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Old 08-04-2011, 01:30 PM
 
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A lot of working class people suffered losses starting in 1983 or so. I think the reasons were -
- people started to buy imported cars
- air traffic controllers were laid off
- companies started hiring outside the US.

I was reading the book "Someplace Like America" which is also photo essays. Youngstown, Ohio was pretty much ruined. It mentions that the working class totally changed in the 80s and then NAFTA in the 90s made it even worse. And of course 9/11 caused so many airline workers to be laid off, and then outsourcing of tech jobs.


Amazon.com: Someplace Like America: Tales from the New Great Depression (9780520262478): Dale Maharidge, Michael S. Williamson, Bruce Springsteen: Books
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:54 PM
 
2,031 posts, read 2,294,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpasa View Post
A lot of working class people suffered losses starting in 1983 or so. I think the reasons were -
- people started to buy imported cars
- air traffic controllers were laid off
- companies started hiring outside the US.

I was reading the book "Someplace Like America" which is also photo essays. Youngstown, Ohio was pretty much ruined. It mentions that the working class totally changed in the 80s and then NAFTA in the 90s made it even worse. And of course 9/11 caused so many airline workers to be laid off, and then outsourcing of tech jobs.


Amazon.com: Someplace Like America: Tales from the New Great Depression (9780520262478): Dale Maharidge, Michael S. Williamson, Bruce Springsteen: Books
Because the Federal Reserve contracted the money supply and raised interest rates in order to put a brake on inflation.
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:54 PM
 
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Good summation by Voyageur. You also need to remember that it was a global recession occurring at that time and the U.S. bounced back quicker than many other nations, but the overall global economy really didn't completely recover until 1985.

As for the gauge on how it affected people, I always like to look at the quite interesting statistic of median household income. These numbers are inflation adjusted and based on 2009 dollars. The census bureau divides the country into 5 tiers or groups. The bottom 4 represent an even division of 95% of the country, with the top tier representing the top 5% expressed in the low end of their median incomes.

Source: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/incom...H01AR_2009.xls

I pulled the 1980's in two year blocks:

1980; 18,533; 34,757; 53,285; 78,019; 125,556
1982; 17,927; 34,095; 52,095; 77,683; 128,232
1984; 18,680; 34,961; 53,863; 81,365; 134,691
1986; 19,133; 36,598; 56,799; 85,859; 143,947
1988; 19,830; 37,459; 58,376; 88,146; 149,207
1990; 19,886; 37,644; 57,591; 87,826; 150,735

As you can see, the brief setbacks in ~1982 were quickly recovered and the overall economy and consequently median family incomes increased throughout the remainder of the 1980's. A trend that continued throughout the 1990's, until 9/11 and the following recession. There was a brief rebound in 2005/6 at the peak of the housing bubble and then another drop/stagnant period we are in today. Of course, we have nowhere near wiped out the gains made from 1980-2000.
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:41 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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The air traffic controllers weren't laid off they were fired for not returning from an illegal strike. Did it cripple the economy? No.

The Federal Reserve embarked on a program of tightening the money supply in order to knock back inflation which was approaching 10%. That put the brakes on most economic activity.

Corporations didn't just start off-shoring in 1980, that started in the 1950's. The increased sales of foreign cars likely played a part, Detroit just wasn't making cars that people wanted at the prices asked. Many of the models that are best sellers now like Honda and Datsun (now Nissan) came to the US and were basically throw away cars for a long time. The most common foreign car was the Beetle. Volkwagon built a plant near Pittsburgh to build the Rabbit.

But it wasn't just cars: glass container makers shifted production to other continents for glass and changed their product mix here to plastic. Electronics were long gone, as was most clothing. Steel plants switched to mini-mills recycling steel and new steel started to be made in Korea.
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Maryland about 20 miles NW of DC
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In looking at the 1980s one has to understand a fundamental change occured in corporations. The change was in the executive suits when the men who built US industry in the era before 1950 retired and were replaced in the 1960s by organization men whose backgrounds were in management, sales or finance. The entreprenures were gone and with it the love of quality, technology or innovation. Product development and skills became cost centers or overhead and something to be minimized. Converting smokestocks into things like GMAC or GE Capital made more sense to these guys than making better steel, cars or TV sets. So we now live in a nation that only has two or three growing economic sectors, finance, healthcare and government services. WE have become that moving paper fantasy in the final song "The Flesh Failures-Let the Sunshine In!" in the rock opera Hair.
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Steel plants switched to mini-mills recycling steel and new steel started to be made in Korea.

The US was left with steel mills built largely before WWII, and it made a ton of money with these because for a long time no other nation was capable of producing a large volume of steel. However, as the former Great Powers began to emerge from the decades long recovery from WWII and new nations began to emerge as economic powers their steel production facilities were rebuilt with technology decades ahead of the old US mills which had gone decades as the only game in town and thus had never bothered to update themselves to any serious extent with post WWII technology.
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Voyageur View Post
Because the Federal Reserve contracted the money supply and raised interest rates in order to put a brake on inflation.
Now if we could only get some of our reactionary friends and Tea Party friends to understand that.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:31 PM
 
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Those were Ronald Reagan's years. Some people do not understand when I say that "everything bad" started then. (Not only because of Reagan's policies, but in general). All these processes are culminating in our time.
One simple example - today, overworked air traffic controllers are putting airlines and passengers in danger, when only one is left on duty in the tower. That was Reagan's triumph.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:46 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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Thirty years out you really can't blame Reagan for scheduling problems in towers today. The controllers then, even had they returned to work, would all be retired now, or most would be, as mandatory retirement for ATC's is 55.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:49 PM
 
Location: TX and NM on the border of the Great Southwest.
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In west Texas, farming and oil economies slowed dramatically. I lost big time on a home I sold at that time at Lubbock but made some back by taking a large promotion.
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