This Is Our Youth Historical Context

Kenneth Lonergan
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Consumerism

In the 1980s, the government's political and economic agenda, with its championing of American capitalism, triggered a promotion of self-interest. The decade of the 1980s was ushered in with Ronald Reagan's presidential inauguration in 1981 and was heavily influenced by Reagan's economic philosophy. “Reaganomics,” as this philosophy was termed, proposed that the encouragement of the free-market system, which depends on the individual pursuit of wealth, would strengthen the economy. This vision included the theory of trickle-down economics: as businesses were freed from governmental regulation, their profits would eventually trickle down to the American public through the creation of jobs and strengthening of wages. Americans would then be able to spend more money, which would further bolster the economy.

Republicans argued that the welfare programs implemented in the 1960s had turned Americans into government dependents and that only the reality of poverty would inspire lower-class Americans to adopt an...

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This section contains 642 words
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