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TV Ads

As consumerism and access to the mass market supplanted the earlier ideal of economic autonomy (one of the ideals on which the US had been founded on), the advertising industry quickly followed suit, writes historian James Foner. Furthermore, "the new advertising industry perfected ways of increasing exponentially the 'wants' of mankind."

Nowadays, women are bombarded with the message that if they want to be beautiful, they must buy certain shampoos, skin creams, and other cosmetics. Men are bombarded with the message that to have a good time, beer must be had. For adventure, there are sports cars and SUVs which will take you to the top of a remote cliff. If you want to be really spontaneous, you need a credit card. If you plan on being stuck in a remote place, there's always the ATM machine. And if you want to be a doer, an achiever…you need sneakers.