph Pratt noted: "It was a good time to be in business in the United States, an era when American efficiency and entrepreneurship were the wonder of the world."
Decade of Affluence.
During the 1960s the United States experienced its longest uninterrupted period of economic expansion in history. Whereas automobiles, chemicals, and electrically powered consumer durables were the leading sectors in the 1950s, they were supplanted by aerospace, housing, and the computer industry in the 1960s. By the end of the decade the average American's real income had increased SO percent since 1950, and the country's high standard of living became the envy of the world. Median family income rose from $8,540 in 1963 to $10,770 by 1969. This newfound affluence meant that many Americans for the first time enjoyed discretionary income that could be spent for enjoyment, not necessities. This prosperity did not reach all,...
(The entire section is 885 words.)
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