The American Dream


Planned Obsolescence

In 1950, manufacturers began using a marketing strategy called planned obsolescence in America. The began this market strategy to encourage consumers to purchase more goods, they purposely designed products to wear out or become outdated in a short period of time. In the car business, car makers would get new models every year and everyone always wanted to be up-to-date with the latest cars. Soon Americans expected new and better products. Business people were making a lot of money because every one always wanted the newer and better products and they now could out date items to make people buy more of it.

Buy Now, Pay Later

In 1950, many American consumers made their purchases on credit which meant they didn't have to pay for what they bought right away. They were coming out with new credit cards, the first one was The Diner's Club and that was in 1950, and the American Express card was introduced in 1958. People were able to buy large items on the installment plan and make regular payments over a fixed time. During the decade, the total private debt grew from $73 billion to $179 billion. Americans weren't saving money, they were spending it, confident that prosperity would continue.