We'll be glad to critique YOUR ideas on this subject.
Okay this is what I have on this question. Am I on target or do I need to do more research???
To put in context,you should remember that we had just finished WWII and Korea.As a nation,we were at a pinnacle of production and fiscal fluidity;we were the only industrialized nation not rebuilding from WWII.At that point of our history,we were the world export leader,in both manufactured goods as well as oil and raw materials.Having the export deficit created a net surplus of cash for us.Wages were up,the middle class was expanding and our discretionary spending was at an all time high.The 60's began a period of off-shore competition that has continued through today.As we became a net importing country,we have seen an erosion of the middle class,a decrease of wages and a rapid shrinking of the financial fluidity we once had.We still have a "culture of consumption" but it is largely financed with personal debt.