28 January 2009

Peak USA 1956-1957

in 1956 the United States' economy comprised half of the world's economic output. the US led the world in manufacturing, technological advancement, and commercial culture, both old and new.

it is no accident that at the very same time, the US' middle-class' share of the wealth was at it's peak, nor is it just a coincidence that the percentage of the US labor force engaged in manufacturing and belonging to a union was at it's highest level in history.

least noted of all was the percentage share of US "defense" spending to the total budget and gdp. it was the lowest since the end of WWII.

ironic is the timing of the design, development, manufacturing, and sales of the 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air, as it coincided exactly with the peak of US military, cultural, and economic power. a peak that ended abruptly on 4 October 1957 with the introduction of the '58 model and SPUTNIK.