Some of the change of US Consumerism circa 1920s and now

The United States was more of a producer rather than a consumer society in the 1920s. People continued to put up their own preserves with home grown food wherever possible. There were no fast food joints and few chain stores. Much of the nation wasn’t electrified, television didn’t exist and in brief the nation was very, very different than today.

The U.S.A. was still on the gold standard and the federal government did usually run deficits except during war. During the 1920s President Harding and Coolidge reduced public debt to about five billion dollars. History of the United States public debt – Wikipedia

Wall Street’s eventual crash was caused by ‘irrational exuberance’ and to great of expansion and investment. Churchill as the British Chancellor of the Exchequer persuaded the U.S. government to be tight with bailing out Wall Street and the lack of financial stimulus helped a run on banks The rise of Nazi problems would also cause increased military spending in the 1930s and further cycles of debt, conflict, military industrial complex spirals and tax increases. History tends to repeat itself in several ways at least in regard to fiscal, tax and public spending policies.

Consumerism in the 1920s was not at all like it is today. The United States was still a primary producer at home and in industry. Manufacturers could put into business the inventions of Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell etc. Farming was increased with new machine technology and became more productive and less labor intensive. Road and dam building projects occurred in several states to use the increasing automobile production and electrification to put Americans to work. The nation then was not so reliant on foreign production and financial services for jobs. It still built infrastructure and was not afraid to upgrade in response to existential challenges.

Today the U.S.A. should take at least some small steps to return toward a production value. That could include reducing patent costs and streamlining them by orders of magnitude so U.S. inventors who are poor can do more than give their ideas away on the Internet to whomever wants to use them, creating tax incentives for those out of work longest to be hired and assuring that all Americans can afford higher education through graduate school to maximize their potential etc.