As usual, all the answers given by the time I arrive at a discussion are very good ones! One thing to remember is that after World War II, the United States was in a uniquely fortunate economic position. Our country had not been directly attacked (except at Pearl Harbor), and the U. S. had suffered none of the kind of devastating destruction experienced by Europe, Japan, China, the Soviet Union, and many other countries. Even the victorious allies (such as Great Britain) were hobbled, at least for a while, by the damage wrought by the war. After the war, no other country on earth was as powerful, economically or militarily, as was the U. S. The period from the 1950s to the 1970s was one of the great "boom" periods in American history. The 1970s were rough, but the 1980s and 1990s were also years of relative prosperity. Certainly in my own lifetime I have witnessed the rise of the kind of materialism in which you are interested. Whether such materialism will continue during or beyond the present decade remains to be seen.