The Side Effects Of Prosperity Essay, Research Paper
The Side Effects of Prosperity
The Fifties were a prosperous time, involving economic growth and increased social capabilities, introducing many new concepts which contributed to a vast number of possibilities. These possibilities turned into reality with the transformation of a dying industrial economy to a booming one. But these possibilities brought an underlying chaos along with its prosperous ideals.
The main goal of attaining prosperity was to make money. The need for materialistic possessions was emphasized as the society was looking for a more comfortable way of life. Credit became more popular as people were buying great deals of goods, and making expensive purchases to build more stable and comfortable homes. Unemployment was on the rise because both parents in families worked to increase their purchasing power. This unemployment caused already wealthy people to become wealthier while unemployed people drifted into deeper poverty. A large gap appeared between the classes, creating general discomfort of the society as a whole.
During the 1950 s the entertainment industry also flourished. Media has always had a phenomenal effect on the way the general public perceives things, and the introduction of the television and many new artists pushed the development of a celebrity-obsessed society. The biggest contribution to the entertainment industry was the rise of Elvis, who commenced a new trend of admiring and obsessing over celebrities. The increase of teenagers also gave the entertainment industry a helpful boost since most teenagers had more free time than the average adult and were able to develop a massive craze over single celebrities. The perception of life was altered, the media concentrated on influencing young adults desire for fun and comfort, making the resulting teenagers sway towards being lazy and undisciplined.
The emergence of the television was a result of the growing knowledge of technology. The persistent use of the television however affected the amount of time people spent together. As greater amounts of people spent time watching television, less people spent time together. Families lost their quality time together and family bonds were severed. Barriers started to occur between children and their parents, creating more division in the 1950 s society. Television was the visual source of all that determined our morals, our wants, our needs, our ethics, and our cravings.
One of the most significant ways the 1950s altered society was the production and mass consumption of automobiles. More and more people owned cars, and it changed our entire way of life. The gap between the suburbs and working area induced more roads to be created, and therefore automobiles had to be used more often. With easier ways of transportation, life became much more convenient and fast paced. The creation of highways encouraged families to go on vacation since they could go further distances. However, using cars increased traffic congestion, car accidents and air pollution, which are problems that exist and are still growing today.
One source of economic boost for Canada was the American market. The U.S. practically took over the industries in Canada, controlling 90% of the industrial employment. The country was starting to have a dependency on the U.S to sustain it s economy. The main focus of the Fifties was efficiency, convenience, comfort and the development of stability after a time of chaos during the war. Nonetheless, the future would prove the negative effects that neglect to consider such consequences would have.