The 1940s were a time of incredible growth for American business. The country had recovered from the Great Depression (1929–41) and the war and government spending helped American businesses become strong, solid, and profitable. The fastest growing parts of the economy involved the production of consumer goods and military supplies. With such growth in business, unemployment declined and wages rose to an unprecedented level. By the end of the war, America had the strongest economy in the world. The starting of the Cold War (1945–91) at that time ensured the continuing governmental support for military expenditures, which helped keep the economy growing until the early 1990s.
With an excess of disposable income, Americans could buy the new consumer products offered after the war. Kitchens were stocked with electric appliances. Washing machines cleaned clothes. Tupperware preserved food in refrigerators across the country. Wanting more than mere transportation, people bought flashy new sports cars or hardworking Jeeps in addition to the traditional four-door family car. Late in the decade, more Americans than ever were living the "good" life.