1920s And 1990s: A Comparative Analysis

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The phrase history repeats itself can be seen as true when comparing at the economic and political issues of the 1920s and 1990s. Both of the time periods were periods of strong economic growth followed by a severe economic downturn. By looking at various issues it can be argued that the periods were very similar to each other. The economies and cultures of the 1920s and 1990s are parallel to one another. Strong growth, rapid innovation, and a booming stock market were seen during both the 1920s and the 1990s. Both the 1920s and the 1990s were seen as bringing on a “new” economy. The technological changes during these times were seen as the driving force behind a faster growing economy and a rapidly rising stock market (White). During the …show more content…
Consumerism came into its own as a result of mass production, new products being available on the market, and advertising. With more leisure time and more spending money, Americans were eager to have the newest products. Advertisers used this to their advantage and often stressed convenience and luxury to consumers. Through the use of the radio, which was invented during this time, it was easy to get messages across to consumers and print advertisements also became popular. During this time a catalog also came out that allowed people to purchase any product you could imagine which completely revolutionized how people purchased items. Buying on credit, or installment buying, also became popular and it allowed families to purchase things such as automobiles and pay them off gradually over a period of time (Sullivan). From the 1920s consumerism continued into the 1990s and credit was being enticed. To entice buying on credit in the 1990s things such as subprime mortgage became available, making credit available to people who could not get a mortgage otherwise. So, although consumerism and credit allowed for economic growth it ultimately led to an economic downturn when people could not pay off their loans or mortgages because it then caused banks to not be able to offer credit leading to a credit freeze (“Boom & Bust …show more content…
In the 1920s there was an overexpansion of agriculture. It was seen as an agricultural boom and the exports to Europe exploded at this time. This caused farmers incomes and prices to go up, and it was a time of prosperity for Americans. However, eventually the European agricultural capacity recovered and there was a collapse of agricultural incomes and prices. The weakness in agricultural prices meant that overall inflation was low (White). This exemplifies that after a period of wealth there is often a downturn that follows. In the 1990s, exports began to rise again and on a global level too. This led to increased economic growth. There was a shift in exports to emerging markets and because there was global growth there was great export growth. During the 1990s, import demand began to decline in high-income countries. Diminished population growth in high-income markets also began to take place, which slowed the growth in consumption and demand ultimately hurting the United States export growth, and agricultural exports greatly declined. During this time issues such as trade agreements, and differences in currencies, also caused exports to other countries to decline. Exports with emerging markets also fell because of the devaluation of other countries currencies and the export prices also grew to expensive so others refused to pay. Once again this shows, that economic growth can make a turn for the worst.

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