How did World War 2 affect the US economy?

WWII and the US Economy

  • World War 2 was one of the reasons the Great Depression ended. World War 2 gave jobs to thousands, if not millions, of people in the U.S. Soldiers were paid and some sent money home, men too old to be in the army replaced the men that were at war, and women worked in factories to build aeroplane's, ships, tanks, etc.
  • WW2 created much needed jobs in factories involving the production of war supplies. It jump started us out of the Great Depression and boosted the stock market. The second world war helped us become the strongest country we are today. By mobilizing the unemployed, we aided our economy.
  • Although war is a time of hardships and usually poverty, World War 2 had many positive effects for America. One point of prosper was economy. Some said that the Second World War put an end to the Great Depression. Many of America's products went overseas and by 1943, half of the country's production went overseas. Americans were then forced to buy less of such products, but soon spent there money on things such as newspapers, movies, and promotion toward the war because of the shortage of supplies. From 1941-1944 newspapers sold daily increased four folds. Hollywood made over 2,500 motion pictures during the war also. In 1942, the War Advertising Council was formed. It conducted more than 100 campaigns to sell war bonds, secure blood donations, conserve food, and inspire enlistments. And with the change of spending money also came the change of earning money. Farmers made $20 billion in 1944 unlike the late 1930s, which had an average of only $8 billion. The war also caused a shortage of employees. This raised the annual earnings to $44 billion compared to 1939's $13 billion. With the men gone at war, women would soon fill in those empty jobs to support their families. Government propaganda encouraged women to do their patriotic duty by leaving their homes and entering the workplace. At the wartime peak in July 1944, 19 million women were employed. But women workers weren't the only group that enlarged during the war, but also child labor increased over two folds. Because of these factors, the average family income rose over 25% from 1941-1945. In the beginning of the war, 1941, the national income was around $95 billion dollars, but by 1944 it rose to $150 billion.
  • World War 2 greatly improved our economy. Women got the taste of working outside the home, the stock market was on the uprising again. People were starting to make money and become prosperous. The government used ads to help boost liberty bonds, blood donations, reserving supplies for the troops and the entertainment industry. America proved to other nations that we are a strong country.
  • Germany was really on the back hand of the USA 's stock market plunge. After the hyperinflation in Germany the USA gave out billions of marks worth of loans to help rebuild the economy. When the stock markets fell in the US the US demanded all there loans payed back ASAP. then Germany was back to were it started.
  • They could not spend it due to rationing, one sees the raise of excessive buying. This increase in purchasing lead to more factory jobs, etc... Also now more and more women were joining the work force - again increasing production. Furthermore the idea of the shopping mall spread from eight at the end of the WWII to 3,840 but 1960.
  • The U.S. was in large part lifted out of the great depression by selling strategic goods and materials like tools, machinery, petroleum, metals, and grain to both sides since we were neutral at first. Once we were sucked in by the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the economy shifted into overdrive and measures had to be taken to keep inflation from soaring out of control. After the war was over, the seeds of our modern "Consumer based" economy had been sown and grew like wildfire. Technology had taken great leaps forward. Before the war women rarely worked outside the home and only in limited professions. Afterwards the women who had worked to support the war and replace men in the Services liked the money and independence their own jobs gave them and they stayed in the workforce. Finally, we shifted in a massive way from mostly farming to mostly manufacturing jobs and services. Europe was devastated by the war but the U.S. emerged more militarily and economically powerful than ever.
  • Economists of the Keynesian school propagated this idea that World War 2 was good for the US economy. In particular, a government economist who did central planning and price fixing during the war named Paul Samuelson wrote economics textbooks that became widely used in schools. Most modern economists these days are not Keynesian. Destruction is never productive. War does not boost an economy. The benefits are short lived and shallow. Many economists believed that FDR prolonged the depression for many years with his "New Deal" policies and therefore the depression lasted into World War 2. The war did not end the depression. The end of the war ended the depression.
  • Going into World War II, the US was in one of the worst economic downturns of the country's history. Money was allocated for the wartime effort and some of the "New Deal" promises were dropped to the wayside. As the US entered the war, job demand began to increase on the home front as people were needed to manufacture war supplies. The need was so great, not only men were being hired but also women. By the mid 1940s, the pre-wartime unemployment rate dropped over 10%.