The Stalemated Seventies

The Stalemated Seventies - The Stalemated Seventies I....

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The Stalemated Seventies I. Sources of Stagnation a. Economic Situation in the 1970s i. The entire decade of the 1970s did not have another productivity advance equivalent to even one year’s progress in the preceding two decades ii. The median income of the average American family stagnated in the two decades after 1970 iii. The 70s generation faced the prospect of a living standard that would be lower than that of their parents b. What Caused the Slump In Productivity? i. Women and Teenagers 1. Increasing presence in the work force, who had fewer skills than adult male workers and were less likely to take the full-time, long- term jobs where skills might be developed ii. New Machinery 1. Declining investment in new machinery iii. Compliance With Government Laws 1. Industries had to comply with safety and health regulations iv. Shift From Manufacturing To Services 1. Productivity is more difficult to measure in services than manufacturing v. Vietnam War 1. Drained tax money needed for improvements in education, science, and manufacturing vi. Inflation 1. Caused by rising oil prices 2. Caused by Johnson’s insistence on Vietnam and Great Society programs without a tax increase 3. Printing money for those things without collecting more taxes increased the money supply. When too much money chases too few goods, prices rise vii. Old Factories 1. The competitive advantage of many major American businesses after WWII had small incentive to modernize plants and seek more efficient methods of production 2. The defeated German and Japanese people had meanwhile built new factories with the most up-to-date technology and management techniques. By the 1970s, their efforts made them dominate industries like steel, automobiles, and consumer electronics II. Nixon “Vietnamizes” the War a. Nixon’s Characteristics
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i. Was solitary and suspicious by nature ii. Harbored bitter resentments against liberals, who he believed had cast him into political darkness for much of the preceding decade iii. Had a broad knowledge and thoughtful expertise in foreign affairs b. Vietnamization i. Plan was to withdraw the 540,000 U.S. troops in South Vietnam over an extended period ii. The South Vietnamese, with American money, weapons, training, and advice, could then gradually take over the burden of fighting their own war iii. Nixon Doctrine – the U.S. would honor its existing defense commitments, but that in the future, Asians and others would have to fight their own wars without the support of large amounts of American ground troops iv. Between 1968 and 1972, American troop strength dropped from 543,000 to 39,000 c. Dove Reaction To Vietnamization i. Most demanded a prompt and complete withdrawal ii. They staged a massive protest on the Boston Common in October 1969 with 100,000 people and 50,000 next to the White House d. Nixon’s Reaction To Protests i. Tried to appeal to the “silent majority” who he believed supported the war ii. Unleashed the vice-president to attack the
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The Stalemated Seventies - The Stalemated Seventies I....

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