The Absolute Value Of America

1555 Words May 20th, 2015 7 Pages
The Absolute Value of America
Transactions at a local corner store, the purchase of a fresh cup of coffee in the morning, and the credit card debt accumulated through the buying of miscellaneous objects on the internet, are just a few contributors to the most powerful “ism” that powers America. From the 1920s to the present day America has been driven by consumerism. Consumerism- in its simplest form- is defined as the buying and selling of products. When tracing the evolution of consumerism in America, one must explore many factors that led up to today’s consumerist culture; the economic ups and downs of the 1920s through the 1950s, the anti-consumerist movement in the 1960s, and people’s obsession with material items in modern society.
The 1920s, also known as the “Roaring twenties,” was a time of increased wealth and prosperity for some. After World War I, production in America increased dramatically due to inventions such as the assembly line and little to no government interference in business. People were able to revel in the new developments that came out of this decade: cars, radio, jazz, vacuums, refrigerators, washing machines, movies, and many other advancements that improved quality of life. Another advancement that people enjoyed was the arrival of credit; “the ability to obtain goods, money, or services in return for a promise to pay at some later date” (Dictionary). Credit had been around previously but it was never as prominent or widely used as it was…
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