The base closure came as a shock, but the emergence of Baldwin Park as New Urbanist development suggested to some the postwar emphasis on suburbanization was in doubt. In reality, criticism of New Urbanism continues to highlight the persistent of the middle-class aspirations associated with home, car, and job. This trinity was formulated and culturally inscribed after WWII. The relief of defeating Germany and Japan was quickly replaced by a need to win the ideological and political contest against the Soviet Union. While the Cold War was hot in many ways, the domestic impact of Cold War sociopolitical thinking was to enshrine a consumptive republic that served to demonstrate the US experience equated to freedom and success (there were other things too). If you thinking about it, the postwar trinity: home, car, and job remain markers of freedom and success in American society. While achieving them should be considered an accomplishment, since it is expected, you must do more, you must excel at them.
As scholars such as Dianne Harris and Thomas Sugrue have demonstrated, the exclusion of racial minority from the suburban experience after WWII created a structure of inequality that continues to shape daily life. The government made this system possible through low interest loans for returning veterans and they in turn used that money to finance homes and education that propelled them into a middle-class lifestyle. This Mad Men America was created to serve broader political and social aims. The postwar trinity had symbols, associations, and actions every American recognized and the coercive power of that framework made "success" in the United States a very specific experience. Supported by government policy and reinforced by media representation, millions of Americans saw "hard work" and "good values" at the core of the national character and we never discuss the structures and process that made that way of life work.
The assumption of achievable success was both an individual and societal mantra. Arguably, the struggle to achieve that success has gotten harder and harder for Americans. Contemporary concerns about inequality represents the establish mythology breaking down as more and more Americans find themselves joining racial minorities, the poor, and gender minorities that never lived that dream.