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Mathematics & Economics
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Golden Age of Capitalism in the United States (Research Paper Sample)


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Critically discuss the Golden Age of Capitalism in the United States. What role did it play in the Cold War? Who did this system work best for? Who was left out?
I will suggest a structure and potential sources for your paper, but bear in mind that this is your paper, and you don't have to do it this way. This is just an 'educated suggestion.'
Your main thesis, to be put in your intro, could be that "the policies of the Golden Age of Capitalism were great for a large number of workers, but many minorities in the US - such as African Americans - were left out of the success." You can cite Ha Joon Chang and Sam Bowles (the class texts) on this.
A strong description of why the Golden Age of Capitalism happened (post-war social democracy) and the basis for it in economic theory (Keynesian economics). Again, sources from class - the Heilbroner readings and Sam Bowles can help with this. You can talk about how these policies helped reduce inequality, and use the graph that I have attached. (The source on the graph is the book 'Capital' by Thomas Piketty)
You can then take a look at the social situation of black people in America during this period. You may mention that African Americans came here as slaves - they were brought here as a result of capitalists needing to sell and buy slaves in the 19th century. Relevant to the Golden Age of Capitalism, you can talk about violence against African Americans, laws separating black people from white people, economic migration of black folks into big cities, and differences between unemployment rates between white people and black people throughout history.
You can use these to draw the conclusion that the policies of the Golden Age favored white people over black people, and that social democratic policies were not able to solve the issues of race in America that capitalism has caused in the first place.
You are expected to write a full, undergraduate-level research paper complete with a thesis,arguments, analysis, conclusion and cited sources (MLA format). The aim of the paper isto apply a political economy analysis, as we have learned during the semester, to a partic-ular economic, political or social question.


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Critically discuss the Golden Age of Capitalism in the United States

The Golden Age of capitalism was a period of economic expansion that began after the end of Second World War and ended in the 1970s recession (Chang 59). It was during this era when the Bretton Woods monetary system malformed. The golden age was marked by economic richness in the mid-20th century, which occurred mostly in the Western countries. Following, was a period in which demand for goods and services detonated, and major social changes took place. During the war, women filled the labor gap while other people returned home. Nevertheless, a good number remained in the labor force irrespective of receiving unequal payments. However, race issues began to explode while the retiring Asian and African American militias were forced to return home. However, the African Americans and the Asians were unable to put up with the Jim Crow and segregation laws. In 1968, the nation experienced riots and people protested against unfair laws, policing, and economic segregation. However, Golden Age of Capitalism was linked to the development of new international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and Marshall Plan that contributed to rebuilding developing countries in Western Europe.

Particularly in the United States, changes in both customs and law enhanced the power of organized labor which resulted in the legacy of depression. The country's position in trade improved slightly after the end of the Second World War rather than during the Great Depression. However, the Keynesian economists contend that boom recession occurred after the implementation of the Keynesian economic policies. However, unemployment was virtually eliminated in the advanced capitalist countries of Western Europe, US, and Japan. As a result, output fluctuations were less compared to the previous periods (Cornwall). The Keynesian fiscal policy improved government spending during recessions and minimized government spending during the boom. Moreover, increase in prices led to financial stability (REUSS). When the Second World War ended, Americans lived in fear that the subsequent decrease in military spending could expose them to harsh experiences they once suffered during the Great Depression. In contrary, constrained consumer demand powered strong economic development in the post-war period. In addition, the rapid growth of the postwar golden age was more dependent on different market forces. Thus, there was a need for more set norms, convention and informal laws necessary to coordinate the actions of social partners in the Western countries.

The Golden Age of Capitalism saw the growth of delocalization. Developing countries traded in industrial goods and services in exchange for locally produced commodities. After colonization, the post-colonial nations rejected the free market trades that had been imposed. It was impossible to discuss matters concerning the economic performance of developing countries after independence between 1945 and 1973. However, as new countries were emerging from decolonization, demand for guidance pertaining development policies increased as well. This resulted in new trade relations among countries. The United Nations deliberation considered the issue of economic stability and long-term development challenges with great depth. However, members of states such as China, Argentina, Egypt, and Mexico had an obligation to support development efforts. Development economics provided countries with practical guidelines for planning and implementing strategies. Developing countries provided a platform for thoughtful replication within the economic domain which contributed to the success...

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