Chapter 30 The Revival of Conservatism The New Politics Conservatism began to grow in the United States, Great Britain and other parts of Eastern and Central Europe. Conservatives sought to downsize government, reduce taxes and roll back regulations that hampered business competition They also wanted to revive the social and religious values. They did not like things such as abortion, homosexuality, and divorce rates The conservative philosophy had tremendous appeal. They were successful at raising money and understood the need to provide an intellectual ground for their positions. Conservatives were highly educated and many wee researchers Ronald Reagan was responsible for the success of the conservative cause. He was an actor turned politician. He served 8 years in office Republican Policies at Home Republicans aimed to reverse the economic stagnation of the carter years and wanted to provide new opportunities for business to prosper. Reagan implemented a recovery program. Reducing taxes would encourage business expansion which would lead to larger supply of goods to help stimulate the system The Rich got richer and the poor stayed the same after the tax cuts in 1981. Congress and Reagan passed the biggest tax reform since 1913. It lowered rates, consolidated brackets and closed loopholes. The Federal Communications Committee increased the amount of time allotted to commercials and eliminated the rule that some programming had to be in the area of public service broadcasts. Federal spending on social welfare increased and Reagan wanted to place more power in the hands of the state and local government. His idea was called “New Federalism” that attempted to shift power from federal to state level. George Bush wanted to cut social programs. Republican policy widened the gap between the rich and the poor. The rich got tax breaks. The concentration of capital produced billionaires and tri-lionizes. In the later 1980’s people suffered more than they did in the Great Depressions Slowdown in the Struggle for Civil Rights Reagan was not a big supporter of equal rights for African Americans. He wanted to cut back on affirmative action programs Major riots broke out in Los Angeles after Rodney King was beaten and attacked by 4 police officers. This crime was taped and shown on television and to a jury who acquitted the policemen. Thousands of African Americans reacted by targeting supermarkets, restaurants and mini malls. 51 people died and 2,000 injured. $1 billion in damaged was left after the riots The Changing Nature of Work Automatic and other technological advances had made an impact on American jobs. Computers replaced the need for people to write and to go out and research. Many less fortunate people didn’t have the advantage of accessing a computer In the mid 1990’s American employees worked many more hours each year than did people in Germany or France American transformed from an industrial base where most workers actually produced things, to a service base in which many provided expertise or service Unions became more successful in organizing industrial workers than organizing service and desk workers. The Roller- Coaster Economy Economic boom began between 1930 and 1990 Inflation and heavy unemployment continued to be a problem The recessions affected every region of the country. Business failure proliferated in every city and state to both large and small businesses. Even farmers on the Sun Belt began to feel the effects of the recessions. Economic Conditions improved in the late 1980s. Middle class went deeply into debt In the mid 1992 the economy began to recover and the unemployment rate dropped and the productivity index rose. Stock market crashed in 1987 which doubled the lose in 1930 The population shifted geographically also. Many families left cities and suburban areas began to grow. Minorities made up half the population. Reagan, Bush, and the Soviet Union The cold war was alive when Reagan assumed power in 1981. Reagan wanted to make peaceful relations with the Soviet Union. They organized a treaty that withdrew soviet and American missiles in Europe October 1990 the Berlin Wall came down and Germany was reunited.