Inflated Expectations

Inflated Expectations - Inflated Expectations The new...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Inflated Expectations The new affluence of the 1950s revised existing portraits of life in America; the American Dream took on a new set of particulars and a new set of expectations. Yet there was certain irony to it all. As Harrington pointed out, 50 million people still lived in some degree of poverty. And more broadly, for all these inflated expectations of life in America, real economic growth during the 1950s was relatively moderate. The country actually slipped in and out of mild recessions three times during the decade; the GNP grew on average only 2-3% annually. Perhaps more sobering, European economic growth actually exceeded that in America in the late 1950s, while the Soviet government reported record economic gains. 23 The presidents of the 1960s thus inherited a complex set of challenges. Consumer possibilities inspired heightened demands for life in America, yet economic growth was modest. The public demanded aggressive government action to redress economic shortcomings, yet prevailing ideologies insisted on fiscal responsibility and limited government intervention. Poverty was designated both immoral and curable, yet it was a huge and tenacious part of the American social landscape. In short, in many ways, expectations had gotten far ahead of reality. The bells and
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 2

Inflated Expectations - Inflated Expectations The new...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online