With the average American having a disposable income of $28,277, it is no wonder America has become the consumer nation that it is today (census. gov). In the past nine months American economy has shown an economic growth of 5.6%. Improvements in work industry are providing higher-paying, more permanent jobs than before, with less than 10% of new jobs created in 2005 being temporary (economist. com). With better employment opportunities and steady economic growth, America will become even more of a consumer culture than it is today. Mark Hertsgaard observes a more compassionate side of America when he describes consumer spending post 9/11.

"But the attacks also engendered a new seriousness among the American people, a turning away from self-indulgence and material things in favor of spiritual values and services to others" (Hertsgaard 40). The 9/11 attacks left Americans with feelings of sympathy and remorse, as well as a feeling of unity that was shared throughout the country. Hertsgaard stated that after the attacks, the consequent drop in consumer spending turned the economy into an outright recession (Hertsgaard 40). While the economy itself unarguably suffered an obvious and drastic decline, Americans did not waste much time before they used the attacks on the World Trade Center as a means to make a profit.

Millions of products advertised as 9/11 memorabilia were suddenly being sold everywhere. These items were announced as apparent ways for American's to show their unity and patriotism, as well as their loyalty and support for their country. Sweatshirts, posters, coffee mugs, and just about anything that could somehow display images or messages were applicable to be sold as keepsakes from the tragic event. While a day as disastrous and devastating as 9/11 left most of America with feelings of grief, especially for those who had lost loved ones, the "American Dream" was far from being forgotten. The American Dream holds different meanings for different individuals, depending on their own opinions and perceptions. Despite the fact that this phrase holds not one particular meaning, and is a somewhat varied idea, it's accepted interpretation includes achieving prosperity through hard work, courage and determination Naturally, American's strive to be the best they can be, regardless of what it is they are doing.

It is normal for a person in any profession to desire a promotion, which is a direct route to their actual goal: a higher salary. Lee Price, of the Economic Policy Institute, holds an opinion which contrasts Hertsgaard's idea that the 9/11 attacks were completely responsible for the economic decline. "Don't get me wrong. There can be no doubt that the economy was thrown for a loop by the attacks on September 11. But it was short-lived loop. Retail sales, travel, and the financial markets were put on hold for a number of days.

Within a couple of months, however, retail growth had moved back on the strong growth trend that had preceded September 11. The stock market was closed for a period and took an immediate dive after reopening. Within a couple of months, however, the major indexes soared past their September 10 levels" (Price) Statistical evidence provides proof of the significant drop in American economy after 9/11, however it does not prove that Americans have suddenly become altruistic, and does not rid Americans of their much earned status as heavy consumers. web Dream.