When the "greatest generation" restarted after WWII, the U.S. had the only fully intact industrial base from which to build everything the world needed.
We could dump ever decreasing quality goods on the world as the demand outpaced supply for everything: bulldozers, trucks, cars, tires, washing machines, refrigerators, tv's, etc.
I was born in 1957. My father died at age thirty-nine while I was sixteen. By that age, I could write the orders for all dept's of our family store, and do the banking. We worked without pay, because as dad said, we worked for "room and board". I built international IC design/mfg co. - 3500 employees.
Many stories like mine. The world changes. We don't have the lock on the market. Deal with it.