The social description “the 1950s” encompasses the post-war period of 1946 to 1963, before the social revolution ushered in by the Beatles and the Vietnam War protests.)
Well up to this point....
The Beatles had nothing to do with a social revolution at all and the Vietnam war did nothing to further it.
It is easy to forget that what you appear to be calling the social revolution actually began in the depths of the depression. Banking controls, public works projects, subsidies for the arts, Unemployment insurance and Aid to Families with Dependent Children are all pre-WWII inventions. Perhaps the biggest and most obvious is Social Security. That was 1935 and I would hesitate to credit Fred Astaire (who had the biggest song that year) for ushering it in.
The generation that fought WWII was inclined to pay itself back generously with the US's post WWII riches. The GI Bill paid for their college, down payments for their homes and free medical care in the VA system. It was easy to do these things for two reasons. First of all the US was awash in cash. It was richer than the rest of the world combined. It had tax rates that gave the government unprecedented spending power. It had a self-righteous opinion of all things GI and this sense of "nothing is too good for the troops who destroyed fascism" was an easy sell. Expanding these programs to others was a natural extension of this sense that nothing bad can exist in the US.
@late said: On one hand, you saw the rise of the American Empire in the Fifties, but what you will be seeing is the decline and fall of the American Empire.
Do you mean Empire literally? If you do I respectfully disagree. If the US ever had an empire it was the most poorly exploited on in history. But even if I grant that the US had a huge empire I would tell you that we are not seeing any fall of it now. Where is your evidence that the US is any less influential in the world now than it was when it was (for example) stymied by the USSR? Granted we are not the richest country in the world anymore but we are still the most powerful economically and especially militarily by a fair margin.
China is coming on strong but I would commend to you the thought that China is not "winning". It is becoming more like us and less like "itself" every day. IT may well be that the result of Trumps trade wars will be that both sides get tired of the hassle and settle down to forming the hybrid capitalist alliance that both want.
Income inequality is a huge problem but you can see that ice breaking. For example, the rapidly growing minimum wages imposed by the states now has the majority of states higher than the US minimum wage. The people like Obamacare and want health care increased. The Me Too movement is a real thing. The country is moving slightly to the left but the government has yet to follow suit. But watch the election. You will not see the republicans running on the repeal of the PPACA.
Anyway. I am interested in what others think. For me the countries move to the left is far older but far slower than most people realize.
"We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated." Trump.
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, okay? " Trump
The American dream is about freedom. Pelosi